This week, LEGOLAND called the media together and made the announcement they will be adding a ride, a night-time spectacular, a water park element, a theatrical experience with a corresponding in-park game, and a brand-new resort to their line-up, making it a bona fide two-day experience. Phew!
LEGOLAND’s General Manager Adrian Jones told us, “Things that are new continue to keep the area at the top of the attractions list. It is very important. We knew we would have a big year next year, but we then had these other ideas and additions for 2016 that all kind of converged at the same time, so we thought we would roll them all out into one big preview event.”
Here are five additions you can look forward to in 2016 and 2017:
LEGOLAND Beach Retreat: The biggest news in terms of sheer size was the announcement of a second resort accommodation, aptly named LEGOLAND Beach Retreat. Located directly across Cypress Gardens Boulevard and adjacent to the park, the resort takes its theme—sand, sun and surf—directly from the Sunshine State itself, creating a village-style setting on Lake Dexter, built in best LEGO brick fashion. 83 colourful single-storey duplexes (think, two villas in one building, connected by a single wall) that can accommodate 166 families or groups of up to 5 guests in each unit make it possible for extended families or friends to holiday together with greater convenience and their own space. Families with three children finally have the ability to be in the same space without having to book two adjoining rooms, and that’s a big bonus when you have little ’uns.
The resort will include a themed pool, a sand play area, a themed on-site buffet restaurant, and complimentary shuttle service to and from the park, and the kid-friendly atmosphere makes for the perfect rest day after pounding the parks. Each villa is constructed as if it were made from Lego bricks, and the whimsical touches the park’s guests enjoy discovering at existing LEGOLAND Hotel will be found here, too. Adrian Jones shared his thoughts, saying, “The LEGOLAND Hotel has been so popular, we knew right from the start we needed more. It is part of the overall Central Florida success story.”
LEGO NINJAGO World: Based on the massive popularity of the television series LEGO NINJAGO: Masters of Spinjitzu and the spin-off LEGO building sets, an all-new land is coming to LEGOLAND in early 2017, and it’s going to be Ninja-rific! Enter the Ninja kingdom of NINJAGO, where 3-D computer animation technology, hand-directed weaponry, and 4-D atmospheric effects combine in one thrilling dark ride, unlike anything the theme park world has seen before.
Riders can practice their Ninja skills in the queue, then put them to work as they throw fireballs, ice, shock waves, and lightning strikes (all animated, of course!) at rival Ninjas, racking up points while they defeat the evil villain. Kids are sure to want a second go…and a third….as the repeat factor here is likely to be huge.
Adrian Jones told us the thinking behind the new land: “Legoland doesn’t just rest on its laurels. Ninjago was an obvious one for us to link in with because boys identify with it, but it also has appeal for girls, with the girl Ninja. People have seen 3-D and the effects just get better and better. With a cartoon, there is more clarity on screen and, with this style – without guns – there is no wear and tear on the vehicle. It is cool, and we get a workout!”
LEGO NEXO Knights 4-D: The Book of Creativity: The “futuristic Kingdom of Knighton” brings the company’s newest franchise to the LEGOLAND park, starting 26 May, 2016. It’s knights against villains in a 4-D theatrical show, bringing to life the Nexo Knights characters from the new television show and building sets. 3-D computer animation and atmospheric effects, including wind, fog, water, and lighting, put guests right in the middle of the action as the knights battle the evil Jethro and his Book of Monsters for control of a rare book of magic and the power that comes with it. Who will win? Our money is on the good guys!
See the show first, then drop into the shops, where kids (and kids at heart!) can purchase the Nexo Knights mini-people characters, who hold very special shields. Scan the shield using a mobile app available for iOS and Android to unlock six super powers for your character. These six powers are only available in the park, and work in conjunction with the mobile app’s gaming feature.
Build-A-Boat: LEGOLAND’s water park has not been forgotten, with its new Creative Cove expansion. Here you’ll find the newly opened building-and-racing fun of Build-A-Boat. Kids receive a boat hull base they can use along with LEGO bricks to create their own special racing vehicle, then put it to the test against other builder’s watercrafts on a fast-moving mini-river based on the LEGO City Coast Guards building sets. Jones said, “We loved it in Legoland Malaysia, so we thought it would be a great addition to the water park here.”
There is dining nearby, plus the DUPLO Imagination Station bricks and water play area for the youngest builders. And don’t forget, parents, that the water park has complimentary Wi-Fi so you can keep friends and family updated on your social media while the kiddies create and play.
LEGOLAND Night Lights: Debuting in June is the new LEGOLAND extended-hours night time spectacular, LEGOLAND Night Lights, with LEGO character meet-and-greets, building opportunities with LEGO Master Model Builders, and a brand-new NINJAGO-inspired fireworks show over Lake Eloise that turns bursts into brick-tacular show-stoppers when you don your 3-D glasses. It’s a limited-time experience, on Saturdays and Sundays from 18 June until 31 July, and the entire LEGOLAND Night Lights event is free with park admission.
It’s a lot to be getting on with, but Jones hints at further advancements worth watching for in future. “We are a 12-month park, and we are now moving towards a 365-day pattern. It is a big step in our development. When LEGOLAND opened, people wondered why we would be closed for Tuesdays and Wednesdays at off-peak periods, but we wanted to do things gradually and from a sound footing.” It’s the sort of thinking that has set LEGOLAND on the right track, and we can’t wait to see all the new additions that make this family-oriented park such a winner.
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