Category Archives: Merlin Magic Making

COMING IN SPRING 2018: The Great LEGO® Race to transform Project X roller coaster into supercharged virtual reality adventure

The Great LEGO RacePrepare to take a ride on the wildest LEGO® race ever imagined when cutting-edge virtual reality technology combines with roller coaster thrills in an exhilarating new attraction opening in Spring 2018 at LEGOLAND® Florida Resort!

Developed under the supervision of Merlin Magic Making, our parent company’s global creative and delivery division, The Great LEGO Race will transform our existing Project X roller coaster into an exciting, high-octane experience that puts kids in the driver’s seat and asks, “Are you brave enough to face, race and beat the best of the best in all of LEGO world?”

The Great LEGO RaceFeaturing a colorful lineup of racers drawn from the ranks of the popular LEGO minifigure mystery assortments, The Great LEGO Race pits riders in a rollicking race against wild, brick-built contraptions driven by Trendsetter, Pharaoh, Surfer Girl, Wizard and Pirate Captain, including a rocket-powered surfboard and a stylish scooter fueled by espresso.

Wearing VR headsets, guests will experience the action from every direction — up, down, forward, backward and all points in between — in a dazzling environment where everything is made of LEGO bricks.

The adventure begins as guests approach the ride’s bold new entry portal as the sounds of roaring engines fill the air. Nearby, the coaster’s queue will resemble a pre-race space where pit crews for each of the five LEGO racers are preparing for the competition, plus interactive, hands-on elements to entertain waiting riders.

“The Great LEGO Race was inspired by the way kids play with LEGO toys at home,” said Candy Holland, senior creative director for Merlin Magic Making, which designs and develops attractions for Merlin sites around the world. “It’s a unique LEGO adventure that lets kids enter an epic imaginary world made entirely from LEGO bricks, featuring a host of different themes and fun LEGO characters, all mixed up together.”

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LEGOLAND® Beach Retreat NOW OPEN at LEGOLAND Florida Resort!

Under a beautiful blue sky on a morning filled with the state’s abundant sunshine, LEGOLAND® Florida Resort officially opened LEGOLAND Beach Retreat today, giving guests great new reasons to play — and stay — at the place #BuiltForKids. Here’s the beachy grand opening ceremony as it streamed live on Facebook, direct from #BrickBeach:

Filled with creative LEGO® theming inside and out, the village-style vacation resort features brightly colored bungalows grouped into 13 horseshoe-shaped “coves” named after popular LEGO Minifigures. The fun begins almost immediately, thanks to a drive-through check-in process that takes you from your car to your cove in minutes.

Designed to look like larger-than-life LEGO sets, 83 bungalows offer 166 separate rooms that sleep up to five, including a cozy area just for kids with a bunk bed, trundle bed and privacy curtain.

LEGOLAND Beach Retreat

They’re an ideal solution for families and groups traveling together, or for those seeking a fun new way to vacation at LEGOLAND Florida Resort. Each cove has its own outdoor play area within view of the bungalows’ shaded patios, where mom and dad can relax while kids romp and run.

Along with picturesque lake views and a giant LEGO lighthouse that really lights up, highlights include:

  • A giant swimming pool next to The Lighthouse, with an adjacent sandy area perfect for building sandcastles and the resort’s biggest outdoor play structure for kids.

  • Sandy’s Castle Restaurant, featuring a bountiful menu of entrees, sides and desserts designed to please the palates of kids and grownups alike. A delicious breakfast buffet is included with each night’s stay.

  • Bricks Beach Bar, offering an eclectic menu of made-to-order food, drinks and creative cocktails served both poolside and indoors.
  • Palm Tree Traders, a large retail shop stocked with LEGO building sets and Minifigures, apparel, toys, swimwear, snacks and sundries.

  • A hands-on LEGO building station where kids can contribute their original creations to a giant sandcastle made out of thousands of LEGO bricks.

  • Free Wi-Fi throughout the site.
  • Complimentary transportation to the theme park entrance, as well as complimentary parking in LEGOLAND Florida Resort’s main parking lot for guests who choose to drive.
  • Early access to the LEGOLAND Florida theme park, with exclusive use of some of the most popular attractions, including the all-new LEGO NINJAGO® World and LEGO NINJAGO The Ride.

Located three-quarters of a mile from the theme park entrance on the tranquil shores of Lake Dexter, LEGOLAND Beach Retreat represents the latest milestone in the largest period of growth and expansion in the five-year history of LEGOLAND Florida Resort, with theming and architecture unique among the eight LEGOLAND resorts worldwide. The Florida site is the first LEGOLAND resort in North America to offer a second accommodation type for overnight and multi-day stays, and more than doubles accommodations at the resort.

