STAR WARS™ Miniland Area Planned for March Opening!
The Force was strong at LEGOLAND® California Resort when General Manager Peter Ronchetti announced that a new STAR WARS™ Miniland area will be opening at the family theme park on March 31, 2011. The announcement came when a Jedi Knight – flanked by stormtroopers from the 501st Legion – interrupted the Resort’s annual press conference in a maelstrom of darkness and lasers. Before the interruption, Ronchetti reviewed LEGOLAND California’s 2010 business results and announced the addition of Octopus Garden at SEA LIFE™ Aquarium; Splash Zoo at LEGOLAND Water Park; a LEGO® Hero Factory Experience inside LEGOLAND California and the re-launch of Park favorite Fun Town Fire Academy as Fun Town Police and Fire Academy.
“I am thrilled to be able to report that LEGOLAND California’s stellar growth streak has continued,” said Ronchetti.
“2010 was the most successful year in the history of LEGOLAND California Resort!” 2010 marked the seventh year of continuous growth for LEGOLAND California with double digit percentage growth in attendance over 2009. “Many theme parks across the country have reported difficult trading as a result of the challenging economic climate in recent years. So we feel very fortunate to be able to report that our attendance continues to grow,” Ronchetti continued.
Ronchetti attributed the Park’s success to continued expansion of Resort properties, specifically the addition of LEGOLAND Water Park, which opened in May 2010 and has already received many accolades including the World Waterpark Association’s prestigious Industry Innovation Award. The Industry Innovation Award is judged based on how the organization has set itself apart from others in terms of moving the industry to a new or higher plane
“More than just a year of exciting growth for LEGOLAND California, 2010 marked an exciting year for Merlin Entertainments Group here in the states,” Ronchetti continued. The second SEA LIFE Aquarium in the U.S. opened in Tempe, Arizona in May and it was announced that the second U.S. LEGOLAND Park, LEGOLAND Florida will open in Winterhaven, Florida in October of this year. Additional LEGOLAND Discovery Centers and SEA LIFE Aquariums are also cropping up across the U.S. with openings already planned in Texas and New Jersey.
“We expect continued success in 2011 with a multi-million dollar investment into expansions planned for all three Resort properties,” Ronchetti said as he went on to describe each of the new additions.
On March 31 LEGOLAND California becomes the first of three LEGOLAND Parks to launch a new STAR WARS Miniland area. Guests can enjoy seven of the most famous scenes from the six live-action STAR WARS movies, as well as a scene from the animated series STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS™ all made out of 1.5 million LEGO bricks and built in 1:20 scale. Guests will be further immersed into the STAR WARS experience as they pose with life-size LEGO models of Chewbacca, R2D2 and Darth Vader. LEGOLAND Billund and LEGOLAND Deutschland will launch the STAR WARS Miniland area later this year.
Following a chronological path through the STAR WARS timeline, LEGOLAND guests retrace the major events of the beloved Saga. Some of the 2,000 LEGO models will be more than 6-feet-tall. Interactive buttons will allow children to activate animations throughout the scenes.
The models for the new STAR WARS area are being developed and built by eight model designers and two animation electricians at our sister park, LEGOLAND Deutschland. It will be up to Master Model Builders at LEGOLAND California to bring the scenes to life with the help of animation electricians, technicians and landscapers all working to ensure the LEGO models appear as realistic as possible with special effects and landscaping.
On February 17, a new LEGO Hero Factory attraction opens in the Imagination Zone. Here, young guests will be able to build and create their own heroes (or villains) and meet and greet their favorite Hero Factory characters. And from Feb. 17 through 27, guests will have the opportunity to build the largest LEGO mosaic to ever be built at LEGOLAND California. The 6-foot-tall, 26-foot-wide mosaic made of 298,368 LEGO bricks will depict an iconic scene from the Hero Factory saga and will be a permanent part of the new Hero Factory experience.
On April 12, one of the most popular rides in the Park – Fun Town Fire Academy – is being re-launched as the Police and Fire Academy. On this classic LEGOLAND ride, families pile into a fire truck and power it by pumping levers up and down as they race other families to put out the “fire”. The first family to make it back wins. Now the fire trucks are being joined by police vehicles and families race to put out fires and stop robbers.
On May 6, SEA LIFE Aquarium Carlsbad launches Octopus Garden, an interactive exhibit introducing families to the amazing world of cephalopods. From octopus and cuttlefish to nautilus, these distinctive creatures have almost supernatural abilities including camouflage, ink clouds and jet propulsion, that will surprise and delight adults and children alike. Octopus Garden replaces the Sharks Revealed exhibit that opened in 2008.
On May 26, Splash Zoo, a brand new area for toddlers, opens inside LEGOLAND Water Park. The DUPLO® Zoo themed area, located next to DUPLO Splash Safari and Kid Creek, features giant DUPLO Zoo animals – including a lion, a giraffe and a zebra – plus interactive spray pads, fountains and a teeter totter, all geared specifically for guests ages 1 to 3.
All of the new guest experiences are included in the cost of admission to LEGOLAND California Resort properties. For ticket prices, operating schedule and additional information, visit www.LEGOLAND.com or www.sealifeus.com or call 760-918-LEGO.
*** STAR WARS™ and related properties are trademarks and/or copyrights, in the United States and other countries, of Lucasfilm Ltd. and/or its affiliates. TM & © Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved. All other trademarks and trade names are properties of their respective owners.
MERLIN ENTERTAINMENTS GROUP is the leading name in location based, family entertainment, and has seen the most successful and dynamic growth of any company in the sector over the last five years. Europe’s No 1 and the world’s second largest visitor attraction operator, Merlin has 69 attractions, 6 hotels and two holiday villages in 15 countries, across 4 continents. The company aims to deliver memorable and rewarding experiences to its 38.5 million visitors worldwide, through its iconic global and local brands, and the commitment and passion of its managers and 15,000 employees.