Legoland California is a theme park, miniature park, and aquarium located in Carlsbad, California, based on the Lego toy brand. Opening on March 20, 1999, it was the third Legoland park to open, and the first outside of Europe. The park is currently owned by Merlin Entertainments, which took a controlling interest in 2005. A second park in the United States, Legoland Florida, opened in 2011.
The Legoland California Resort currently encompasses the original park, a Lego-themed Sea Life Aquarium (opened in 2008), a Chima-themed water park (opened in 2010, with Chima expansion in 2014) and a hotel (opened in 2013).
Explorer Island is a section with themes of dinosaurs and exploration. It contains a large sand area where children may dig for "fossils" and the Gerstlauer-built "Coastersaurus" 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.
The Heartlake City section is based on the LEGO Friends brand marketed to girls, 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 is a role-playing amusement area where guests simulate adult skills or professional identities.
Miniland USA is a 1:20 scale model miniature park featuring prominent architecture and symbols from seven areas in the United States. Certain models are visible throughout the Legoland park. It was constructed over the course of three years using more than 20 million LEGO bricks.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Pirate Shores is a splash park with six water-oriented rides and attractions. 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.
This section is designed to replicate the 1920s in Egypt. "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.
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.
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.