Lego models begin arriving at Legoland Florida theme park

Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

Florida theme park to open in October 2011" href="">Legoland Florida recently received the first shipment of 32 Lego models for the kiddie theme park, which is scheduled to open in October at the former Cypress Gardens theme park in Winter Haven, about 40 miles from Disney World.

Photos: Ride-by-ride preview of Legoland Florida

Built in Europe, the handmade Lego models include a 40,000-brick blacksmith destined for the Castle Hill area of the park, a wizard designed for the indoor section of the Dragon roller coaster, an axe-wielding knight, a howling wolf and a snoring grandfather sitting on a park bench. In all, Legoland Florida will use about 30 million Lego bricks throughout the 150-acre park.

The new theme park, aimed at kids age 2 to 12, will be the fifth Legoland in the world and the largest yet, with 50 rides, shows and attractions. In addition to the 10-year-old Legoland California in Carlsbad, the parks operate in Denmark, Germany and Britain.

Merlin Entertainment, the parent company of Legoland, recently announced plans to open a Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum and a 425-foot-tall observation wheel in 2013 on International Drive in Orlando, Fla.