GOSHEN, N.Y. (WROC) — Gov. Cuomo traveled to LEGOLAND New York Friday on the new theme park’s first day of being fully open.
“I love LEGOs,” Gov. Cuomo said. I think I was with LEGOs before most of you because I’m older than most of you, but it was a big part of my childhood: The creativity, the ability to build, the ability to see a goal come to life.”
After much anticipation, Legoland New York opened Friday. When it opened it became the first major theme park to grace the northeast in over four decades.
“520 acres, all right here,” Gov. Cuomo said. “We expect $300 million impact from the LEGOLAND itself, and 1,000 jobs created by this project. That’s what it’s all about, but it does something even more with the tourism aspect — a major economic driver for this state.”
The seventh and final “land,” LEGO Pirates, opened Friday, adding to other lands Brick Street, Bricktopia, Miniland, LEGO Castle, LEGO Ninjago, and LEGO City.
“This magnificent destination for people of all ages will help spur the Mid-Hudson region’s economic recovery, jumpstart the state’s critical tourism industry, and provide a world-class, family-friendly experience for travelers from all over the world,” Gov. Cuomo said.
Full press conference
A 250-room LEGOLAND Hotel is now taking bookings starting August 6. Built for kids, each of the Hotel’s fully LEGO themed rooms will feature a separate children’s sleeping area, with daily children’s entertainment and scavenger hunts for LEGO® prizes. Located just steps away from the theme park, the Hotel will also feature a heated resort-style swimming pool.
The theme park is the first to feature the world-premiere LEGO Factory Adventure Ride, which transforms guests into Minifigures and gives them a whimsical “brick’s eye view” of how LEGO is made. The ride also incorporates a specialized ADA vehicle capable of carrying a guest who uses a wheelchair. It is one of several amenities that allows LEGOLAND® New York to be enjoyed by visitors of all abilities, including a “Sensory Room” where children and families can combat sensory overload.
You don’t need an instruction booklet to enjoy everything this “builders’ paradise” has to offer, which is designed for families with children ages two through 12.
Inside LEGOLAND New York
Interested in checking it out? OK, let’s get into the park and plan your day!
1. Download the app
The first thing you want to do is download the app for the park. You should do this before you even leave for your trip. The app has up-to-date information about the park. Buy your tickets to skip the lines at the front gate, see all times for the shows, look at the virtual map and pick what food you want to eat!
2. Be prepared
Make sure you are prepared for the weather! Bring lots of sunscreen and make sure the kids don’t get too hot with all that walking. Don’t forget a water bottle, there are bottle refill stations located throughout the park. If you do get tired there are tons of benches to take a load off and enjoy the wonderful views. Plus, all of the benches are made from recycled milk jugs!
3. Do not bring cash
The park is cashless. You can use your cards or Apple Pay but you won’t see any vendors in the park accepting cash.
4. Interact with the staff
The staff is there to make your trip memorable. Every employee loves working there and knows a lot about LEGO, they shared with us, they are not called legos or blocks but rather LEGO bricks! Tell your friends!
5. Take a lot of pictures
There is so much to see and interact with at Legoland New York! Make sure to have your phone charged so you can snap pictures to last a lifetime! NEWS10 found our favorite spots to take a pic.
You’ll also want to grab pictures of the hundreds of LEGO models throughout the park. Miniland, which recreates real-life buildings and locations with LEGO bricks, is a great spot to snap some pictures, sometimes you won’t be able to tell the difference between the real building and the LEGO building in pictures!
6. Take your time in Miniland
LEGO creators took years to plan and build the models in Miniland. Can you believe they used over 22 million bricks? Since this is Legoland New York, the main focus is on New York City but there are models of different cities across America!
Since the park is in Goshen, builders recreated the town and it is the first thing you see when entering Miniland. They recreated iconic buildings in the town including their famous harness track!
A fun fact, all of the ‘inhabitants’ are called ‘Minilanders’ and you may notice they are a little larger than the typical minifig!
7. Freeplay areas
There are freeplay areas around the park where kids (and adults) can let their creativity flow! Don’t neglect these fun activity areas that will help break up the day. You can even check out the Build+Test area where the chooses are endless! You can build a racecar and test it to make it better or build a skyscraper and see how it stands up to shaking!
8. Must see rides!
One of the things that makes a theme park oh so much more fun is the rides of course! There are dozens to choose from in this park! Here are some of our must-sees.
LEGO Factory Adventure Ride
Legoland New York is the first and only Legoland in the world with the LEGO Factory Adventure Ride! Riders are taken on a wild journey through a LEGO factory, complete with a dragon melting the plastic for the bricks! The ride features state-of-the-art facial recognition software that turns riders into minifigs! The ride is located in Bricktopia.
LEGO NINJAGO The Ride
LEGO NINJAGO The Ride has something we have never seen on a theme park ride, motion sensors to track your hand movements. Help the NINJAGO team defeat the bad guys in this action-packed ride! This is located in the LEGO Ninjago section.
In LEGO Castle sits The Dragon. This rollercoaster is meant to be a child’s first coaster! It doesn’t go upside down but you will still be taken for a ride with drops and quick turns!
Want to take that LEGO car out for a spin? We’ll the little ones can at Driving School! Drivers have to navigate their cars around a course without the cars being stuck on tracks! You can find this attraction in LEGO City.
Any great theme park also has amazing food for those hungry families! Legoland New York is no exception! Dip into one of the two indoor dining areas to beat the heat for a little bit! NEWS10 is told one of the go-to snacks in the park is the Apple Fries, which are fried seasonal New York apples dusted in cinnamon and sugar!
10. The Big Shop
What would a Legoland Park be without a giant store to pick up your favorite sets! Legoland New York doesn’t disappoint with its Big Shop. It is to the right as soon as you walk into the park. If your little ones can’t wait to get their favorite set until the end of the day, you can make your purchase and the store will hold it for you until you leave! They even have sets exclusive to Legoland New York.
Pro Tip: Go to the right to start
And finally, a pro tip from our friends at Legoland New York, go right at the beginning of the park not left. Guests will be drawn into Bricktopia right off the bat, there are colorful models and the popular LEGO Factory Adventure Ride, resist the urge! Start your day heading into Miniland, you will explore the park in the opposite direction as everyone else which means you might see shorter wait times for popular rides! Look for the sign leading into Miniland seen below!
Legoland New York is following all state and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines when dealing with COVID-19. Vaccinated guests will not need to wear a mask but unvaccinated guests do. There will be hand sanitizer around the park and signs asking people to stay distanced from each other, also look on the ground for suggestions on where to stand while waiting in line!
Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.