LEGOLAND Florida Bringing New Experiences in 2024
Since opening in 2011, LEGOLAND has consistently added new experiences and attractions to draw in new Guests and create returning visitors. In the past year alone, they have debuted the first solo Peppa Pig theme park and the Pirate River Quest boat ride that takes Guests through the Cypress Gardens’ waterways. As someone who grew up going to the park when it used to be just Cypress Gardens, I can say LEGOLAND has done phenomenal work with the space. They have grown and expanded on the land in ways that many locals wouldn’t have thought was possible, all while managing to maintain the integrity and heart of the original park.
Ferrari Build & Race
Now, in 2024, they will be introducing two new attractions to the space. First, the all-new LEGO Ferrari Build & Race will be opening in the spring of 2024. Similar to it’s sister location in LEGOLAND California and LEGOLAND Windsor, the Ferrari Build & Race will give Guests the chance to build and test their own racecar in an interactive play area.
Guests will be welcomed by the “Pit Crew”, who will quiz them on Ferrari specific trivia and racing history. LEGO race-themed merchandise and prizes will be available. Here’s hoping a Charles Leclerc minifigure will be up for grabs. The Formula 1 driver has yet to be immortalized in LEGO form like his predecessors Sebastian Vettel, Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello – despite being Ferrari’s “il Predestinato” and one of the most recognizable names in the motorsport currently.
After leaving the Pit Crew, Guests will enter the Garage. Here, Guests will get the chance to construct and test their racecars. Guests can unleash their creativity when crafting their cars from the provided LEGO. Younger visitors don’t have to miss out on the action either, as DUPLO blocks will be supplied to those little racers who might not yet be ready for the fast track. Once the cars are constructed, they can start to burn rubber on three separate racetracks that will offer their own unique set of obstacles, difficulties, and challenges on their quest to achieve the fastest lap time.
The final area of this experience will include a digital component that allows Guests to construct cars for a virtual racetrack. Here, racers can design and personalize a digital Ferrari. Similar to the three previously mentioned tracks, virtual cars will go through a series of obstacles and testing. Guests can also construct a digital scan of their car, which will allow them to race against each other in a virtual circuit. Using state-of-the-art digital projection, the cars will be projected onto a LEGO racetrack modeled after Ferrari’s Pista di Fiorano - the privately owned circuit in Maranello, Italy where Ferrari Formula 1 cars, racecars and road cars are tested and developed.
The attraction sounds like a great addition to the theme park that already features similar attractions, like the Ford Driving School, that are meant to educate young drivers while also engaging them and allowing their imaginations to run wild.
Sea Life Florida
Additionally, in the fall of 2024, an all-new aquarium will open just outside the gates of LEGOLAND Florida. SEA LIFE Florida will feature interactive exhibits centered on marine life and oceanic exploration. The aquarium will be owned and operated by Merlin Entertainment, who also operate the LEGOLAND parks as well as the SEA LIFE Aquarium found in Orlando, Florida.
Little is known about the aquarium at this time. According to Merlin Entertainment’s CEO, Scott O’Neil, it will “feel” different from the Orlando location and feature sea creatures and animals that are indigenous to the Central Florida area.
The addition of the aquarium to the LEGOLAND property, in a way, does feel like a strengthening of roots to the original Cypress Gardens park. Originally nothing more than marshland, Cypress Gardens was the dream of Dick Pope Sr. and his wife Julie, who wished to build a space that would attract Guests and visitors to Winter Haven, Florida. The couple rebuilt and beautified the canals and chain of lakes in Winter Haven, then went on to build a dream garden. The focus was on enhancing the beauty of the space, working with it, not through it – as was seen in the canal walkways Mr. Pope built that meandered through the cypress trees. An aquarium meant to draw Guests into the world under the sea, immerse them in the rich beauty and diversity found in the Central Florida waters, seems to be right in the vein of the true heart of Cypress Gardens itself.
To keep up to date with the progress of the Ferrari Build & Race experience and the SEA LIFE Florida, check out the Tickets2You blog!
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