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Ongoing Photo TR: A.J. Explores More Florida


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Kumba and Tigris look great against the crisp blue sky. Glad Kumba and Montu are delivering, they are among my favorite B&Ms.

 

And I have never noticed that "support to nowhere" -- good catch!

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Episode 4: Coasting for Kids at Legoland Florida or "Would you insects please stop trying to mate on the hood of my car?"

 

I decided late in the game to fundraise for Coasting for Kids this year, and, thanks to some generous donations from Dustin here on the forums, my office's principal landscape architect (thanks Greg!) and some family members, I was able to raise my $100 in two weeks. So guess who decided to take a trip to Legoland?

 

This trip was also my first time trying out some new camera equipment, so you'll see a mix of phone and camera photos.

 

DSC_0005_C.thumb.jpg.0724a15b556e66191e0cae59048f5745.jpg

It's a clear, sunny day... for now!

 

I arrived and was greeted by Give Kids The World's Steve Amos, a manager and [apparent] friend of Theme Park Review. I got my T-shirt, and mingled with the other participants until it was time to go in...

 

IMG_3815.thumb.JPG.1f63bb27dfcfc3079ab48e93f53be0f9.JPG

Giving us the low-down before the day begins.

 

IMG_3817.thumb.JPG.d64557f705ec36654bfa7c2b401c2384.JPG

Express park entry, stage left!

 

Unlike the other events where exclusive ride time (ERT) is involved, this year's Legoland event just let all the participants loose in the park! Some participated in the scavenger hunt, but I decided to poke around at my own pace.

 

The park's newest addition is The Lego Movie World! This land was originally themed to one of Lego's fantasy properties, Legends of Chima. However, it's now turned into a colorful explosion with meet and greets, a play structure, a family drop tower ride, and what is now the park's most popular attraction, Masters of Flight.

 

DSC_0251_C.thumb.jpg.ec181386cac091a6e7bafae80db6a995.jpg

Masters of Flight is a flying theater, similar to Soarin'. You sit in hang glider-like vehicles (in this case themed to a triple-decker couch) and watch a ride film as the vehicles move and bank around. It's pretty fun, but it's very aggressive for the kind of ride it is. It's also a trick ride system where you actually walk up to the upper floors of the building to board, much like Avatar Flight of Passage, and then the entire section of seats turns 180 degrees to begin the ride itself. It's pretty neat!

 

However, the ride story moves very fast and if you're unfamiliar with the lore of the Lego movies (I've only seen the first one myself), it can be hard to follow.

 

Elsewhere in the Lego Movie World you have a meet and greet with the characters, some themed dining (Taco Tuesday every day!), the Battle of Bricksburg splash battle (left over from the Legends of Chima world), and Unikitty's Disco Drop, my favorite attraction in the park in terms of looks and presentation.

 

DSC_0235_C.thumb.jpg.ad8ddc7b85e2122efc070db8e60d0183.jpg

Let's take a loop around the park!

 

Close by The Lego Movie World is the Dragon. Legoland Florida was originally Cypress Gardens, an amusement park and botanical garden that changed ownership frequently in the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s. The park's owner before Legoland invested heavily in rides and coasters in 2004 and 2005, and one of them was a Vekoma junior coaster called Okeechobee Rampage. While the other Legoland parks have custom-built Zierer family coasters, Florida's Dragon is that same Vekoma junior coaster, but extended with a dark ride section.

 

DSC_0222_C.thumb.jpg.d0ba1e72c8e8d9dc848dec643fcbbf64.jpg

The Lego Movie World's "personal space bubble" proximity to the Dragon makes taking a good photo of the layout somewhat challenging.

 

Moving into the Land of Adventure, we find Coastersaurus, my favorite coaster in the park. It's a "junior" wooden coaster similar to the Ghoster Coasters and the Waldameer Comet. When it was built it was basically in a wide open field, but 15 years later, it's bathed in a gorgeous canopy of trees. It's relatively smooth, and while there isn't a whole lot of airtime, it's certainly not boring!

 

DSC_0027_C.thumb.jpg.d9a51fb612301b11c00df87aab07ca0f.jpg

It's also the only coaster so far with Great Coasters' Mini-lennium Flyer trains, which are designed with children in mind. You just can't hate the cushy seats of a Great Coasters train!

