LEGOLAND Water Park to follow 6th year of growth

The first looks at the world’s first LEGO® water park were revealed recently at LEGOLAND California Resort. So far, it’s only an artist’s rendering of the new water park, but that’s the first step toward getting drenched.

This new initiative follows the park’s successes with the new Bob the Builder™ 4-D movie and the presidential inauguration scene in Miniland U.S.A. These new developments come on the heels of a sixth consecutive year of growth for the California resort, with 2009 turning in a 6 percent increase … and guest satisfaction ratings in the high 90s.

2009 was a record year here at LEGOLAND California Resort,” said the resort’s general manager, Peter Ronchetti, during the press conference. This comes, he continues, as “Many theme parks across the country have reported difficult trading and necessary cost control actions as a result of the challenging economic climate over recent months. So we feel very fortunate with all of the expansion here at LEGOLAND California Resort, to be able to report that our attendance continues to grow.”

The trajectory is expected to run through 2010, with more than $15 million invested in the park. The LEGOLAND Water Park is set to open in June (behind Fun Town) and will be ideal for families with children aged 2 to 12. “LEGOLAND Water Park will be lots of fun, constructive play including slides, LEGO friends and, the feature I am personally the most excited about – the Build-a-Raft concept where kids customize their own raft made of soft LEGO bricks before floating down a lazy river,” said Ronchetti.%Gallery-73517%


Legoland hotel planned for Carlsbad

I haven’t been to southern California in a while, but it looks like I just got a reason to go back. A Legoland hotel is in the works at the theme park of the same name in Carlsbad, California. The city council approved the move this week. When construction is finished, a serpentine-shaped hotel will have 254 rooms, sit right next to the theme park and put Lego-loving nerds like me in the middle of an environment we’ve always fantasized about.

The basic rooms will have Legos printed on wallpaper and the carpets … along with instructions on how to build different Lego creations. The top-end rooms, however, will take the fanaticism to a new level: you’ll be able to live the Pirate Shores attraction in an appropriately themed room.

Unfortunately, an opening date hasn’t been announced yet, so we have to wait. This may be easier for the hotel’s target demographic – kids between two and 12 years old – than it will be for those of us who grew up with Legos and are eager to relive a creative part of our youths. Construction is said to be deferred until the market improves, after which it should take a year and a half to complete.

[Photo by joedecruyenaere via Flickr]

Coolest plastic Christmas tree in America to be lit Nov 30

More than 30 feet tall and made of a quarter of a million forest green DUPLO® bricks, the LEGOLAND® Christmas tree is by far the most fun in the United States. Regular trees die, and most plastic trees are so … well … plain – they just look like trees. The LEGOLAND tree, on the other hand, is something to be celebrated. At 5:30 PM on November 30, 2009, Tori Spelling McDermott (of 90210 fame, and some other stuff) and Dean McDermott will be the featured guests. They’ll share some holiday cheer, as well, with a donation to the Ronald McDonald House.

A kids band called The Jumpitz® will be performing. I’ve never heard of them, but since I’m staring down the barrel of fatherhood, I imagine that my ignorance is doomed to have a limited life.

Of course, for those of us who grew up on LEGOs, the plastic building blocks are the main event. The tree will sport more than 240 ornaments – all crafted in the medium of LEGO – and will be the centerpiece of LEGOLAND Holly Jolly Holidays. After Christmas is over (from December 26 – 30), there will be nightly fireworks displays. Of course, a full-sized LEGO Santa will be on hand from the moment the tree is lit through the duration of the festivities.

Feeling lucky? Let’s hope so. From December 3 – 24, one kid will be chosen randomly every day to light the tree!

Obama’s blockhead double takes oath in CA

While President Barack Obama took the oath of office in Washington, D.C., his counterpart did the same in Carlsbad, CA. While the west coast ceremony was a bit rough around the edges, the blockhead appears to have done just fine.

LEGOLAND® California is celebrating our new president with a new display, running until Memorial Day, May 25, 2009. Visitors to this theme park can enjoy the ascension of the 44th president of the United States on the steps of the Capitol in Miniland U.S.A.

The entire effort includes block depictions of Obama and his family, Vice President Joseph Biden and his wife Jill and former presidents and vice presidents George Bush (senior and junior), Dick Cheney and their spouses. In all, more than a thousand “people” were erected to show the inauguration. Most of the figures stand four inches high. In the audience, you’ll find some famous spectators, including Senator Dianne Feinstein, Aretha Franklin and Yo Yo Ma. The U.S. Marine Corps Band and San Francisco Boys Chorus are in attendance as well.

The LEGOLAND inauguration is part of a larger exhibition comprised of more than 22 million LEGO bricks that renders major cities such as New York, Las Vegas and San Francisco in this unique art form.

Win free tickets to the Chicago Legoland Discovery Center!

Several days ago, I posted my review of the recently opened Legoland Discovery Center in the Chicago suburb of Schaumburg. If you read my review and would like to spend a day surrounded by Lego with your family, then keep reading, as we have some free tickets to give away!

The Legoland Discovery Center is located about 20 miles from downtown Chicago. Parking is free, and in this indoor venue, you’ll find Lego themed attractions for the entire family.

Three lucky winners will receive 4 tickets each for free admission. All you have to do is leave a comment describing your favorite childhood memory involving Lego. This could be the time you managed to build a Lego tower that reached the ceiling, or simply the fond memories of opening your first Lego set purchased with your allowance.

  • To enter, simply leave a comment below telling us about your favorite childhood Lego experience
  • The comment must be left before Friday, September 5th, 2008 at 5PM Eastern Time.
  • You may enter only once.
  • Three winners will be selected in a random drawing.
  • Three Grand Prize Winners will be randomly selected to receive 4 free tickets to the Chicago Legoland Discovery Center (travel to/from Legoland is not included).
  • Open to legal residents of the 50 United States, and the District of Columbia who are 18 and older.
  • The total value of each set of tickets is $76 (4 tickets at $19 each)
  • Click here for the complete official rules of this giveaway