- This article is about real places. For other uses go to LEGOLAND. Merlin Entertainments operates the LEGOLAND theme parks located around the world. These parks, primarily targeted at younger children, feature characters, rides, and activities based on the major LEGO set themes, such as Castle and Technic.
As of May 2012, there were six LEGOLAND parks in operation or under construction. They were (listed by order of construction):
- LEGOLAND Billund: Billund, Danmark (the original park)
- LEGOLAND Windsor: Windsor, England, UK
- LEGOLAND California: Carlsbad, California, USA
- LEGOLAND Deutschland: Günzburg, Bayern, Deutschland
- LEGOLAND Florida: Winter Haven, Florida, USA
- LEGOLAND Malaysia: Nusajaya, Johor, Malaysia
According to LEGO, the first park was opened in the 1960s as a result of requests people made for factory tours -- to the point that the tours became disruptive. The first park featured the Driving School and Miniland areas, as well as other themed activities. The next three parks were opened in quick succession in the 1990s and early 2000s. Another round of expansion occurred with the Florida and Malaysia Parks opening in 2011 and 2012 respectively.
In July 2005, the LEGO group announced that it was selling the parks to Blackstone Capital Partners for US $460 million (375 million euros). The parks are to be operated by Merlin Entertainments Group, a new joint venture between LEGO (with a 30% stake) and Blackstone (with a 70% stake).
- Official Merlin website for LEGOLAND parks
- Official LEGO website for LEGOLAND parks
- LUGNET news group about the parks
- The LEGO Group's denial of specific sale details but confirmation of sale plans