Legoland Is Coming To Florida

2011 promises to be a great year for Central Florida as we are about to add a new member to our theme-park club: Legoland.

Merlin Entertainments Group, the British amusement operator that bought Cypress Gardens for $22.3 million , has announced plans to convert the old Polk County attraction into a theme park based on Lego toy-building blocks.

Legoland is one of about a dozen brands owned by Merlin, whose other holdings include Madame Tussauds wax museums, Alton Towers Resort and the London Eye. The company is the second-busiest amusement-park operator in the world, behind the Walt Disney Co., with combined attendance of about 35 million people.

Merlin is owned by the Blackstone Group, the private-equity giant that bought Orlando-based SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment last fall for about $2.5 billion. Blackstone also co-owns Universal Orlando alongside NBC Universal.

The new park promises to be a full day, year round theme park experience geared towards families with children between the ages of 2 and 12. The focus at Legoland will be on engaging children in interactive things and will essentially mirror the concept at the four other successful Legoland Parks in Denmark, Germany, UK and California.

It’s going to be a welcome addition and if it mirrors the success of the California park in particular, recently voted the country’s best children’s theme park for the sixth consecutive time by “Amusement Today”, then we have a treat in store for all kids and their parents.

Legoland Florida will be the biggest Legoland Park ever opened and will offer a mix of more than 50 rides, shows and attractions, including large Lego models and other interactive elements. We’re not sure of an actual opening date just yet but we’re led to believe it will be towards the end of 2011. Check back regularly for updates… bring it on!

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