WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (AP) — While shoveling a ceremonial scoop of Lego bricks, Legoland Florida executives announced Thursday the theme park will build a 152-room hotel on its property by 2015.
The news is significant for the theme park and the area. Since opening in 2011, the park has drawn many guests from families staying in Orlando and visiting the area’s large theme parks such as Disney or Universal.
A brightly-colored Lego-themed hotel is expected to draw more visitors for longer stays to Winter Haven, a small city in Polk County about 50 miles from Walt Disney World.
This will be the world’s fifth Legoland Hotel; there is currently Lego-themed lodging in California, England and Denmark. Another hotel is under construction in Malaysia.
Legoland Florida is located on what once was Cypress Gardens, an old-timey Florida theme park that offered water ski shows and Southern belles dressed in hoop skirts. Some of Cypress Gardens’ amenities, such as the historic botanical area, were preserved and are still on Legoland grounds.
The new hotel will overlook Lake Eloise, where water ski shows are still hosted.