Legoland Releases Safety Guidelines for Pokémon Go

It’s official. The Pokémon Go craze has reached Legoland Florida.

The resort said Tuesday that Pokémon have indeed been spotted and that guests are welcome to play during their visit, but a few ground rules have been established for conduct.

Among them:

* Even a Pokémon master must stay within guest areas. No climbing fences or following Pokémon into employee-only areas.

* No catch is worth sacrificing safety. All play must pause throughout the duration of a ride.

* No bumping into one of the park’s more than 60 million models.

Park officials advise Pokémon pursuers to stay hydrated, to let a model citizen know if they find a Pokémon at the Fun Town Pizza Pasta Buffet, to recharge phones in the Imagination Zone and to stop for selfies with Wyldstyle while pursuing catches.

Casey Mears, Young Fan Build Bonds at LEGOLAND

Ten-year old Layla Popoff was ready for the green flag. Lined up alongside NASCAR Sprint Cup Series veteran Casey Mears for a race through Legoland’s intricate Miniland creations on Monday afternoon, Popoff’s brick car jumped off the starting line. She led flag-to-flag and claimed an intricately constructed Lego trophy.

Mears’ car “somehow” ended up in a pile of (Lego) bricks near the finish line, but he was the first to congratulate his competitor Popoff, who is battling multiple serious medical issues and was granted the chance to race Mears thanks in part to Legoland and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

“So many times people are going through rough times, but the kids they seem to handle it so well,” said Mears, emphasizing the best part of his day was spending time with Popoff. “It always surprises me when you meet a young kid like this and they are so positive. She’s got a lot of drive, you can tell. She’s very competitive. She was telling me she was going to win right out of the gate and she did.”

For her part, Popoff was genuinely excited to meet Mears. They spoke, laughed and kidded each other about the competition. After their race, Mears took his new friend inside the Lego display nearby — a huge new Lego re-creation of Daytona International Speedway recently updated to reflect the Daytona Rising improvements and enhancements fans will once again see at the July 2 Coke Zero 400 night race there (7:45 p.m. ET, NBC, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.)

In fact, Daytona International Speedway President Chip Wile was also at hand at Legoland and impressed with the new model of the track. He reports that the facility is ready for its second 2016 NASCAR date.

“How impressive and to see what they’ve done here (at Legoland) is such a true representation of Daytona International Speedway,” Wile said. “It took 2,100 man hours to build and they spoke with our team to make sure they had the right photos to work off of. They really wanted it to be an accurate representation. I would argue they did a good job.”

As for the upcoming Daytona races, “We’re putting the finishing touches on it,” Wile said.

“The great thing about our facility is it is used so much. We’ve been very busy. But we did a walk-through over the weekend and the place looks great. We’re real excited to have our race fans back for the Coke Zero 400 powered by Coca-Cola. The expectation is it’s one of the biggest events of the year. Overall we’re ready and we can’t wait for people to get here.”

Mears added one more touch to the Legoland Daytona on Monday. With a large audience watching, Mears placed a miniature version of his No. 13 GEICO car in Daytona’s Victory Lane at the Lego display.

Daytona International Speedway is one of Mears’ best tracks. He finished runner-up in the 2006 Daytona 500 (only weeks after winning that Rolex 24). And he has eight top-11 finishes at the 2.5-mile superspeedway, including five consecutive before February’s Daytona 500 when he placed 32nd.

“Daytona has been a real good track for us, and the road courses as well,” Mears said, noting this week’s stop at the Sonoma road course in his home state of California.

“It’s been a rough year for us in general as far as results go, but I feel like our team is as prepared as it ever has been. It’s probably the best season we’ve had in terms of having fast race cars, knowing and understanding what we need to do to be fast, but we’re just not getting results for whatever reason. It’s just been a lot of random things.

“I’m looking forward to the second half of the season and showing people what we can do. I think Daytona and Sonoma are good places to show that.”

Mears has a pair of top-10 finishes at the Northern California course in Sonoma, a best of fifth in 2008. His best-ever road course showing is a fourth place at Watkins Glen in 2004.

This week, however, runner-up to Popoff was as good as it gets. She said her family is planning to make its first-ever NASCAR race at Daytona in two weeks.

“I’m a fan and I like racing,” Popoff said, her face breaking into a huge grin. “And usually, I always cheer for Casey Mears.”

Which clearly shows Mears has won already.

NASCAR Veteran Casey Mears to Race Make-A-Wish Child June 7 at LEGOLAND

LEGOLAND Florida announced today that in honor of their new Daytona International Speedway model, the park will be inviting NASCAR veteran Casey Mears to face a fierce 10-year-old competitor representing Make-A-Wish Central and Northern Florida.

