Category Archives: Model Citizens

Model Citizens celebrate Earth Day with third annual street cleanup

Recently, a group of enthusiastic Model Citizens came together to clean roads leading to our favorite place, LEGOLAND® Florida Resort! To do our part in the Great American Cleanup, we organized our annual, voluntary cleanup, which collected more than 30 bags of loose trash scattered along Cypress Gardens Boulevard and Helena Road outside the resort in Winter Haven, Fla.

The Great American Cleanup is a nationwide initiative led by Keep America Beautiful that has taken place annually for more than three decades. For the past three years, LEGOLAND Florida Resort has joined the effort as part of Keep Polk County Beautiful. For us, it’s all about upholding one of our parent company’s core values — being a force for good.

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Looking ahead to more ways we’ll make LEGOLAND® Florida Resort an even more inclusive destination for all guests

For the past few weeks we’ve been spotlighting the many ways we’re making LEGOLAND® Florida Resort more inclusive for guests with autism spectrum disorders. As Autism Awareness Month continues, let’s turn our attention to the future for a moment.

We believe we’ll always be in a state of continuous improvement, building on existing efforts and learning new and better ways to deliver outstanding service.

Hero Pass

Guest Experience Manager Autum Bassham said the resort will remain open to new insights and feedback from guests about ways to improve the services we have in place today.

“Our resort should be constantly changing,” she said. “With any cognitive disability, there are always new findings. Understanding these will help us develop better training for our Model Citizens and upgrade our offerings for guests.”

For Katy Formella, a senior manager in Autism Speaks’ southeastern regional office, the opportunity to work with LEGOLAND Florida Resort was a welcome one.

“We are so excited to see all the great things LEGOLAND is doing to help spread awareness, acceptance and understanding,” she said. “It’s so incredible when organizations like yours take on the big task and commitment to be autism friendly. You are leading the way for others and it’s a wonderful example to the world of inclusion. Thanks for making a difference for our families.”

Quiet roomAccording to LEGOLAND Health Services supervisor Ken Flanders, we’re just getting started. He said he envisions an expanded slate of services in the future, including more Model Citizens trained to recognize and respond to the needs of guests on the autism spectrum, and greater awareness about how we can make the resort more enjoyable for an even greater number of guests.

Got an idea about how we can make our resort even more awesome? Leave a reply and tell us!

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Meet the team working to improve LEGOLAND® Florida Resort for guests on the autism spectrum

Making LEGOLAND® Florida Resort more welcoming to guests with autism spectrum disorders has required the teamwork of multiple departments over the past year, which is why our “Hero Action Team” is comprised of Model Citizens from many different areas.

Over the past year, a team made up of representatives from many different LEGOLAND Florida Resort departments has been working together to make the resort more enjoyable for guests on the autism spectrum.

During Autism Awareness Month in April, we’ll offer a glimpse at the personal commitments made by many of our leaders to create a more inclusive environment for everyone.

“No child or person should feel as if they cannot do something due to any disability they may have,” said Nick Parham, a member of the resort’s Education team. “I’m extremely passionate about creating an environment that reaches out to all people, no matter the circumstances.”

Amanda Becerra, a manager within Food & Beverage Operations, agrees.

“I really love the opportunity for families to be able to enjoy their vacation knowing that their child is going to feel safe, and most importantly, have fun,” she said.

Creating an environment that’s both safe and fun starts with the orientation program every new Model Citizen attends, explained Adriana Eraso, who leads the resort’s Admissions team.

“We have department-specific training that provides information about how to interact with guests on the autism spectrum,” she said, adding that the resort’s HR department also devotes a portion of training for all new hires that helps them better recognize and understand the unique needs of those guests and their families.

Within the Public Safety department, Security supervisor Benjamin Peacock has implemented bi-weekly meetings and monthly updates so that his team will better understand guests on the autism spectrum and the challenges theme parks often present for their enjoyment.

