LEGOLAND Florida news and events information
LEGOLAND FLORIDA is scheduled to open Oct. 15, 2011
LEGOLAND® FLORIDA ANNOUNCES OPENING DATE
-- World’s largest LEGOLAND park will debut Saturday, October 15, 2011 –
POLK COUNTY, Fla. (May 23, 2011) – To the delight of
youngsters everywhere, LEGOLAND®
Florida today revealed its official opening date: Saturday, October 15, 2011.
Inspired by America’s love affair with all things LEGO®,
the new 150-acre theme park will cater
to kids ages 2 to 12 with more than 50 “pink-knuckle” rides – from roller coasters to race cars –
as well as family focused shows and attractions.
Park officials disclosed the date, a closely guarded secret since the park broke ground last year,
to help families already planning vacations in the fall.
“I’d estimate 80 percent of the inquiries we’ve received have been about our opening date,” said
LEGOLAND Florida sales manager Todd Andrus. “Guests are all but begging to know the date,
so they can book their flights and accommodations, and purchase admission tickets.”
The park also unveiled a new online reservations program to make the vacation booking
experience even easier. Travelers can now book tickets, accommodations, airlines and rental
cars through the LEGOLAND Florida website.
“Planning a family vacation can be daunting, especially for families with very young children,”
said Andrus, a father and frequent traveler. “Packing alone is enough to overwhelm even the
most organized parents. That’s why we designed our online system to be both user-friendly and
convenient, allowing parents to book the essentials and then print out everything they’ll need
right at home.”
LEGOLAND® Florida opens October 15, 2011 and will be a 150-acre interactive theme park dedicated to families with children
between the ages of 2 and 12. Located midway between Orlando and Tampa, just 45 minutes from either city center, the park
features more than 50 rides, shows and attractions. There are currently four other LEGOLAND Parks in the world – LEGOLAND
California in Carlsbad, LEGOLAND Billund in Denmark, LEGOLAND Deutschland near Günzburg, Germany and LEGOLAND
Windsor outside of London. The LEGOLAND theme parks are a part of Merlin Entertainments Group, the second largest
attractions operator in the world. For the most current information, log on to www.LEGOLANDFloridaResort.com.
MERLIN ENTERTAINMENTS 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 Number 1 and the world’s
second-largest visitor attraction operator, Merlin now operates over 74 attractions, six hotels/two holiday villages in 17
countries and across four continents. The company aims to deliver memorable and rewarding experiences to its 43.6 million
visitors worldwide, through its iconic global and local brands, and the commitment and passion of its managers and more
than 15,000 employees. Merlin Entertainments operates the following attractions - SEA LIFE, Madame Tussauds,
LEGOLAND, The EDF Energy London Eye, Dungeons, Gardaland, LEGOLAND Discovery Centres, Alton Towers Resort,
Warwick Castle, Thorpe Park, Chessington World of Adventures Resort, Heide Park, Earth Explorer, Sydney Aquarium,
Sydney Wildlife World, Sydney Tower Observatory and Skywalk, Kelly Tarlton’s Antarctic Encounter Underwater World,
Oceanworld Manly and Hamilton Island Koala Gallery. All brands which are distinctive, challenging and innovative – and
which have great potential for growth in the future. Visit www.merlinentertainments.biz for more information.
- LLF -
Merlin Entertainments Group to open LEGOLAND® Florida
Merlin Entertainments Purchases Cypress Gardens
Polk County, FL (January 21st 2010)
Merlin Entertainments (“Merlin”), Europe’s No 1 and the world’s second largest visitor attraction operator, announced today a multi-million dollar investment in the biggest family tourist centre in the world with the planned opening of LEGOLAND® Florida.