 

A quick skip away from Coastersaurus is Project X Test Track, now known as The Great Lego Race. But wait, this coaster wasn't at Cypress Gardens! You're correct, but it wasn't a brand-new installation - it used to be Legoland Windsor's Jungle Racer, with an odd vehicle design where the riders were completely enclosed inside!

 

DSC_0065_C.thumb.jpg.979771e7a34c1ecdb6a2478cb07971a0.jpg

Thankfully, it's just a regular wild mouse now. The ride was re-themed to The Great Lego Race during the great virtual reality race of 2017 and 2018, in conjunction with the addition of VR goggles. Today, the VR goggles seem to be nowhere to be found. It's really just a slightly tamer wild mouse, but the large first drop makes it a bit more exciting.

 

DSC_0083_C.thumb.jpg.53ccfeeacb157629d550efe4deb301f1.jpg

Quick overview of the rest of the Technic land.

 

Finally, all the way in the back of the park, near to the entrance to the water park, lies Flying School. This is firmly "old Vekoma". The layout is great but the ride is awful. I feel spoiled that the only suspended looping coaster I'm familiar with is the one good one, Great Nor'Easter.

 

DSC_0104_C.thumb.jpg.58ee147c3cc144d50a21f7eba1daeefc.jpg

Seriously? How do you get head-banging at 15 miles per hour? How is that even possible? Have I made a grave mistake by committing to subject myself to Walibi Holland's Condor?

 

So there we have the coasters! Enjoy some other photos from my day at the park...

 

DSC_0143_C.thumb.jpg.4c36233a422926c9557abbc9df58d479.jpg

The beautiful Cypress Gardens. I could spend days there.

 

DSC_0114_C.thumb.jpg.dc0128f27465b260bfd080f21da9b3fc.jpg

Future Florida drivers. Have mercy on their souls.

 

DSC_0275_C.thumb.jpg.579cba7389e97f26c317845e99dc5f92.jpg

Mia's Riding Adventure, a Disk'O ride themed to horse-riding. Appropriate.

 

DSC_0257_C.thumb.jpg.7cc8edeb874045766b488965b2f6e8cc.jpg

And finally, the park's great-looking double-decker carousel. Not as good as the triple-decker couch, unfortunately.

 

IMG_3823.thumb.JPG.109dae550c91770db9d1242b503e542e.JPG

Thanks for reading! Thanks also to Give Kids the World for putting the event on - those kids deserve every sent that the organization raises.

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Great report! I ran out of time to make it back to Flying School during my one visit and that's a decision I don't regret based on your review. Those junior SLCs are awful!

 

The new flying theater sounds interesting and the vehicles are too perfect (as a fan of the movie).

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Episode 4: Coasting for Kids at Legoland Florida or "Would you insects please stop trying to mate on the hood of my car?"

 

I decided late in the game to fundraise for Coasting for Kids this year, and, thanks to some generous donations from Dustin here on the forums, my office's principal landscape architect (thanks Greg!) and some family members, I was able to raise my $100 in two weeks. So guess who decided to take a trip to Legoland?

 

This trip was also my first time trying out some new camera equipment, so you'll see a mix of phone and camera photos.

 

[attachment=0]DSC_0005_C.jpg[/attachment]

It's a clear, sunny day... for now!

 

I arrived and was greeted by Give Kids The World's Steve Amos, a manager and [apparent] friend of Theme Park Review. I got my T-shirt, and mingled with the other participants until it was time to go in...

 

[attachment=12]IMG_3815.JPG[/attachment]

Giving us the low-down before the day begins.

 

[attachment=13]IMG_3817.JPG[/attachment]

Express park entry, stage left!

 

Unlike the other events where exclusive ride time (ERT) is involved, this year's Legoland event just let all the participants loose in the park! Some participated in the scavenger hunt, but I decided to poke around at my own pace.

 

The park's newest addition is The Lego Movie World! This land was originally themed to one of Lego's fantasy properties, Legends of Chima. However, it's now turned into a colorful explosion with meet and greets, a play structure, a family drop tower ride, and what is now the park's most popular attraction, Masters of Flight.

