Today a major expansion was announced for Legoland Florida - a new area of the park will be opened this Summer called The World of Chima, and will be presented by Cartoon Network. Almost a mini-land, the World of Chima will feature one large water ride, a character meet and greet area, and an interactive Speedorz Arena.
Legoland Florida's Chima themed expansion will coincide with the Lego brand of the same name debuting a major new product line and a new animated show to air on Cartoon Network. Legoland Florida will be the only place in the world that fans can go to be fully immersed in The World of Chima.
“This is the first time a theme park has invested in a major expansion concurrently with the rollout of a new brand and product line, and it was an easy decision based on how well Lego Legends of Chima has been received by children and those who are young at heart around the world,” said Legoland Florida General Manager Adrian Jones. “This is also a reflection of the overall success of the park, which has already enabled us to open a new Water Park and build multiple new attractions during the past 18 months.”
Given the detail apparent in this concept art of the World of Chima entrance area, the amount of theming is going to be top notch. "Guests will enter The World of Chima through a fantastical stone and moss covered entrance which leads to the Lion Temple at the base of the majestic 45-foot tall floating Mount Cavora."
When I first looked at this concept are I figured that floating island was just in the imagination of the person who drew this, but no, it really will be hovering 45 feet above the area! How neat!
Here is a wonderful aerial view of the entire expansion. The main ride of the area is an interactive splash battle style attraction, named The Quest for CHI. CHI is the magical power source in the World of Chima, of which the highly advanced animal tribes are battling over. As for what will be featured on the ride, the park's press release details that nicely.
"Guests will explore a diverse landscape setting and join the Lion Tribe in an epic battle to recover the stolen CHI orbs. Guests will board a watercraft which will take them on an interactive experience using water cannons to help their hero, Laval the Lion Prince, defeat Cragger the Crocodile King as he attempts to steal the precious supply of CHI."
The release continues, "the journey will take them through the land of Chima where they will meet some of the highly advanced animal tribal habitats, including the Rhino Quarry, Raven’s Roost, Eagle’s Nest, Wolves Encampment, Gorilla Forest and Crocodile Swamp among other imaginative settings."
It looks like the load and unload areas will be inside a building, providing potential for an even thicker layer of theming. The above rendering of a ride vehicle from the Quest for CHI shows off the attraction's interactive nature - each rider will be armed with their own water gun to blast at targets and perhaps people along the way.
This is a drawing of the Speedorz Arena, the seen on the left on the aerial view above. Described in the release, it is a "super-charged, super-fast Speedorz Arena where multiple players build their Lego Speedorz and compete to win the precious supply of CHI by participating in group challenges and competing in a series of obstacles."
An adjacent character meet and greet area will allow guests to see Laval the Lion Prince and Cragger the Crocodile King during the day. While not technically inside the World of Chima expansion, Legoland Florida will also open a new Lego Chima 4D Movie Xperience film experience based off the characters and their world.
One final shot from today's announcements of the actual construction site. Work is well underway, you an see some of the area's structures rising in the background. I also see some familiar faces in the crowd from the announcements, many other website writers were there!
As for where the expansion is being built inside the park, it will be in the shaded area above - just behind the main entrance area. I believe this was a large outdoor concert area when the park was Cypress Gardens. The Chima theme replaces a highly rumored Pirate theme, though if you look at those submitted plans you can see how the basic design was still used.
I'm still so happy to see the park thriving overall, after many naysayers said its location was just too remote to work. I can't wait to see how the finished World of Chima turns out - it certainly looks to have the potential to be quite impressive!