The world’s first Lego-themed waterpark opened on May 28. Legoland Water Park, part of the Legoland California Resort, represents the largest expansion in the history of Carlsbad-based park.
“The concept of a Legoland Water Park has been brewing for years we were just waiting for the right opportunity,” declares Legoland California general manager Peter Ronchetti. “After months of designing and planning and building, it is thrilling to finally see children enjoying it.”
Design of the 5.5-acre facility began more than 18 months ago after guest surveys indicated that a waterpark would be a popular addition to the California resort. Built with a $12 million investment by owner Merlin Entertainments, the finished product is geared at families with children aged two to 12 years.
“Our design team imagined what a child would make if they were asked to build a waterpark out of Lego, then we made that with replica Lego elements 32 times larger than the real ones,” explains Legoland California model shop supervisor Tim Petsche. In total Petsche and his team installed 22 Lego models throughout the park. Legoland’s project manager was Mike Pastor. Theming was supplied by Storyland Studios and WhiteWater West.
Located at the north end of the existing park, adjacent to Fun Town, Legoland Water Park is available as a $10/12 upgrade to the standard admission, depending on whether guests pre-book or pay on the gate. A “resort Hopper” ticket is also available, allowing admission to Legoland, the waterpark and neighbouring Sea Life aquarium.
Featured attractions include Orange Rush, a 312ft-long (95-metre) family tube slide where up to four people can ride together on an 11ft (3.3-metre) diameter half pipe. Twin Chasers is a pair of enclosed red tube slides stretching nearly 130ft (40-metres). Splash Out is a 240ft-long (73-metres) open body slide. All slides were supplied by WhiteWater West. The Build-A-Raft River, an 850ft-long lazy river, features five oversized Lego characters that soak guests during the ride. There’s also a mini lazy river, Kid Creek, built with younger guests in mind.
“Build-A-Raft River is a perfect example of using Lego theming with a traditional waterpark feature,” explains Legoland California’s Julie Estrada. “We took an inner tube and customised it with a base plate allowing children to build on it with soft Lego bricks, making each ride unique. This is unique to our waterpark and we are getting great feedback.”
Joker Soaker is an interactive platform where kids can aim water cannons at each other, or prepare themselves for a soaking beneath a Lego model showering 350 gallons of water. Duplo Splash Safari, a water play area for toddlers, comes complete with three small slides and interactive Duplo creatures. Combining interactivity, education, imagination and fun, Imagination Station by Funtraptions is perfectly in keeping with Legoland’s product offer.
Kids can build bridges, create dams and build Duplo cities, while controlling the flow of water throughout the attraction. They can also make music using Aqua Tune, a musical instrument with holes that squirt out water. When children cover the holes, a note is played.Food and drink is available from the Beach Front Grill.
There are also 11 cabanas available for private hire, starting at $129 for a half-day rental. Each cabana can be used by up to eight people and comes stocked with drinks and beach towels. The waterpark features 600 lockers, plus a family dryer.
The Next Chapter
According to Legoland California’s Julie Estrada, the park will be gauging capacity and collecting guest feedback before proceeding with any expansion of the waterpark. She does not, however rule out the possibility of the concept being extended to other Merlin properties: “Merlin is expanding rapidly in North America, including Legoland Florida, which opens in the fall of 2011. There is a good possibility that a Legoland Water Park will be added to that park in years to come.”