Legoland Dubai welcomed its first wave of visitors over the weekend during a soft opening phase for annual ticket holders and VIPs. The preview gave Lego fans a glimpse of the park’s offering ahead of its official opening on Monday. Legoland Dubai is the first of the three theme parks at the Dh10.5 billion Dubai Parks & Resorts to open its doors to the paying public.
Thousands of Lego fans excitedly streamed into the entertainment venue to experience the rides, the miniature landmarks made out of thousands of Lego bricks and, of course, the thrill of building their own Lego creations.
Siegfried Boerst, the general manager of Legoland Dubai, told Gulf News tabloid! that visitor feedback was “very positive” during the two-day soft launch on Friday and Saturday. “It’s really great to see children smiling and families enjoying,” he said.
He added that while Legoland Dubai built on the experiences of all other Legoland theme parks in the world, the local climate was also factored in while building the venue.
“We brought the best attractions that we have from our other Legoland Parks here and we tried to adopt it to the conditions and the environment we are building the park on,” said Boerst. “For example, we built the first-ever indoor Miniland attraction underneath an air-conditioned dome, so even in the summer heat people can enjoy the park. We have lots of shade, and indoor attractions and all the restaurants have indoor seating, so we try to adopt to the climate. But the Legoland experience is the same as any of our Legoland parks.”
“I wasn’t expecting things to look like this,” said Job Estabaya, an interior designer and Lego fan who was among the throng of visitors on Saturday. “I think [Miniland] is the best in the park. All of the iconic buildings in UAE and Dubai are here.”
He was referring to one of the attractions of the theme park that features iconic landmarks in Dubai and in the region.
Ayesha, a student who has been to other Legoland theme parks, said she appreciated how Miniland was given an Arab touch. “I’ve been to Legoland in the US, but the unique feature here is the Miniland, which has a touch of Arab culture.”
Jacob Mathai, a sales manager, said Legoland serves as a good venue to bond with family. “When we arrived here, my child was really excited,” said Mathai. “We can almost spend a day here. It is a good place we can spend with the family, especially with the kids. They will really enjoy [it].”
Riverland Dubai, the themed 21,700 square metre ‘reception’ area with a river at its centre will also open on Monday, while Bollywood Parks and Legoland Water Park will open on November 15. The Hollywood-themed Motiongate will open on December 16.
Ahead of Legoland Dubai’s opening on October 31, here are the top things you need to know:
1st: Legoland Dubai is the first Legoland Park in the Middle East.
7th: Legoland Dubai is the seventh Legoland Park in the world, joining locations in Billund, Denmark; Windsor, England; Carlsbad, California; Gunzburg, Germany; Winter Haven, Florida; and Johor Bahru, Malaysia.
3: Legoland Dubai covers a total area of three million square feet.
40: Legoland Dubai features over 40 interactive rides, shows, attractions, Lego building experiences.
15,000: The number of Lego model structures in the theme park.
60: There are 60 million Lego bricks used to build many of the structures in the theme park.
6: It has six themed lands, each unique in its experience, entertainment and educational offering.
250: The price of one-day admission. There are also other packages such as the annual pass and group/student rates.
10–6: The opening hours of Legoland Dubai, with longer opening hours during weekends and holidays.
365: Legoland Dubai will be open 365 days a year.
Children can indulge in a number of learning opportunities, including flying a plane at the Lego City airport, steering a boat at the boating school, saving a burning building at the Rescue Academy or earning a Legoland driving licence at the Legoland driving school.
Explore a medieval land and ride the Dragon coaster, which takes you on a journey through the King’s castle full of Lego models. Enjoy rides such as Merlin’s Flying Machine, skill games as well as indoor building experiences.
Play and race Lego cars or join the Master Builder Academy. The Duplo Valley is for toddlers and small children, while the Kid Power Towers gives kids a view of the park before a gentle ‘free-fall’ to the bottom. It also features a 4D theatre showing Lego movies.
Thrill seekers will enjoy the Submarine Adventure that powers through waves and dodges water blasts, and adventure through ancient temple ruins to recover a pharaoh’s stolen treasure.
The heart of all Legoland parks, this one is made up of 20 million Lego bricks featuring Dubai’s iconic skyline and landmarks from around the Middle East and around the world. It also includes Build a City where guests can find a 10-metre play table with white Lego bricks enabling them to create any city skyline.
Tour the Lego factory to see how Lego bricks are produced and receive a personal brick fresh from the casting line. It is also home to The Big shop, the largest selection of Lego retail items, including the full range of Lego products, exclusive sets and Legoland souvenirs.
Go get yours
Tickets to Legoland Dubai start at Dh250. Children under the age of 3 enter free. Go to www.legoland.com/dubai