Nightly room rates start at $135 (plus tax and resort fee) and vary by season, date and availability. Packages including theme park tickets also are available, and Awesomer and Awesomest Annual Pass Members receive a 10 percent discount year-round. To book a stay, visit www.LEGOLAND.com/florida or call (877) 350-5346 daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern.

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LEGOLAND® Florida Resort’s environmental efforts made awesome impacts in 2016!

Just last year, LEGOLAND® Florida Resort introduced brand-new recycling initiatives that made a huge difference in the amount of material we recycle and the energy we save. With the help of our very own Waste & Environmental team and Model Citizens, the resort was able to recycle more than 1 million pounds of material through our day-to-day operations!

Here’s some of the stuff we recycled in 2016:

  • 215,000 pounds of cardboard
  • 55,000 pounds of paper (that’s 468 trees!)
  • 39,000 pounds of steel
  • 25,000 pounds of plastic
  • 4,000 pounds of aluminum
  • 11,000 pounds of car tires
  • 16,000 pounds of LEGO® bricks (including bricks recycled from our Merlin Magic Making facility in nearby Lake Wales, Fla.) — that’s enough bricks to build at least 16 copies of our #BrickPony model, the life-size replica of the original Ford Mustang on display outside Ford Driving School!
  • 2,000 pounds of soft LEGO bricks that can be found floating in our Build-a-Raft River in LEGOLAND Water Park

Fun fact: In 2016, LEGOLAND Florida Resort saved enough energy by recycling cardboard, plastic, steel and aluminum to power the theme park’s Heartlake City area for two years!

Another fun fact: We’ve saved a huge amount of energy. In fact, we saved enough energy to power 21 homes for a whole year!

And our energy saving efforts don’t stop there — 2017 is already off to a great start with a new energy-saving initiative that’s going to “light up” the theme park in a whole new way!

Stay tuned to learn more!

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Happy birthday… to us!

Five years ago today, LEGOLAND® Florida Resort welcomed guests to explore a 150-acre playground #BuiltForKids, a colorful wonderland of rides, shows and attractions inspired by the unlimited creative potential of LEGO® bricks.

Since then, millions of guests from around the world have enjoyed its many charms, from iconic attractions like The Dragon and Ford Driving School to dazzling shows like “Battle for Brickbeard’s Bounty” and “Friends to the Rescue” to popular events like Christmas Bricktacular and Brick or Treat Presented by Shutterfly, which continues this weekend.

It’s been a whirlwind five years, a busy period of growth and expansion that has included the debut of LEGOLAND Water Park (May 2012), LEGO Star Wars™ Miniland Model Display (November 2012), LEGO World of Chima™ (July 2013), DUPLO® Valley (May 2014), LEGOLAND Hotel (May 2015), Heartlake City (June 2015), and phased restorations of the historic Cypress Gardens, which celebrated its 80th anniversary earlier this year.

And even more fun is on the way!

Last March, we kicked off the largest period of expansion in the history of LEGOLAND Florida Resort, which includes LEGO NINJAGO® World, a whole new theme park land and an awesome attraction opening Jan. 12, 2017, and LEGOLAND Beach Retreat, which will more than double our on-site accommodations when its whimsically themed bungalows open in mid-2017.

Thanks to you, our fans, we’ve enjoyed five years of awesomeness — and we’re just getting started!

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Merlin’s Magic Wand unveils latest ‘Magic Spaces’ project at Orlando facility for kids and families

Merlin's Magic WandMerlin’s Magic Wand, the global charity run by the parent company of LEGOLAND® Florida Resort, recently helped put some magic into the lives of kids who need it most.

Three therapy rooms at The Howard Phillips Center for Children & Families near downtown Orlando, Fla., were given magical makeovers as part of the Merlin’s Magic Spaces initiative, turning the formerly ordinary spaces into extraordinary examples of Merlin Entertainments’ creativity and compassion.

 

LEGOLAND1The whimsical new décor was inspired by Merlin’s Central Florida attractions — LEGOLAND® Florida Resort, The Orlando Eye, Madame Tussauds and SEA LIFE Aquarium — and created in collaboration with Merlin Magic Making, Edd Musgrove Creative and Attraction & Entertainment Solutions.

The rooms are used for therapy and other services offered at the center, which helps kids and families who face overwhelming challenges like child abuse, developmental disabilities and lack of access to medical care.

Merlin's Magic Spaces“These rooms have been dramatically transformed into magical, inviting spaces to the delight of the children and families we serve,” said Marie Martinez, operations manager at The Howard Phillips Center for Children & Families. “Our therapists have been using these rooms for about three weeks now and everyone just loves them.”

Madame TussaudsFor more information about Merlin’s Magic Wand efforts in the United States, visit www.merlinsmagicwand.org/usa, or follow its social media channels at facebook.com/MMWUSAtwitter.com/MMWUSA (hashtag #MMWUSA) and instagram.com/mmwusa.

