Legoland California Resort
Legoland California logo
|Location||Legoland California Resort, Carlsbad, California, United States|
|General Manager||Patrick Ronchetti|
|Opened||March 20, 1999|
|Visitors per annum||1.4 million (2004)|
|Area||128 acres (52 ha)|
|Total||more than 60|
Legoland California is a theme park and miniature park located in Carlsbad, California, based around the Lego toy brand. On March 20, 1999, it became the third Legoland park to open, and the first Legoland outside of Europe. The park is owned by Merlin Entertainments, the largest theme park firm in Europe, and second largest in the world after Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. Merlin acquired the properties in 2004, and took a controlling interest in 2005. Merlin also owns and operates the Sea Life aquarium that opened in August 2008 at Legoland California, the first in North America. Merlin employs more than 13,000 and catered to an estimated 41 million guests worldwide in 2010, growing to 60 million in 2013. A second park in the United States, Legoland Florida opened in 2011.
The Legoland California Resort currently encompasses the original park (1999), a Lego-themed Sea Life Aquarium (2008), a CHIMA-themed water park (2010) and a hotel (2013).
The Beginning is the section of the park near the entrance, which includes the ticket booths, entrance gates, guest services and several gift shops and food vendors. As a convenience, the park offers a free package pickup service at the park's exit for retail purchases made throughout the park.
Dino Island is a dinosaur-themed section containing a large sand area where children may dig for "fossils" and the Gerstlauer-built "Coastersaurus" mini steel roller coaster, a close copy of the Legoland Germany junior coaster Drachenjagd, with a ride duration of approximately 2 minutes. It was installed by Ride Entertainment Group, who handles all of Gerstlauer's operations in the Western Hemisphere.
The Duplo Village section is based on the LEGO-affiliated namesake brand marketed to children aged 1½ to 5 years old. The area includes a number of Duplo-themed and water-oriented attractions, including:
- DUPLO Playtown, a playground
- Fairy Tale Brook, a tow boat ride with fairy tale scenes illustrated with Lego models
- Legoland Express, a loop train ride
- Safari Trek, where safari vehicles make a loop around Lego animal models
- The Lego Movie Experience, with models and sets from the movie
- Water Works, a set of interactive fountains and water features
- Volvo Driving School, where children aged 6 to 13 years drive self-propelled Lego cars on a closed circuit featuring multiple intersections, two way traffic and traffic signals. It is designed to promote safe driving and skills.
- Volvo Junior Driving School, where children aged 3 to 5 years drive similar self-propelled Lego cars on a simple oval.
- Police and Fire Academy, a competitive team attraction where groups propel a hand pumped truck in a race down a street to douse a simulated building "fire" and return the truck.
- Flight Squadron, a ride where patrons ride in Lego airplanes that move up and down while moving in a circle.
- Sky Patrol, a ride where patrons ride in Lego helicopters that move up and down and can spin in place.
- Skipper School, where patrons drive self-propelled boats around a winding water course.
- Kid Power Towers, where patrons climb a tower using a arm-crank apparatus.
- Sky Cruiser, where patrons travel along an elevated rail track using a leg-cranked vehicle.
- Adventurer's Club, a walk-through of Lego-built scenes from the Amazon rain forest, ancient Egypt and the arctic
- Lego Factory, a tour of a mockup Lego factory that details the production of Lego bricks.
Fun Town is also the location of the entrance to Legoland Water Park, which opened on May 28, 2010.
Miniland USA is a 1:20 scale model miniature park featuring prominent architecture and symbols from seven areas in the United States. Certain models are visible throughout the Legoland park. It was constructed over the course of three years using more than 20 million LEGO bricks.
Areas depicted at Miniland:
- Las Vegas, Nevada
- New England Harbor
- New Orleans, Louisiana
- New York City – features Central Park, Midtown, Rockefeller Center, Central Park Carousel, Empire State Building, Times Square, Downtown, One World Trade Center and the Statue of Liberty
- San Francisco, California
- Southern California
- Washington DC – features the length of the National Mall from the Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial and includes Smithsonian Museums, Georgetown and the White House
Also featured at Miniland:
- Block of Fame – a 3-dimensional LEGO art gallery featuring famous people and works of art
- Star Wars, with models of seven scenes from the six movies and twelve large Lego character models. The Star Wars Miniland models replaced an older racing-themed set of models which included the Daytona International Speedway and a set of drag racing cars.
- Coast Cruise, a boat ride where patrons can see some large architectural models otherwise inaccessible by foot, such as the Eiffel Tower, Mount Rushmore and Taj Mahal.
