LEGO at Large
Follow Madeline Hoskin as she explores LEGO in all its plastic glory, from the brand’s homeland in Denmark to the sunny shores of Florida.
LEGO stems far beyond plastic bricks and yellow men – it’s an institution of fun spanning theme parks and water havens, hotels and discovery centres. There are now six LEGOLANDs worldwide, each with its own unique charm. All parks are perfect for 12-and-unders (along with their obliging guardians), offering gentle rides and attractions, like the ever-popular Dragon Coasters or the DUPLO® Land for toddlers. Each also strives to amp up educational aspects: head to driving school and watch your little revhead obtain their first driver’s licence, get fire safe at Fire Academy and so on. A stand-out at each destination are the Minilands, showcasing icons from across the globe... made to scale out of LEGO bricks!
The birthplace of LEGO sure knows how to deliver plastic-fantastic wonder. Imagination Zone at LEGOLAND Billund lets you meet Denmark’s biggest Japanese Spider Crabs (aka CRABZILLA), or take a seat in Scandinavia’s biggest 4-D cinema. Older kids will love the park’s largest, fastest attraction that lies in Polar Land: the Polar X-plorer rollercoaster with its five-metre drop and a top speed of 65km/h... did a polar bear just whiz past? Boosting its spooky side in 2014, the park has opened a new 800sqm haunted house that will have nerves tingling as it reaches an exhilarating free-fall drop. After a big day, recharge in the heart of the park at Hotel LEGOLAND which is guarded by a plastic dragon with themed quarters fit for any mini pirates, princesses or knights.
This destination is ever-evolving and now boasts an all-new World of CHIMA. The attraction is a sight to behold, complete with a Quest for CHI interactive water adventure and a Cragger’s Swamp experience. It also just
opened up a new DUPLO Valley, packing in mini tractor and train rides, a toddler playhouse, water play and more. Here inside the air-conditioned DUPLO Farm you’ll also find a Baby Care Centre for all nursing and changing needs. The Land of Adventure is where to head for hand-flailing thrills on the Coastersaurus, or battle it out amid the maze of Pharaoh’s Revenge. If you need some down time, the historic botanical Cypress Gardens is a great spot to rest or take a stroll. Hotel LEGOLAND is set to hit Florida in 2015, adding yet another level to the region’s LEGO love.
With 60 rides, shows and attractions, plus a nine-foot red LEGO dinosaur welcoming you in, LEGOLAND California is an instant hit.Once you’ve chomped your way through Granny’s Apple Fries you’ll be ready to explore. Its featured Water Park is perfect for soaking up that Californian sun; the DUPLO Splash Safari will have smaller kids clambering all over their fave African animals, while the new CHIMA Water Park (based on the brand’s latest hit product) is packed with action – from the epic Crooler’s Twist to a chill-out zone around the Lion Temple Wave Pool. For drier fun, hop a boat and take a Coast Cruise through Miniland USA, or unleash your inner knight at Castle Hill. And yes, you can have a LEGO-themed sleep here too. In-room dragons and palatial stylings? Yes please!
In southern Germany, roughly halfway between Munich and Stuttgart, you’ll stumble upon LEGO’s Deustch delight. LEGOLAND here has a distinctly European vibe; its Miniland features a tiny Schloss Neuschwanstein, a miniscule
Berlin, Venice’s Ponte Rialto and Munich’s Allianz Arena, home to Bayern Munich Football Club. Miniatures also aptly cover the brand’s love for all things ‘Star Wars’ and you’ll wander from Naboo to Tatooine with surprising ease.Also just in this year is the world’s biggest LEGO model... an 11ft-tall and 43ft-long Star Wars X-Wing Model comprised of over five million bricks! There’s also the all-new King’s Castle at LEGOLAND Holiday Village where
families can stay overnight and experience the royal treatment (from grand exterior to quirky themed insides) in one of 68 rooms.
Amid LEGOLAND Windsor Resort’s 55 million LEGO bricks and green countryside surrounds, you’ll sample a little of the London life as you saunter through Miniland feeling like a giant next to London Bridge, Big Ben and the London Eye. A pirate theme is in the air here with the park’s Pirate Shores, where aboard log-rides and other
adventures you’ll go up against the mean Captain Blackheart. Close by you’ll find the new Castaway Camp, which packs in high-ropes fun, slides, nets and playtime galore. Journey under the waves with a world-first LEGO Atlantis
submarine voyage and discover a watery world of wonder. At the heart of the park is the Resort Hotel with its interactive LEGO features, themed rooms (choose from Kingdom, Pirate or Adventure), lifts and (even more) pirate fun than in the hotel’s indoor water play area.
It’s the country’s first International Theme Park – and boy does it go down a treat. LEGOLAND Malaysia has over 70 hands-on rides, slides, shows and attractions that’ll have all ages pushing, pedalling, steering and splashing their way through a maze of interactive experiences. Its Water Park has more than 20 slides, and other aqua joys like the Joker Soaker wading area with giant tipping bucket or space to build a custom soft-brick LEGO raft and float down the lazy river. Its Miniland maps out the Legends of CHIMA on a 1:20 scale, while LEGO TECHNIC is where to go for high-speed rides like the Project X coaster or the TECHNIC Twister’s take on the typical ‘teacup’ ride. At its LEGOLAND Hotel you’ll uncover secret whoopee cushions, marching guards on tight ropes, in-room LEGO treasure and much more.
LEGO Discovery Centres
Take all the joys of LEGOLAND, condense it down into a smaller indoor realm of hands-on fun, and you’ll have something similar to what’s on offer at the 10 LEGOLAND Discovery Centres across the world. They’re found speckling the globe in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Kansas City and New York in the USA, as well as England, Germany, Tokyo and Toronto. Each varies somewhat in size and offerings, but what you can generally expect is brick play in abundance, a Factory Tour of how LEGO is made, 4-D cinema experiences, and rides like the agility-training Ninjago or the baddiezapping fun of a Kingdom Quest Laser Ride. They also offer cafe stops, birthday rooms, LEGO shops, Miniland creations and more – so you’re safe to expect a whole-day’s (or month’s) worth of entertainment!