Legoland Florida Resort (stylized as LEGOLAND Florida Resort) is a vacation destination in Winter Haven, Florida featuring a theme park, water park and on-site accommodations. It opened as Legoland Florida on October 15, 2011, and later rebranded itself Legoland Florida Resort with the opening of Legoland Hotel in May 2015. The park encompasses 145 acres (0.59 km2), making it the second-largest Legoland park after Legoland Windsor in the UK. Built on the site of the former Cypress Gardens theme park, Legoland preserved the botanical gardens and re-themed the water park and select attractions and venues to reflect various Lego brands.
|Slogan||Built for Kids|
|Location||Winter Haven, Florida, United States|
|Theme||Lego toys and childhood amusement|
|Operated by||Merlin Entertainments|
|General Manager||Rex Jackson|
|Opened||October 15, 2011|
|Previous names||Cypress Gardens|
|Operating season||Year Round|
|Area||145 acres (0.59 km2)|
Designed for families with children ages 2 to 12, the resort has more than fifty rides, shows, attractions, restaurants, and shops, plus a botanical garden and water park. The 152-room Legoland Hotel opened May 15, 2015, followed by Legoland Beach Retreat on April 7, 2017, which has 166 rooms in 83 freestanding bungalows designed to resemble giant Lego sets.
On January 15, 2010, Merlin Entertainments declared its intention to build a Legoland theme park on the site of the former Cypress Gardens theme park, which permanently ceased operations in 2009. Six days later, a news conference was held with Florida Governor Charlie Crist and park officials. The story broke a day before the press conference after an email between public officials was obtained by a local newspaper; the sale price was $22.3 million.
After a relatively short construction period (as compared to parks which were built from scratch), Legoland Florida opened on Saturday, October 15, 2011. Three months later, Legoland Florida announced it would add a water park. The former Splash Island water park reopened as Legoland Water Park on May 26, 2012.
The park expanded by adding more lands such as The World of Chima (Jul 2013), Heartlake City (Jun 2015), and Lego Ninjago World (Jan 2017) as well as expanding itself as a resort. On November 21, 2013, LEGOLAND Florida announced they would be adding their first onsite hotel, the LEGOLAND Hotel. It opened to the public on May 15, 2015. A second resort, LEGOLAND Beach Retreat, was announced March 15, 2016 as part of a major expansion effort and it opened on April 7, 2017, approximately 3⁄4 mile (1.2 km) east of the theme park, on the western shore of Lake Dexter. The most recent development was the announcement of the world's first theme park area themed with The Lego Movie, which opened on March 27, 2019.
Park layout & attractionsEdit
|Themed areas and key locations within Legoland Florida Resort|
More than fifty rides, shows, and attractions are featured in the park based on those at other Legoland parks. The Jungle Coaster ride from Legoland Windsor was moved to the park and renamed Lego Technic Test Track (now currently The Great Lego Race).
Cypress Gardens' botanical park was preserved as part of the park. Also surviving is a vast Banyan tree that was planted as a seedling in a five-gallon bucket in 1939. In addition, four attractions originally from Cypress Gardens were renovated and renamed: the Triple Hurricane wooden rollercoaster was renamed to Coastersaurus, the Okeechobee Rampage family coaster was renamed to The Dragon, and Swamp Thing, a Vekoma family inverted coaster, was renamed to Flying School. The Starliner coaster, formerly built for the Miracle Strip Amusement Park in Panama City in 1963 before being moved to Cypress Gardens in 2004, was dismantled for sale. The Island in the Sky observation tower was also retained and operated from 2011 until it was closed in 2017.
The Splash Island Waterpark at the north end of the site was renamed to the Legoland Florida Water Park and requires an additional admission ticket purchase. Admission to the Water Park requires purchase of an admission ticket to the theme park.
The theme park has fourteen sections:
The Beginning features no attractions, but it has the park's main gift shops, restaurants, and administrative facilities. The Legoland Hotel is located just outside the park's entrance.