Afterward, Mears will greet fans within the racing-themed Wheels Zone, one of several areas of hands-on LEGO building activities inside the Polk County theme park’s newly re-imagined Imagination Zone.

The new Daytona Speedway model took a team of Master Model Builders months to create out of nearly 300,000 LEGO bricks, and to preview the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ return to DIS for the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola on Saturday, July 2.

Legoland Has a New Pint-Sized CEO

Legoland US and VML New York are launching a new spot starring Tommy Parker, the brand’s kid CEO, as part of Legoland’s ongoing ‘Built for Kids’ campaign.

The new ads are designed to promote the new Legoland hotel, showing off all the cool features, including a moat made out of legos and kid-friendly restaurant menus with macaroni and cheese.

Parker says: “We pride ourselves on creativity. Sword fighting is mandatory and we never have to use our inside voices.”

The campaign is designed to distinguish Legoland against its competitors Walt Disney World or Universal Studios.

The 60-second spot is running on regional TV in Florida and includes a big social and digital push.

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Family Fun & New Attractions at LEGOLAND This Summer

One of the new additions to LEGOLAND for 2016 is the newly reimagined Imagination Zone.  In this new area, kids can participate in a variety of hands-on LEGO building activities in a variety of themes, has debuted several all-new areas where kids can unleash the power of their imagination in fun new ways.

The area went under an extensive refurbishment and now offers new experiences such as the Creation Zone, Water Zone, Wheels Zone, Building Zone and Flight Zone.

Also new at LEGOLAND Florida is the new “LEGO NEXO KNIGHTS: The Book of Creativity” 4D film.  The 12½-minute film follows five young knights in their quest to defeat Jestro, the Book of Monsters and their Lava Monster Army. Led by heroic Clay Moorington, the band of knights join forces with the great digital wizard, Merlok 2.0, to vanquish the enemy and stop him from getting his devious hands on a powerful book of magic.

After the show is over, kids can get their parents to download the LEGO NEXO KNIGHTS Merlok 2.0 mobile app, available for iOS and Android devices for even more fun!

When the sun goes down at LEGOLAND Florida, the skies light up with LEGOLAND Night Lights!  This new experience at LEGOLAND Florida features  meet-and-greet opportunities with favorite LEGO characters, including some making their first appearance at LEGOLAND Florida Resort; exclusive opportunities to build alongside LEGO Master Model Builders; and a spectacular, brick-tacular LEGO NINJAGO fireworks display.  This new event will take place every Saturday and Sunday from June 18 through July 31.

Creative Cove is a new expansion area at LEGOLAND Water Park that adds a fun, hands-on attraction, Build-A-Boat, where kids can create and race LEGO watercraft through fast-flowing rivers alongside cheering crowds in a setting inspired by the popular LEGO City Coast Guard sets.

Additional dining offerings, increased seating capacity and complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the entire water park round out the all-new offerings for 2016.

Legoland Is Adding Two Lego-Themed Movies This Year

Building on Lego’s growing line of toys, toy-based cartoons and a movie, Legoland is adding several features with characters and story lines that are already familiar to fans — including a new Ninjago land coming in 2017 — and is introducing more characters for meet-and-greets.

Already added this year was The Lego Movie 4D: A New Adventure, a sequel of sorts to 2014’s The Lego Movie. Coming May 26 is Lego Nexo Knights: The Book of Creativity, based on a line of Lego building sets and a show on the Cartoon Network. Both are 12  1/2-minute animated movies and are in 3D (complete with 3D glasses), but add a fourth, sensory “D” with special effects like wind and rain — blasts of air and squirts of water, said David Brady, a Legoland spokesman.

Nexo Knights has an additional element, a free mobile app and shields within the park that give game players access to special powers — available only in the park — for their knights.

Summer brings Legoland Night Lights, with a Ninjago-themed fireworks show and characters Kai, the Red Ninja of Fire, and his sister Nya greeting visitors and taking photos with them. Special glasses will be available that make the bursts of fireworks look like Lego bricks exploding in the sky.

Coming in 2017: Ninjago World, an Asian-inspired ninja land based on another line of Lego building sets and the TV show Lego Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu. The new land’s centerpiece will be a ride during which guests battle villains as their cars pass by 3D computer animation screens, sort of a high-tech version of Disney’s Toy Story Mania!

The ride, which has already had a soft opening at Legoland in Southern California, uses a new technology so that a calculated flick of the hand triggers a weapons blast or a shock wave, Brady said. A separate but related attraction will be ninja training, where guests will hone their skills, including how to use their hands, in preparation for the ride.

