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Legoland Florida Discussion Thread

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Legoland Florida has sent us a press released regarding the continued construction of the new park as it reaches the milestone 100 days out from its grand opening.


Look how far we’ve come! With just 100 days until Grand Opening on October 15, LEGOLAND® Florida has released a new batch of photographs as rides begin to appear at the park. From The Royal Joust to LEGO® Technic Test Track Coaster, construction crews are hard at work transforming the property into the interactive theme park geared toward families with children ages 2-12.


The Royal Joust, where kids ride LEGO-themed horses through a number of medieval scenes where they encounter other riders in a simulated joust. LEGO TECHNIC® Test Track is a “wild mouse-style roller coaster where brave guests feel the power of acceleration, braking and maneuverability as they race a life-size LEGO TECHNIC vehicle along a wildly twisting track.








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My mom sent me an article from a Florida Newspaper that's already casting some doubts on the project. They're questioning opening hours and days.




Executives at Legoland Florida insist the theme park will not try to be all things to all people. That philosophy seems to apply to its operating schedule after it opens Oct. 15.


Legoland Florida will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will be closed on Tuesday and Wednesday, in glaring contrast to the seven-day, late-night schedules of the established theme parks in the Orlando area.


The attraction had not yet released the operating schedule when it began selling annual passes at a discount. The discount ended April 30, but spokeswoman Jackie Wallace said the attraction has not received any complaints from buyers about the schedule.


Legoland Florida will follow the same general format as Legoland California, which opened in 1999 and has been successful, said Kim Isemann, director of sales and marketing at the Winter Haven park. "Once we all got here from our team, we started having conversations with the team in California and tried to see where it would work for us to apply the same model," Isemann said. "We realize in California and Florida, the tourism markets are very different, but we're just going to start the season of 2011 with this type of abbreviated offering schedule and see what type of response we get." Legoland Florida has posted its schedule only through the end of 2011. Isemann said it is possible the attraction will eventually expand the days or hours it is open.


Walt Disney World and competing theme parks in the Orlando area are open every day, as is Busch Gardens in Tampa. Those attractions generally open at 9 a.m. and stay open until 7 p.m. or later. Disney's Magic Kingdom remains open until midnight on weekends in the summer. While the other attractions target guests of all ages, Legoland has a more narrow prime audience -- children ages 2 through 12 and their parents. Isemann said the 5 p.m. closing time reflects that reality.


Legoland's 2011 schedule includes built-in exceptions. Legoland will be open Tuesday and Wednesday for its first two full weeks, during the week of Thanksgiving and for the final two weeks of December. That means eight closed days in 2011.


The attraction will stay open until 6 p.m. on the Thanksgiving weekend and until 7 p.m. the last six days of the year.


Isemann said Legoland Florida, like the California park, will expand its operating schedule during spring vacation periods and in the summer.


Legoland Florida's abbreviated schedule has drawn mixed reactions from tourism experts. Some have raised the prospect of tourists driving from Orlando to Winter Haven on a Tuesday or Wednesday only to find a closed attraction. "With any consumer promotion, we're going to have in the marketplace, we're making sure we say, 'Please check for operating hours and times,'" Isemann said. "We're doing whatever we can to start this off right and communicate this to people so they don't show up on Tuesday or Wednesday when we're closed," he said.


Mark A. Bonn, a professor in the Dedman School of Hospitality at Florida State University, said he understands the financial strategy behind Legoland Florida's limited schedule. He cited the fast-food chain Chick-fil-A, which thrives even though franchises are closed Sundays and do not stay open as late as competitors.


"You don't necessarily have to have long hours to be successful," Bonn said. "It's more about maximizing the time you are open, operating it properly, managing your labor costs and keeping an eye on expenses." Bonn raised one possible concern, however. He said the frequent afternoon thunderstorms of summer could scare away guests from an attraction that closes at 5 p.m.


While most of Legoland's 50 rides and interactive attractions are in outdoor spots, Wallace, the spokeswoman, said the park will offer plenty of indoor amusements for guests when the weather is bad, including shops, restaurants and the Fun Town Theatre, which holds 750 people.


Legoland executives have sought alliances with tourism groups and local businesses, most notably with the "Bed and Brick" promotion, which allows guests to book hotel rooms on the Legoland website.


Evelyn Fine, president of Fine Research & Marketing Inc. in Daytona Beach, said the limited schedule might reduce the park's economic benefits for other businesses. "Like everyone else, I was excited when I heard Legoland was building in Polk County," Fine said. "It has such terrific assets to offer people, but I'm afraid Legoland is just going to be a day destination with those hours. "Polk County is going to have to be really, really slick about putting together packages and enticements to get people to come and stay overnight," she said. "Clearly, Legoland is a one-day park. The idea is to encourage people to stay in Polk County for other reasons."

