Legoland Opens This Weekend in Winter Park

Those colorful plastic bricks that play havoc with vacuum cleaner motors, hurt like *&%$##@ when you step on them barefoot and elicit hyperactive glee in boys of a certain age, have taken on life-size dimensions at the latest Legoland park.

Legoland Florida, which opens Saturday, touts itself as the only Central Florida theme park to target the 2- to 12-year-old set. It sports 50 attractions in 10 themed areas, including not-too-scary “pink knuckle” rides, live shows and interactive attractions. And of course, there are Lego sculptures – 50 million bricks’ worth, give or take a few thousand. Life-size elephants inhabit the Land of Adventure. Albert Einstein’s 20-foot-tall, 10-foot-wide noggin beckons visitors into the Imagination Zone. A regulation-sized shiny red Ford Explorer (comprising 380,000 bricks) wows ’em in Lego City.

But the park’s most visually remarkable section is Miniland USA, which spotlights iconic American places painstakingly rendered in tiny plastic bricks. There are Washington, D.C.’s, monuments, San Francisco’s waterfront, the Las Vegas Strip and New Yorks’s skyscrapers. Florida gets its own chunk of Miniland real estate to show off state landmarks, from South Beach’s Art Deco hotels to Tallahassee’s Capitol. (Hey, they left out Walt Disney World!