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NEW DATE: ‘Drivers, start your engines!’ NASCAR veteran Casey Mears to challenge Make-A-Wish child in June 20 race #BuiltForKids

UPDATE: Due to inclement weather, this event has been rescheduled for Monday, June 20.

Our Daytona International Speedway model in MINILAND USA has a sleek new look.

20160527_160325

The 1/20-scale model of the “World Center of Racing” was updated following the DAYTONA Rising project — a $400 million frontstretch renovation that made DIS the first motorsports stadium in the world.

On Tuesday, June 7, Monday, June 20, we’ll celebrate to the sound of roaring engines and cheering fans during the “MINILAND 400,” a special, one-day-only race #BuiltForKids. Veteran NASCAR driver Casey Mears will visit LEGOLAND® Florida Resort to preview the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ return to DIS for the Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola on July 2.

MINILAND 400And you’re invited to witness history in the making!

mears

Casey Mears is driver of the No. 13 GEICO ChevroletSS for Germain Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

Picture this:  Mears will be snugly seated in a kid-size vehicle customized to match his No. 13 GEICO Germain Racing stock car, up against a 10-year-old girl representing Make-A-Wish® Central and Northern Florida in a race through MINILAND USA, home to dozens of LEGO landmarks from cities across the U.S.

LEGOLAND guests are welcome to witness the fun, which will start at around 11:30 a.m.

With a wave of the green flag, the drivers will take off from between the Statue of Liberty and U.S. Capitol, zoom past the New York City skyline and barrel down the Las Vegas Strip before reaching the finish line at the giant new Daytona International Speedway model.

Wheels Zone

Kids can build and test LEGO vehicles in the racing-themed Wheels Zone, part of the newly re-imagined Imagination Zone.

Afterward, Mears will greet fans in the newly re-imagined Imagination Zone.  Using his years of competitive driving expertise, he’ll help kids build and test creative LEGO vehicles before sending them zooming down timed ramps in the racing-themed Wheels Zone.

If you can’t join us in person, follow the fun with hashtag #MINILAND400 on our Facebook, Twitter and YouTube channels!

Fun facts

  • Designed by Merlin Magic Making, the new Daytona International Speedway display took a team of more than a dozen Master Model Builders to create out of 282,384 LEGO bricks.
  • The new stadium model stretches 31 feet and weighs more than 1,400 lbs.
  • The project required approximately 250 design hours and 2,100 build hours to complete.
  • Look for the word “Daytona” spelled out on fans’ shirts, a group of spectators holding letters that spell TURN LEFT and a contingent of misdirected soccer fans using their G-O-A-L signs to cheer on racers with G-O!
  • Sharp-eyed guests might also spot a cheeky nod to Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s recent heart-stopping moment when his steering wheel came off during a race.
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Unleash the power of play in the new Imagination Zone

After months of work by the talented team at Merlin Magic Making, the Imagination Zone building has finally re-opened at LEGOLAND® Florida Resort with an awesome new look and many great hands-on LEGO® building activities #BuiltForKids.

Imagination Zone

Imagination Zone has been refreshed inside and out with a bold new design.

The cool indoor space has been transformed in every direction with colorful new furnishings, floor-to-ceiling graphics and thousands of LEGO bricks awaiting assembly into whatever your imagination can, well, imagine!

Imagination Zone

The central space includes many themed LEGO building areas, including Building Zone.

Whether you’re building a virtual sea creature with touch-screen technology in Water Zone or sending your crazy creation zipping through the air in Flight Zone, the re-imagined attraction offers something for everyone.

Imagination Zone

Whimsical creations of our Master Model Builders hang over Flight Zone.

Maybe you’d rather build and test race cars in Wheels Zone? Or see if your structure can withstand an earthquake in Building Zone? Or literally build on the walls of Creation Zone?

Imagination Zone

Giant wall graphics have transformed the space into a wonderland of LEGO fun.

Hungry? Visit the indoor Panini Grill, which offers a wide selection of freshly-made sandwiches pressed while you wait, salads prepared daily and several varieties of delicious ice cream treats.

Imagination Zone

In Wheels Zone, kids can build and test LEGO vehicles on timed racing ramps. If it can roll, it can race!

Wanna build and program cutting-edge, computer-controlled robots? Visit the LEGO MINDSTORMS™ area. Or play some of the latest LEGO video games in the Warner Bros. Games™ Zone.

Imagination Zone

In Creation Zone, kids can build right onto the walls using thousands of loose LEGO bricks.

You’ll also discover two classroom spaces used by visiting school groups for private science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) experiences, with activities tailored to each grade level.

Imagination Zone

Set your imagination free with the unlimited potential of LEGO bricks!

It’s all open and it’s all awesome!