Miniland includes the Model Shop, the main design and building office for Legoland's US parks. A large viewing window allows guests to watch master model builders working on new models. Repairs and refurbishment of existing models are also conducted in the Model Shop.
Certain model builders have inserted incongruous scenes into the Miniland vignettes, including a businessman mooning the presidential motorcade and a man using the toilet in the Grand Central Station model. Miniland officials insist all such scenes are incorporated with full management knowledge and approval.
- Dragon - roller coaster with a dark ride through a castle featuring static and animatronic period characters.
- Knights Tournament ride around on a very large robotic arm, selecting levels.
- Hideaways a large multi-level wooden playground designed for younger children, structure with slides, rope ladders, and bridges.
- Royal Joust an oval track narrow gauge ride for small children.
The area includes a miniature golf course. The space had previously housed a "rock band" or "singing rock garden". The rock's original recording can still be heard on holes 12-18 on the course.
In the Imagination Zone, visitors can ride a Wild Mouse-style roller coaster called the "Technic Coaster-Test Track"(formally Project X), choose from three different "4-D" movies called "Bob the Builder", "Spellbreaker", and "Clutch Powers" (a racing movie). Kids can also race Lego cars that they build themselves in Build 'n Test, play the "Maniac Challenge" in which guests play LEGO PC games, and program robots in "Mindstorms". Guests can also ride on "Bionicle Blaster", which is a version of the teacup ride, or the "Aquazone Wave Racers", a dual water carousel.
- Splash Battle is a water cannon pirate ship themed ride, where competing teams face each other.
- Soak 'N Sail is an interactive two-story complex water playground featuring a collection of smaller slides, jets, cannons and two tower top 500 gallon buckets that void their contents intermittently.
- Treasure Falls is a small themed log flume geared towards children.
- Swabbie's Deck is a children's water and wading area similar to a splash pad.
- Captain Cranky's Challenge is a mock pirate ship that sways in a u-shaped track and rotates bi-directionally.
- Pirate Reef opened May 2012, and is a 'shoot the chutes' attraction with interactive components including a splash bridge, water cannons and brick building play area. The attraction is accessible from both Pirate Shores and Legoland Water Park!
Land of Adventure
The most recent section of the theme park (opened in May 2008), which is designed to replicate the 1920s in Egypt. "Pharaoh's Revenge" involves guests firing foam balls at targets and at each other. On "Beetle Bounce" guests bounce nearly 15 feet (4.6 m) to nearly touch the enormous beetles above. "Cargo Ace", lets guests board one of eight planes to fly six feet into the air. "Lost Kingdom Adventure" is Legoland California's most recent attraction. Guests board and ride a roadster to recover stolen treasure by blasting targets with laser guns along their journey. Another recently opened attraction is "Dune Raiders", which is a slide.
Legoland Water Park
This is a water park area in Legoland California. Construction began in September 2009. It opened on May 28, 2010. It is located next to the buildings in Fun Town. It is the first Legoland to feature a waterpark. It is not possible to buy a separate admission ticket solely for the water park. Legoland Water Park opened in Florida 2 years later. A Legends of Chima expansion opened in early July in 2014.
FIRST LEGO League
Each December, Legoland hosts the FIRST LEGO League Southern California Regional Championships to decide which team out of 50+ teams goes on to St. Louis, MO or Toronto, Canada for the FLL National or World Championships.
- 1999: Park Opens
- 2000: Spellbreaker; Aquazone Wave Racers
- 2001: Technic Coaster 
- 2002: LEGO Racers 4-D 
- 2003: Legoland Sports Jam 
- 2004: Dino Island; Coastersaurus; Spellbreaker removed 
- 2005: Knight’s Tournament; Wild Woods Golf; Freedom Tower model in Miniland New York
- 2006: Pirate Shores 
- 2007: Las Vegas Miniland; Captain Cranky’s Challenge
- 2008: Land of Adventure; Sea Life Aquarium 
- 2009: Dune Raiders 
- 2010: Legoland Waterpark
- 2011: Star Wars Miniland; Splash Zoo (in Legoland Waterpark)
- 2012: Pirate Reef; Star Wars Miniland Expansion; Claws exhibit at Sea Life Aquarium
- 2013: Legoland Hotel, LEGO Legends of Chima, Junior Conceirge Contest
- 2014: Lego Legends of Chima Water Park Lego Movie Experience
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- Kragen, Pam (20 December 2008). "Legoland to reopen Sea Life Aquarium on Monday". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved 19 February 2015.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Legoland California.|
- Official website
- Satellite image from Google Maps
- William Webb's New York Photo Gallery
- Legoland California Resort at the Roller Coaster DataBase