Addressing those challenges led to the creation of “social stories,” illustrated, step-by-guides to attractions and shows that prepare LEGOLAND guests for what to expect, whether it be periods of darkness, loud noises or other elements that can be frightening or overwhelming.

“As a department, my team has worked very hard to meticulously create every social story for the park,” said Haley Travis, a coordinator within Training and Development, “as well as a quick reference guide that explains what each ride and show has to offer.” The goal, she explained, was to help families more efficiently plan their day.

“We continuously teach our team to, above all, be patient with each guest and treat everyone with the respect they deserve,” she said.

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We’re hiring! Come work at the place #BuiltForKids!

LEGOLAND® Florida Resort currently is hiring Model Citizens for frontline positions, including guest experience hosts in Admissions, Attractions*, Food & Beverage and Retail.

Join us Tuesday, March 28 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at Winter Haven’s Polk State College, WST Building 127, 999 Avenue H NE, for our next hiring event. Walk-ups are welcome and we’ll be conducting on-the-spot interviews.

Meanwhile, those interested also can apply online at jobs.LEGOLAND.com, under job description Guest Experience Host – Frontline-LEG0001ZC.

Some of the great benefits of working at the place #BuiltForKids include free admission to LEGOLAND Florida Resort, including LEGOLAND Water Park; free admission to other, select Florida attractions; free, unlimited use of Citrus Connection, Polk County’s public transportation system; discounts at local merchants; and much more!

*Please note: Attractions roles are restricted to those 18 years old and up.

 

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We’re hiring! LEGOLAND® Water Park is seeking lifeguards for Spring 2017

Winter is almost here but the sun is never far when you visit LEGOLAND® Florida Resort! LEGOLAND Water Park is just a few short months away from opening and we’re looking for new Model Citizens to become LEGOLAND lifeguards.

2011.10.14_LEGOLANDWATERPARK_001.jpgOur lifeguards at LEGOLAND work at all the pools that our guests enjoy, from attractions in the water park to the LEGOLAND Hotel pool, and even the cool new pool opening soon at LEGOLAND Beach Retreat.

3-build-a-raft_920What’s awesome about this opportunity is that you don’t need an existing certification to apply. Can you swim? Are you good with kids? Do you enjoy being part of a team? Then you might have what it takes to work here! Plus, if you’re not already a certified lifeguard, our instructors will give you the training and certifications you need to become a professional rescuer at the place #BuiltForKids.

After completing a skilled swim test, all lifeguards at LEGOLAND Florida Resort are certified in CPR, first aid, lifeguard skills and water park skills through the American Red Cross training program. In addition, LEGOLAND lifeguards receive hours of specialized training to operate all of our water park attractions.

2011.10.14_LEGOLANDWATERPARK_001.jpgBeing a lifeguard at LEGOLAND Water Park means having fun in the sun and enjoying the many benefits and perks all LEGOLAND Model Citizens receive — this includes complimentary admission tickets to many popular Central Florida attractions, including The Coca-Cola Orlando Eye, Madame Tussauds Orlando, SEA LIFE Aquarium and many more.

Interested? Apply online. Join our team and play a vital part in keeping our guests safe!

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We have lift off!

Launch Complex 39

Miniland includes a replica of Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39, which dates back to the Apollo program.

From the very beginning, Miniland has always been the heart of every LEGOLAND® theme park, a place where the creativity of our Master Model Builders takes flight. Sometimes literally!

Here at the Florida park, we continue to find new ways to surprise guests throughout Miniland, from the recent addition of LEGO replicas of The Orlando Eye, Madame Tussauds and SEA LIFE Aquarium to a re-imagining of our Daytona International Speedway model that will mirror the multimillion-dollar “Daytona Rising” project that recently debuted to racing fans.

