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The Next Generation of Interactive Theme Park Rides Comes to Legoland California Next Year

September 17, 2015, 2:53 PM · You don't need controllers to play video games anymore, so why should you need one to play an interactive theme park ride?

You won't, starting next year at Legoland California. The park today announced Ninjago - The Ride for 2016, a new style of interactive ride where visitors will play using hand motions.

Ninjago - The Ride
Mock-up test image courtesy Legoland

Think of this as Xbox Kinect meets a dark ride. Developed by Triotech — the same firm behind Knott's hit new interactive ride, Voyage to the Iron Reef — Ninjago enables rides to shoot animated fireballs, lightning, shockwaves and ice from their hands toward foes and other targets on 3D screens. The ride also will add 4D effects with heat, smoke and wind during the journey.

If you haven't heard of Ninjago, there's the background, from Legoland:

LEGO NINJAGO tells the story of four young ninja heroes – Kai, Jay, Cole and Zane – who train under the watchful eye of Master Wu to master an ancient martial art – Spinjitzu.... This year, brand new episodes of the popular series, "NINJAGO: Masters of Spinjitzu," aired on Cartoon Network and 22 new building sets loaded with features and functions were released.

The four riders in each car will represent the four main characters from the franchise and will ride through several dojos to master their ninja skills before heading into the main battle. Riders will score for their training and well as their success in the battle scene.

You can see a few moments from a mock-up demonstration of the rides gameplay in this video from today's press conference at the Carlsbad, Calif. resort. The ride footage starts at the 24-second mark.

Ninjago - The Ride also will debut at Legoland Billund in Denmark next year.

Replies (15)

September 17, 2015 at 3:13 PM · It's all fun and good until you accidentally hit the person in the face sitting next to you.
September 17, 2015 at 3:30 PM · Yeah, but smacking your neighbor on the head unlocks another level of "gameplay," so there's that.
September 17, 2015 at 3:37 PM · I'm sure Lego know kids will want to shoot at the targets on the screen and not hit the person next to them. Kids are far more intelligent as some adults give them credit for.
September 17, 2015 at 3:47 PM · This ride looks pretty good! I really need to get back to Legoland California. However, a $84 one day ticket is not worth it.
September 17, 2015 at 3:54 PM · Anon, the kids will be fine. It's we patents who have no hope of out-scoring them who can't control ourselves. ;-)
September 17, 2015 at 4:17 PM · Cool ride.

It's a bad sign if that's all I bother to say...

September 17, 2015 at 7:13 PM · I agree with Juan, Legoland just isn't a good enough park to justify its ticket costs. It doesn't cater to a wide variety of age groups
September 17, 2015 at 7:50 PM · What if the kid wants to do a round house kick? They'll fly out of the vehicle.

Legoland is not a good for adults, but there enough good rides for your enjoyment.

September 17, 2015 at 8:38 PM · I loved Legoland when my children were in elementary school, and think it provides excellent value for the money for families with children in that age group. It offers unique experiences, some nice entertainment and a lovely setting.

But for grownups without kids, or those with older children? No, Legoland's not meant for you.

September 17, 2015 at 10:37 PM · This actually looks like a really cool ride for kids and I'm glad to see more regional parks investing in high-quality dark rides. While I wouldn't pay the admission fee just to go check it out, next time I happen to visit the park I'll be sure to ride it. I've always liked LEGOLAND California (yes, even though I'm 24 I still enjoy the park), it's just a half-day park for adults and the ticket price makes visiting more than once every 5 years or so uneconomical for them.
September 17, 2015 at 10:56 PM · For anyone who has ridden Voyage to the Iron Reef at Knott's Berry Farm, the ride vehicle looks identical, but the twist is the new technology to interact with the on-screen 3-D game. Also, the Ninjago I.P. has a lot of appeal to elementary school-aged boys, a demographic that fits Legoland's target audience really well.

I wonder how well the new technology will hold up after weeks or months of nonstop use, ten hours per day.

I believe I read Cedar Faire wanted to bring this type of ride to many of their parks, so I'd say there's no reason for most TPI readers to make a special trip to San Diego/Carlsbad. Or you can just sit on a swivel chair while playing on your Xbox Kinect at home and use your imagination.

September 17, 2015 at 11:23 PM · AJ, no way. I would never have thought you were around my age. And I just want Universal to do better than Merlin.
September 18, 2015 at 3:55 AM · "You don't need a controller to play video games anymore."

Not entirely. Xbox may have the whole Kinect thing going on, but Playstation and Nintendo still rely on buttons and control pads (or at least Nintendo, I haven't picked up a Playstation in a while). And then you have all your PC and mobile gamers. Plus, if I'm still up to speed, motion controls still have a few bugs that people are trying to fix.

Changing topics, while I haven't seen the video above yet, what I've read sounds cool. I use to watch Ninjago from time to time (it was a dark period when television was dominated by tasteless reality shows, if memory serves correct.) It's clearly geared towards kids but is by no means a bad show. Any chance the ride might be coming to Florida?

September 18, 2015 at 9:08 AM · Looks like this ride is also being installed in the original Legoland at Billund too.
September 18, 2015 at 1:21 PM · The ride looks great. I'm a big fan of the Lego Ninjago TV show, so I'm stoked. Hopefully something like this will come to all the LEGOLAND parks! :)

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