LEGOLAND Florida Resort has announced Friday March 23rd as the grand opening date for its newest attraction, The Great LEGO Race.
It’s the first VR roller coaster experience designed for kids and represents the first time the LEGO brand and minifigure characters have been integrated with VR technology in a theme park attraction.
Guests must be at least 42 inches (1.06m) tall to ride The Great LEGO Race, or be accompanied by a responsible adult at least 48 inches (1.2m) tall.
Animated action takes place on the ground and in the air, the wild and wacky race pits guests against a pirate, wizard, surfer and pharaoh as they steer LEGO-built vehicles like a rocket-powered windsurfing rig, a stylish scooter fueled by espresso and an ornately canopied bed carried by mummy servants.
Wearing optional VR headsets, riders will experience the action from every direction up, down, forward, backward and all points in between while riding the roller coaster, in a dazzling environment where everything is made of LEGO bricks.
In November, myself and other reporters received a sneak preview of the 360-degree adventure during the annual International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) trade show in Orlando.
During the sneak preview and being immersed into the ride, i felt like i was no longer in IAAPA but i was in a race to the finish line, while using the VR headset and looking around 360 degrees (up, down, left, right and behind you) during the ride you really do feel like you have entered a LEGO World full of fun and whimsical characters.
The VR headsets are designed to fit both adults and children, and can be adjusted for comfort. The VR experience is intended for children 6 and up, and guests can choose to ride the roller coaster without wearing the headset.
After crossing the finish line guests can switch gears and enjoy an all-new treat at Funnel Cake Factory, which will open this spring, just steps away from the roller coaster in the theme park’s LEGO Technic area.
The highly themed pit stop will offer freshly made-to-order funnel cakes with toppings including fresh fruit, powdered sugar and soft-serve ice cream.
* A similar preview in MackMedia’s Coastiality mobile app (www.coastiality.com/en/) is building anticipation for the VR adventure by showcasing its state-of-the-art visuals. The free app is available for iOS, Android and Oculus devices from the App Store, Google Play and the Oculus Store and can be enjoyed with or without a VR headset.
Pictures from IAAPA courtesy of Bob Waddington, Orlando Tourist’s official camera man for Iaapa (@bobwadd1 on twitter)