Inside Scoop

LEGOLand Florida gets a thrilling new park expansion:
The World of Chima!

Get your Speedorz ready, LEGOLand Florida’s all new expansion is opening on July 3rd, and will be ready for kids of all ages to explore and adventure all while keeping an eye out for the precious Chi!

LEGO Club sat down with Candy Holland who works with LEGOLand Florida to hear a little more about this awesome new part of the theme park.

Tell us a little about what you do?
My title is Senior Creative Director for Merlin's Resort Theme Parks worldwide, including all the LEGOLAND Parks and Hotels. That means my team and I work with each theme park and the Merlin team to help come up with exciting ideas for new rides and attractions.

Once we have agreed a project, I oversee the development of the design, working with my very talented creative designers… from the initial concept, all the way through to the building and opening of the attraction. We imagine all aspects of the experience… everything from the Story (the adventure), through to the ride hardware (the physical experience), the “Theming” (what it looks like), the audio and video (everything you hear and watch), the interactivity (everything you do)… everything that uses your senses and imagination to create a fun and exciting ride or show.

How did you research to design the World of Chima? Did you watch the TV series on Cartoon Network?

Absolutely – we watch some of the TV shows. We also played with the LEGO Legend of Chima Toys! We also met with the LEGO head office (the toy designers themselves) to learn about the Legends of Chima, especially as it was so new and not even in the shops when we started developing our new land for Florida! It's great fun researching for a LEGOLAND attraction. As an adult it's a great excuse to play and think like a kid again!

What was the first step in bringing the LEGO Legends of Chima to life at LEGOLAND Florida?

Creating the Story for the area and the main ride, and working out the role that the guests would play, was the first step. We then started bringing it to life with sketches, models, and written descriptions, so that families can experience the World of Chima for themselves. Once we have agreed on the basic story and idea, we then start working on the details of the design and experience, working with a huge team of specialists. It takes a lot of people to create the World of Chima – all with very different but important roles to play in the process.

What did you think were the most important parts of Chima to create at LEGOLAND Florida?

There are visually some iconic parts of Chima that we felt we had to recreate – such as Mount Cavora, the Lion’s Temple, the Chi Pool, Cragger’s swamp, and the Speedorz, to name but a few. However it is the characters within Chima that add the adventure and emotional engagement, so we’ve also represented the different Tribes and main characters (such as Laval)… which when all combined together will really immerse you into their world.

Can you tell us about how you created the story in the Quest for CHI water ride?

We took the core essence of the story of the Legends of Chima and compressed it right down to the core principles… The Lion Tribe and Laval protecting the sacred Chi from Cragger who is constantly trying to steal it. Therefore for the water ride Cragger DOES steal the Chi, and you have to help get it back and save the world of Chima!

What is your favorite part of this process?
While the process of creating an attraction like this is exciting, the best part is when it's all completed and we get to watch the guests experience it for themselves. Seeing people's reaction, laughing, screaming, playing, and having fun together is fantastic to see and extremely rewarding!