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Robert Niles

Merlin files for Sea Life Center at Legoland California

Published: October 12, 2007 at 11:14 AM

Merlin Entertainments, the Blackstone Group-funded parent company of Legoland, has filed for permits to build a Sea Life aquarium center next to Legoland California.

The city of Carlsbad expects to issue the permits within the next several weeks, the city's planning director told a local newspaper yesterday.

The move is not unexpected. Merlin's CEO told TPI last year that the company planned to build Sea Life centers next its to Legoland parks. A Sea Life center has been park of the plans for Legoland's proposed Kansas City-area park.

Legoland California said the 36,000-square-foot facility, which will be a separate ticket, should open in summer 2008.

This will be the first Sea Life center in the U.S., and the competition for sea-themed attractions in Southern California is, of course, fierce, with SeaWorld San Diego just down the road and Long Beach's Aquarium of the Pacific serving the L.A. market.

Replies (2)

Bruce Lane

Published: October 12, 2007 at 11:27 PM

Interesting. I just spent the last half-hour or so going through the Federal Register from 2007 back to 2004, looking at public-display permit applications for marine mammals, and found absolutely zilch relating to this project.

If Legoland is trying to compete with Sea World in the "sea life aquarium center" regard, I believe I can say with some confidence that they won't be doing it with dolphins, whales, seals, or sea lions (unless they're going to book a contract show, and I don't think Marine Animal Productions is in any shape to supply such at the moment).

Given this, I would be most curious to see more details on the new development. Anyone else...?

Happy travels.

Robert Niles

Published: October 13, 2007 at 5:13 PM

Here's what they've got in Europe....

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