|Grand Carousel||October 15, 2011||A two-level carousel. It originally opened with standard horses, but it was refurbished in February 2012 and the original horses were replaced with ones based on Lego horses.|
|Wells Fargo Fun Town Theater||October 15, 2011 (Theatre)||
|Mia’s Riding Adventure||June 26, 2015||A Disk-O flat ride manufactured by Zamperla which has guests strapped into a horse and spin on a disc alongside a track.|
|Heartlake Stepping Tones Fountain||June 26, 2015||Interactive, heart-shaped fountain filled with LEGO brick instruments that play music.|
|Theatre||June 26, 2015||Currently plays the show Lego Friends to the Rescue.|
|New York City||October 15, 2011||Rockefeller Plaza, Times Square, Statue of Liberty, Grand Central Terminal, Empire State Building, Guggenheim Museum, and Central Park Zoo.|
|Washington, D.C.||October 15, 2011||White House, U.S. Capitol building, Smithsonian Museums, WWII Memorial, Washington Monument, Jefferson Memorial, and parts of Georgetown.|
|Las Vegas||October 15, 2011||A realistic walk through along the Las Vegas Strip from the Welcome to Las Vegas sign, past the Luxor, Excalibur, Mirage, Treasure Island, Tropicana, MGM Grand, Paris, and the Stratosphere tower.|
|Florida||October 15, 2011
November 19, 2014 (I-Drive 360 Complex)
|Florida Keys, the Everglades, Miami, Tampa, Central Florida, Daytona Beach, The Kennedy Space Center, St. Augustine, the Panhandle and the I-Drive 360 complex (Orlando Eye, Sea Life Orlando and Madame Tussauds Orlando).|
|Pirates||October 15, 2011||A pirate themed area featuring miniature Lego pirate ships.|
|Star Wars||November 9, 2012
May 4, 2018 (The Force Awakens model)
|A collection of models from various planets in the Star Wars universe that also replicates famous scenes in the films. The planets and respective films from which scenes are represented are: Naboo from The Phantom Menace, Geonosis from Attack of the Clones, Kashyyyk and Mustafar from Revenge of the Sith, Tatooine from A New Hope, Hoth from The Empire Strikes Back Endor from Return of the Jedi, and Jakku from The Force Awakens. The area formerly featured Christophsis featured from Star Wars: The Clone Wars but was replaced with Jakku. Also featured are life-sized models of Darth Maul, R2D2, Darth Vader, Rey and Chewbacca.|
|Duplo Train||May 23, 2014||A ride in a Duplo-themed train carriage.|
|Duplo Tractor||May 23, 2014||A ride alongside a farm in a Duplo-themed tractor.|
|Duplo Farm||October 15, 2011||An indoor, air-conditioned playground also housing the park's baby care center.|
|Duplo Splash Pad||May 23, 2014||A toddler sized water play area.|
|Duplo Tot Spot||May 23, 2014||An interactive play area featuring Duplo bricks and a slide.|
|The Dragon||October 15, 2011||A steel family coaster manufactured by Vekoma which featured an indoor dark ride portion. Originally called Okeechobee Rampage and located at a different place within the park. During construction of LEGOLAND Florida, the track was extended to include the dark ride segment and was put alongside the perimeter of the park.|
|The Royal Joust||October 15, 2011||A simulated 'joust' attraction where children ride Lego-themed horses through medieval scenes.|
|Merlin's Challenge||October 15, 2011||A mini Himalaya flat ride with a LEGO model of Merlin as the centerpiece.|
|The Forestmen's Hideout||October 15, 2011||Large multi-level wooden playground designed for younger children, a structure with slides, rope ladders, and bridges.|
Land of AdventureEdit
|Beetle Bounce||October 15, 2011||A dual junior drop tower ride manufactured by Zamperla.|
|Coastersaurus||October 15, 2011||A wooden roller coaster manufactured by Martin & Vleminckx and was formerly known as Triple Hurricane. On November 21, 2013 the ride received new Millennium Flyer trains from Great Coasters International.|
|Lost Kingdom Adventure||October 15, 2011||An interactive dark ride manufactured by Sally Corporation based on the Lego theme Adventurers.|
|Pharaoh's Revenge||October 15, 2011||An interactive play area involving small plastic balls (ball pit balls) moved around by air currents and suction.|
|Safari Trek||October 15, 2011||A jeep ride featuring life-sized LEGO animal models.|
Lego Ninjago WorldEdit
|Lego Ninjago: The Ride||January 12, 2017||An interactive 3D dark ride where four riders assume the powers of the ninjas and use their hand motions to swipe at various obstacles and villains.|
The Lego Movie WorldEdit
The area occupied by The Lego Movie World was previously themed as The World of Chima.
|The Lego Movie: Masters of Flight||March 27, 2019||Flying theatre attraction where guests join Master Builders on a Triple Decker Flying Couch transporting riders all over The Lego Movie universe.|
|Unikitty's Disco Drop||March 27, 2019||Tower ride. Drops, spins and bounces to the heights of Cloud Cuckoo land.|
|Battle of Bricksburg||March 27, 2019||Help defend Bricksburg by spraying down the DUPLO® alien invaders. Beware, you will get wet! Retained from The World of Chima and renamed from The Quest for Chi Splash Battle, which opened in 2013.|
|Ford Driving School||October 15, 2011||A “real-life” driving experience for children ages 6 through 13, where children receive their official Legoland driver’s license which can be upgraded to have their photo and watch a video on how to drive. The ride and the junior ride are sponsored by Ford.|
|Ford Jr. Driving School||October 15, 2011||A smaller version of the driving school attraction for children ages 3 through 5.|
|Flying School||October 15, 2011||A Suspended Family Coaster manufactured by Vekoma themed around an airport. The attraction was previously called Swamp Thing.|
|Boating School||October 15, 2011||Self-propelled boat-ride that travels a winding watercourse.|
|Rescue Academy:||October 15, 2011||Competitive team attraction where groups propel a hand pumped truck in a race down a street to douse a simulated building "fire" or to take down a "criminal" and return the truck.|
|AQUAZONE Wave Racers||October 15, 2011||Zierer||A dual water carousel where guests spin out over the water while off-riders try to blast water cannons in the ride's pond.|
|The Great Lego Race||October 15, 2011 (as Lego Technic Test Track)
March 23, 2018 (as The Great Lego Race)
|Mack Rides||A large wild mouse coaster with a VR experience. Replaced Project X, the Florida version of Lego Technic Test Track.|
|Technicycle||October 15, 2011||Zamperla||A pedal-powered spinning machine that propels riders into the air.|
|Build & Test||October 15, 2011||An exhibit where guests can build a Lego car and test it on the digitally timed track.|
|Kid Power Towers||October 15, 2011||A set of towers where guests can hoist themselves up to the top then enjoy a “free-fall” to the bottom.|
|Lego Mindstorms||October 15, 2011||An exhibit where guests can build and program computerized Lego Mindstorms robots.|
|WB Games Zone||2012||A room where players can try out levels of the Lego video games.|
Legoland Florida fully reopened the original botanical gardens from the former Cypress Gardens park in March 2014. The gardens were the initial attraction at the site, which first opened in 1936. After the theme park reopened as Legoland Florida, the Oriental Gardens and Florida Pool within Cypress Gardens remained closed while repairs and landscaping were performed. The Florida Pool, named for its shape, was originally built for the 1953 film Easy to Love, starring Esther Williams.