Hotel: The park, which opened the 152-room Legoland Hotel last May, is building a second hotel. Legoland Beach Retreat, with 83 colorful Lego-style duplexes, each with two units of accommodations, is scheduled to open in mid-2017.

Everything is ‘Awesomer’ with Legoland’s BOGO Awesomer Annual Pass Sale

Who doesn’t love a bargain? Anyone? No?

How does 12 months of admission to LEGOLAND® Florida Resort, LEGOLAND Water Park, The Orlando Eye, Madame Tussauds, SEA LIFE Aquarium, LEGOLAND Discovery Center Atlanta, free parking and more sound? Nice?

It’s all included with our Awesomer Annual Pass, and today we’re offering a special deal: Buy one Awesomer Annual Pass and get a second one free! As in, like, FREE.

Here’s the deal (literally):  While supplies last, buy one Awesomer Annual Pass online at the regular price of $149 plus tax and receive another one totally free. Smart shoppers can receive a maximum of two free Awesomer Annual Passes per transaction. Please note that every Awesomer Annual Pass purchased as part of Thursday’s Cinco de Mayo sale must be activated on site at LEGOLAND Florida Resort no later than Friday, June 10.

Buy now! Enter code 6043 to take advantage of this limited-time offer.

This Lego-Inspired Apartment Is Every Child’s Dream

With a mission that states “Reach every child in every country in the world,” it’s only fitting that LEGO is the focal point in this new child-friendly apartment by HAO Design. Highlighted by an open space that incorporates the kitchen, dining and living room areas, the firm installed a round blue “LEGO Play Pond” sofa, a multi-purpose feature that serves as a lounge area, playspace and toy storage. We also find LEGO block details throughout the the entire space, most notably the dining table and balcony, while the toy’s colorful and adaptable characteristics are applied to the master bedroom and guest room as well. Juxtaposed with concrete, marble and steel fittings throughout, check out this unique space above and head over to HAO Design for more of its works.

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LEGOLAND Resort Announces New Solar Energy Project

LEGOLAND Florida announced on Earth Day that it is partnering with Tampa Electric and building  2-megawatt solar energy project that will produce electricity — and shade for guests of LEGOLAND Resort and surrounding area.

These new solar panels will be installed over the resort’s preferred parking lot, adjacent to the theme park entrance. When operational later this year, the solar photovoltaic installation is estimated to produce enough electricity to power up to 250 homes annually, while shading more than 600 vehicles.

Last year, the resort’s environmental efforts saved:

  • 8,406.80 kilowatt-hours of energy and an estimated 5,700 gallons of oil by recycling cardboard.
  • 102,500 kwh of energy, 425 trees and 175,000 gallons of water by recycling paper.
  • 7,363.74 kwh of energy by recycling steel.
  • More than 1,000 cubic yards of landfill space by recycling cardboard, paper and steel.

LEGOLAND Florida Resort conserved enough energy though paper, cardboard and steel recycling efforts in 2015 to power its newest theme park land, Heartlake City, for a year!

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LEGOLAND Announces Partnership with Autism Speaks

LEGOLAND Florida Resort announced that they are partnering with Autism Speaks, one of the leading autism science and advocacy organizations, to better improve their resort and park to accommodate guests with autism.

The park is currently installing a large panel of hands-on, sensory-stimulating activities in a quiet space within its theme park, the first of several planned projects designed to make LEGOLAND Florida Resort a more autism-friendly destination for children and families.

“Autism Speaks applauds the efforts of LEGOLAND Florida Resort to provide special accommodations so that guests on the autism spectrum can maximize their park experience,” said Karen Bacharach, senior director with Autism Speaks’ Southeastern Regional Office in Maitland, Fla. “When asked, our Central Florida volunteers were eager to offer some design considerations to help the resort be autism friendly.”

To better educate LEGOLAND Florida Resort employees (known as “Model Citizens”) about the unique needs of guests on the autism spectrum, Autism Speaks staff members and volunteers will conduct training sessions at the resort at least twice a year and will supply educational material to be distributed to all new hires.

On Saturday, April 23, LEGOLAND Florida Resort will sponsor the Kids Zone area during the Autism Speaks Walk at Tropicana Field in Tampa, Fla., and on Saturday, Nov. 12, during the Autism Speaks Walk at Cranes Roost Park in Altamonte Springs.

On April 2nd, LEGOLAND Florida Resort is participating in the Autism Speaks “Light It Up Blue” campaign by shining blue spotlights on its famous entrance archway.