Edited by jedimaster1227
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^I'm not supporting or disproving the article, just posting it for information that's going out to the GP. But you are wrong about the rehab thing. Legoland California almost ALWAYS has a ride closed (and announces them ahead of time on the website) so closing one or two days a week does not prevent that.

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Maybe it's just me, but does a park aimed at kids need to be open till 10pm?


Not only that, they themselves clearly state they're not in any way shape or form trying to compete with Disney and the other big parks... Niche market with niche hours. I'd rather they sort out what keeps them profitable early on, than waste thousands, if not millions, of dollars in running costs with low attendance.

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Interesting article. It will be very interesting to see how everything works out. However, I don't think Professor Bonn using Chik-fil-A is a good comparison at all. There are way too many differences to be able to compare them.

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Interesting article. It will be very interesting to see how everything works out. However, I don't think Professor Bonn using Chik-fil-A is a good comparison at all. There are way too many differences to be able to compare them.


Agreed--comparing a fast-food franchise to a theme park seems a bit of a stretch.

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Agreed--comparing a fast-food franchise to a theme park seems a bit of a stretch.


Yeah, if you forget that Chick-Fil-A is closed on Sundays, you just go to the fast food place next door. If you drive all the way down to Winter Haven and find Legoland closed, there is no plan b. And you just wasted half a day of vacation you could have spent at another one of the many theme parks in the area. Granted with smart phones and Internet being everywhere now, this sort of thing should be less of a problem than it used to be.


If I were to guess, being closed on Tue and Wed won't be a deal breaker for Legoland. Planning a trip to WDW is already so complicated that there are travel agents who specialize in nothing but Disney. So, having to keep track of Legoland's hours on top of everything else is not a giant burden. Besides, if there is huge demand to be open on those days, they'll surely adjust the hours accordingly.

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Legoland Florida will follow the same general format as Legoland California, which opened in 1999 and has been successful, said Kim Isemann, director of sales and marketing at the Winter Haven park.

Following a successful format from a sister park? That's just crazy talk!!!


Legoland Florida's abbreviated schedule has drawn mixed reactions from tourism experts.



I love the approach they're taking with the park! It can't be easy to infiltrate the biggest theme park market in the world, so why be bold about it? Just dip your toes in the water, and proceed cautiously. Makes sense to me.


I'll always bet the house on Legos + Kids....especially in Central Florida.

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Do you know what grinds my gears?


The local business owners are complaining about the hours and how it will hurt their business—never mind the fact that Legoland—theoretically—will bring in more than Cypress ever could. And not only that... Cypress was on the verge of closing anyway... so much for those businesses.


These are test hours right now, and I'm sure there's a little more truth to it—my guess is that they know not everything will be open on time and having those couple of extra days will allow them to finish up and get their tweaking done.

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The sucky part will be having to drive through ghetto Winter Haven to get there, but I'll deal.


It's no worse than driving through Lowry Zoo's and BGT's neighborhood, and you managed to survive.

Touche. And I actually used to live about 10 minutes from both before I moved across the bay (and even then felt the area I was in was borderline ghetto). So yeah I'll survive, but have a slight case of heebie jeebies. Now if only the Fazoli's in Winter Haven was still open... I miss their breadsticks & Italian ice strawberry lemonade thingies.

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It's slowly, but surely rising! I can't wait to see how it turns out.


Although this SoCal guy grew up on Legoland CA, so naturally I'm biased to ours.


Same thing here I used to live only 20 minutes from Legoland, Florida shall never reign supreme!

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  • 1 month later...



LEGOLAND Florida to have Orlando shuttle


WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (AP) - Leave the hassle of transportation to the experts and begin your LEGOLAND Florida experience before you leave Orlando with the LEGOLAND Shuttle.


In partnership with Annett Bus Lines and Orlando Premium Outlets, guests can arrive in style to Central Florida's newest theme park for a special preview price of $5 roundtrip, per person.


The LEGOLAND Shuttle lets families enjoy their time together in a fun and safe way without the worry of navigation or parking. With families' safety in mind, this shuttle is equipped with seatbelts.


"We know that families traveling with small children want a safe and easy option to get from Orlando to LEGOLAND Florida," said Kim Isemann, Director of Sales and Marketing. "With the new LEGOLAND Shuttle, we are giving our guests both at an incredible value."


Only a short 45 minutes from the outlets, the shuttle will depart daily at 9 a.m. from Orlando Premium Outlet and return in the evening after the park closes. To ensure a seat on the bus, guests must book their transportation in advance on www.LEGOLAND.com.


With more than 50 rides, shows and attractions, LEGOLAND Florida opens October 15, 2011.

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