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Brick-By-Brick, Community Learns About Newest, Full-Day Theme Park in Central Florida
Thousands of eager residents came out to the Winter Haven Orange Dome to see what LEGOLAND® Florida will bring to Central Florida upon opening in fall 2011.
LEGOLAND Model Citizens – the company’s affectionate term for its employees – revealed renderings of what the Park will look like, and how the current landscape of the Park will adapt to meet the LEGOLAND target visitor. The areas were revealed for the first time today and include: City – featuring a Driving School where children earn their first “driver’s license” and families compete on Fun Town Fire Academy – a competitive ride that challenges families to get a fire truck from one side to another and put out a faux fire; Imagination Zone – where children can build on their imaginations and race cars against each other; DUPLO® Play Area – ideal for toddlers and their growing minds; Factory Tour – a first hand look at how LEGO® bricks are made from factory to finish; Castle Hill – a medieval area featuring an indoor/outdoor rollercoaster taking guests on a ride in and out of a castle where a dragon defends his treasure and Dino Island – where guests take a trip to prehistoric times and experience their first “thrill” ride. Retail and dining areas were also introduced including The Big Shop, one of the largest LEGO retail stores in the country and the Garden Restaurant where tasty homemade soups and sandwiches are served.
During the three-hour open house, LEGOLAND executives including Managing Director of LEGOLAND Parks John Jakobsen, General Manager of LEGOLAND Development John Ussher, Sales & Marketing Director Kim Isemann and Human Resources Director Kim Clark answered questions from guests including how to apply for positions and what makes LEGOLAND Florida different from other theme parks in the area.
“We are very excited to be bringing only the second LEGOLAND Park in North America here to Polk County, ” said Jakobsen. “Our main goal tonight is to answer questions and build excitement for the most unique theme park ever to come to this area.” LEGOLAND Florida will offer more than 50 rides, shows and attractions, including thousands of spectacular LEGO models. The Florida development will be Merlin Entertainments’ second LEGOLAND Park in North America and will play an important role in the group’s continued growth in the U.S. Providing a full-day, year round theme park experience geared towards families with children between the ages of 2 and 12, LEGOLAND Florida will mirror the successful concept of the four existing LEGOLAND Parks in Denmark, Germany, U.K. and California.
However, as with the other four, it will also have its own unique “twist” reflecting its stunning location and adding a Florida flavor.
At the event, children and their families interacted with LEGO models of Darth VaderTM, Bob the BuilderTM, Thomas the Tank EngineTM, a raptor dinosaur, several LEGO friends, Rodin’s “The Thinker” and a lady fire fighter. Also on display was a miniature version of the White House made of more than 120, 000 LEGO bricks which will be the family theme park’s first permanent model. Attendees got their first taste of what the interactive theme park offers as they built a giant LEGO mural depicting an artist’s rendering of the front entrance of LEGOLAND Florida. When completed, the mural is 9 feet wide and 5 feet tall created out of 35, 000 LEGO bricks.
The MERLIN ENTERTAINMENTS GROUP is the leading name in location based, family entertainment, which has seen the most successful and dynamic growth of any company in the sector over the last five years. Europe’s number one, and the world’s second largest visitor attraction operator, Merlin has 62 attractions and 6 hotels in 12 countries, across 3 continents. The company aims to deliver memorable and rewarding experiences to its 38.5 million visitors worldwide, through its iconic global and local brands, and the commitment and passion of its managers and more than 14, 000 employees. Merlin Entertainments operates the following attractions – SEA LIFE – the world’s No 1 aquarium brand, Madame Tussauds, LEGOLAND, The Merlin Entertainments London Eye, Dungeons, Gardaland, LEGOLAND Discovery Centres, Alton Towers Resort, Warwick Castle, THORPE PARK, Chessington World of Adventures, Heide Park, Underwater Adventures, and Earth Explorer.