Anthony Murphy
Writer

Published: January 19, 2006 at 3:46 PM

I think Orlando would be a big mistake because of all the Theme Parks down there. However, while writing this, I realize that this site would have the same competition as it does in California, but I feel that Disney rules that area and most people go to Orlando for Disney World, maybe Universal. I still think it is a bad idea because Disney World can cater to children much more effectivly that DL. I am not sure, but I am guessing Legoland is for younger kids. Also, I just thought of this: There is a giant Lego Store in Downtown Disney?!? How is that going to work out?
Robert Niles
Editor

Published: January 19, 2006 at 4:34 PM

In my opinion, Legoland is a far, far more kid-friendly park than anything offered by Disney or Universal. A Legoland Orlando, properly marketed, within a few years could become a major player in the Central Florida theme park market. I would much rather take my kids, ages 8 and 5, to Legoland than a Magic Kingdom. And they'd rather go, too. Personally, I think a Legoland Orlando as a third gate for Universal Orlando makes great sense for Universal, for Blackstone and for Merlin. But that's NBC Universal's call. Do they want to go kid-friendly, or would that hurt a more teen and young adult image that they might instead wish to present? I don't know.

That said, I'm not sure how well a Legoland would scale to five million visitors. Anything more than two or three million would seem too much for these parks, I suspect. The attractions are too small-scale for a much larger crowd.

More for the rumor mill: Mall of America just scuttled its contract with Cedar Fair for the former Camp Snoopy. Cleveland has been very aggressive about developing tourist attractions. If Six Flags is looking to sell locations, might Merlin be interested in buying? Much here to consider....

Derek Potter
Writer

Published: January 20, 2006 at 6:55 AM

Cleveland could be a contender. There are a couple of things that could stand in the way there. First is the combination of geography saturation of the market. Cleveland isn't Orlando, so there isn't a wide tourist base for Cedar Point, Kennywood, Geauga Lake, Waldameer Park, and then Legoland. True...all not the biggest draws in the country, but draws nonethtless. I'm not sure what kind of calender Legoland has, but they would only be open 6 months out of the year if totally outdoors. Combine those two factors, and it may benefit Legoland to go a little further south. Could they make it in Cleveland...absolutely. Could they thrive in Orlando....possibly, but another place comes to mind.

Myrtle Beach, SC. Financing for the Hard Rock Park has come through, and construction will be starting soon. It probably will be a nice park, but nowhere near enough to merit being the only theme park in the area. I would think that Legoland would take a look at that area. Millions of people come each year, with no theme park to speak of yet. I still say that Myrtle Beach is a goldmine for park developers as long as they make a good product. Legoland could make a killing bringing in all those families that I see down there every year.

Pete Brecht

Published: January 20, 2006 at 8:17 AM

I wonder if they'll use their site-search info from last time (when they built the California site) or if they'll start from scratch. Last time the runner-up was Prince William County, Virginia, which is an outer suburb of Washington, DC.
Robert Niles
Editor

Published: January 20, 2006 at 9:13 AM

Varney said that the previous Lego research would provide the starting point for this search. I would think Prince William County would be a strong candidate.