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Legoland Florida Discussion Thread

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On Thursday I along with Robb had the opportunity to attend a special media event for the unveiling of a brand new attraction at Legoland Florida. The Fresh from Florida Greenhouse is an updated attraction that has been a part of Cypress Gardens' history since before the park became an "adventure park." While not a part of the park's opening projects, General Manager Adrian Jones made it clear that the park's ability to greatly exceed their attendance and revenue targets has allowed for smaller projects like this one to move forward. He also made it clear that there's much more in store for Legoland Florida, including the upcoming opening of the Legoland Water Park as well as the soon-to-begin construction on the Legoland Hotel, which he said would likely be the largest hotel in the chain thus far, and would include additional gardens and an expansion of the historic Cypress Gardens mansion still found on the property today.


The Fresh from Florida Greenhouse itself is an awesome little exhibit with a great mix of education, interactivity and Lego models embedded in a well designed environment. It truly was a great blend of all that Legoland does so well.


Having only been to Legoland Florida during its some of the construction tours, it was quite a difference to see the park open to the public. The place was much busier than I expected, and we agreed that the crowd that the park saw on that day was more than we ever saw at Cypress Gardens Adventure Park. It is truly clear to see a new passion for the park with Legoland and its wonderful staff, especially Adrian Jones. I was truly shocked at the level of detail found in the parks (specifically in Miniland), especially because I had never been to another Legoland location before this. The landscape and design of the park (in part thanks to what was already developed for Cypress Gardens over the years) blends beautifully into the fabric of what Legoland has laid out, and if you had now clue that Cypress Gardens existed first, you'd swear that Legoland must have been around for quite some time.


Another interesting note... The park has been receiving minor additions and operational updates since its opening, including new covered awnings for queues and open areas needing shade. They've also opened several smaller attractions in the Imagination Zone plus one more dining venue! To see some of the earlier visits to the park and compare to how things are, check out our Media Preview Report as well as our Park Opening Report.


Considering we went on an accelerated tour of the park due to time constraints, I'm eager to get back to the park and see what a full day there could include. There are several attractions I did not get to experience (or experience enough) and I think I could probably spend another couple of hours just taking in all of the detail at Miniland. Plus, with the Legoland Water Park, Legoland Hotel and continued efforts to bring old Cypress Gardens facilities back into Legoland, I truly look forward to returning to this park as soon as possible. I honestly cannot get over how impressed I was with this park!


Now, its time for an Adam-sized photo report!


Welcome to Legoland Florida!


The entrance to the park is very well designed and looks nothing like its predecessor.


There's an organic reason we're here today...


Theme Park Review was invited to attend the media preview of the Fresh from Florida Greenhouse!


This greenhouse has actually been at Cypress Gardens since before it was the Adventure Park. Known as the Wings of Wonder Greenhouse, it included live butterflies within its glass walls.


Located right next to the park's historic mansion, the greenhouse is near the main entrance plaza of the park.


Fresh from Florida sponsors the revived attraction in the hopes of promoting local agricultural markets and the education of agriculture at a young age.


Park General Manager Adrian Jones kicked off the opening ceremony with some words on the exponential success of Legoland Florida since its opening. Notice the Lego mini-figure on his name badge...


Adrian Jones welcomes Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam to the podium, giving him the mini-figure from his badge. The mini-figure was a Lego version of Adam Putnam!


He seemed pretty excited to be presented himself in Lego form.


Looks very nice!


Time to plant the last tree near the Greenhouse to mark the grand opening of the attraction!


Shovel, shovel, shovel!


And with that, the opening ceremonies concluded.


He's my buddy! He's your buddy! He's Buddy Lego!


We all know who is in charge here!


Tiny attention to detail like this took me by surprise.




Here we go!


They've got this awesome little game where you guess the seed and press a button based on your guess...


Based on your answer, a mouse will pop up to let you know if you answered correctly or not. Very cute!


