Ninjago World To Open at Legoland in January

Ninjago World, the latest addition at Legoland Florida Resort in Winter Haven, will open Jan. 12, the park announced Friday morning.

The world, being built on 3 acres of land, will include Ninjago The Ride, manufactured by Triotech, a Canada-based company that makes media-based, interactive attractions.

The ride will feature Maestro hand gesture technology, which enables guests to control the game with hand gestures without using a hand-held device.

With high-tech sensors, riders will use hand movements in a striking motion to act like ninja warriors Kai, Jay, Cole and Zane, the main characters of the Ninjago line. Riders will be scored and collect points during the four-minute ride.

Legoland officials announced the park would get the world in March. That announcement included other expansions at the Polk County destination including the Legoland Beach Retreat, a new set of accommodations being built across the street from the main park.

It was announced in November that Legoland California Resort was getting the ride Ninjago ride and local leaders wouldn’t confirm if the ride would eventually come to Central Florida.

Ninjago World is currently under construction on the north end of the park between Lego City and Coastersaurus.

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.

New Build-A-Boat Attraction Docks at LEGOLAND Water Park

A new area recently opened at the LEGOLAND Florida water park where kids can build their very own LEGO boat and then put it to the test down a river of flowing water.

This area is part of the new Creative Cove area at the water park that also features a DUPLO play area called the The Imagination Station, where kids can create dams and other creations out of DUPLO blocks.

Other recent enhancements to the LEGOLAND Florida water park include better WiFi coverage and new food options.

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.

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.

Legoland Announces Beach Retreat, New Ninjago World

Some might call this awesome news: Legoland Florida is expanding.

The Winter Haven theme park announced Tuesday it is adding a beach retreat and a new world based on Ninjago, a martial arts-themed Lego set. Both are scheduled to open by 2017.

LegoLand officials also announced a new 4D movie, a summer nighttime fireworks show and a build-a-boat workshop at the park’s water park. This is the largest expansion to the theme park since it opened in 2011.

Here are the details:

 – LegoLand Beach Retreat (opening 2017) – Built across the street from LegoLand on Lake Dexter, the beach retreat will feature 83 single-story duplex units and 166 separate accommodations. There will also be a Lego-theme lighthouse, a pool and a sandy beach area.

 – Lego Ninjago World (opening 2017) – The fully immersive 4-D Ninjago World, located near the back of the theme park, is based on the popular building sets and the long-running TV show “LEGO NINJAGO: Masters of Spinjitzu.” The ride will seat up to four guests per vehicle and allow guests to “blast animated fireballs, lightning, shockwaves and ice using nothing more than their hands as they travel through dojos.”

– “Lego Nexo Knights 4D: The Book of Creativity” (Opening May 26) – Set in the  Kingdom of Knighton, the new film tells the story of five young knights battling against the evil Jestro and his sidekick, the Book of Monsters. Based on the new TV show, the 12-minute movie combines 3D computer animation with “4D,” real-world effects.

–  LegoLand Night Lights (Summer 2016) – A celebration of the summer, Night Lights features extended park hours, meet-and-greet opportunities with Lego characters and a Ninjago fireworks display above Lake Eloise. The fireworks are included with park admission every every Saturday and Sunday from June 18 to July 31.

– Build-a-Boat (Open now) – An addition to the LegoLand Water Park, Build-a-Boat is an attraction where kids can create and race Lego watercraft through water features inspired by the popular LEGO City Coast Guard sets.

Is Legoland Florida Planning Expansion?

Legoland Florida wants visitors to stick around for a little while longer.

The Lakeland Ledger reported the Winter Haven-based theme park is planning to build an extended stay resort nearby.

Owner Merlin Entertainments’ plans for “Project Oasis” have been revealed just months after Legoland Florida celebrated the grand opening of a brand new on-site hotel.

While there’s currently no timetable for construction on the extended stay project, a spokesman for the resort said details are coming.

“We are not prepared to make an official announcement today,” public relations manager David Brady told the Ledger. “But in the very near future we will be making multiple announcements about the future of Legoland Florida Resort. So stay tuned.”

