Flying Ninjago thrill ride to debut in 2012 at Legoland Germany

(Belantis Leipzig)
Los Angeles Times staff writer

The interactive Flying Ninjago thrill ride debuting in 2012 at Legoland Germany will send riders spinning through air on the wings of a dragon.

Set to debut on March 30, the new ride is expected to be one of the first Sky Fly towers built by German-based Gerstlauer.

PHOTOS: Flying Ninjago ride at Legoland Germany

Sky Fly lifts riders 70 feet in the air aboard single-seat gondolas at the end of a cantilevered arm rotating around a central tower.

Concept art released by Legoland Deutschland shows a seated boy piloting a scaly green dragon while holding handles that control the pitch of the creature’s wings.

Riders control the themed gondola’s wings with their hands -- choosing to simply sit and spin, gently teeter-totter like a see-saw or wildly rotate like a plane propeller.

Sky Fly is based on an existing Gerstlauer ride known as the Sky Roller, which premiered at Belantis Leipzig in Germany. The world’s first Sky Fly will debut at France’s Nigloland in 2012 with another version of the ride reportedly set to go into Nickelodeon Universe in Minnesota’s Mall of America.

Coinciding with the 10th anniversary of Legoland Germany, the new ride will feature a Ninjago theme based a line of ninja-inspired Lego toys and a spin-off television show.

The classic battle top toys pit miniature ninja figures on spinning tops with the last Lego warrior standing declared the winner.

The Cartoon Network show fills in the Ninjago back story, which pits the heroic Masters of Spinjitzu against the evil Skeleton Army set amid a mystical Asian world.

In May, Legoland Germany also plans to open a Ninjago Miniland with miniature Lego buildings themed to the toys and show.

Life-size Ninjago figures toured Legoland parks around the world throughout 2011, stopping in September at Legoland California in Carlsbad.