These mice can be found throughout the greenhouse.


Lego mini displays are integrated into the greenhouse landscape.


The venue itself is pretty large and features air conditioning, which makes for a very relaxing experience to be taken at a leisurely pace.


General Manager Adrian Jones took the time to talk to us about the new Greenhouse and about future plans for the park.


He's definitely passionate about Legoland Florida, and it was a great pleasure to have the chance to hear from him regarding the many things in store for this fantastic park!



Go Gators!


I think this illustrates the beauty of the greenhouse pretty well!


The little details...


Some of the displays feature interactive elements like this one!


These Lego oranges look good enough to eat!


They have a cow-milking simulator here!


Experience +1


There's a section of the exhibit based on beeswax and honey.


"Not the bees! AHHHHHHH Ahgarbulagabah my eyes! my eyes!"


Name the reference!


The bees even light up!


There's a wishing well here for donations to Merlin's Magic Wand.


A tribute to the history of the greenhouse from when it was open at Cypress Gardens.


Fresh fruit anyone?


Well there was plenty of it at the exit!


They even gave us some delicious samples that made us do this...


I covet fresh fruit on wafers... Tis a weakness of mine.


We like good fruit!


Time to move out into the rest of the park...

Edited by jedimaster1227
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Time to check out Miniland for the first time!


A few of the Legoland Water Park benches has shown up within the park's borders...


It's the Daytona 500 Speedway!



The cars even race!


The Florida section of Miniland features a scale model of the Bok Tower from Bok Tower Gardens.


The Rocket Garden at Kennedy Space Center still exists at Legoland Florida despite being taken down to make way for the Shuttle Atlantis experience.


The recreation is flawless!


Seriously awesome stuff!


Excuse me while I geek out...



New York, New York.


Mirage with a working volcano!


Here's one you should recognize!


And the actual New York too...


Washington, D.C. features a moving marching band!


The Grauman's Chinese Theater sans Great Movie Ride...


No Hollywood Rip, Ride, Rockit here! YAY!



If you're going to San Francisco...


Tiny details...


More of D.C.





The Pirates scene was insanely impressive! Moving ships, exploding cannons, water blasts. They went all out with this one!


Moving into the Land of Adventure...


We love Sally Dark Rides!




Beetle Bounce blends well into the area.


The Royal Joust looked like fun, but we skipped it today.



The most heavily themed area is definitely Lego Kingdoms.



Look out!


Coastersaurus looks far better than Triple Hurricane did thanks to the addition of some well grown foliage.


I spy fresh wood!


Also didn't have time for the Safari Trek, but it looked awesome!


Coastersaurus had a 45 minute wait, so we had to skip it, but I look forward to riding it when I return.


About a week ago, Legoland Florida debuted a new food item in the form of Waffle Spears!



Fresh wood!


This was one attraction we HAD to do today!


Aquazone Wave Racers is probably my favorite attraction in the park that I've experienced so far!


It's kind of like the Flyers you find at most parks (like Knoebels) except you whip the vehicles using water instead of wind.


This is a look of genuine terror... As awesome as this ride was, it seriously freaked me out!


This was still a concrete pad the last time I was here!


Guess where we went next?


Lego City Rescue Academy was so much fun, and was quite a workout for my weak arm muscles!


Another must do at Legoland Florida!


The Lego City Ford Driving School is definitely popular with the young ones...


Definitely looking forward to checking out the Legoland Water Park later this year!


The former Swamp Thing sports a new station and track color scheme.


The Imagination Zone is pretty neat.

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The I-Zone Panini dining location opened recently at the park...


A nice and simple location...


The Hero Factory also recently opened in the Imagination Zone.


It seemed pretty busy during our visit.


The Imagination Zone also features the WB Games Zone!, as WB Games now publishes all Lego-branded games.


There are game stations for guests to try out different Lego games on different consoles.



Robb shared with me the story of the Chainsaw Bunny... Do you know why he's significant?


Lego Batman and Robin from the video game are featured in the park currently.


We see you Chainsaw Bunny!


Pirates Cove hosts a water ski show, which we covered previously before the park opened.


Time to act all good and historically proper!


Legoland Florida has done an incredible job integrating the Cypress Gardens heritage into their new park.


Even the logo is a throwback to the old park!



She's awfully purty!




Time to visit the famous Banyan Tree!


So cool!


This'll be my Hannukah card picture!


What have we here?


It's the Legoland Water Park progress!


The thrill slide tower is getting a new cover and paint job!


"Going up the stairs and going down the stairs, and going up the sideways stairs!"


Good and proper!


A look back...


We promised Renee we'd include a trash can photo... Plus they serve Pepsi.



There's some amazing landscapes at Legoland Florida!




The Lego Friends Shop opened at the park recently.


The park's carousel has been updated to include Lego horses.


And now they have Lego jesters!


My favorite photo op!




Time to check out The Dragon!


It's all for the love of Larry!



The former Okeechobee Rampage underwent a significant upgrade to become The Dragon. The track was extended at the beginning and end of the attraction to allow for new show scenes and a slightly longer ride experience.


The ride has an additional train but was only running one during our visit...


And here it is!




There's a rat cut in half.




He's huge!


His tail even busts through the wall.

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Time to go outside...


Here's where the old part of the ride starts.


The straight-away beneath the lift hill is the former brake run from the original layout of the coaster.


The former brakes were removed and a new s-curve was added to lead the train back to the new station.


Slacking on the job...


I had no choice but to try some of Granny's Apple Fries!


I certainly wasn't disappointed!


Definitely a great snack to share with others!






Time to visit the Lego Factory!





I was thoroughly impressed with Legoland Florida and can't wait to come back!


We definitely will be!



It's so nice to see the parking lot full!


We see you Flying Island! You certainly are a rare bird!


Thanks again for a great time Legoland Florida! This was another awesome media event and a great day at the park!


And seriously. Shame on these people! Park at Legoland--it is seriously worth it!

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Awesome TR... I was one of the people who initially believed this park would not do particularly well because of the location, but I am happy to be wrong on that account. Also the bees reference is from one of the best(in a bad way) movies ever... THE WICKERMAN(Nicolas Cage version... cause the original is awesome)

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Did you notice in the picture showing other park locations has 5 other Legoland parks listed in the U.S. ? They are planning some serious expansions to their park chain from the looks of it.


Those other locations in the US are Discovery Centers and Sea Life exhibits, not theme parks.

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This looks really beautifully put together. Will find a way to get out there next time I'm in O-town.


I hadn't realized just exactly what those "Wave Runner" type rides were all about, and now I'm MUCH more interested.

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Legoland Florida has sent us photos and video of the Legoland Water Park as it reaches its latest milestone, getting one of its most important elements--WATER!






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  • 1 month later...

Legoland Florida has sent us an updated regarding the Legoland Water Park opening this month!


Training for the “most important job in the park” began today as newly minted lifeguards took to the wave pool at LEGOLAND® Florida’s soon-to-open water park attraction.


Trainees practiced deep-water rescues, swimming drills and compact jumps from atop a lifeguard stand. All training was certified by the American Red Cross.


There was also time for a little horseplay, with trainees performing a synchronized “wave” in the pool and taking a spin on a LEGO® Build-A-Raft.


Training for the "most important job in the park" began Tuesday as newly minted lifeguards took to the wave pool at LEGOLAND® Florida. The new Water Park at LEGOLAND® Florida opens May 26th featuring the LEGO Wave Pool, Build-A-Raft River, Twin Chasers, Splash, Joker Soaker, and DUPLO Splash Safari.







Edited by jedimaster1227
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Legoland Florida has sent us a press release regarding their development of a "Roller Coaster Readiness" program.