What to Expect

Although details surrounding the extended stay resort remain somewhat scarce, the Ledger reported it’s expected to feature 83 single-story duplexes comprising 166 units. And planned amenities include a pool, a 12,000-square-foot clubhouse and at least two ponds.

If approved, the new resort will be built on Lake Dexter. It would span more than 57 acres and signal the resort’s first expansion beyond the boundaries of Cypress Gardens.

Who Benefits?

Legoland Florida’s expansion would not only be good news for travelers, but for the local economy.

The new resort will create additional jobs of course, but will also continue driving foot traffic in Winter Haven, leading to increased spending.

“More jobs creates more disposable income, which creates a better quality of life for the individuals who live here,” Greater Winter Haven Chamber of Commerce CEO Katie Worthington told Fox 13.

If the project ultimately comes to fruition, visitors to Legoland Florida will have another option for nearby accommodations as the extended stay resort would join the recently-opened five-story, 152-room Legoland Hotel.

Register Now for the Brick Dash 5K Run and Fun Walk at LEGOLAND Florida Resort

Combining family, fitness and fun, the annual Brick Dash 5K Run and Fun Walk presented by Sun Newspapers returns to LEGOLAND Florida Resort on Saturday, April 16, benefiting the Winter Haven Hospital Foundation’s Fund for Women and Children.

This year, kids and kids at heart will run, jog or walk past icons like The Orlando Eye, the newest LEGO model in Miniland, and participants are sure to find encouragement from Emmet and Wyldstyle, stars of “The LEGO Movie 4D A New Adventure.”

New this year, participants 5 and under can compete in the 100 yard dash, while the Kids Half Mile is specially designed for participants 12 and under. Custom-made LEGO trophies will be given to first-, second- and third-place runners in each age category, plus first-place finishers in the overall male and female divisions, and for the masters male and female divisions. Every participant will receive a T-shirt and specially designed LEGO medal.

Registration is available at www.active.com or by calling the Winter Haven Hospital Foundation at (863) 292-4138. The fee for participants 13 and older is $35; the fee for children 12 and under is $25. A family of up to five participants is $99. Special corporate rates are offered; call the Foundation for more information. All Central Florida elementary schools will have the opportunity to participate in “Max’s School Challenge” by including a school name when registering. The elementary school with the most participants will receive a special visit from a LEGOLAND Florida Resort character, a special LEGO trophy and more.

Discounted, one-day admission to LEGOLAND Florida Resort is offered to every Brick Dash participant for $30 plus tax. Admission to LEGOLAND Water Park also is available for an additional $15 per person. The special Brick Dash ticket prices are available only on Saturday, April 16.

For more information, including sponsorship opportunities, contact the Winter Haven Hospital Foundation at (863) 292-4138 or whhfoundation@baycare.org.

Ford Gets a Featured Spot at Legoland

At the Legoland Florida Resort, it’s hard to miss the theme park’s partnership with area Ford Motor Co. dealers.

A Mustang and Escape greet visitors at the front gate in Winter Haven, there’s a Ford billboard in the park’s Lego-scale model of New York City, and the Blue Oval is splashed all over one of the most popular attractions, the Ford Driving School — even on the ceiling fans and emergency lighting.

The Driving School lets youngsters get behind the wheel of cars with Ford logos on the front. It features a life-size Ford Explorer made out of more than 380,000 Lego bricks, and everyone waiting in line watches a video showing how it was made back when the park opened in 2011.

As impressive as the 2,654-pound, red ABS brick replica is, it may be time to summon the builders for an update, given that the real Explorer was freshened last year.

LEGOLAND Florida Resort to Release Black Friday/Cyber Monday Offers

LEGOLAND Florida Resort will be holding sales on Black Friday (Friday, Nov. 27) and Cyber Monday (Monday, Nov. 30), two of the biggest shopping days of the year.

Savvy vacation planners and theme park fans can sign up now at http://florida.legoland.com/brick-friday-cyber-monday to get exclusive details in advance by email. They’ll also be added to our mailing list to receive a direct link to a private web page for every offer when it goes live.

Remember, each offer is limited and may sell out quickly. Shoppers must sign up at the link above to participate in all Brick Friday and Cyber Monday offers.