Today was the opening of the Polar Land area at Legoland Billund (Denmark).
This is the largest single investment in the history of the park. Total investment is 75 million DKK. In this area we can find a restaurant, a penguin habitat for 15 penguins. These are Gentoo penguins which in Danish are called "donkey penguins" because they make a characteristic braying noise. The penguins have a land area of 80m2 and 70 m2aqautic area with 180000 liters of salt water. As part of the Polar Land set up the Power Builder has been refurbished as well to the new Ice Pilots School. In the restaurant visitors can enjoy a meal at Polar Pizza & Pasta while watching the penguins. The area will also have its own shop.
The centerpiece of the are is the Polar X-plorer. Capacity: 850 riders an hour. Max speed: 65 km/hour Ride duration: 111 seconds Max G-Force: 4.2 G Visitors travel into the mountain at a height of 10 metres The mountain is 16.5m high The snowmobile drops 5 m vertically in a free fall.
Historical tip from the park: An attraction for both birls and boys. It's often interesting to observer how certain attractions appeal to grils and boys. Polar Land is a good example of an attraction that appeals to borth girls and boys. While the cute penguins will attract the girls, the Polar X-plorer ride will appeal to many boys.
To create as realistic a ride as possible, before starting the design of Polar X-plorer the designer of the roller coaster insisted on test driving a snowmobile.
About the ride: To me it's a WIN for the park. You have to be 1.20m before you are allowed to ride (which is the same requirement as x-treme racers) And from the outside you can't see some of the surprises. The enthusiast community was aware about the drop that is part of this ride. The VIP's (and a lot of guests) that were riding the coaster, apparently did not know about it. There were plenty of screams happening in that area. The families really seemed to like the ride and when it opened for the guests in the park the line filled quickly.
Anyway, after boarding the comfy train you leave the station to go up the lifthill (duhh) take a nice swooping turn to the left followed by a nice pop of air, through the mountain turning to the right before the next pop of air. Another helix and then you are heading for a "dead end". It almost felt like finding a safe spot to park your snowmobile. Only bummer in this case.. the floor does not hold. The drop is not giant (like Griffon) but this coaster is not about the drop, it's about the family experience and the penguin interaction. That does not mean that your butt can't leave the seat when dropping though After that it's a nice twisty bit that is taken at a more leasure speed to "recover" from the shock, time to look at the lego theming on the side and take a quick look into the penguin area. I only got to ride it in the front and did not have time to check out the back. So i'm not sure how much of a difference that will make.
When "parking" your snowmobile in the "cave" the doors close behind you making the area darker (which helps with the screen as well) It is that i took the video other wise i would not have noticed the entire drop mechanisme being so open/clear in the view (or even the ceiling). My eyes were drawn to the screen immediately to watch the lovely lego figures and hearing the cracking sound. You are coming out of the bright light and enter a darker area, so it does take some time for your eyes to get used to it.
To me the ride and the entire area looks pretty much complete (just one open area which will probably be used for the shop) and looking at the first reactions of the guests it will be a hit for the entire family.
Enough talk, here are a few pictures of the ride and a POV video
I'm not driving, but this is where i'm heading today
First it was presentation time. My Danish is not that good.. so i did not understand much of it
but seeing the construction pictures in the background is this design for the area was a cool touch
Philippe Cousteau was there as well (grandson of the one and only) He gave a nice speech about everything we do makes a difference
enough talk, time for a small walk
this is not an angle you can see from the park ;)
just warming up
press is ready to get a bunch of pictures
a bit more talking and..
we can check out the penguins
ice penguin :) 5 seconds later the kids were all over it :)
ok, time to focus.. it's coaster time
take the arch
first train fo the day
another train with VIP's
fun for the entire family, and yes it's pretty "heavy" for some of the kids
But these are happy faces.. and happy faces are an indication that people are having a great time
is this mountain tiny?? i don't think so
take the tunnel ;)
Our ice pilots seemed to enjoy the ride as well
not sure but it looks like fun
and yes, there is hairtime in this image :)
the ride opened for the rest of the guests in the park and they all lined up
After grabbing a quick bite this is what the que area looked like. The dome has a "small" inside que and then you board the train. The left has the quick que entrance and shop exit.
start of the line
there is your snowmobile
more theming towards the Ice Pilots School
but we can still look at the coaster from here
plenty of room to walk underneath the coaster
keep on smiling
So here's a quick look at the Ice Pilots area
Which looked pretty good with the big screen displaying footage from the tv show
some random plane parts from the show being used as props
Back to the coaster and the fun
these rocks look pretty good to me
another snowmobile going up the lifthill
the front of the train
ice pilots school sign
and a lego pilot
something is missing
quick overview of the area from the "side". First drop, station area and mountain
station, mountain and penguin area
train antering the "cave" and getting ready for the drop
but there is also food
need a drink?
plenty of people were taking a look at the penguins
theming on top of the mountain
Pizza and Pasta. Hopefully plain pasta as well ;)
hands up is a good sign i think
and yes.. there is air on this ride ;)
Last edited by robbalvey on Sun Apr 29, 2012 3:18 pm.
I'm a little bummed at the height restriction on this (47.3"). I get that their mouse is the same, but at Legoland and in Scandinavia, this seems really high for a children's attraction. I expected a 42" restriction for something like this.
Looks really cute though!
As for the new Pizza and Pasta Buffet, it's a little disturbing how much all the Merlin parks are starting to look the same.
Great TR, really cool to see all the work that went into this area. A lot of money well spent, and while it may not "please" every enthusiast who expects Disney-quality theming, I really like what they did.
To create as realistic a ride as possible, the firm that designed Busch Tampa's dive machine insisted on test driving Shakira.
"Next, we are going to solicit the children of strangers so that we can go on a ride designed for children. This is so I can post online and impress other people who are very good at procuring unfamiliar children in order to go on rides designed for children, and thus have a higher arbitrary number than me."
LOL Jzoole you beat me too it, I was just going to say I don't care who's grandson that Phillipe Cousteau is I want him
Anyways by the looks of the smiles on those kids faces I can assume they don't have any issues with the theming, the drop track or section after the drop track. Looks like they are having a ball and enjoying the ride for what it is a family targeted ride.
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