Legoland wants to add water attraction to its theme park

San Diego County theme park Legoland has submitted its plan to the city of Carlsbad to build a 5.5-acre water attraction in the park’s northern section, officials said Friday.

The water park’s cost and design have yet to be determined, but Legoland spokeswoman Julie Estrada said it would be open by next summer.

“It’s been something we’ve wanted to do for a while,” she said.

A separate admission fee, which has yet to be determined, probably will be charged for entrance to the water park, Estrada said.


The 128-acre park, owned by Merlin Entertainments Group and designed to celebrate the plastic brick children’s toy, opened its most recent attraction, Land of Adventure, in March 2008.

Friday’s announcement comes on the heels of surprisingly strong attendance figures for Legoland in 2008 -- an otherwise disappointing year for theme parks in Southern California.

Disneyland, Southern California’s entertainment giant, had a 1% drop in attendance in 2008, according to an independent analysis by Economic Research Associates, a travel industry consultant.

Universal Studios Hollywood, where a back-lot fire destroyed several attractions last summer, ended with a 2.5% drop in attendance in 2008, according to the analysis.

The notable exception was Legoland, which reported a 20% increase in earnings and a 27% jump in attendance in 2008 compared with 2007, according to Legoland officials.

This summer, Merlin Entertainments Group opened the new $55-million Madame Tussauds wax museum on Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood.