Legoland gives update on latest expansion plans based on movie franchise

Orlando Business Journals
July 20, 2018

Legoland Florida is building the blocks for its latest expansion and biggest investment yet.

The Winter Haven-based theme park, owned by Merlin Entertainments Plc (LON: MERL), appears to have started mass grading a new area of the park, according to construction notes filed with the state.

The new Lego Movie World land in the park, based on “The Lego Movie” franchise, will open in spring 2019 and with it comes three new rides, said Legoland Florida Public Relations Manager Brittany Williams. “It will be most immersive world yet.”

The new land will replace the World of Chima, which opened in 2013.

The new area will bring to life Bricksburg, the home of Emmet, the film’s hero. As part of the new area, The World of Chima’s Quest for Chi interactive boat ride, which closed in May, “will be completely transformed, drenching guests in an exciting new experience when it reopens as a key attraction in The Lego Movie World in spring 2019,” according to Legoland. The other two rides have not yet been announced.

News of the project, codenamed “Project TTKA,” first appeared in an application submitted to the state in April.

Merlin North America Project Director Keith Carr didn’t identify the project, but did previously confirm to several publications that the project would open in 2019.

The April application stated there would be a 1.24-acre project site that involves the removal of two smaller attractions and the addition of two new rides. It also revealed that the two new structures are a 5,564-square-foot new outdoor ride and a new ride building. It also includes a new 858-square-foot activities building, which Legoland may be counting as its third new ride.

Williams Construction Co. is the general contractor for The Lego Movie World.

The new attraction is one of several projects the park recently embarked on, such as The Great Lego Race.

Adding rides could help the park stay competitive and capture both the Orlando and Tampa tourism markets, which saw the majority of the 116.5 million people who visited Florida in 2017.

In addition to helping increase the state’s visitation and tourism dollars, Williams said the park will hire more staff members for the new area, though an exact number has not been determined.

During peak season, the park may have more than 1,500 employees.

Central Florida’s $70 billion tourism industry last year welcomed a record 72 million visitors to the region.

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