Legoland California to close Fire Academy for Lego Galaxy land

January 18, 2024, 7:17 PM · It's been a tough month for fans of unique, active-play attractions in Southern California. First, Knott's Berry Farm closed its Huff and Puff. Now, Legoland California has filed plans to remove its Fun Town Police and Fire Academy attraction.

It's part of Legoland's grand plan for a new "Lego Galaxy" land in the Carlsbad park, which will include an indoor launched roller coaster. Planning documents filed with the City of Carlsbad revealed the plans, which include tearing down and relocating the park's iconic Driving School attraction to make way for Lego Galaxy.

In a game of attraction musical chairs, Driving School will move across Fun Town to the current site of the Police and Fire Academy, which will not be getting a new home in the park.

Legoland California project location
Project location map from the planning documents. Right-click to enlarge.

The planning documents detailed the new attractions that Legoland proposed to build on the current site of Driving School.

"The new attraction area will have a 'space' theme where park guests will train for space exploration, meet other intergalactic travelers, and blast off on missions into the Lego Galaxy," the planning documents said.

The land's main attraction will be an indoor roller coaster "where guests are launched out in an exploration mission into the uncharted Lego Galaxy in their own customized Lego spacecraft," according to the planning document. The coaster will be housed inside a 44-foot-tall, 32,319-square-foot building with "space port" theming. The building also will house a Lego brick building attraction and retail as well as maintenance and storage facilities. The ride will have a 1,316-square-foot, covered outdoor queue.

Lego Galaxy's second attraction will be an outdoor spinner ride. "The proposed ride has three cantilever arms which are lifted by hydraulic actuators and carry a counter rotating gyro element holding four gondolas at its end. The gondolas are designed to accommodate two riders to provide a capacity of up to 24 passengers," the planning documents said.

The land also will include a 1,755-square-foot exterior area featuring a children's play structure with an alien spaceship theme, along with an approximately 1,234-square-foot exterior toddler play area.

Lego Galaxy is planned for completion sometime in 2025, so one would expect the current Fire Academy and Driving School attractions to be closing relatively soon to make way for that construction. We will await official word from the park on that, as well as project timelines.

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Replies (6)

January 18, 2024 at 9:05 PM

It makes absolutely no sense for fire academy to be taken out and replaced with driving school. the area driving school would need is far too large to go in where fire academy sits. it just physically won't fit into that area, from what i saw in the planning docs, driving school and junior driving school, are both going to be removed and not moved anywhere else in the park as there is no where to put either of them let alone both

January 18, 2024 at 10:27 PM

ugh, this absolutely sucks. I loved the fire academy attraction when I was a kid and it's something I still talk about to give people a sense of what legoland is about — and why it's great for kids. this is a huge bummer.

January 19, 2024 at 2:24 AM

Do we know for sure that Driving School is being relocated and not simply retired? It seems strange to not include the Police and Fire Academy site within the project area if they are indeed moving it, and it also seems a bit odd to take out something that everyone can ride for something exclusive to kids. If it is indeed the case, it will also be a massive downgrade, as the footprint of Driving School would probably need to shrink to less than a third of its current area to fit the new location (unless they're also tearing out the theater, which would give them an area much closer to the ride's current size).

January 19, 2024 at 10:40 AM

This just doesn't make much sense. I do think Police/Fire Academy is a bit of an antiquated attraction, but as AJ noted, it's something families can experience together. I've never seen anything like that attraction in any other theme park I've been to, and it really fits perfectly in Legoland. I also think Driving School is one of the best attractions in the park for their target demographic, and there's absolutely no way they could downsize or get rid of that attraction either.

I do feel that both of these attractions suffer from very limited throughput by modern standards, but I think that's the case for a number of attractions across the Legoland parks. I'm not sure an indoor roller coaster is really going to move the needle, particularly if it creates a height restriction that alienates smaller kids who can currently ride Driving School and/or Police/Fire Academy.

This is definitely a massive development for Legoland, and hopefully they can offer some more clarity soon, because I think there's some confusion as to what they're doing and how the park will change with this addition. I'm all for continuous improvement, but there are certain things that shouldn't be changed, and the 2 attractions rumored to be moving/closing should be hands off.

January 19, 2024 at 3:48 PM

I thought there was suppose to be a Haunted House attraction here. Did that get cancelled?

January 20, 2024 at 10:50 AM

Driving school does seem to be a staple of larger Merlin attractions, and something they're unwiling to put at risk. Hopefully for fans this is a temporary home until a new one can be found.

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