Legoland announced big expansions to the Winter Haven theme park and resort Tuesday, with the goal of making the kid-centric park a major player in the Florida vacation scene.
The park will add a large family resort area, night entertainment, a themed area with a ride and a 4D theater experience, all with predecessors inside and outside of the brand.
The final project to debut will be the largest. The Legoland Beach Retreat, scheduled to open in mid 2017, is an extension to the Legoland Resort, which opened in 2015.
The new retreat will feature 83 single-story duplex buildings designed to look like Lego homes near Lake Dexter on the resort property. The 166 guest rooms will sleep up to five people each and the new area features kid amenities such as a sandy play area and a buffet style restaurant. Transport to and from the park will be included in the stay.
Creative Cove featuring Build-A-Boat has already opened as an addition to Legoland's water park. The new activity center lets kids build their own floating crafts based on the Lego City Coast Guard sets and race them down small, rapid rivers. For the parents, the water park also added complimentary Wi-Fi to give the big kids something to do while the littles play in supervised areas.
New and popular TV shows and sets were the basis for two of the new diversions, Lego Nexo Knights 4D: The Book of Creativity, which opens May 26, and Lego Ninjago World, slated for early 2017.
Knights will be the park's second 4D theater experience after the winter rollout of The Lego Movie 4D. It promises to bring the same elements of 4D (wind, water) to a new 12-minute film about the five Nexo Knights fighting their enemy, Jestro, for control of a book that gives its possessor great power.
Ninjago Land will be the second themed area, joining The World of Chima, to focus on a specific Lego brand with a corresponding TV show. Many of the attractions will focus on Eastern themes and martial arts to match the series bent.
The centerpiece will be Lego Ninjago the Ride, akin to the Universal Studios Orlando's Men in Black, an attraction that takes riders in four-seat vehicles through dojos. They compete by shooting animated fireballs, ice and lightning at targets and collecting points. It's designed by Montreal's Triotech, which has previously worked with California's Knott's Berry Farm.
As an added incentive to stay the night, on weekends from June 18 until July 31, Legoland Resort will host a Ninjago-themed firework show above Lake Eloise, extend the park hours, hold additional master model builder building classes and add late evening character meet and greets.
The five announcements correspond with the fifth anniversary of the park, which took over the property of Florida's famed Cypress Gardens in 2011.