Category Archives: Merlin’s Magic Wand

Celebrate #GivingTuesday with Merlin’s Magic Wand

Join the five-year-old #GivingTuesday movement today with the #unSELFIE toolkit. Download the toolkit and share why you’re giving back this year!

It’s simple:

Step 1: Hold up an #unSELFIE sign and snap a selfless selfie!

Step 2: Share it on social media and encourage others to give.

LEGOLAND® Florida Resort and other Merlin Entertainments attractions have made it their mission to deliver memorable experiences to children all over the world, including kids unable to travel due to circumstances or illness.

Merlin’s Magic Wand is a global children’s charity whose mission is putting magic back into the lives of seriously ill, disabled and disadvantaged children. To date, the organization has helped more than 260,000 kids and their families enjoy a magical day out at the more than 100 Merlin attractions worldwide. For those unable to visit a Merlin attraction, Merlin’s Magic Spaces projects bring the magic directly to kids.

Here’s a challenge for today and every day: Instead of clouding your social media with things about you, help make a difference in the life of a child!

Apply for a day out here: www.merlinsmagicwand.org/USA.

Happy #GivingTuesday!

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LEGOLAND® Florida Resort celebrates ‘VIP kids’ during annual Merlin’s Magic Wand Fun Festival

On Saturday, Sept. 17, more than 1,500 children and families affiliated with Nathaniel’s Hope enjoyed a brick-tastic day out during the Fun Festival at LEGOLAND® Florida Resort, an annual event organized by Merlin’s Magic Wand.

The charitable arm of our parent company, Merlin Entertainments, holds the Fun Festival each September at Merlin attractions around the world. For this year’s event, Merlin’s Magic Wand selected Orlando, Fla.-based Nathaniel’s Hope for the wonderful work it’s doing to support kids with special needs (VIP kids). The nonprofit organization works to educate and equip the community with training and programs to assist VIP families, and all programs are offered free of charge.

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Nathaniel’s Hope takes over MINILAND USA during the Fun Festival, an annual event organized by Merlin’s Magic Wand.

On Saturday, families spent the day exploring the theme park #BuiltForKids, pausing to capture a cherished memory of the day with a group photo in the heart of every LEGOLAND park, MINILAND USA.

Merlin’s Magic Wand exists to put the magic back into the childhoods of seriously ill, disabled and disadvantaged children. The charity has helped more than 217,000 children and their families enjoy magical days out at Merlin attractions worldwide, and sponsors projects known as Merlin’s Magic Spaces that bring a bit of the Merlin magic into the community for children who are unable to visit one of the company’s attractions. For more information about Merlin’s Magic Wand activities in the United States, visit www.merlinsmagicwand.org/usa.

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Hit the links to support Merlin’s Magic Wand on Oct. 10 in Winter Haven, Fla.

MMW_golfFor decades, attractions operated by Merlin Entertainments have delighted millions of children all over the world. But what about kids unable to enjoy the same experiences due to illness or circumstances?

Enter Merlin’s Magic Wand, the global children’s charity whose mission is putting magic back into the lives of seriously ill, disabled and disadvantaged children. To date, the organization has helped more than 260,000 kids and their families enjoy a magical day out at the more than 100 Merlin attractions worldwide. For those unable to visit a Merlin attraction, Merlin’s Magic Spaces projects bring the magic directly to kids.

Merlin's Magic WandOn Monday, Oct. 10, LEGOLAND® Florida Resort is proud to sponsor the first annual Merlin’s Magic Wand Children’s Charity Golf Outing in association with The Country Club of Winter Haven. The professional-yet-fun tournament aims to raise at least $30,000, with up to 30 teams of four players competing to take home a giant traveling trophy made of LEGO® bricks, as well as smaller trophies to keep.

Rounding out the day will be games, raffles and a silent auction filled with money-can’t-buy items and experiences. Here’s the schedule:

  • 11 a.m. — Player registration and silent auction opens
  • 11:30 a.m. — Putting competition
  • Noon — Lunch
  • 12:30 p.m. — Shotgun start
  • 5:30 p.m. — Silent auction closes
  • 5:45 p.m. — Awards
  • 6 p.m. — Raffle

Players can register individually to be placed on a team or four players can register together as a team. The cost is $200 per person or $800 per foursome. The registration deadline is Saturday, Oct. 1.

