Legoland California is a theme park, miniature park, and aquarium[2] located in Carlsbad, California, based on the Lego toy brand. Opening on March 20, 1999, it was the third Legoland park to open,[3] and the first outside Europe. The park is currently owned by Merlin Entertainments, which took a controlling interest in 2005.[4] A second park in the United States, Legoland Florida, opened in 2011.


Entrance to Legoland California

The Legoland California Resort currently encompasses the original park, a Lego-themed Sea Life Aquarium (opened in 2008), a Lego-themed water park (opened in 2010, with a Lego Chima expansion in 2014) and two hotels, Legoland Hotel (opened in 2013) and Legoland Castle Hotel (set to open in 2018 with 250 rooms).

Park areas

Explorer Island

Explorer Island is a section[5] with themes of dinosaurs and exploration. It contains a large sand area where children may dig for "fossils" and the Gerstlauer-built "Coastersaurus"[6] mini steel roller coaster, a close copy of the Legoland Germany junior coaster Drachenjagd, with a ride duration of approximately 2 minutes. It was installed by Ride Entertainment Group, who handles all of Gerstlauer's operations in the Western Hemisphere.[7][8]

Heartlake City

The Heartlake City section is based on the LEGO Friends brand marketed to girls[citation needed], featuring "Heart Lake", a water fountain; "Friends Forever Stage", where musical performances occur; "Heartlake Stables", a play area; and "Mia's Riding Camp".

Fun Town

Fun Town is a role-playing amusement area where guests simulate adult skills or professional identities.[9]

Attraction Added Manufacturer Description
DUPLO Playtown 1999 Playground for young children
Legoland Express 1999 Small train ride
Volvo Driving School 1999 Children aged 6 to 13 years drive self-propelled Lego cars on a closed circuit featuring multiple intersections, two way traffic and traffic signals. It is designed to promote safe driving and skills.
Volvo Junior Driving School 1999 Children aged 3 to 5 years drive similar self-propelled Lego cars on a simple oval.
Police and Fire Academy Competitive team attraction where groups propel a hand pumped truck in a race down a street to douse a simulated building "fire" and return the truck
Flight Squadron 1999 LEGO airplane-themed ride that move up and down while moving in a circle
Sky Patrol 1999 Lego helicopter-themed ride that move up and down and can spin in place
Skipper School 1999 Self-propelled boat-ride that travels a winding water course
Kid Power Towers 1999 Heege Tower ride where riders pull themselves up the ride with a rope
Adventurer's Club 1999 Walk-through attraction with scenes such as ancient Egypt, a rainforest, and the arctic
LEGO Factory Tour 1999 Walk-through attraction that teaches young children how LEGO models are made
LEGO Clubhouse 1999 A room where you can build your own LEGO models with occasional classes teaching children techniques on building LEGO models

Miniland USA

San Francisco
The lego model of Downtown Manhattan, with the 2002 design of One World Trade Center.

Miniland USA is a 1:20 scale model miniature park featuring prominent architecture and symbols from seven areas in the United States.[10] Certain models are visible throughout the Legoland park. It was constructed over the course of three years using more than 20 million LEGO bricks.[11]

Miniland includes the Model Shop, the main design and building office for Legoland's US parks. A large viewing window allows guests to watch master model builders working on new models. Repairs and refurbishment of existing models are also conducted in the Model Shop.[12]

A Lego man using the toilet at Grand Central Station
A Lego man using the toilet in Legoland California's Grand Central Station model.

Certain model builders have inserted incongruous scenes into the Miniland vignettes, including a businessman mooning the presidential motorcade and a man using the toilet in the Grand Central Station model. Miniland officials insist all such scenes are incorporated with full management knowledge and approval.[13]

