Legoland Florida Resort (stylized as LEGOLAND Florida Resort) is a vacation destination in Winter Haven, Florida featuring a theme park, water park and on-site accommodations. It opened as Legoland Florida on October 15, 2011, and later rebranded itself Legoland Florida Resort with the opening of Legoland Hotel in May 2015. The park encompasses 145 acres (0.59 km2), making it the second-largest Legoland park after Legoland Windsor in the UK. Built on the site of the former Cypress Gardens theme park, Legoland preserved the botanical gardens and re-themed the water park and select attractions and venues to reflect various Lego brands.
Designed for families with children ages 2 to 12, the resort has more than 50 rides, shows, attractions, restaurants and shops, plus a botanical garden and water park. The 152-room Legoland Hotel opened May 15, 2015, followed by Legoland Beach Retreat on April 7, 2017, which has 166 rooms in 83 freestanding bungalows designed to resemble giant Lego sets.
On January 15, 2010, Merlin Entertainments declared its intention to build a Legoland theme park on the site of the Cypress Gardens theme park, which permanently ceased operations in 2009. Six days later, a news conference was held with Florida Governor Charlie Crist and park officials.
After a relatively short construction period (as compared to parks which were built from scratch), Legoland Florida opened on Saturday, October 15, 2011. Three months later, Legoland Florida announced it would add a water park. The former Splash Island water park reopened as Legoland Water Park on May 26, 2012.
Park layout & attractions
Entrance to Legoland Florida
More than 50 rides, shows, and attractions are featured in the park based on those at other Legoland parks. The Jungle Coaster ride from Legoland Windsor was moved to the park and renamed Test Track (later renamed again to Project X). Cypress Gardens' botanical park was preserved as part of the park. Also surviving is a vast Banyan tree that was planted as a seedling in a five-gallon bucket in 1939. The Splash Island Waterpark was kept and is a separately ticketed admission. In addition, 4 attractions originally from Cypress Gardens were renovated and renamed: the Triple Hurricane wooden rollercoaster, the Okeechobee Rampage family coaster, and Swamp Thing, a Vekoma family inverted coaster. The Starliner coaster, formerly of the Miracle Strip Amusement Park in Panama City, was dismantled for sale. The Island in the Sky observation tower was retained and operated from 2011-2017.
The theme park has 14 sections:
- Island in the Sky: A 150 feet (46 m) rotating platform ride that provides a 360° view of the park.
- Grand Carousel: A two-level carousel.
- Wells Fargo Fun Town Theater: A 4D cinema with 700 seats.
- Mia's Riding Adventure: A spinning disc coaster.
- Heartlake Stepping Tones Fountain: Interactive, heart-shaped fountain filled with LEGO brick instruments that play music.
- Miniland New York City: features Rockefeller Plaza, Times Square, Statue of Liberty, Grand Central Terminal, Empire State Building, Guggenheim Museum, and Central Park Zoo.
- Miniland Washington, D.C.: re-created areas include: White House, U.S. Capitol building, Smithsonian Museums, WWII Memorial, Washington Monument, Jefferson Memorial, and parts of Georgetown.
- Legoland Miniland Las Vegas: features a realistic walk through along the Las Vegas Strip from the Welcome to Las Vegas sign, past the Luxor, Excalibur, Mirage, Treasure Island, Tropicana, MGM Grand, Paris, to the Stratosphere tower.
- Florida: features the Florida Keys, the Everglades, Miami, Tampa, Central Florida, Daytona Beach, The Kennedy Space Center, St. Augustine, and the Panhandle.
- Pirates: A pirate themed area featuring miniature Lego pirate ships.
- Train ride.
- Tractor ride.
- Duplo Farm - indoor air condition with sound proof baby care center
- Duplo splash pad - Toddler sized water play area
The World of Chima
- Quest for Chi
- Cragger's Swamp
- Dragon Coaster: A steel family coaster which features an indoor dark ride portion. Originally called Okeechobee Rampage.
- The Royal Joust: A simulated 'joust' attraction where children ride Lego-themed horses through medieval scenes for ages 4 to 11.
- Merlin's Challenge: A mini Himalaya flat ride.
- The Forestmen's Hideout: A multi-level tree and rope climb.
Land of Adventure
- Beetle Bounce: Junior drop tower ride.
- Lost Kingdom Adventure: An interactive dark ride.
- Pharaoh's Revenge: An interactive play area involving small plastic balls (ball pit balls) moved around by air currents and suction.
- Safari Trek: A jeep ride featuring life-sized LEGO animal models.
Lego Ninjago World
- Lego Ninjago The Ride: A four-person dark ride in which guests use hand gestures to fire projectiles at 3D animated villains while the vehicle keeps score.
- Ford Driving School: A "real-life" driving experience for children ages 6 through 13, where children receive their official Legoland driver's license which can be upgraded to have their photo and watch a video on how to drive. This attraction was created by Ford, hence Ford Driving School.
- Ford Jr.: Junior driving school course for children ages 3 through 5, curated by Ford.
- Flying School: A Vekoma Suspended Family Coaster.
- Boating School: A boat ride where guests can captain their own mini-vessels.
- Rescue Academy: An interactive game where families compete with one another in fire and police vehicles to be the first to put out a simulated "blaze" (weather permitting).
- AQUAZONE Wave Racers: a dual water carousel style ride.
- Project X: a wild mouse roller coaster with dramatic turns and drops. Will be replaced in Spring 2018 by The Great LEGO Race, in which riders will experience a 360-degree race against LEGO minifigure characters while wearing virtual reality headsets on the existing roller coaster track.
- Technicycle: a pedal-powered spinning machine that shoot riders into the air.
- Built & Test: An exhibit where guests can build a Lego car and test it on the digitally timed track.
- Kid Power Towers: A set of towers where guests can hoist themselves up to the top then enjoy a "free-fall" to the bottom.
- Lego Mindstorms: An exhibit where guests can build and program computerized LEGO MINDSTORMS robots.
- The Battle For Brickbeard's Bounty: A live-action water ski show performed daily on Lake Eloise Lake, featuring a mix of human skiers and LEGO costumed characters such as the pirate Captain Brickbeard.
Legoland Water Park
- Lego Wave Pool: a gentle wave pool
- Twin Chasers: two 375-foot (114 m) long water slides
- Splash Out: three slides each with a 60-foot (18 m) drop
- Joker Soaker: children's water play area
- Build-A-Raft River: a 1,000-foot (300 m) long lazy river
- Duplo Splash Safari: toddlers water play area
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