This is going to be so cool

I guess I’m just a big kid, but I am so excited about Legoland coming to Florida.

A front-loading tractor was positioned Thursday morning outside the Magnolia Mansion at Cypress Gardens. It wasn’t there to move any dirt.

Instead, a driver tilted down the scoop and dumped 100,000 Lego bricks onto a stage. That was a mere down payment, with 39.9 million more to follow when Legoland Florida opens by the end of next year.

Legoland FloridaCypress Gardens is nearly in my front yard, less than a 15 minute drive. If pushed, I could practically walk there. It was a destination for travelers long before the mouse moved in.

The possibility of 1000 local jobs is great news for the area, but I am excited about being so close to 40 million Legos.

[Merlin Entertainments Group CEO Nick] Varney said Legoland Florida will be larger than any of the company’s four existing Legoland parks – one in California and three in Europe. He said the park will eventually become Legoland Florida Resort and will contain at least one hotel.

Legoland Florida will follow the same model with a central “Miniland” exhibiting elaborate Lego models depicting scenes from the area. He said the company’s designers are already at work designing Lego constructions for the Winter Haven attraction.

The Legoland parks are geared toward children 2 to 12 years old – and, of course, their parents. Varney, calling Lego one of the world’s best-known brands, said the parks are unique among tourist attractions in presenting children the opportunity for “playful learning,” as opposed to passive entertainment at other theme parks.

The projected opening is October, 2011. I’ll be there.

Photo Credit: SCOTT WHEELER | The Ledger

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