LEGO bricks have come a long way since the Danish toy company made its first ones out of plastic in 1947. LEGOLAND California, which opened in 1999, was the first theme park based on the brand to be built outside of Europe. The California resort is getting a major update this spring in the form of North America’s first LEGOLAND Hotel. We don’t know if it’s coming in under budget, but it is definitely ahead of schedule. Originally planned for a summer opening, the hotel will now be ready to receive its first guests on April 5. And it looks like it’s going to be a ton of fun for kids and their families.
The hotel’s exterior is a classic LEGOLAND Hotel design. It’s a castle-like structure with lots of bright, primary colors, with no fewer than four dragons around the hotel. The largest dragon is in a tower just inside the hotel’s entrance, and took 400,000 LEGO bricks and 4,000 staff hours to build. 3,500 different LEGO models are scattered throughout the hotel, including a whole cityscape surrounding the on site restaurant. On top of that, every room has at least one LEGO animal somewhere in it.
Each of the 250 rooms in the hotel carries one of three different themes based on popular LEGO lines, including Pirate, Kingdom or Adventure. All rooms have two different sleeping areas, one with a queen-size bed for adults and a separate sleeping area for up to three kids with bunk beds. Children will also enjoy an in-room treasure hunt with a LEGO prize hidden in a treasure chest. There are also premium versions of each theme that include extra features and LEGO gifts.
The hotel has all kinds of kid-friendly places and surprises, from secret whoopee cushions, quirky themed elevators and marching guards who walk on tightropes, to treasure trails and exploding toy boxes. Other play areas include a knight’s castle guarded by a huge burping ogre and a 32-foot high pirate ship that has crashed into the castle.
One of the hotel’s main attractions will be the Bricks Family restaurant, where diners will experience the combination of barely controlled LEGO chaos and a buffet bursting with food. Guests will be surrounded by giant LEGO kitchen equipment, huge LEGO dishes of food and spinning plates, and a variety of very colorful and wacky characters.
The LEGOLAND Hotel approach puts children’s fun at the heart of the hotel’s design and operations. There’s nothing quite like it out there, and we expect more brands to mirror the approach of hands-on, kidcentric design in the years ahead. In the meantime, we’re looking forward to checking this one out in person this April!