The new five-story, 152-room Legoland Hotel, located less than 100 steps from the Winter Haven theme park, opened with a bang Friday when hundreds of Lego mini figures were shot out of a cannon from the roof of the hotel, drifting via parachute to waiting kids below.
The kids, after all, are the customers here.
More than just kid-friendly, the hotel feels built for little ones. From the Whoopee Cushion in the carpet by the elevator (a gag that never gets old) to the kid-height towel hooks, buffet line and check-in desk, adults are merely here to hand over the credit card.
Legoland, which found that 80 percent of its out-of-town visitors were making day trips from their stays in Orlando, is banking on its Polk County location becoming a destination of its own.
Room rates are as low as $179 online depending on when you visit; they were running for $249 a night when the hotel opened its doors Friday.
Standard suites come with a separate room with bunk beds and its own TV. Upon check-in, kids are given a treasure hunt card that gives them a code to unlock a treasure chest in the room with Lego trinkets inside.
The hotel has more than 2 million Lego bricks in various constructions around the complex. Perched on the entrance is a 15-foot-tall Lego dragon with real puffs of smoke huffing out of its green brick nostrils every half hour.
In the lobby is a castle play area and a pirate ship, complete with a blimp and a moat filled with Lego bricks.
Bricks Family Restaurant has a buffet station built at kid level, 18 inches shorter than the typical buffet shelf height. Sky Line Lounge offers a bar for the adults and dishes like shrimp and grits, grilled salmon and watermelon, and a feta and spinach salad.
There's a Master Model Builder Workshop on the first floor where guests will learn how to build Lego models from the experts, offering several sessions a day to guests for free. This is the first Legoland Hotel in the world with this feature inside the hotel.
This is the first East Coast Legoland Hotel from parent company Merlin Entertainments, the name behind Madame Tussauds, the London Eye and the newly opened Orlando Eye observation wheel.