• Legoland California announces 2007 results, 2008 expansion plans

    ~ Via Press Release

    Media and special guests were given a small taste of the Land of Adventure experience today at LEGOLAND® California as elements of the Park’s first-ever dark ride were unveiled during a business news conference. John Jakobsen, president and general manager of LEGOLAND California announced excellent attendance and high guest satisfaction in 2007 and gave more details about 2008 expansion plans.

    “2007 was an incredibly successful year for LEGOLAND California,” said Jakobsen. “We created the largest Miniland U.S.A. expansion in Park history with the opening of Miniland Las Vegas in March. We reached a guest satisfaction level of 98 percent. It’s easy to see why the Park was named Best Children’s Park four years in a row by Amusement Today.”

    Jakobsen also announced the success of Miniland Las Vegas combined with the expansion of Pirate Shores helped LEGOLAND California repeat 2006’s record-setting attendance of more than 1.6 million again in 2007. “We can only expect even greater results in 2008 as Merlin Entertainments is investing $20 million into two new areas: Land of Adventure, which features the Park’s first dark ride and North America’s first SEA LIFE aquarium which opens this summer as a separate admission.“

    Transporting guests into 1920s Egypt, Land of Adventure introduces Park guests to four new attractions. Based in ancient temple ruins, Lost Kingdom Adventure puts guests inside desert jeeps and takes them on a journey to recover stolen treasure laser blasting targets along the way. Their scores are recorded and competition is fierce as skill and determination are the keys to a successful expedition. Brave riders encounter ten different scenes along the journey including a spider’s lair, professor’s lab, mummy relics and a performing skeleton band. A LEGO® pharaoh, standing more than 16-feet tall, guards the entrance to Lost Kingdom Adventure staring down at all those who dare enter.

    Adjacent to the hidden ruins, a different adventure awaits with rides Cargo ACE and Beetle Bounce. Cargo ACE helps imaginations soar as children become pilots boarding one of eight airplanes and flying up to six feet into the air. Beetle Bounce boosts children to even bigger heights – nearly 15 feet to be exact – as they are launched up one of two towers nearly touching the gigantic LEGO beetles above them. At Pharaoh’s Revenge, children and parents fire thousands of foam balls at targets and each other in an oasis of fun. Land of Adventure opens March 10, 2008.

    To give more insight to the evolution Lost Kingdom Adventure, Jakobsen introduced Master Model Designer Bill Vollbrecht who was a key designer of the new area. “I am honored to be part of the evolution of this land of adventure,” said Vollbrecht. “Merlin Entertainments commonly develops from within the company but I had no idea the artistic skills I use daily building LEGO models would be used to design an interactive dark ride for kids!”

    The collaboration began when Vollbrecht met with the Merlin creative team to discuss the ride sequence and script from beginning to end. Afterwards, Vollbrecht began sketching the scenes incorporating a story line with characters and creatures he felt would best appeal to LEGOLAND California families. The scenes were then sent to the ride manufacturer, Sally Corporation for final edits and for the final proofs to be created. A handful of the ride elements were displayed at today’s press conference, but many more will be installed in time for the grand opening in March.

    Other construction currently underway at the LEGOLAND California Resort includes the 36-thousand square foot SEA LIFE aquarium geared specifically for kids set to open this summer. More information to follow.

    Merlin Entertainments acquired all four LEGOLAND Parks in 2005 and has since become the largest attractions operator in Europe and ranks second worldwide with 52 attractions.

    For more information, visit Legoland.