by Donald Anthony
There is a new theme park in the Orlando area and however the name is said, it means "just come down and visit!"
The location is the site of the old Cypress Gardens so the older GPS or Maps would be better at finding the location it under that name. Location signage is also clear most probably also due to this prior use. There are five of these Lego themed parks in the world and this is the second in the US. However the company history while interesting is not the point of this article. The sole focus is whether the park fulfills its purpose of “amusing its clients” and thereby, hopefully, making money. Perhaps breaking down the focus group is needed. Since kids generally like to just be with their parents, buy things and eat a lot, the park does fill those needs. So in the interest of research, I ate the pizza, ice cream and snacks through the park. It was fresh and good and the wait staff was pleasant, friendly and helpful. Ok then, it that it will be adults that have to be kept entertained, fed and offered enough quality items to buy that will keep the park in the black and open. Please note that while the park is themed for youngsters and their families, it appears that the park supplies enough of a variety of top quality food and amusements to keep the adults hooked. Maybe they figured out that since more grandparents are raising children they are the ones who understand that Legos lend themselves to a physical creativity that computers don’t. It’s the individual creativity that the children want.
I met a couple who already discovered that the second coffee seller on the right tastes better because it’s cheaper than the first right by the front gate. This Brooklyn Italian really did like the Pizza at the
What separates LEGOLAND from the other parks in the area? LEGOLAND is designed to appeal to the 2 to 12 year old demographic; some LEGOLAND amusements are interactive between the adults and their children, others are designed particularly for the age of the child. The “Driver’s License” program, for example, has individual programs separated between the younger kids and the older ones. Each having the “just right” sized cars and street instruction. For family interaction, the “Rescue Server” uses pumper trucks and a make believe building fire to get the family working together. Sort of a team building exercise for families.
Since there are no hotels on the LEGOLAND site, they have a working relationship with some local hotels. This is called the Breakfast and Brick program, where ticket packages are sold at a reduced rate along with transportation from that hotel to LEGOLAND.
The Nickelodeon Hotel is designed along the same general lines as the park as to the age demographic and parent child interaction but they do offer a special amenity where all meals can be designed around food allergies. In the reservation package the client lets the hotel the allergies and upon registration the chief will contact the parents to fully understand the nature of the allergy.
The prices are actually somewhat less than the biggest parks for a day ticket. It is competitive for the yearly pass that many have purchased if only to take an a daily walk through the Cypress Gardens section.
I spoke to one family who said their children use the computer but play with Legos. Their response was very intense. There is a time for work and a time for play. I spoke to several more visitors and the answer was generally the same: the kids love to play with Legos. I even checked at my local Legos store and there the place was filled. The Marlin Company has hit on a winning idea.
A starting tradition of the moment is that when a staff nametag has a mini-person on it they are obliged to trade it. So be advised to carry a “tradeable” figure. The staff is very creative with theirs. And this creativity is worked into their jobs with a happy greeting for all visitors and a wonderful attitude on the job.
Being a contemporary park, the handicapped access is right up-to-date with staff willing to go the extra mile to get everybody aboard.
For a visitor the website at www.LEGOLAND.COM is the best place to start your vacation.