Legoland Hotel to the rescue

RICK BENTLEY
Last updated 10:57 19/02/2014
Legoland

IT'S A HIT: The Legoland Hotel sits just outside the entrance to the theme park in California, and is a hit with kids - and tired parents.

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It's mid-afternoon on a hot summer day. After a full morning at a theme park, energy is running low. 

While the adults are ready to leave the fun behind for a few hours rest, there are many in the party who don't want to leave.

Legoland has come up with a solution.

The Legoland Hotel sits just outside the  entrance to the theme park.

The three-story, 250-room hotel is an explosion of primary colours made to resemble the structures that can be made using the popular toy bricks.

It's not unusual for hotels to have decor that continues the  theme of an amusement park. But the Legoland Hotel has been designed as if it were part of the park.

From the Kingdom, Pirate and Adventure-themed rooms to the Lego bricks found from the lobby to your room, leaving the park doesn't  mean leaving the fun behind.

''We wanted the hotel to continue the theme we have here in the park of promoting interaction, promoting creativity, inspiring kid  to use their imagination,'' says Jake Gonzales, a spokesman for the  park and hotel.

''It's about kids. This isn't a park built for adults using a kid's theme. This is a child's park that adults can enjoy, too. The  hotel's the same way.''

Rooms are designed to give adults and children their own space. Bunk beds are situated in an area where children can play with  Legos, watch TV (that only shows kid-friendly channels) or figure  out the combination to the in-room safe where kid treasures await.

''A lot of things in the rooms were designed just for kids, such  as a peep hole low in the door and a training seat in the toilet,'' Gonzales says.

The attention to young park visitors doesn't end in the room. There are more than 3,500 Lego models in the hotel - created  from more than three million bricks - and seven are animated.

In  the main lobby, kids are urged to build with Legos while their  parents check in. And each restaurant has kids in mind, including Bricks Famil  Restaurant where a buffet station designed at a height they can  reach.

The main attraction is the 128-acre (52 hectare) theme park created by Danish toy maker The Lego Co.

It offers more than 60 interactive rides, shows and attractions, as well as restaurants, shopping and more than 27,000 models created from some 57 million Legos.

The Southern California attraction opened in 1999, the third LEGO park built and the first outside Europe.

It's divided into nine areas: The Beginning, Dino Island, Pirates Shores, Miniland USA, Duplo Village, Castle Hill,  Imagination Zone, Fun Town and Land of Adventure.

The Sealife  Aquarium opened in 2008 and two years later the Legoland Water Park was added.

Most of the attractions are aimed at visitors 2-12.

Gonzales says it's just an urban myth visitors can't get into the park without being accompanied by a minor.

Each model has individually been made by the craftsman on the  park grounds.

No spot in the park shows the skill of the model makers more than Miniland USA, which features famous communities such as New York and San Francisco made from millions of blocks.

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Washington, DC, features recreations of the White House, US Capitol, Smithsonian, Washington Monument and Jefferson Memorial and parts of Georgetown.

An animated marching band parades in front of the Capitol as a new president is sworn in. Tiny cherry trees blossom every spring.

If you prefer worlds that exist in a galaxy far, far away, the  Lego Star Wars Miniland model display includes everything from a life-size model of Chewbacca to scenes from Tatooine and Hoth.

The newest attraction in the park is the Lego Movie Experience, where one of the sets from The Lego Movie can be seen.

It took more than 2,000 man hours by 11 builders, under the guidance of Master Builder Paul Chrzan, to build.

IF YOU GO:

Where: One Legoland Dr, Carlsbad, California.

Park Hours: Hours vary. Call (760) 918-LEGO or visit  www.LEGOLAND.com for details.

Tickets: Adults $US83 ($NZ100), Children (3-12) $US73 ($NZ88)

- MCT

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