Theme Park Review was invited today to participate in a preview of Legoland Florida, specifically focusing on the park's new water skiing show on Lake Eloise, as well as the new Xtreme section of the park and Action City. Included in our tour was a drive through the still-under-construction park, which gave views of the water park which is currently being worked on for a tracked opening next year. Also spotted was the Dragon Coaster, Coastersaurus, Imagination Center, Pirates Cove and portions of Cypress Gardens. That's right! Cypress Gardens has been preserved in name and purpose as the botanical gardens within the park, and is referred to as such on all park signs and maps. Legoland Florida even features several Southern Belle Lego statues as a tribute to the park's past--and these are the first of many Floridian touches exclusive to the park!
A couple of interesting notes from today's visit that came up during my interview with the park's head of marketing:
The Legoland Florida Water Park is on track to open in 2012
The park will not hold any Halloween events this year, but will debut the Christmas Bricktacular in December for holiday commemoration
The park will host a Kids' New Years Eve event capped off by a "Countdown to the New Year" that will take place at 6:00 pm so that children can be involved
The park's expansion plan currently focuses on the opening of the water park in the coming year, in addition to working with the development of the new Merlin offerings to open on International Drive in Orlando. The I-Drive Live complex including the Orlando Eye and other Merlin portfolio brands will likely be a partner of sorts for the park.
The park has focused on local partners in its development rather than reaching out to larger Orlando attractions and brands
There are 50 million bricks in the whole park, 30 million of which are found within the park's Miniland section.
LEGO produces the most tires in the world
Coastersaurus was heavily upgraded to bring it up to Legoland standards. This included major retracking work, in addition to a completely rebuilt station and queue.
Now for some photos from today's tour!
From the entrance of the parking lot, the park's new signature coaster experience, The Dragon is visible.
What's this I see?
That's right! The former Triple Hurricane coaster, now the Coastersaurus has got new wood!
The yellow is a great sign of investment in the ride!
It looks so nice!
Did I mention the ride looks brand new?
The coaster's station is brand new and clearly looks it!
Flight School is the former Swamp Thing coaster retained from Cypress Gardens Adventure Park.
The ride's station has been remodeled to reflect the theme of a flight school.
The main reason for today's visit was the preview of the newest show in the park's Pirates Cove section. The Battle for Brickbeard's Bounty is the park's water skiing show, with a LEGO twist.
It takes place in one of the two amphitheaters along the shore of Lake Eloise, although the second theater may be used for additional seating during peak seasons.
A huge set piece developed by Nassal has been added to the theater.
The theater also features water cannons that go off at key points in the show. There is also a splash zone within the seating areas now.
While we didn't see them used in the show, there are jets stationed in the front of the theater.
You can see the other theater along the shore, as well as the entirety of the "stage" used for the skiing show.
Our preview included the first ten minutes of the new show, starting with a visit by three water skiing LEGO soldiers.
Notice the Mansion in the background. This Cypress Gardens icon is now owned by Legoland and will be used for private functions and internal meetings. As of current, it will not be open to the public.
Marina is the heroine of the show, and even has her own theme song!
Brickbeard has a peg leg and hook for a hand, both shaped in the image of their LEGO counterparts.
Based on our preview, these three soldiers will be the comic relief of the show.
There are actually four soldiers, but one of them couldn't get away from his skis.
Marina rides off to go protect the Cove.
For more comic relief, there's dancing!
One of several Southern Belles in the park, designed as a tribute to the park's Cypress Gardens heritage.
Moving on farther into the park, we passed by a few unique structures.
The park's climb-and-drop towers are all ready to go.
Over in the Xtreme zone is the new Technic Coaster. There was no confirmation if this was the one from Legoland Windsor, but I suspect so.
This is a fun wild mouse (with no enclosed roof) that is tame enough for the young thrill seekers the park will attract.
The ride was open for us to try out--this was a new credit for me!
The cars are highly themed and don't feature an enclosed cabin!
The ride is based on the well known LEGO Technic brand.
A TPR Index first?
They were cycling cars for our entire visit and you could tell how efficiently it was running! We even had the chance to meet some of the ride operators... Needless to say, the park staff is enthusiastic, extremely friendly and very fun to be around. What a great family environment this park will be!
This was my first Legoland Florida logo I could find in the park. All of the park benches sport this image.
LEGO Technic Test Track coaster overlooks Lake Eloise from the top of the lift hill, providing an amazing view before turning you towards the initial drop.
Another signature Legoland ride is Aquazone Wave Racers.
This ride is rich in theming and features some very detailed models.
There are strategically placed buttons around the ride allowing non-riders to soak those riding with a geyser.
On the other side of Wave Racers is this clever model.
A few of the rides have yet to be installed.
This will be the gateway to the Imagination Center.
Action City is the park's most hands-on environment with boat and car driving attractions as well as the Flight School coaster and the Lego City Rescue Academy.
There are plenty of visual gags along the course of the boat ride (which we were allowed to take for a spin).
This park is clearly gunning for TPR's heart.
I'm happy to confirm that the Rescue Academy is similar to the one found in Legoland California, and not a downsized version of the popular attraction.
I feel like I'm playing Lego Island... Haven't done that since I was in elementary school!
I thought this was very humorous...
Yes, this is a Pepsi park.
I know this is a TPR favorite around the world, so I'm super excited to get to try these out once the park opens!
Just recently announced, Ford will be sponsoring the park's Driving School and Junior Driving School.
Signage is already in place on the two attractions' facades.
I really was thrilled to see Cypress Gardens directly referred to throughout the park. This is a great throwback to the park's history and a great way of preserving the botanical gardens for future generations--the best of both worlds!
Never short of LEGO characters, there is theming at every attraction.
As we were preparing to leave, Flight School began testing.
Driving School looks like it is nearly complete.
Another Legoland sign within the park!
I have to give major props to Legoland Florida for filling in all of the dead space between attractions at Cypress Gardens. This space was mostly grass fields and a lengthy walk between Flight School (formerly Swamp Thing) and the rest of the park.
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