LEGOLAND celebrates its 50th birthday with an upgrade
LEGO is as popular as ever. This year, it’s 60 years since the first LEGO bricks saw the light of day and last year, the Danish toy company was named the world's strongest brand.
By 1968, when the first LEGOLAND opened in Billund, LEGO bricks were already a well-known and much-loved concept. So loved in fact, that visitor numbers far exceeded expectations that first year. They had budgeted for 200,000 visitors, but 625,000 came, and since then the park has welcomed over 50 million people. This makes LEGOLAND the biggest tourist attraction in Denmark after Copenhagen.
The LEGOLAND of 1968 was a far more modest park than the LEGOLAND of today. Then, the park covered a total area of 38,000m2 compared to 147,000m2 now, and consisted of a Miniature Village that is still part of today's Miniland, an Indian camp, the traffic school and the LEGO train, all of which are very much alive and kicking.
In 1973, the Indian camp was expanded to form the Wild West LEGOREDO Town, home to some of the park's most iconic constructions: Sitting Bull, the biggest single figure in the park, that was built with 1.4 million bricks and the heads of four US presidents at Mount Rushmore, have been part of the LEGO landscape since the 1970s. They were replaced in 2015 by four fresh new heads, using 414,000 bricks.
LEGOREDO Town is also famous for classics such as the LEGOLDMINE where you can pan for “gold” to be made into medals, bake twistbread on the campfire with Chief Long Ears whose Indian tribe has thrilled children for over 33 years. You can also visit Ghost - The Haunted House and take a Canoe ride in the Western town and in this anniversary year 2018, another feather in the LEGOREDO cap is The Flying Eagle, a roller coaster ride for smaller children.
While LEGOREDO Town is a long-established part of the park, LEGOLAND 2018 offers plenty of new themes and attractions in the hugely popular LEGO universe such as LEGO Friends, LEGO Star Wars and Ninjago. Other attractions include Pirate Land, the Knights’ Kingdom, Atlantis by Sea Life, Polar Land and Miniland, which since its infancy in 1968 has grown with cityscapes and architectural highlights from all round the world – from Amsterdam, Copenhagen and London to the White House, the Taj Mahal and the Burj Khalifa. All in all, over 65 million bricks have gone into building the attractions at LEGOLAND.
LEGOLAND’S official 50th birthday is 7 June 2018, that will be celebrated with a birthday concert on 2 June featuring Joey Moe, Onkel Reje, Sigurd Barrett and Hr. Skæg, plus the LEGO World Record Tower Event from 26 to 30 June, when you can help build the world's tallest LEGO tower standing over 36m high.
Although LEGOLAND's PR coordinator Martin Duus Horslund cannot reveal exactly how many visitors have been budgeted for this season, as he says to Scandinavian Traveler: “We have very high expectations for this season and expect very healthy visitor numbers.”
Published: May 7, 2018