Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Legoland Hotel Caters to Children

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Legoland Hotel Caters to Children

Article excerpt

Something unexpected is taking place at the newly opened Legoland Hotel in Carlsbad, Calif. Designed to appeal to children 2 to 12, the nation's first three-story, 250-room Lego brick-themed hotel is proving to be almost as much of an attraction as the 128-acre Legoland theme park just a few steps away.

The decision to add a hotel began years ago when guest feedback revealed it took more than a day to explore all the activities at Legoland. Promoted as a "five brick bed and brickfest," the hotel opened in April.

"The hotel and theme park are an ideal complement to each other," says hotel spokesman Jake Gonzales. "It helps families extend their theme park experience with a multiple day stay that is also totally based on the Legoland theme."

Hotel dcor might be characterized as "instant kid gratification." In fact, many children do not even get to the front desk even though the back wall displays 6,000 Lego Minifigures, those tiny round- head people who bring each Lego creation to life.

Instead, after passing through an entrance tower that looks as if it is built out of the largest Lego blocks ever made, children are immediately drawn to a castle-themed play area in the lobby featuring a Lego pirate ship and a moat filled with thousands of Lego blocks ready for building. The area is also used as the location for nightly entertainment where pirates, knights and adventurers interact with guests to get them ready for bedtime.

Throughout the hotel, more than 3,500 Lego models are built using more than 3 million Lego bricks. Some of the blocks form the four interactive Lego dragons that reside in the hotel, including a smoke- breathing dragon at the entrance.

On an outside patio near the pool, "Bubbles" the dragon interacts with children while taking a bath and, of course, blowing bubbles. Surrounded by full-size Lego palm trees, the pool has a gradual decline to 5 feet.

Just getting to a room is an adventure. A rotating mirror ball hanging from each elevator ceiling transforms the space into a disco. Pulsating lights in the ceiling blink in sync with sound effects that announce the arrival at each floor.

Rooms are based on three themes. Children can choose to live in a kingdom, as an adventurer, or in a room decorated like a pirate's hideout. …

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