Theme Park, Amusement Park and Attractions Industry News

Merlin goes pirate crazy!


Pirates are an enduring theme for parks and attractions across the globe and this season Merlin Entertainments is introducing them to even more of its properties.

Pirate’s Landing at Legoland Windsor near London (pictured) is the latest Pirate-themed area at a Lego park, following installations in Denmark, Germany and California. Situated between Knights’ Kingdom and Land of the Vikings, the new look area has been created by re-themig several existing attractions and adding Jolly Rocker, an 18-metre-high Pirate Ship by Huss (pictured below).

Jolly Rocker, which previously operated at sister park Chessington World of Adventures, has been equipped with a set of themed pneumatic control gates courtesy of Garmendale Engineering Ltd (GEL). Built to meet Merlin’s rigorous safety standards, they are tough and reliable, capable or working continuously in all locations and conditions.

Pirate Falls Dynamite Drench, the park’s 19-boat Log Flume, now features added effects, while Pirates Training Camp is a multi-level wood and rope play area.. Spread throughout Pirate’s Landing are almost 50 new Lego models, featuring nearly 80,000 toy bricks.

Special events planned for the remainder of the season include a Legoland Live! show on July 17 and 18, Amazing Machines featuring Thomas the Tank engine on September 11 and 12, plus the annual end-of-season firework finale for three weekends starting October 23. Big things are planned at Legoland Windsor in the coming years, including the park’s first on-site hotel due to open in 2012. Pirate-themed areas already exist at two other Merlin’s parks in the UK, Mutiny Bay at Alton Towers and Pirates Cove at Chessington World of Adventure.

At Heide Park in Northern Germany, Bucht der Totenkopfpiraten (Skull Pirates’ Bay) features theming by TAA (Theming & Animatronic Industries), plus a new interactive boat ride by Mack. TAA landed the contract after retheming the park’s Maya Valley area in 2009.

ToPiLauLa-Schlacht (the water ride) invites guests to fire water cannons at other passengers and spectators and features a 20-metre-long shipwreck, which guests pass through in the queue line. Heavy cannons, real wooden planks and an impressive figurehead on the bow create a convincing effect.

Heide Park’s old stunt show arena now has also been rethemed in keeping with the new pirate area. Based around the backdrop of a boat, TAA has added authentic looking windows and doors, decorated many of the props used by the show’s performers and added new effects. The boat’s 11-metre-tall mast is visible throughout many areas of the park.

Bucht der Totenkopfpiraten will be expanded further in 2011, as Heide Park spends €10 million on an attraction new to the German market.

Pictured below: ToPiLauLa-Schlacht at Heide Park.

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