Merlin has purchased the historical Cypress Gardens in Winter Haven Florida from property investment company Land South Group and will open LEGOLAND Florida on the site at the end of 2011. The deal to buy the 145-acre site includes the freehold on the current theme park and waterpark as well as an operating lease in perpetuity on the historic botanical gardens. Merlin plans a significant multi-million dollar investment over a number of years, up to and beyond opening, in what will be the biggest LEGOLAND to date. In line with the group’s “resort” strategy for its theme parks this is likely to include both accommodation and the addition of further branded attractions from the Merlin portfolio. This will build on the $100m invested over the last few years in improved infrastructure on the site.
A proven concept
The Florida development will be Merlin’s second LEGOLAND Park in North America and will play an important role in the group’s continued growth in the US. It will provide a full-day, year round, theme park experience geared towards families with children between the ages of two and 12. Its design will mirror the successful concept of the four existing LEGOLAND Parks in Denmark, Germany, UK and California. However, as with the other four, it will also have its own unique “twist” reflecting its stunning location and adding a Florida flavour.
The decision to open a LEGOLAND Park in Florida follows considerable research in the area by Merlin over a number of years. This indicated a high recognition of the LEGOLAND Park brand and a 90%+ intention to visit by families in this target market. The issue therefore has been to find the ideal site. Cypress Gardens has long been a popular location for millions of visitors. Merlin believes its central Florida location, approx 30 minutes from Orlando and also close to Tampa, is the perfect site for a leisure brand as powerful and compelling as LEGOLAND.
The development follows the outstanding success of LEGOLAND® California which opened in 1999. LEGOLAND California was recently voted the country’s best children’s theme park by Amusement Today for the sixth year running. It is also recognised as the fastest growing theme park in the US, enjoying an increase in visitor numbers year-on-year, including 6% in 2009.
LEGOLAND Florida will be the biggest LEGOLAND Park ever opened and will offer a unique mix of more than 50 rides, shows and attractions, including spectacular LEGO models and other interactive elements for the whole family to enjoy together.
The Park is expected to create more than 1,000 new jobs by opening; as well as boosting the Florida economy through the use of local contractors for development.
Nick Varney, Chief Executive of Merlin Entertainments, said:
“LEGOLAND Florida will be one of the most exciting and important projects Merlin has ever developed. It is a unique opportunity for us; Florida is the biggest family tourist centre in the world. We have been looking for the right site there for some time and in Winter Haven we plan to create one of the best and certainly most beautiful, theme parks in the world. LEGOLAND California has already proven how much US families love the unique LEGOLAND concept. Now we are bringing that fun and experience to a much wider audience - the millions of US and international visitors who come to Florida every year.”
John Jakobsen, Managing Director of Merlin’s LEGOLAND Parks Operating Group, said:
“LEGOLAND Parks are based on the universally popular LEGO Toy products and offer families the opportunity to let their imaginations run free and become completely involved in LEGO Experiences. A LEGOLAND Park is the ultimate platform to showcase the LEGO Values and the endless possibilities of the LEGO idea. LEGOLAND Florida will add a completely unique, exciting dimension and experience for families visiting the area.”
Charlie Crist, Florida Governor, said:
“We are delighted at this news. We are extremely happy that the future of Cypress Gardens is secure. LEGOLAND is one of the most exciting names in family attractions and a welcome new addition to Florida.”
Bob English, Chairman of Polk County Commissioners, said:
”We are looking forward to working closely with Merlin. Their record speaks for itself. All of us at both local and State level really welcome their exciting plans for the site, the jobs this project will create and their commitment to the County long term.”
Merlin Entertainments is firmly establishing itself in the important US market. When it opens, LEGOLAND Florida will be the company’s thirteenth attraction here. It joins LEGOLAND California; SEA LIFE Carlsbad; Madame Tussauds – New York, Hollywood, Las Vegas and Washington, D.C.; LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Chicago; and the Underwater Adventures Aquarium in Minneapolis, all of which are already successfully operating. Four more attractions are also in development - SEA LIFE Phoenix; LEGOLAND Discovery Centres in Dallas Fort Worth and New Jersey and the Pepsi Globe observation wheel in New Jersey.