Merlin Entertainments have announced an agreement with Multi Turkey to open a LEGOLAND® Discovery Centre in Istanbul in late spring 2015. This will be the second attraction in the city for Merlin, following the acquisition of the Turkuazoo Aquarium last September.
The new LEGOLAND® Discovery Centre will be located close to the Aquarium in Forum Istanbul, Turkey’s largest shopping and leisure centre, and will include a special LEGO MINILAND exhibit featuring landmarks nominated by the local community including the Topkapi Palace, the Blue Mosque and the Bosphorus Bridge.
The Istanbul LEGOLAND Discovery Centre will also feature LEGO rides, a 4D cinema, an interactive LEGO ‘Factory Tour’ and building workshops with the Centre’s Master Model Builder.
Glenn Earlam, Managing Director of Merlin Entertainment’s Midway Attractions Operating Group, said, “When we acquired Turkuazoo last year we said that we had identified Istanbul as an exciting, vibrant, and populous City in which we were looking to build a cluster of our attractions – and this is the first step. We have also already begun our programme of very positive changes in the aquarium, which will continue through the summer; and our experience of working with the great team in Turkuazoo has convinced us even more of the potential in Istanbul for quality attractions such as ours.
“The LEGOLAND Discovery Centre is a unique concept aimed at families with young children and is already successful in Europe, Asia and the USA. We have no doubt people will love it in Istanbul, too, and we are particularly delighted to be working with Multi on this exciting new project. Forum Istanbul is in a very central location, which attracts both local and international visitors to its exciting mix of retail, dining and quality leisure attractions like the aquarium and now the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre. Our experience has shown that attractions like ours create a whole new element to a family shopping day, delivering significant incremental business to both the mall – and to the area as a whole. Such projects also play an important part in Merlin’s future growth strategy for our ‘midway’ (indoor City Centre) attractions.”