The 2012 summer travel season is here and theme parks from coast to coast are rolling out all-new, ever-daring thrill rides.


For parents hoping that this is the year their child musters the courage to take that first roller coaster adventure, it's a tough call: do they encourage, bribe or shame their kids into facing their fears? Or let them decide for themselves?


This summer, LEGOLAND® Florida, Central Florida’s newest theme park, is helping families deal with Veloxrotaphobia, or fear of roller coasters, by arming parents with “Roller Coaster Readiness” tips.


Leadership at the park reached out to nationally-recognized psychologist and award-winning author Dr. Susan Bartell to create tools for both guests and employees to help parents manage these challenging situations.


“Our junior roller coasters offer just the right blend of speed and thrill that make LEGOLAND Florida the perfect spot for kids to ride their very first roller coaster,” says Adrian Jones, LEGOLAND Florida general manager. “But because we know the ‘pink knuckle’ nature of these attractions doesn’t mitigate a first timer’s fears, we wanted to provide resources to parents as well as our model citizens to ensure that every first plunge is a positive experience for the entire family.”


According to Bartell, there are a host of mistakes parents commonly make when it comes to handling their child’s fear of roller coasters.


“Dismissing a child’s fear, comparing them to a sibling or friend, bribing them with gifts and money, or labeling a child with a negative name based on their reluctance won’t make them any braver,” says Bartell. “In fact those strategies often cause greater anxiety, and resentment and make them more reluctant, not to mention ruin what should be a great day for the family.”


Brochures featuring the tips will be available online and at the front gate and include things families can do before they leave home and during the day, as well as ways to manage a melt-down and ways to celebrate at the end of the day.


Before Your Trip


Bartell suggests starting at home with these tips before leaving on the trip.

  • Learn Online – Young children (especially those who are anxious), don’t like surprises. So, visit the LEGOLAND Florida website with your child and look at the different attractions, discussing how much fun each one will be.
  • Tell a Story – Talk to your child about fun roller-coaster experiences that you and other people had when they were kids. Be as animated, silly and positive as possible.

What to do When You Get to the Park

  • Focus on Fun – As you arrive, review the park map and point out all the fun attractions, not just the roller coasters.
  • Take it Slow – Invite your child to pick which attractions she most wants to experience. If she is reluctant to try the roller coasters, begin with at least a couple of her choices.

As the Day Continues…

  • Watch and Learn – When some people in your party are eager to try a roller coaster, don’t split up. Rather, watch the roller coaster ride with your reluctant child, all the time commenting excitedly about how much fun it looks and how happy and excited kids are as they come off the ride. Point out that kids coming off the ride do not look scared and are not crying.
  • Nervous is Normal – Explain that while riding a roller coaster, it is normal to feel a little nervous, scream, close your eyes, and squeeze someone’s hand – in fact, it is part of the fun. Explain that feeling a bit nervous doesn’t mean you are too scared to go on the roller coaster.

At the End of the Day…

  • No Regrets – If your child expresses regret that he didn’t try the roller coaster, don’t make him feel bad. Now that the day is over, it’s easy for him to ‘be brave.’ Instead, remind him there is always a next time, and that he should focus on the rides he enjoyed and the fun that was had by all.


Edited by jedimaster1227
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  • 3 weeks later...

Twice this weekend Theme Park Review was invited to participate in special occasions at Legoland Florida, both surrounding the new Legoland Water Park!


The first event (Thursday) served not only as the media preview, but as the first annual pass holder preview for the park, with a special twist. To help launch the "resort's" newest aspect, the park decided to challenge the existing Guinness World Record of the number of beach balls thrown in the air at the same time (with the previous record being 401 balls). It wasn't hard to beat the record, considering the park had 1,355 guests volunteer to throw their complementary beach balls up for the cause. It was definitely an awesome sight to be seen from an elevated platform (like the one I got to stand on), with the sea of beach balls waving like the water in the wave pool where many of the guests waded during the record breaking process. After breaking the record, the water park was left open for us to explore! I'll come back to a rundown of the park after describing Day 2...