 

[attachment=1]DSC_0251_C.jpg[/attachment]

Masters of Flight is a flying theater, similar to Soarin'. You sit in hang glider-like vehicles (in this case themed to a triple-decker couch) and watch a ride film as the vehicles move and bank around. It's pretty fun, but it's very aggressive for the kind of ride it is. It's also a trick ride system where you actually walk up to the upper floors of the building to board, much like Avatar Flight of Passage, and then the entire section of seats turns 180 degrees to begin the ride itself. It's pretty neat!

 

However, the ride story moves very fast and if you're unfamiliar with the lore of the Lego movies (I've only seen the first one myself), it can be hard to follow.

 

Elsewhere in the Lego Movie World you have a meet and greet with the characters, some themed dining (Taco Tuesday every day!), the Battle of Bricksburg splash battle (left over from the Legends of Chima world), and Unikitty's Disco Drop, my favorite attraction in the park in terms of looks and presentation.

 

[attachment=2]DSC_0235_C.jpg[/attachment]

Let's take a loop around the park!

 

Close by The Lego Movie World is the Dragon. Legoland Florida was originally Cypress Gardens, an amusement park and botanical garden that changed ownership frequently in the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s. The park's owner before Legoland invested heavily in rides and coasters in 2004 and 2005, and one of them was a Vekoma junior coaster called Okeechobee Rampage. While the other Legoland parks have custom-built Zierer family coasters, Florida's Dragon is that same Vekoma junior coaster, but extended with a dark ride section.

 

[attachment=3]DSC_0222_C.jpg[/attachment]

The Lego Movie World's "personal space bubble" proximity to the Dragon makes taking a good photo of the layout somewhat challenging.

 

Moving into the Land of Adventure, we find Coastersaurus, my favorite coaster in the park. It's a "junior" wooden coaster similar to the Ghoster Coasters and the Waldameer Comet. When it was built it was basically in a wide open field, but 15 years later, it's bathed in a gorgeous canopy of trees. It's relatively smooth, and while there isn't a whole lot of airtime, it's certainly not boring!

 

[attachment=4]DSC_0027_C.jpg[/attachment]

It's also the only coaster so far with Great Coasters' Mini-lennium Flyer trains, which are designed with children in mind. You just can't hate the cushy seats of a Great Coasters train!

 

A quick skip away from Coastersaurus is Project X Test Track, now known as The Great Lego Race. But wait, this coaster wasn't at Cypress Gardens! You're correct, but it wasn't a brand-new installation - it used to be Legoland Windsor's Jungle Racer, with an odd vehicle design where the riders were completely enclosed inside!

 

[attachment=5]DSC_0065_C.jpg[/attachment]

Thankfully, it's just a regular wild mouse now. The ride was re-themed to The Great Lego Race during the great virtual reality race of 2017 and 2018, in conjunction with the addition of VR goggles. Today, the VR goggles seem to be nowhere to be found. It's really just a slightly tamer wild mouse, but the large first drop makes it a bit more exciting.

 

[attachment=6]DSC_0083_C.jpg[/attachment]

Quick overview of the rest of the Technic land.

 

Finally, all the way in the back of the park, near to the entrance to the water park, lies Flying School. This is firmly "old Vekoma". The layout is great but the ride is awful. I feel spoiled that the only suspended looping coaster I'm familiar with is the one good one, Great Nor'Easter.

 

[attachment=7]DSC_0104_C.jpg[/attachment]

Seriously? How do you get head-banging at 15 miles per hour? How is that even possible? Have I made a grave mistake by committing to subject myself to Walibi Holland's Condor?

 

So there we have the coasters! Enjoy some other photos from my day at the park...

 

[attachment=8]DSC_0143_C.jpg[/attachment]

The beautiful Cypress Gardens. I could spend days there.

 

[attachment=9]DSC_0114_C.jpg[/attachment]

Future Florida drivers. Have mercy on their souls.

 

[attachment=10]DSC_0275_C.jpg[/attachment]

Mia's Riding Adventure, a Disk'O ride themed to horse-riding. Appropriate.

 

[attachment=11]DSC_0257_C.jpg[/attachment]

And finally, the park's great-looking double-decker carousel. Not as good as the triple-decker couch, unfortunately.

 

[attachment=14]IMG_3823.JPG[/attachment]

Thanks for reading! Thanks also to Give Kids the World for putting the event on - those kids deserve every sent that the organization raises.

Thank you again for coming out last week - appreciate the support to Give Kids The World!

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