Sponsorship opportunities are available from $50 to display your organization, name or team on a tournament golf cart, to $5,000 to be named the tournament’s title sponsor, with a generous variety of associated amenities and rewards.

The event will take place rain or shine at The Country Club of Winter Haven, 4200 Country Club Road South, Winter Haven, Fla.

For more information, visit www.birdeasepro.com/MMWGolfOuting. Questions? Email LLF.VIPExperiences@LEGOLAND.com or call (855) 753-7777.

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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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Make-A-Wish kid claims victory against NASCAR great Casey Mears in MINILAND 400

Earlier today, 10-year-old Layla Popoff of Orlando, Fla., zoomed to victory in the MINILAND 400 against veteran NASCAR driver Casey Mears, during a special event #BuiltForKids to celebrate the giant new Daytona International Speedway model at LEGOLAND® Florida Resort.

MINILAND 400

NASCAR driver Casey Mears, left, races 10-year-old Layla Popoff of Orlando, Fla., in the MINILAND 400.

Driving the No. 00 car in honor of the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola, which returns to the “World Center of Racing” on July 2, Layla was a tough competitor for Casey, who drove a kid-sized version of his No. 13 GEICO car for Germain Racing.

MINILAND 400After taking off from between LEGO® models of the Statue of Liberty and the U.S. Capitol in MINILAND USA, Layla and Casey quickly reached a top speed of nearly four miles per hour in the electric vehicles borrowed from our popular Driving School attraction.

MINILAND 400

Casey’s dreams of a MINILAND 400 victory came to abrupt end when he crashed into a wall of giant LEGO bricks near the finish line.

Neck-and-neck they zoomed past the New York City skyline, remaining close as they barreled down the Las Vegas Strip.  With the finish line in sight at the new Daytona display, Casey suddenly plowed into a pile of giant LEGO bricks near Kennedy Space Center while Layla raced ahead to claim victory.  Her prize? A giant LEGO trophy accepted with a triumphant smile. Take a look:

Layla was selected for the one-of-a-kind race with the assistance of Merlin’s Magic Wand, a global charity that has helped nearly 300,000 children and their families enjoy a magical day out at more than 100 attractions operated around the world by Merlin Entertainments, parent company of LEGOLAND. Earlier this year, Layla’s dream of a huge backyard playhouse was fulfilled by Make-A-Wish Central and Northern Florida.

MINILAND 400Afterward, the friendly competitors headed to the theme park’s new Imagination Zone.  Let me tell you, this place is what your LEGO dreams are made of.  It’s filled with hands-on LEGO building activities where kids can put their imaginations into overdrive.

Imagination Zone

After the MINILAND 400 race, Casey and Layla headed to the new Wheels Zone inside Imagination Zone, where they built and tested LEGO race cars.

Since Casey is a racing expert (even if he did get beat by a 10-year-old) he gave several young fans great tips for building creative LEGO vehicles to race down timed ramps in the new Wheels Zone. I wonder who had more fun, Casey or the kids?

MINILAND 400

Layla helped Casey and Chip Wile, president of Daytona International Speedway, place Minilander likenesses of the two men into the giant new LEGO model of the “World Center of Racing.”

2016.06.20_LEGOLANDFLORIDA_DIS_0064Casey’s fans can watch him in the Coke Zero 400 at the real Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, July 2. Good luck, Casey!

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Sharing the magic when it matters most

For many people, this is the time of year when giving is top of mind.  At LEGOLAND® Florida Resort, we believe generosity knows no season.

MMM1Merlin’s Magic Wand is the charitable arm of our parent company, Merlin Entertainments, which exists to put magic back into the lives of seriously ill, disabled and disadvantaged children.  It lets them enjoy a memorable day at a Merlin attraction, and in some cases we bring the fun to them.

