Legoland to add Pirate Reef water ride, expand Star Wars area

Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

As part of a multiattraction expansion this spring, Legoland California plans to update the Star Wars Miniland area that debuted last summer, add a pirate-themed shoot-the-chutes water ride and install a crab exhibit at the adjacent SeaLife Aquarium.

Set to open March 29, the Star Wars Gallery will include 3-foot-tall Lego models of a dozen characters from the epic film saga, including Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, R2D2, Yoda and Darth Vader.

At the same time, model builders will install new characters, weapons and spacecraft to existing Star Wars Miniland scenes rendered in 1:20 scale using Lego bricks.

PHOTOS: Star Wars Miniland at Legoland California

Among the new additions to the Lego-fied “Star Wars” scenes:

--Rebel soldiers trapped in a net set by Ewoks in Endor.

--A Starfighter hovering over a landing pad in Mustafar.

--Three AT-RT walkers on a reconnaissance mission on Kshyyyk.

--An Ion Cannon firing a particle beam on Hoth.

--A Sandcrawler trolling across the sands of Tatooine.

Debuting on May 24, the Pirate Reef shoot-the-chutes water ride will take riders down a 25-foot drop that generates a tidal wave splash designed to soak bystanders watching from a pedestrian bridge.

PHOTOS: Pirate Reef water ride at Legoland California

A pair of pirate ships flanking the flume ride will be armed with water cannons capable of soaking any riders that manage to escape the deluge.

Legoland visitors will be able to access the new shoot-the-chutes ride from the Pirate Shores area of the theme park or from the nearby separate-admission water park.

Pirate Reef will be built by Florida-based Hopkins Amusement Rides, which created a number of shoot-the-chutes rides for Six Flags parks as well as the Pittsburg Plunge at Kennywood.

In addition, Legoland’s separate-admission SeaLife Aquarium plans to open a new Claws exhibit this spring with Japanese spider crabs, coconut crabs, land crabs, lobsters and prawns.