Virtual reality is coming to Legoland Florida. The Winter Haven theme park is revamping its existing Project X roller coaster into a new experience called The Great Lego Race VR Coaster.
It is scheduled to open at Legoland Florida sometime next year, the park announced Tuesday.
The story of the redesigned ride features Lego minifigures such as Trendsetter, Pharaoh, Surfer Girl, Wizard and Pirate Captain, and it includes a rocket-powered surfboard and an espresso-fueled scooter.
“The Great Lego Race was inspired by the way kids play with Lego toys at home,” said Candy Holland, senior creative director for Merlin Magic Making. “It’s a unique Lego adventure that lets kids enter an epic imaginary world made entirely from Lego bricks, featuring a host of different themes and fun Lego characters, all mixed up together.”
The ride’s overhaul will include the sounds of roaring engines at the entrance. The coaster’s queue will be pre-race space where pit crews for the five Lego racers are preparing for the competition. Hands-on activities are being added for folks waiting to ride.
In the past year, virtual reality has been added at two other Central Florida attractions. The changes to the ride environment can be dramatic.
At SeaWorld Orlando, Kraken Unleashed debuted in June as a new twist on the existing coaster. Its virtual scenes take riders from the sights and sounds of an undersea laboratory into deep waters among fish and small submarine-like vessels — sometimes in a bubbly blur.
That was preceded in December by the Fun Spot location near International Drive, as some seats on the Freedom Flyer ride are outfitted with VR headsets. The ride includes a feature that allows riders to shoot at virtual targets by pressing a button on the headset.
Load times can be slower on some VR rides. Employees need time to clean headsets between uses, and riders need time to get them snugly into position.
Legoland’s new attraction is recommended for ages 6 and older. Riders may experience it without the headset if requested, which also is an option on SeaWorld’s renovated Kraken.
The Legoland park in Malaysia will open its Great Lego Race later this year. The Legoland in Germany also will get the ride in 2018.
All the Legoland parks are owned by UK parent company Merlin Entertainments Group, which also operates attractions on International Drive including Orlando Eye, Sea Life Aquarium and Madame Tussauds.
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