Here’s a look back at some of the ways we created magical experiences for those in need in 2015:

  • MMM3Emmet and Wyldstyle visited more than 100 children and their families at Give Kids The World Village in Kissimmee, Fla. They even joined the fun at “Mayor Clayton’s Surprise Birthday Party” with giveaways, LEGO®-themed games and even a dance party.
  • Emmet and Wyldstyle hit the road again to visit Orlando’s Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, making bedside visits to 50 kids while handing out goodie bags and high-fives along the way.
  • Approximately 300 supporters of the Down Syndrome Association of Central Florida visited us in September during Merlin’s Fun Festival, an event for guests to spend a day enjoying family and escaping the challenges of health issues.
  • MMM4The Down Syndrome Association of Polk County also made it out for a special event which included a local family who had recently lost their home in a fire. Our VIP team treated them to a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
  • Model Citizens from multiple departments volunteered their time to help fuel the future by bringing healthy food to hungry kids through a partnership with Agape Food Bank.

Our charitable efforts will continue in 2016.  We’ll keep sharing the good news here, as well as ways you can get in on the giving too.

 

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A day to give back

During the busy holiday season, we have days to give thanks and days to snag hot deals while shopping for ourselves and our loved ones. But what can we do to help those who need it most?

gt_logo6#GivingTuesday is a global campaign dedicated to giving back. Every year on the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving and the start of the holiday shopping season, #GivingTuesday encourages charities, families, businesses, community centers and students to celebrate generosity and give to those in need. Now in its fourth year, this year’s campaign starts today, Tuesday, Dec. 1.
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As the vacation destination built for kids, LEGOLAND® Florida Resort is dedicated to creating happiness for all kids. Merlin’s Magic Wand, the worldwide charity established by our parent company, Merlin Entertainments, believes in putting magic back into the lives of seriously ill, disabled and disadvantaged children.

They do it by providing magical days out at the more than 100 Merlin attractions around the world, days where families can create lifelong memories away from their stressful daily routines. For kids who aren’t well enough to visit an attraction, they offer “Taking the Magic to the Children” projects that let them experience the unique magic of Merlin wherever they are.Skyler Meadows

Last year, LEGOLAND Florida Resort arranged more than 5,500 visits by children and their
families, and helped raise almost $25,000. This year, we’d like to help even more families have a magical day out with their kids.

As we kick off this holiday season, consider giving back with Merlin’s Magic Wand.

Want to know more? Like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.

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LEGOLAND Florida Resort honored for its commitment to hiring employees with disabilities

During a public ceremony Oct. 7, LEGOLAND Florida Resort was one of eight Florida businesses named an Exceptional Employer for its efforts to hire people with disabilities.

LEGOLAND Florida Resort spokeswoman, Brittany Williams accepts one of eight Exceptional Employer awards.

LEGOLAND Florida Resort spokeswoman Brittany Williams, center, accepts one of eight 2015 Exceptional Employer awards.

The annual honor is bestowed on businesses by the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, a government organization serving more than 50,000 Floridians with autism, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, Down syndrome and other intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The 2015 Exceptional Employer honors were announced at City Hall in Tallahassee, Fla., the state’s capital, during National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Companies were selected for demonstrating “an outstanding commitment to hiring individuals with disabilities,” according to APD.

In September, we hosted two Central Florida Down syndrome organizations as part of Fun Festival, a Merlin's Magic Wand event that took place at Merlin sites around the world.

In September, LEGOLAND Florida Resort hosted two Central Florida Down syndrome organizations as part of Fun Festival, a Merlin’s Magic Wand event that took place at Merlin sites around the world.

“We truly believe LEGOLAND Florida Resort is built for kids,” spokeswoman Brittany Williams said in accepting the award. “And we mean it. All kids. Kids of every ability. As a business that welcomes guests to Florida from all over the world, including many with disabilities, it’s vitally important that our employees — our Model Citizens, as we call them — reflect the diversity of our guests and our community.”