Attraction Added Manufacturer Description
Coast Cruise 1999 Morgan Manufacturing 8-minute-long boat ride where guests can view many monuments such as the Sydney Opera House, Taj Mahal, Eiffel Tower, and Mount Rushmore
New England 1999 Miniland display depicting a New England harbor
Las Vegas 2007 Miniland display depicting the Las Vegas strip with its famous hotels such as Tropicana Las Vegas, Mirage Las Vegas, and the Stratosphere Tower
Washington, DC 1999 Miniland display depicting the National Mall with monuments such as the U.S. Capitol, Washington Monument, and the Smithsonian Castle
Block of Fame 1999 Park walkway with LEGO busts of famous individuals such as George Washington, Marilyn Monroe, and Winston Churchill.
Model Shop 1999 Viewing area for the park's model shop, where many of Legoland California's models are built
New Orleans 1999 Miniland display depicting New Orleans and its many waterways
New York 1999 Miniland display depicting Manhattan Island of New York City with places like Central Park and Times Square depicted
San Francisco 1999 Miniland display depicting San Francisco with monuments such as Pier 39, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the Transamerica Pyramid
Southern California 1999 Miniland display depicting Southern California with monuments such as the TCL Chinese Theatre, Huntington Beach Pier, and Mission San Luis Rey
Star Wars Miniland 2011 Miniland display depicting the seven Star Wars movies, including the Clone Wars movie[11]
A view into the Model Shop
A view into the Model Shop at Legoland California.

Castle Hill

Castle Hill is a medieval castle-themed area.

The area includes a miniature golf course. The space had previously housed a "rock band" or "singing rock garden". The rock's original recording can still be heard on holes 12-18 on the course.[14]

Attraction Added Manufacturer Description
The Dragon 1999 Vekoma Family steel roller coaster with the first segment of the ride acting like a dark ride through a castle
Knight's Tournament 2005 KUKA Robotic arm-like ride where guests can select their level of intensity, with level one being the least intense and level five being the most intense
Hideaways 1999 Large multi-level wooden playground designed for younger children, structure with slides, rope ladders, and bridges
Royal Joust 1999 Rocking horse ride where guests ride fiberglass horses that rock back and forth above a track
Wild Woods Golf 2005 Miniature golf course. It was taken down in 2017, and is making way for an undersea "submarine" attraction, slated to open in either the spring or summer of 2018.

Imagination Zone

In the Imagination Zone, visitors can ride a Wild Mouse-style roller coaster called the "Technic Coaster-Test Track"(formally Project X), choose from three different "4-D" movies called "Bob the Builder", "Spellbreaker", and "Clutch Powers" (a racing movie). Kids can also race Lego cars that they build themselves in Build 'n Test, play the "Maniac Challenge" in which guests play LEGO PC games, and program robots in "Mindstorms". Guests can also ride on "Bionicle Blaster", which is a version of the teacup ride, or the "Aquazone Wave Racers", a dual water carousel.

Attraction Added Manufacturer Description
Technic Coaster 2001 Mack Wild mouse roller coaster
Bionicle Blaster 2001 Mack Bionicle-themed tea cups ride. Originally known as Technic Teacups from 1999-2014.
Aquazone Wave Racers 2000 Heege/Zierer Dual water carousel
LEGO Show Place 1999 4D theater that shows The LEGO Movie 4D Experience and Nexo Knights
LEGO Hero Factory Hero Factory play area
XBOX Family Gamespace Area where guests can play LEGO games on Xbox consoles
LEGO Mindstorms Classes that teach children how to operate Mindstorms robots
DUPLO Play 1999 Indoor play area for small children with DUPLO bricks
Build & Test 1999 LEGO play area where guests can build cars out of LEGO bricks and race them with others

Pirate Shores

Pirate Shores is a splash park with six water-oriented rides and attractions. [15][16] Splash Battle, a water ride where guests spray each other with water on-ride and off-ride; Soak-N-Sail, interactive two-story complex water playground featuring a collection of smaller slides, jets, cannons and two tower top 500 gallon buckets that void their contents intermittently; Treasure Falls, a small themed log flume geared towards children; Swabbie's Deck, a small water play area for small children; Captain Cranky's Challenge, a ride with a mock pirate ship that sways in a u-shaped track and rotates bi-directionally; and Pirate Reef, a "shoot the chutes" attraction with interactive components including a splash bridge, water cannons and brick building play area.[16]

Land of Adventure

This section is designed to replicate the 1920s in Egypt.[citation needed] "Pharaoh's Revenge" involves guests firing foam balls at targets and at each other. On "Beetle Bounce" guests bounce nearly 15 feet (4.6 m) to nearly touch the enormous beetles above. "Cargo Ace", lets guests board one of eight planes to fly six feet into the air. In "Lost Kingdom Adventure", guests board and ride a roadster to recover stolen treasure by blasting targets with laser guns along their journey. Another recently opened attraction is "Dune Raiders", which is a slide.