The second event (Saturday) was the Legoland Water Park's grand opening, kicked off by General Manager of Legoland Florida, Adrian Jones. Staged in front of the Joker Soaker water fortress attraction, Adrian and Tim Oldenburg, one of the Water Park Representatives cut the ribbon (using a Lego scissor) to mark the opening... And with that, Joker Soaker's giant water bucket tipped to soak the two park leaders in their business attire! Quite an awesome moment to be seen!


Now on to the dissecting the water park itself! Located in the back corner of the park neighboring Flight School most closely (as well as a section of the Cypress Gardens botanical gardens), the Legoland Water Park occupies the same space as the former Splash Island Water Park which was an offering at the Cypress Gardens Adventure Park. Utilizing almost all of the existing water park infrastructure, Legoland Florida absorbed the property and modified it to serve as its newest, and largest-to-date water park in the chain. Comprised of three body slides, two tube slides, a wave pool, a large water fortress (complete with tipping bucket), a lazy river featuring the popular "build-a-raft" concept launched at the California sister park, a dining venue and gift shop, all of these former Splash Island staples have been Lego-ized to blend in with the rest of Legoland Florida. Also added to the water park is the DUPLO wading pool and several Lego water play stations fit for the younger guests visiting.


As with the other Lego Water Park(s), floatation vests are offered for guests free of charge and lockers are available for a small fee. Admission to the Legoland Water Park requires valid park admission to Legoland Florida, as well as a $12 up charge fee to enter (although children age 3 and younger get in free). The water park also rents private cabanas (which we were able to test out), which is a nice plus!


The new Legoland Water Park is an excellent value and a fantastic new offering for prospective and return guests of Legoland Florida. For such a small fee, you get an awesome family-friendly experience without ever having to leave the main park. Guests of the Water Park can also leave the water park to enjoy the main park and return as they please throughout the day by getting their hand stamped. While there, I observed (what not surprisingly I had come to expect) enthusiastic team members and employees working in the water park whose focus on safety and promoting a memorable experience was clearly at the top of their priorities. Managed by a fantastic team of enthusiastic and dedicated leaders, Legoland Florida continues to amaze me with their impressive care of every aspect of their guest experience and continuing to keep their product up to date. General Manager Adrian Jones continued to express his (infectious) enthusiasm for the park and its future, making it clear that we should expect something new for the park EVERY year. With the Legoland Hotel to confirmed to be on the way (building off of the success of the Windsor property) and plenty of additional park space left for expansion (I've got a great set of photos I took from the Island in the Sky that I'll post soon that show this off), I'd say the future is bright for Legoland Florida!


And to think, two years ago many people were skeptical of how even Legoland could turn the floundering Cypress Gardens into a successful tourism staple... Look at how the park not only continues to exceed attendance and profit expectations, but has already added a new water park, several new attractions, shops and restaurants in less than seven months from its opening date. They're clearly doing something right, and it can definitely be seen by visiting the park for yourself, so get out there!


Guess where we are today!


Time to approach the new Legoland Water Park! Notice the lazy river flows underneath the entrance bridge!


One more thing Legoland does really well: color schemes!


In case you already forgot what this report is about...


Some of the "build-a-rafts" were out and about in the lazy river before the park opened for the preview day.


For those of you that have been to the park, this should help to give you an idea of the location of the Legoland Water Park.


As a part of the Guinness World Record attempt, we were all given beach balls!


If you visited Splash Island at Cypress Gardens previously you'll be sure to recognize the park, but you'll also notice the amount of Lego theming that has been added in the conversion process.


Standard water park rules presented in a respectful manner.


With 1,355 volunteers present, the record wasn't hard to beat!


I mean, there were really a ton of people here!


A cherry picker was brought in to capture video of the record attempt from above.


