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  1. Arts & Entertainment

Legoland Florida to add World of Chima themed area

WINTER HAVEN — Legoland Florida is opening a new themed area based on Legends of Chima, an upcoming Cartoon Network show about dueling animal tribes.

The World of Chima will center around an interactive water ride experience, the Quest for Chi, in which riders fire water cannons from aboard a watercraft to help their hero, Laval the Lion Prince, defeat Cragger the Crocodile King.

The expansion announced Tuesday is one of the centerpieces of the new Chima brand, which includes a Lego product line that came out in January. The TV show premiered on Cartoon Network in January and will debut as a series this summer.

Legoland Florida general manager Adrian Jones said that World of Chima marks the first time any park has rolled out an attraction, product line and TV series at the same time. In customer surveys, the Legends of Chima Legos scored higher than other product launches, including Ninjago, another Lego product line and show on Cartoon Network.

World of Chima will add 2 million Lego bricks to the park, mostly in the form of the large animal characters representing the different tribes battling for the all-powerful energy source known as Chi. In addition to firing water from the ride, guests who don't want to get wet will be able to shoot cannons from the shore.

The 5-acre expansion will also have a Speedorz Arena, where guests can build and try out the Lego rip cord toys, and a meet-and-greet area with Chima characters.

Legoland's theater will show an 18-minute 4-D movie about the land of Chima with 3-D technology, simulated wind and water sprayers. The movie will start in April in anticipation of the World of Chima opening sometime in July.

World of Chima will be the only attraction of its kind for Legoland's British parent company, Merlin Entertainment, which also has Legoland parks in California, Europe and Asia.

As the presenting partner of the themed area, the Cartoon Network will have a major presence in the park, with screens throughout the park showing network content.

Legoland Florida opened in 2011 on the former site of Cypress Gardens and has 50 rides, shows and attractions designed for families with children ages 2 to 12. Last year, it added a water park.

Susan Thurston can be reached at or (813) 225-3110.