Florida Travel

Legoland announces expansion, hotel, new attractions

Opening in mid-2017, Legoland Beach Retreat is a whimsically themed vacation resort that will sit next to Lake Dexter in Winter Haven, adjacent to Legoland Florida theme park.
Opening in mid-2017, Legoland Beach Retreat is a whimsically themed vacation resort that will sit next to Lake Dexter in Winter Haven, adjacent to Legoland Florida theme park. Legoland Florida

Legoland Florida will add a new beach-style resort, a Ninjago martial arts themed land, a movie featuring Lego Nexo Knights, and a summer program of fireworks and special entertainment.

In addition, Legoland has expanded its water park, which opened for the season last week.

The new attractions, announced Tuesday, add up to Legoland’s biggest expansion since the park opened on the former Cypress Gardens site in Winter Haven in 2011. The first to debut will be the Nexo Knights movie, opening in May; the resort and Ninjago world are set to open in 2017.

150 acres Size of Legoland park, before the new additions

Here’s a rundown:

▪ Lego Nexo Knights 4D, opening May 26: The Book of Creativity: This 12 1/2-minute theatrical attraction, based on a new Lego series of building sets and new TV show, is set in the futuristic Kingdom of Knighton. Using 3D computer animation and special effects, it pits five young knights against the evil Jestro and his sidekick, the Book of Monsters, in a battle for control of a rare book of magic.

▪ Legoland Night Lights, opening June 18: Summer nights bring extended hours, a Ninjago fireworks and music show, meet-and-greets with Lego characters, and more. It will take place every Saturday and Sunday from June 18 to July 31.

▪ Lego Ninjago World, opening early 2017: This new “magical martial arts kingdom” was inspired by the line of Lego building sets and television show Lego Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu. Its centerpiece will be Lego Ninjago: The Ride, on which young guests will train to be ninjas. Using only their hands, riders will score points by blasting animated fireballs, lightning, shockwaves and ice to defeat a powerful villain. The attraction, Legoland said, will blend “eye-popping, 3D computer animation, ‘4D’ atmospheric effects and groundbreaking technology by Montreal-based Triotech.” According to the Orlando Sentinel, It will feature Maestro hand gesture technology, which enables guests to control the game with hand gestures without using a hand-held device.

“One of the awesome things about that is you train to be a ninja,” Adrian Jones, Legoland’s general manager, told the Orlando Sentinel. “So the idea is you go through a number of different themed areas as you go through the ride.”

Legoland was designed for ages 2-12; its operators have no interest in attracting visitors of all ages.

The new theme park land will feature multiple hands-on, interactive experiences that will hone kids’ physical skills.

▪ The Legoland Beach Retreat, opening mid-2017: The park opened its first hotel 10 months ago and based on high demand, now will build its second. The 24-acre retreat across the street from the park will be a village-like cluster of lakefront duplexes with 166 lodging units, each accommodating up to five people. The decor will be Lego brick in bright primary colors. Its signature element will be a colorful Lego lighthouse.

Legoland has also expanded its adjoining water park and added Build-A-Boat, in which kids create boats and race them. The park also has new food offerings, increased seating capacity and complimentary Wi-Fi.

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