Bite-sized Lego fun
Following the opening of the latest outlet on July 31, Merlin Entertainments can now boast a trio of Legoland Discovery Centres. Park World takes a peak at the new facilities in Germany and the USA.
These undercover attractions, based around Merlin’s tried and tested “Midway” format (think Sea Life and the Dungeons), allow families to enjoy the Legoland experience in bite-sized form. The average visit, for example, is around three hours. The first outlet opened last year in Berlin, joined this May by a second German venue in Duisburg and now the first Legoland Discovery Centre in America, at the Streets of Woodfield shopping centre in Schaumburg near Chicago.
Mike Pastor, manager of the Schaumburg facility, expects the attractions to stimulate interest in the main Legoland parks: “We provide the same experience on a smaller scale and are a taste of what guests could see in the Legoland parks,” he tells Park World. “We also have information available for the different parks and may even work with a group who books trips to the California park.”
Each Discovery Centre features activities including hands-on play and life-sized Lego adventures including a dragon ride, adventure trail and 4D cinema. Additional features include Lego-building opportunities including dedicated Lego Girls and Duplo play areas, plus birthday party rooms, a Lego café and of course the all important Lego shop.
According to Pastor, the Schaumburg and Duisburg venues differ slightly in their make-up. “The layout [in Schaumburg] is more circular. The first floor is linear but once you reach the top floor, guests can go any direction they would like. We will also be having superheroes that are more recognisable to the public than actual figures of real people. And our café also serves Chicago-style food.”
Merlin is already exploring potential sites for further Legoland Discovery Centres and has already revealed plans for a second US outlet at the Xanadu complex in New Jersey.