Through Merlin’s Magic Wand (MMW), the worldwide charitable organization established by LEGOLAND Florida Resort’s parent company, Merlin Entertainments, we strive to deliver magical experiences to seriously ill, disabled and disadvantaged children across the world. Locally, the resort supports MMW by collecting donations, hosting children’s visits, raising awareness and identifying children that would benefit from our support.

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Make a splash with your dog Nov. 8 during LEGOLAND Water Park fundraiser

Everything is Paw-some! Everything is cool when your dog’s in the pool!

On Sunday, Nov. 8 from 1-4:30 p.m., dogs can bring their owners to LEGOLAND® Water Park for loads of four-legged fun at Everything is Paw-some, a fun and furry fundraiser for the Humane Society of Polk County.Paw-some 2015-Final - white background

Kids will love watching their closest companion romp, splash and play in the LEGO® Wave Pool, DUPLO® Splash Safari pool and the Joker Soaker pool, but the fun doesn’t stop there! We’ll have a tail-wagging costume contest, a raffle in which a dog will pick the lucky winner and demonstrations by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office K9 Unit.

Plus, caricature artists will be available to doodle your dog or you can pose your pampered pooch for a professional portrait. Looking for a new best friend? The Humane Society will be onsite to facilitate pet adoptions. Food, beverages and souvenirs will be available for purchase.

Bring your pooch to play in the LEGO Wave Pool.

Bring your pooch to play in the LEGO Wave Pool.

Registration is required and available on a first-come, first-served basis until the event reaches capacity. Admission is $5 per dog, $10 per human, with a one-dog-per-human maximum. Humans without dogs are permitted and encouraged.

Parking is included with the ticket price. Guests will use the resort’s north parking lot, which is located off Helena Road between Roosevelt Drive and Cypress Gardens Road.

“We’re excited to partner with the Humane Society of Polk County to provide resources to help the county’s only no-kill shelter and find homes for pets in need,” said Phil Royle, product excellence manager at LEGOLAND Florida Resort and a member of the Humane Society of Polk County board of directors. “Proceeds from the event will benefit not only the Humane Society, but also Merlin’s Magic Wand, our worldwide charity for seriously ill, disabled and disadvantaged children.”

For a more paw-some experience, register for the VIP Experience Pooch Party!
You and your VIP (Very Important Pooch) will enjoy complimentary snacks, beverages and Champagne with other guests and dogs in our reserved, sandy, private cove overlooking DUPLO® Splash Safari and Build-A-Raft River. Upgrade your experience and support the Humane Society of Polk County for $55. This package includes parking and admission for one dog and one human.

To purchase tickets for you and your pooch, register online, and for the VIP Experience Pooch Party and sponsorship inquiries, call (855) 753-7777 or contact llf.vipexperiences@legoland.com.

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Celebrating fun and family

Awesome awaits at LEGOLAND® Florida Resort this weekend for an extraordinary organization in Polk County.  Merlin’s Magic Wand, the charitable arm of our parent company, Merlin Entertainments, will host the Down Syndrome Association of Polk County at LEGOLAND Florida Resort for its second annual Down Syndrome Awareness Day.

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On Saturday, Sept. 26, 60 VIP guests of the Polk County organization will explore and enjoy LEGOLAND Florida Resort with their families, as part of Merlin’s Magic Wand Fun Festival, a charitable event taking place at Merlin sites around the world in September.

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The first 2015 Fun Festival Event at LEGOLAND Florida Resort was held earlier this month, when 300 visitors from the Down Syndrome Association of Central Florida were invited to be our guests of honor. Katie DeHart, program coordinator for the Central Florida organization, said that Merlin’s Challenge, the spinning train ride in the theme park’s LEGO® Kingdoms area, was a favorite of many children. The day’s fun was captured with a group photo in the heart of LEGOLAND Florida Resort, Miniland USA.

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Merlin’s Magic Wand exists to put the magic back into the childhoods of seriously ill, disabled and disadvantaged children. The nonprofit organization works with more than 100 different Merlin Entertainments attractions worldwide and has helped over 217,000 children and their families enjoy magical days out.

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