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Local Themepark Continues to Expand, Developing New Attractions for Guests

January 18, 2024 News

LEGOLAND Florida Resort is preparing to open an aquarium and a Ferrari “build” area in 2024, and the excitement is building.  

President Frank Idris said Sea Life Aquarium will open in the fall of 2024. “It’s a proven benefit across other resorts,” Idris said, “and it further supports resort positioning that all of our major attractions have been and will continue to focus on our strategic growth plan. We are giving overnight visitors more reasons to stay longer. Here and in California, we are multi-day destinations. 

Idris was the vice president of LEGOLAND California Resort before moving to Florida. He said visitors could not experience everything at LEGOLAND in one day, and probably not two. With Peppa Pig Theme Park and the water park, “Some are challenged to do them in three days. The uniqueness of LEGO theme parks versus others in any location is the interactivity options you have.” 

Sea Life pairs well with the LEGOLAND division of Merlin Entertainments, he said, attracting families with children in the 2 to 12 age range. “Our aquariums are very purposefully designed for capturing that young imagination. There is a lot of conservation messaging, but in a fun way. It’s not the typical, scientific-oriented messaging you will find at other aquariums. We make the educational experience more fun,” 

NEW LEGOLAND ATTRACTION – SEA LIFE

The site for Sea Life – right inside the current entrance – has already been cleared, and construction was set to begin in December 2023.  The main entrance will be reconfigured to accommodate the new attraction. 

Sea Life will have a separate gate entrance, although Idris knows from his California experience that about 95% of visitors will likely buy bundled park-hopper tickets.  

Globally, 46 LEGOLAND attractions have aquariums; 10 are in the United States. All have relatively the same footprint. The single level attraction will be big enough to hold expected attendance – and a 200,000 gallon oceanic tank in the center of the building that will be segmented into three oceans.

“The species will be indigenous to those regions, like sharks, octopus and groupers – which are fun to watch. There will be unique species that we know will grab a lot of attention from young visitors.”  

Surrounding that will be 24 more tanks with digital touch screens that will offer simple information with highlights and fun facts for each species, along with conservation efforts.  

“There will also be a bubble experience – basically an inverted bubble so children can pop their heads in and see the aquarium from the inside,” Idris said, and a “pretty good size tidal pool where visitors can interact with crustaceans that are in there.” 

But visitors will not be allowed to touch the stingrays. “As part of the Sea Life initiative, and the conservation and welfare division, which ensures exhibits are up to the highest standard, we don’t allow touching so we don’t have to remove their poisonous spike, which causes a lot of stress on the animal.” 

LEGOLAND PARK EXPANSION – FERRARI BUILD & RACE 

LEGOLAND teamed up with car manufacturer Ferrari in 2022, when it opened its first build experience in California. This will be the fourth location to have the exhibit, and Idris expects all locations to include one in the coming years.  

The site will include a full-size Ferrari built from LEGOs, but no one will know what car is being built until a big reveal early next year. “Each LEGOLAND will have a different car. The one in California is a Ferrari F40.” 

Why Ferrari? “It’s a powerful brand, not as powerful as LEGO, but it’s right up there in the top five brands,” he said. “Co-branding will bring strength to each brand, and more visibility. We have a lot of commonalities – we both pursue perfection and excellence. Our founder once said: ‘Only the best is good enough.’ Ferrari has the same mindset. It’s all about handcrafted and perfection. They view their vehicles as works of art.” 

The attraction, set to open in spring 2024, will give visitors a chance to build their own cars and race them in an interactive play area.  

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