‘Awesome’ debut for Lego Movie World
Bright and blocky Lego Movie World, the newest land to open at Legoland Florida, features rides that seem familiar … but sport a twist or two.
The marquee attraction within this realm is Masters of Flight, a multilevel simulator experience that folks will spy from outside the theme park. The ride rests firmly in what is known as the flying-theater category. Folks sit, feet dangling, as they face an enormous screen and the illusion of flight.
Yep, that’s a lot like Epcot’s popular Soarin’ Around the World, which shows off exotic global locales to dangling Disney World guests. But at Legoland, the story is about a competition between master builders. Its look is that distinctive digital Lego style, and it’s full of content, characters and shifting scenarios. I found the brightly colored black hole to be especially trippy.
Riders start in a set of seats facing a blank wall. Once the experience begins, the row pivots around 180 degrees to position itself before the previously unseen movie screen. It’s not a lifting motion like at the beginning of Soarin’. Once in position, there are bumps and jiggles to go along with the in-flight visuals, but they aren’t too severe.
In addition, there are pumped-in aromas, such as pine, cotton candy and sea salt (plus a gentle misting) to match on-screen action.
This is all preceded by an entertaining pre-show safety video (and ride explanation) presented by the Emmet, a “Lego Movie” character. Here we learn that we’re going to an invention convention with a contest to determine a master builder. It’s also where we are introduced to the tripledecker flying couch concept, an upgrade from the doubledecker one seen in the film.
I appreciated the knowing, nearly self-mocking references to “awesome” (as is “everything is …”) and “awesomer” in the attraction, and I was amused by the brief “Where Are My Pants?” segment.
In the first few days of operation, hourlong waits to board Masters of Flight were not unusual, a Legoland Florida spokesman said. One section of the queue features a Lego pit where kids can play while their adults continue the back-and-forth motion associated with park lines.
That’s one of the techniques and strategies that the Winter Haven park uses to please its target audience, the 2- to 12-year-old demographic and, by extension, their parents.
Kids should be drawn to Unikitty Disco Drop. It’s a carnival-style ride – eight bouncy seats surrounding a center pole – built to look like the movie character. But the attraction, like Unikitty herself, has its ups and downs, reacting to the character’s moods. It makes for an unpredictable trip if you’re on the ride. (Folks up there, who get a unique view of the park, were more likely to be laughing by the randomness of it all than to be screaming in fear.)
If you’re on the ground, you can tell by looking at Unikitty’s head, a rectangular screen about 30 feet up. Her digital expressions match her current mood and motion.
Battle of Bricksburg is a revamp of the park’s Quest for Chi ride, which closed last May. The ride system, rail and vehicles – an eightperson boat with onboard water cannons — are the same. The attraction has been rethemed to include gigantic Duplo alien figures. Riders aim for targets, which create special (translation: watery) effects.
Spectators can get in on the action with a few water cannons on dry land. They’re free, but they’re also within a splash zone Unikitty Disco Drop reflects the movie character’s mood at Lego Movie World at Legoland Florida in Winter Haven.
for the Bricksburg ride. (Note that many people aboard the ride get very wet.)
Lego Movie World also includes a taco place, retail space, a designated meetand-greet area for characters and Benny’s Play Ship, a space travel-inspired playground with a 30-foot twisty slide.
Other notes from Lego Movie World
■ The land is populated by Lego figures from the “Lego Movie” universe, including the menacing Micromanager and Crazy Cat Lady. Additional figures, such as the Duplo aliens, are made to look like huge versions of the characters. The big “blocks” are
25 times bigger than a Lego brick.
■ Legoland is selling a package called Early Access to Awesome, an unguided experience through Lego Movie World that starts 90 minutes before the park Noah, 13, and Tucker Shimel, 9, of Apopka, enjoy the Battle of Bricksburg ride.
opens. It includes goodies such as meet and greets, lanyards with credentials, a Lego Movie set and breakfast bar. The cost, in addition to park admission, is
$74.99 ($69.99 for ages 3 through 12).
■ Lego Movie World wait times are posted on digital
boards near ride entrances. The boards were placed throughout the theme park a few months ago. They also share the wait times for other major Legoland attractions, and those estimates are synced up with the park’s app.
■ Although Legoland
theme parks around the world have similarities and share ride concepts, Lego Movie World at Legoland Florida is the first of its kind globally.