The sprawling Kennedy Space Center model has been a favorite of our guests since the park opened, with its LEGO-built replicas of NASA’s iconic Rocket Garden, the mammoth Vehicle Assembly Building and Launch Complex 39, which sent the Space Shuttle orbiters rocketing into low Earth orbit for more than three decades.

For more than four years, a countdown clock in the Miniland model re-created the excitement of a shuttle launch multiple times per day, with dramatic, Mission Control-style narration followed by puffs of smoke… and nothing more. Despite the 3-2-1 countdown, the shuttle model never budged.

SpaceShuttleMinilandUntil now.

Jimmie Curby, our Model Shop’s animator, recently spent about a week gathering the necessary materials to make the model finally match guests’ expectations, using a four-inch air cylinder and control valve to lift the shuttle two feet in the air over and over again. The challenge, Jimmie said, was adding the animation to an existing model without compromising its look or destroying its structure.

The result is a terrific blend of imagination and ingenuity and a great demonstration of the passion our Model Citizens have for delivering a great guest experience.

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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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Partnering in the fight against hunger

LEGOLAND® Florida Resort is helping fuel the future by bringing healthy food to hungry kids through a partnership with Agape Food Bank.

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Model Citizens assist clients with groceries.

This week, a group of Model Citizens from our Retail team helped with the Mobile Pantry Program at Mulberry Middle School Parent Resource Center in Mulberry, Fla.  The volunteers were there from start to finish — setting up, sorting, making food selections, bagging and carrying groceries, pantry breakdown and site cleanup.

 

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Families receive a variety of healthy meal starters.

 

Agape’s Mobile Pantry Program serves Florida’s Polk, Highlands and Hardee County.  Each truck is loaded with more than 10,000 pounds of food and can serve up to 250 families.  “It takes a minimum of 20 people to run a mobile pantry, and they are fully staffed by volunteers,” said Kim Long, director of Agape Food Bank.  “It’s through the generosity of volunteers and donors, like those from LEGOLAND Florida Resort, that we have been able to expand our outreach.”

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Volunteers help select foods for families.

 

 

Merlin Entertainments, the parent company of LEGOLAND Florida Resort, encourages its employees to be passionate and caring contributors in their communities.  It’s called Being a Force for Good.  In October, our Food & Beverage team volunteered at a Mobile Food Pantry held at Sleepy Hill Elementary School in Lakeland, Fla.  On Dec. 1, our Admissions team will support the Mobile Food Pantry at Garner Elementary School Parent Center in Winter Haven, Fla.

 

Later this month, hundreds of Model Citizens will get in on the giving when LEGOLAND Florida Resort hosts its third annual employee food drive to support Agape Food Bank.

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Chefs and students win People’s Choice Award during culinary competition

The LEGOLAND® Florida Resort team tasted victory Oct. 16 by capturing the coveted People’s Choice Award during the first-ever Culinary Cook-Off as part of the 15th annual Lake Mirror Classic Auto Festival.

Students from Lake Region High School in Eagle Lake, Fla., joined with chefs from LEGOLAND Florida Resort to win the People’s Choice Award at the first-ever Culinary Cook-Off during the 15th annual Lake Mirror Classic Auto Festival.

Lake Region High School students Rebecca Radney, Taylor Waltz and Allison Klimaszewski joined chefs from LEGOLAND Florida Resort to win the People’s Choice Award at the first-ever Culinary Cook-Off during the 15th annual Lake Mirror Classic Auto Festival.

Held at the historic Magnolia Building in downtown Lakeland, Fla., the cooking competition partnered several LEGOLAND Florida Resort chefs with three students from Lake Region High School in Eagle Lake, Fla., all to raise money for Junior Achievement of Tampa Bay, Polk District.

According to James Boheim, executive chef at LEGOLAND Hotel and a JA board member, the community event was a great success.

“It was wonderful to watch these students take so much pride in their dishes,” he said. “I look forward to supporting the growth of these talented young leaders at more events in the future.”

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