Legoland Water ParkEdit
The Legoland Water Park was initially constructed as "Splash Island", which debuted in 2005 with five rides within Cypress Gardens. Splash Island was the only water park in Polk County when it opened. After Merlin Entertainments purchased the Cypress Gardens site, Splash Island was reworked with Lego themes replacing the original Polynesian-themed attractions. The Legoland Water Park also added a sixth attraction, a toddler water play area named Duplo Splash Safari, which featured slides and fountains in a shallow pool. The initial extra cost for admission to the water park was $12 for ages 4 and up, aimed at visitors spending a second day at Legoland.
|Lego Wave Pool||May 26, 2012||A gentle wave pool; formerly known as Kowabunga Bay at Splash Island.|
|Twin Chasers||May 26, 2012||Two 375-foot (114 m) long tube water slides; formerly known as Tonga Tubes at Splash Island.|
|Splash Out||May 26, 2012||Three body slides each with a 60-foot (18 m) drop; formerly known as VooDoo Plunge at Splash Island.|
|Joker Soaker||May 26, 2012||Children's water play area; formerly known as Polynesian Adventure at Splash Island.|
|Build-A-Raft River||May 26, 2012||A 1,000-foot (300 m) long lazy river with interactive inner tubes that had a baseplate on which riders could stack floating Lego bricks. Formerly known as Paradise River at Splash Island.|
|Duplo Splash Safari||May 26, 2012||Toddler's water play area; this area was the only one newly constructed for the Legoland Water Park.|
The following are individual attractions that have closed formerly operated throughout the park's history:
|Cragger's Swamp||The World of Chima||July 3, 2013||May 29, 2017||An interactive water play area.|
|Fresh from Florida Greenhouse||Fun Town||2012||2015||A conservatory where guest could walk through and be educated on foods made in the state of Florida. The conservatory was demolished and replaced along with some of the mansion's grounds with the Heartlake City section.|
|Island in the Sky||The Beginning||October 15, 2011||2017||A 150 feet (46 m) rotating platform ride that provided a 360° view of the park that opened with the park. After standing dormant throughout 2017 on January 25, 2018, LEGOLAND Florida officially announced its closure |
|Junior Fire Academy||Duplo Village||October 15, 2011||2013||A small roundabout where children could control a fire truck and attempt to douse fires, similar to the Rescue Academy attraction across the park.|
|Lego Factory Tour||Fun Town||October 15, 2011||2014||A walk-through attraction that taught visitors how a Lego brick was made. The building also shared space with the model shop, where visitors could peer in seeing the park's master builder's build the models for not only LEGOLAND Florida but for the LEGOLAND parks and discovery centers around the world. The walk-through attraction closed around 2014 to expand the model shop. The model shop was then moved off-site to a larger facility and space eventually became a store housing a "Pick a Brick" wall as well as discounted sets.|
|Quest for Chi||The World of Chima||July 3, 2013||May 29, 2017||A splash battle attraction manufactured by Mack Rides|
|Speedorz Arena||The World of Chima||July 3, 2013||May 29, 2017||An interactive LEGO play station where children raced their Speedorz creations.|
As of 2018[update] only one section of the park has closed while another has been rethemed:
- The World of Chima
The World of Chima was a section based on Lego's Legends of Chima sets and was sponsored by Cartoon Network throughout the area's lifespan. The area opened on July 3, 2013 and was the park's first new land. It was closed on May 29, 2017 and will be replaced by The LEGO Movie World.
- Duplo Village
Duplo Village originally opened with the park on October 15, 2011. On October 3, 2013 it was announced that the area would be enhanced and rethemed as Duplo Valley. One attraction would be removed while the others were re-themed.
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