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These are renderings from the park's Castle Hill section, which will be new construction at the park. The castle will be home to the Dragon indoor-outdoor roller coaster. To repeat my favorite quote from yesterday's media briefing, general manager Adrian Jones said, "There's a perception in Central Florida that you have to build a castle in order to have a successful theme park. ... So we built one."
OK, let's examine the ticket situation. Pre-sales have begun on single-day tickets and annual passes. They can be purchased at www.LegolandFloridaResort.com.
These prices are good through Dec. 31, 2010 (and they are all "plus tax").
A single-day ticket is $65 for adults, $55 for ages 3-12, $55 for ages 60 and older, free for under age 3. The post-Dec. 31 goes up $10. (Note that at other area theme parks, the adult price kicks in earlier -- at age 10.)
A standard annual pass will be $99 through Dec. 31, no matter if you're adult or child. It includes unlimited admission to Legoland Florida from the time it opens in October 2011 and through all of 2012. That's probably 14 or 15 months for the price of 12 months. The standard annual pass doesn't include parking. (NOTE: There will be a parking fee, but Legoland says it hasn't been set yet. Cypress Gardens was charging $7.)
A "plus annual pass" runs $159 for adults, $129 for children and seniors, is good for Oct. 2011-Dec. 2012 and DOES include parking, plus food and merchandise discounts.
And the "ambassador pass," which grants admission to Legoland Florida for life, goes for $2,500. It includes preferred parking, special events, discounts on food and merch plus something called "exclusive model builder" session, according to the website.
The annual passes and the lifetime pass include the LEGOLAND newsletter and invites to special events.
There will be two-day tickets and front-of-line passes, said director of sales and marketing Kim Isemann, but prices for those have not been posted. It's also going to work on deals with Cypress Gardens ticketholders, she said. Legoland is reaching out to some (unspecified) competitors about bundling ticket offers.
WHAT WILL BE THERE
The park will be divided into sections called The Beginning, Fun Town, Miniland USA, Castle Hill, Land of Adventure, XTreme, LEGO City, Imagination Zone, Pirate's Cove and DUPLO Village.
The Beginning includes ticket sales, the Garden Restaurant, The Market (pastries, yogurt, ice cream) and The Big Shop, a retail outlet for Lego merchandise.
Fun Town is the area formerly known as the Cypress Gardens Village. It will include the Studio Store for Lego licensed products (think Star Wars and Indiana Jones), the Factory Tour (formerly the radio museum), the 700-seat Fun Town Theater with four 4-D movies and an outlet for Granny's Apple Fries (crisp Granny Smith apples with cinnamon and sugar and vanilla cream sauce for dipping.)
Miniland USA is the trademark, scaled-down Lego version of U.S. cities. It will include Washington D.C. ( White House, U.S. Capitol, Washington Monument, Jefferson Monument, parts of Georgetown), New York City (Rockefeller Plaza, Times Square, Statue of Liberty, Grand Central Station, Guggenheim Museum, Bronx Zoo and the not-yet-built-in-real-life Freedom Tower), Las Vegas (several landmark casinos, a wedding chapel) and Florida ( Kennedy Space Center, Daytona International Speedway, Bok Tower, Mallory Square in Key West, antebellum mansions of the Panhandle.) There will also be a pirate-themed area in Miniland.
Castle Hill features The Dragon, the coaster within the Legoland Castle, and the Royal Joust, where kids ride Lego horses and compete in "a simulated joust," according to the press release.
Land of Adventure includes the Coastersaurus (nee Triple Hurricane), a dark ride with laser gun, an attraction that fires foam balls and a small launch ride.
XTreme puts guests on Lego Technic Test Track to demonstrate acceleration and braking plus the Aquazone Wave Racers (water blasters and a carousel ride combo).
In Lego City, guests can visit Fun Town Fire Academy, Driving School (kids age 6-13 get an official Legoland driver license), Junior Driving School (ages 3-5) Flight School (retooled inverted coaster from Cypress Gardens) and "The Big Test" show.
Imagination Zone is the educational area with video-game stations, building and racing Lego cars, computerized Lego robots and the Kid Power Towers, where kids and adults hoist themselves to the top of a tower for a view of the park and Lake Eloise.
DUPLO Village is an area for toddlers.
"Pirate's Cove" is the water-stunt show. Although "mood boards" shown to illustrate the attraction included jet-ski vehicles, official were cagey about whether there would be traditional water skiing. The show is still in the "experimental stage."
In from the Cypress Garden days is the Island in the Sky, to be rethemed into the "Flying Island."
The botanical gardens remain. Some of the infrastructure, such as bridges, is being repaired, and the landscape is being maintained. Although there's rumor that the actual gardens will retain the Cypress Gardens moniker, they are being called the botanical gardens to prevent confusion with the old attraction "for right now," said John Jakobsen, managing director of Legoland Parks.
Not quite as in ... the Southern Belles. "Let's just say we'll have Southern Bells," general manager Adrian Jones said. But will they be real ladies or Lego ladies? Stay tuned.
Back in January, I talked with Los Angeles Times Funland blogger Brady MacDonald about California's Legoland. Click here to read details about the Legoland Park.