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Zip, flip and fly through the clouds in the new Flight Zone, opening soon at Imagination Zone

We’re thrilled to announce that the awesomely re-imagined Imagination Zone will open May 27 at LEGOLAND® Florida Resort, giving guests many great new reasons to come and play at the place #BuiltForKids.

While a few favorites remain, several all-new LEGO® building activities promise endless possibilities to dream it, build it, race it, fly it, swim it and more in a cool indoor play area that’s been totally transformed with colorful furnishings and floor-to-ceiling graphics.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve given our fans exclusive previews of the fun that awaits in the Creation Zone, Water Zone, Wheels Zone and Building Zone. Today we’re spotlighting the centerpiece — literally — of the new space, Flight Zone.

flight-zone-overviewUsing thousands of loose LEGO bricks, kids can build flying, flapping contraptions to the limits of their imagination then put them to the ultimate test by racing their crazy creations against other kids on suspended ziplines.

In this zone, if you can build it, you can fly it! Who needs physics or fuel?

Next time, we’ll share some exclusive photos of the cool new attractions, so check back here soon. Remember, the fun opens Friday, May 27, so mark your calendar!

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Happy birthday, LEGOLAND® Hotel! You’re a Family Vacation Critic Favorite!

Congratulations, LEGOLAND® Hotel! It’s your birthday today and you don’t look a day over 1!

LEGOLAND Hotel

LEGOLAND Hotel opened to guests May 15, 2015.

Can you believe our awesome, kid-tastic hotel opened one year ago? Thousands and thousands of happy guests later, our Model Citizens will be celebrating the major milestone with a lobby party today.

LEGOLAND Hotel

Each of the hotel’s 152 rooms features one of four elaborate LEGO® themes.

And guess what? We’re a winner!

In its first year of operation, LEGOLAND Hotel at LEGOLAND Florida Resort was named one of the country’s top family hotels by Family Vacation Critic — a distinction given to only the top 11 percent of the thousands of hotels profiled on the website during its third annual awards cycle. Plus, it received a whopping 100 percent “families recommend” rating from its sister site, TripAdvisor!

In Florida, ours was named a Top 5 family hotel, with FVC editors citing the kid-friendly distance to the theme park entrance, “elaborate play spaces” and the exclusive opportunity to attend free workshops led by our LEGO® Master Model Builders.

LEGOLAND Hotel

LEGOLAND Hotel guests can sign up for free, hands-on workshops led by LEGO Master Model Builders that take place in a special space right off the lobby.

In order to be named a FVC Favorite, each hotel “must have been personally vetted and visited by a member of Family Vacation Critic’s team of hotel experts, and receive either a four- or five-star editorial rating.” Plus, the hotel “must have been recommended by 75 percent or more families who have reviewed the property, with a four- or five-star review rating.”

So thank you, Family Vacation Critic, and thank you, each and every one of the thousands of guests who’ve stayed with us in the past year and rated us so highly.

Meanwhile, just a short distance away, construction crews are working under the direction of our parent company’s creative division, Merlin Magic Making, to build LEGOLAND Beach Retreat, an all-new, village-style resort great for larger families and groups who want to vacation together.

LEGOLANDBeachRetreat_postcardLEGOLAND Beach RetreatThe surf-and-sand themed site will open in mid-2017, but here’s an exclusive peek at the prep work taking place adjacent to beautiful Lake Dexter:

LEGOLAND Beach Retreat

Construction is under way on LEGOLAND Beach Retreat, which will more than double the amount of on-site accommodations when it opens in mid-2017.

When complete, LEGOLAND Beach Retreat will feature 83 individual duplex units offering 166 separate accommodations in horseshoe-shaped groupings. Guests will discover awesome LEGO theming, a cool pool, a sandy beach area and a LEGO lighthouse-topped clubhouse featuring a buffet restaurant. And there’s much more to be revealed in the months ahead, so check back on our blog for more details.

LEGOLAND Beach Retreat

LEGOLAND Beach Retreat will feature a colorful pool area and a sandy beach.

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Dream it, design it and build it in the new Building Zone, opening soon at Imagination Zone

We’re getting closer and closer to re-opening the newly re-imagined Imagination Zone building, where you’ll discover lots of awesome hands-on LEGO® activities #BuiltForKids in colorfully themed “zones.”

So far, we’ve offered exclusive sneak peeks at Creation Zone, Water Zone and Wheels Zone. Now let’s take a look at the new Building Zone, where kids can invent and experiment with impossible LEGO structures.

Building-Zone-overviewHere, you can test your design and engineering skills by building the tallest earthquake-proof tower, or create the house of your dreams. Whatever you can imagine, make it real with a huge assortment of LEGO bricks. It’s all waiting for you when the Imagination Zone building re-opens later this month at LEGOLAND® Florida Resort.

Next week, we’ll soar up, up and away with a preview of the all-new Flight Zone, where kids can send their crazy creations zipping through the skies in a brand-new experience full of fun.

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