You’ll remember we were one of the first to speak about the new additions to Legoland Florida Resort. Here is an update so you can look forward to the grand opening of Ninjago World.
Central Florida’s littlest ninjas will learn how to fight evil Jan. 12 when Ninjago World opens as the latest addition at Legoland Florida Resort.
Set on 3 acres at the north end of the park between Lego City and Coastersaurus, the world will include Ninjago The Ride, manufactured by Triotech, a Canada-based company that makes media-based, interactive attractions.
“Lego Ninjago World is an incredible addition to our park,” resort general manager Adrian Jones said Friday, a day before Legoland Florida’s fifth anniversary. “One that offers amazing experiences that wouldn’t actually have been possible because of the technology five years ago.”
The dark ride will feature Maestro hand-gesture technology, which enables guests to control the game with their hands — and without the need for a hand-held device.
With high-tech sensors, riders will use hand movements in a striking motion to act like ninja warriors Kai, Jay, Cole and Zane, the main characters of the Ninjago line. Riders will be scored and collect points during the four-minute ride.
Jones said the ride’s technology is not being used at any other Central Florida theme park.
The new Ninjago World also includes a fully-developed courtyard where guests can train and practice their ninja moves before even entering the ride’s line. Training areas include a rock-climbing wall and a station where guests can test their reflexes, said Rex Jackson, the resort’s director of marketing & sales.
“We did the design to be as family-friendly as possible,” said Jackson. “Allowing the most people access to the ride.”
The courtyard will also include a character meet-and-greet with Ninjago character Nya, which will be the first introduction of the costumed character to a Legoland park.
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Park officials led a hard hat tour of the expansion Friday, showing the completed shell of the building with ductwork visible overhead. The ride’s track has been assembled and some of its theming has been installed.
Jones said crews are ahead of schedule and all the necessary parts are on site.
“When you start seeing theming on the wall, that’s a good sign,” he joked.
Ninjago World is just one expansion of the park planned to open in 2017.
Other expansions include the mid-year opening of the Legoland Beach Retreat being built across the street from the main park at Lake Dexter. The new accommodations will double the amount of rooms available for guests wanting to stay at the theme park built with children ages 2-12 in mind.
When the park opened in 2011 on the former grounds of Cypress Gardens, leaders promised Legoland Florida would expand on an annual basis.
Legoland revealed its plans a day after the park and hotel were evacuated to investigate a fake bomb threat. Jones wouldn’t comment on the threat other than thanking resort staff and applauding the Winter Haven Police Department, which is still investigating the incident.
Since opening, the park has resulted in nearly $1 billion in economic activity for the area, said Jones, citing research by James Farrell, an associate professor of finance and economics at Florida Southern College.
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Additionally, the park created 1,600 new jobs for the region and $63 million in state and local tax revenue between 2010 and 2015, according to Farrell’s research.
“There were a lot of naysayers when we came here,” Jones said.