By Susan and Simon Veness
If you asked an eight year old what they want in a theme park “wet ride” they would demand a boat equipped with cool water cannons, a huge magical fountain that pummels the boat with water, and the ability to soak everyone within a broad country mile. In short: The Quest for CHI.
LEGOLAND’s new attraction is everything a kid could want, but the adults in our U.K. media group heartily agreed: this one is a real winner, in no small measure because you just get so ridiculously wet. World of Chima is a themed ‘land’ based on the popular LEGO Legends of Chima storyline and the Cartoon Network’s animated children’s television show. Laval the Lion (the good guy) battles Cragger the Crocodile (the bad guy) for control of Chima’s chi (pronounced chee), the mystical energy that sustains the balance of nature and gives all of the animal tribes their power. But Cragger is greedy, and wants all the power for himself.
Not knowing the story in advance was no hindrance to our enjoyment though, as video screens placed throughout the queue provide the full set-up. But the real quest began when we entered the Lion Temple and boarded our boats. The CHI orbs have been stolen and it was our mission to help the tribes of Chima—Lion, Eagle, Wolf, Raven—battle the Croc tribe and restore balance to the world. Individual water cannons would aid us in our mission, and everything within sight was fair game.
Hint: If you want to soak bystanders, sit on the right-hand side of the boat. If you want a massive soaking in the magical waters of Mount Cavora, sit on the left side. If you don’t want to get wet but still want to participate, purchase a LEGOLAND poncho!
Mount Cavora, a 55 foot high floating island, is the centerpiece of Cavora River, and the moment we entered the river itself we felt the surge of chi used by the animal tribes to enhance their own unique powers. For us it was arm-power, as we furiously cranked the wheels attached to our cannons, sending powerful streams of water in every direction. The animal tribes (in LEGO form) lined the riverbanks in a series of settings, and the object of the attraction is to squirt moving chi orbs to activate each scene. But the lure of soaking bystanders and other boats proved too powerful for us. In fact, most of our chi went toward serious water battles with the boats in front of and behind us when they rounded each turn in the ride, and onlookers using land-based water cannons soon felt our watery wrath as the epic battle unfolded.
Laval and Cragger face a final show-down at the end of the ride, but with our help the outcome was certain. With balance restored, Laval congratulated us on our bravery, saying, “Warriors, we are strong, and we are noble! We have beat the enemy back again…for Chima!”
Laughing, soaked, and thoroughly entertained, we stumbled over to Cragger’s Corner (a water play area that allows youngsters who can’t or don’t want to ride to play with adult supervision, while other family members ride Quest for Chi), then tried our hand at nearby SpeedorzTM, for the chance to compete against each other using rip-cord LEGO vehicles. We spent the rest of the day enjoying the park and the gardens, reminding us what a brilliant experience Legoland is for visitors of all ages, but our thoughts were still on our triumph alongside Laval, prince of the Lion tribe, and would remain there long after our shorts dried out.