Legoland of Carlsbad is an amusement park for kids ages 2 to 13 and their families, and the buildings in the park will be made entirely out of, you got it, Lego building blocks! To cater to this clientele, door handles will be lowered, buildings will be smaller and instructions will be in pictures rather than words.

Legoland is planned on 129 acres east of I-5 and north of Palomar Airport Road, near the ranunculus flower fields. Construction is scheduled to start summer 1997 and end in late 1998, with the opening in spring 1999. The Carlsbad Planning Commission approved final design plans on 4/16/97, with the City Council to approve it within a month. The price tag: $130 or $140 million, depending on source.

Legoland and several smaller developments on the 471-acre Carlsbad Ranch are expected to generate $3 million a year in taxes for Carlsbad. Carlsbad Ranch is east of I-5 between Palomar Airport and Cannon roads, and will include a regional shopping center, resort and golf course and hotel.

Legoland attendance is projected to approach 2 million per year, about that of the Wild Animal Park. For comparison, the San Diego Zoo and Sea World each attract about 3.5 million visitors per year.

Already in existence is a 7' tall clown made of Legos in front of the groundbreaking site, as well as a 1:20 scale model of the White House, complete with a mini press corps, Secret Service men and heliport. The White House took 32,000 Legos and 262 hours of labor to build, and will be the centerpiece of Miniland, which will feature replicas of other U.S. landmarks made out of 20 million Lego bricks. The other landmarks are New York, New Orleans, New England and the Califonia coast.

Miniland, Funtown and Castle Village are 3 of 8 or 9 (depending on source) themed areas that will cover 35 acres of the park. An additional 94 acres will be used for parking, service areas, administration buildings, buffer zones and future expansion. Nearly half of the entire 129 acres will be landscaped, creating wide swaths of greenery between attractions. There will not be any "dark" rides in the park - everything will be out in the daylight.

Legoland will employ 700 people when it opens.

Admission prices will be $32 for adults and $25 for children ages 3 through 16 and for seniors age 60 or older. The Primo annual pass, good every day, costs $99 for adults or $79 for children and seniors. The Block Party pass is good every day except Saturdays and Sundays in July and August, and Labor Day. It costs $69 for adults and $49 for children and seniors. The Ambassador pass, good for a lifetime of unlimited visits, costs $1,000 for adults and children.

Sources: SDUT 4/23/97, B1, B12; NCT 4/23/97, A1, A7; NCT 4/18/97, B7; NCT 11/17/98, B3.

Legoland's web sites: Legoland California and Parent's Information. Legoland phone number: 877-LEGOLAND.

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Copyright © 1997, 1998 by Tom Chester.
Permission is freely granted to reproduce any or all of this page as long as credit is given to me at this source:
Comments and feedback: Tom Chester
Last update: 18 November 1998.