Legoland Water Park

The first feature that users encounter when entering the Legoland Water Park is the Aquatune hydraulophone, an underwater pipe organ. The hydraulophone is the centerpiece of a series of interactive exhibits on either side of it that teach other elements of flow, such as water tables, and small water laboratory-like spaces where participants can explore hydraulophonic-like action (blocking water jets to create head, pressure, etc.), and also construct dams from Lego bricks.

This is a water park area in Legoland California. Construction began in September 2009. It opened on May 28, 2010. It is located next to the buildings in Fun Town. It is the first Legoland to feature a waterpark. It is not possible to buy a separate admission ticket solely for the water park. Legoland Water Park opened in Florida 2 years later. A Legends of Chima expansion opened in early July in 2014.

Attraction Added Area Description
Build-A-Raft River 2010 LEGOLAND Water Park Lazy river where guests can build foam LEGO bricks on their inner tube
DUPLO Splash Safari 2010 LEGOLAND Water Park Kids area with small water slides
Imagination Station 2010 LEGOLAND Water Park Interactive play area
Joker Soaker 2010 LEGOLAND Water Park Tower that releases water onto the guests below
Kid Creek LEGOLAND Water Park Junior lazy river
Orange Rush 2010 LEGOLAND Water Park Large raft water slide
Splash Out 2010 LEGOLAND Water Park Body slide
Splash Zoo 2011 LEGOLAND Water Park Kids area
Twin Chasers 2010 LEGOLAND Water Park Two body slides
Pirate Reef 2012 LEGOLAND Water Park/Pirate Shores Shoot-the-chutes ride that has entrances in both Pirate Shores and the Water Park
Cragger's Swamp 2014 LEGO CHIMA Water Park Interactive water playground
Eglor's Build-A-Boat 2014 LEGO CHIMA Water Park LEGO building area where guests build small boats that they can place in a small artificial creek
Lion Temple Wave Pool 2014 LEGO CHIMA Water Park Wave pool with a 30' Mount Cavora "floating" in the middle
Speedorz Arena 2014 LEGO CHIMA Water Park Interactive play area where guests can race their Speedorz

FIRST Lego League

Each December, Legoland hosts the FIRST Lego League Southern California Regional Championships to decide which team goes on to compete in the National or World Championships.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Jacoby, Edmond (28 January 2005). "Legland California says visitors, revenues up sharply in 2004". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved 19 February 2015. 
  2. ^ Kragen, Pam (20 December 2008). "Legoland to reopen Sea Life Aquarium on Monday". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved 19 February 2015. 
  3. ^ Hall, Christopher (1999-03-14). "TRAVEL ADVISORY; Danish Conquest: Legoland Comes to California". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-01-20. 
  4. ^ Kinsman, Michael (July 14, 2005). "Control of Legoland parks sold". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved 19 February 2015. 
  5. ^ "Dino Island". Legoland California Resort. Retrieved 19 February 2015. 
  6. ^ "References: North America: Coastersaurus". Gerstlauer Amusement Rides GMBH. Retrieved 19 February 2015. 
  7. ^ "Gerstlauer busy in 2011". Park World Magazine. 29 December 2010. Retrieved 22 November 2013. 
  8. ^ "Projects: 2004—Legoland California". Ride Entertainment Group. Retrieved 22 November 2013. 
  9. ^ "Fun Town". Legoland California Resort. Retrieved 19 February 2015. 
  10. ^ "Miniland USA". Legoland California Resort. Retrieved 19 February 2015. 
  11. ^ a b "Tour Legoland California". CaliforniaResortLife.com. Retrieved 13 August 2015. 
  12. ^ Becraft, "Thanel" (6 February 2010). "Behind the scenes at the LEGOLAND California Model Shop: an interview with Gary McIntire [part 2]". The Brothers Brick. Retrieved 19 February 2015. 
  13. ^ Dougherty, Conor (14 March 2004). "Mature images Legoland builder's inside joke". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved 19 February 2015. 
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-09-16. Retrieved 2012-09-18. . Legoland Castle Hill.
  15. ^ "Review: Legoland Pirate Reef". LA Times. 
  16. ^ a b Richard Bilbao. "More Details on Legoland's Pirates Themed Expansion". Orlando Business Journal. 

External links