Not shortage of Lego touches here!


The buildup before the record attempt including a dance along.


It was truly quite a feat to see!


It's Lifeguard Buddy!


They even had beach babes!


I couldn't resist!


Twin Chasers was the popular complex of the day...


Dispatching at the same time, the two slides have guests finishing at the exact same time, as if they were racing.


Looks nice!


A guest enjoys one of the Twins!


One of the two Twin Chasers is fully enclosed while the other is an open air slide.


Splash Out is the body slide complex for the park--definitely the biggest thrill for the older guests in the park.


And it is quite photogenic!


Down you go!


I see a smile!


The slide has a neat little "pre-drop" unlike most major body slides I've seen.


The longer line for Twin Chasers versus the bigger slides of Splash Out seems to evidence the park's audience tastes.


While walking back towards Joker Soaker, two random beach balls chased each other down the path without wind or anything propelling them (I'm seriously not kidding).


They seriously just kept rolling on without a driving force behind them... Kind of reminds me of the Horror B-Movie "Tire."


"An odd tan you have sir!"


The Legoland Water Park has benches made entirely out of milk jugs. Yay for Green Initiatives!


Twin Chasers sign love for Larry...


The water park has the same style directional signage as the main park.


Joker Soaker is the park's water fortress attraction...


And it has several small slides stemming from its top.


These slides were also popular with the younger guests.


Even more slides!


Guests can spray or drop water on guests below!




The Joker Soaker slides are fun for all ages!


And there's no doubt, this water fortress has character!


The Joker Soaker's tipping water bucket is pretty awesome.


And it certainly gets the job done!


Hence the attraction name...


My mind jumped to Space Invaders when I saw her shirt.


There are some water play stations set up throughout the park which provide entertainment to younger guests and their families.


There's also no shortage of Lego bricks to be put into the active circulation of the lazy river.


I did see some small Lego buildings on rafts, but nothing too stunning yet.


I want this fountain!


Lifeguards on Stilts!

Coming to SyFy in 2013


Lifeguards on Stilts meets Sharktopus

Coming to SyFy in 2014


The DUPLO wading pool was a new addition to the Legoland Water Park, being one of the few things not previously existent (in any form) in the former Splash Island water park.


DUPLO animals act as controllable fountains for the younger guests to play with.


Must've just chomped on a water balloon.


Don't quite get this one... Needs a cool and refreshing Coca-Cola to give it more contextual sense.


Do you agree?


The Surf Shop features Lego merchandise as well as swim gear for sale.


The Beach n Brick Grill is the park's main food and beverage option.


Seriously folks, the Legoland Water Park is pretty awesome! Come check it out along with the rest of Legoland Florida! There's so much to ride, see, do and explore at this park, there really is something here for everyone!


Thanks to Legoland Florida for having me out this weekend to cover everything!

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The Legoland people definitely brought something to Cypress Gardens that the developers of Adventure Park lacked: actual knowledge about what they're doing.

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In terms of normal water parks, this one doesn't look half-bad. I'd sure visit it if I was visiting Legoland. I do think that the park needs another slide structure though. Maybe a family raft ride.

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This addition looks great and really gives me a reason to visit Legoland sometime soon. I know they were left over from Cypress Gardens but it's nice to see some larger body slides thrown into the mix of the family park. I know the Legoland water park in California doesn't have any body slides that big and if this park had been built from the ground up slides that like probably would have been excluded but I bet they will be fairly popular for some of the older kids and adults alike.


Can't wait to see what they end up adding here in the future, with all of the cool water park technology out there these days I'm sure Legoland will has some creative projects up their sleeve.

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Yeah, it does seem like a bit of a bummer hear that you have to be 48" tall to do any of the slides outside of the bucket play structure or toddler areas. Hopefully they'll put some 36" and 42" slides in by next summer. Especially with the Disney parks down the road which have a ton of full size slides for kids.

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