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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 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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