LEGO-Built Explorer Begins Trip to LEGOLAND Florida
Sep 28, 2011 1:00 am
by Joe Meno
CHICAGO, Sept. 2011 – A unique Ford Explorer rolling off the line at Chicago Assembly Plant will feature the model’s trademark eye-catching craftsmanship with one notable distinction. This Ford Explorer is created from more than 380,000 LEGO bricks and marks the beginning of a long-term alliance between Ford and LEGOLAND® Florida theme park.
The bright red LEGOLAND Florida edition Explorer, created by 22 designers, weighs 2,654 pounds and is supported by a 768-pound interior aluminum base.
Click below to see time-lapse video of the build of the unique Explorer.
The completely reinvented Ford Explorer is a head-turner on its own, of course, blending style, capability and technology with class-leading fuel efficiency. It delivers an EPA-certified 28 mpg on the highway with an all-new EcoBoost® engine.
After its debut at the historic Chicago plant, which produces the Explorer, the vehicle will be loaded onto a trailer with transparent sides so motorists can see the LEGO Explorer as it makes its way to the new 150-acre LEGOLAND Florida theme park just outside Orlando.
There it will be featured in front of one of the park’s attractions, the Ford Driving School for children.
“Ford is excited to support the alliance between LEGOLAND Florida and the Southeast Ford dealers. The LEGOLAND Florida Explorer and the Ford Driving School attraction are great opportunities to showcase our products and safety messages to families and visitors in a unique way,” said Tracy Magee, Ford Experiential Marketing manager.
LEGOLAND Florida, which opens Oct. 15, will cater to kids ages 2 to 12 with more than 50 family-focused rides, shows and attractions and a historical botanical garden.
The park, which features exhibits using more than 50 million LEGO bricks, is divided into 10 themed entertainment zones for kids. It allows them to experience different adventures, including the empowering thrill of getting behind the wheel and learning to drive their own vehicle.
“We’re less than a month from opening and the anticipation level is incredibly high,” said LEGOLAND Florida General Manager Adrian Jones. “This is the only park of its kind in the world built exclusively for kids ages 2 to 12, and it will be a total departure from anything families with young children have seen before. It’s a completely immersive experience, engaging kids’ imaginations and their sense of adventure through interactive play.”
Driving through LEGOLAND Florida
The driving school is divided by age. There’s a Ford Junior Driving School for children ages 3 to 5 years old and a Ford Driving School for those ages 6 to 12. The children watch a video with driving instructions and safety tips – starting with the basics like safety belts and the difference between the accelerator and the brake – and move on to stoplights and stop signs. Children then have the opportunity to drive in their own electric vehicles on curbed roads with maximum speed limits of 3 mph.
With its detailed LEGO theme, the attraction is designed to give children the experience of driving in a real-world neighborhood.
While the children are behind the wheel, park employees known as “model citizens” are nearby to ensure the experience stays positive. After the drive is complete, the children are issued their own Ford Driving School license.
The school was the brainchild of Florida-area Ford dealers that worked with LEGOLAND Florida management, and is designed to introduce the fun and responsibility of driving skills to children.
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About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 166,000 employees and about 70 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford’s products, please visit www.ford.com.
LEGOLAND® Florida opens October 15, 2011 and will be a 150-acre interactive theme park dedicated to families with children between the ages of 2 and 12. Located midway between Orlando and Tampa, just 45 minutes from either city center, the park features more than 50 rides, shows and attractions. There are currently four other LEGOLAND Parks in the world – LEGOLAND California in Carlsbad, LEGOLAND Billund in Denmark, LEGOLAND Deutschland near Günzburg, Germany and LEGOLAND Windsor outside of London. The LEGOLAND theme parks are a part of Merlin Entertainments Group, the second largest attractions operator in the world. For the most current information, log on to www.LEGOLANDFloridaResort.com.
Merlin Entertainments is the leading name in location-based family entertainment and has seen the most successful and dynamic growth of any company in the sector over the last five years. Europe’s Number 1 and the world’s second-largest visitor attraction operator, Merlin now operates over 74 attractions, six hotels/two holiday villages in 17 countries and across four continents. The company aims to deliver memorable and rewarding experiences to its 43.6 million visitors worldwide, through its iconic global and local brands, and the commitment and passion of its managers and more than 15,000 employees. Merlin Entertainments operates the following attractions: SEA LIFE, Madame Tussauds, LEGOLAND, The EDF Energy London Eye, Dungeons, Gardaland, LEGOLAND Discovery Centres, Alton Towers Resort, Warwick Castle, Thorpe Park, Chessington World of Adventures Resort, Heide Park, Earth Explorer , Sydney Aquarium, Sydney Wildlife World, Sydney Tower Observatory and Skywalk, Kelly Tarlton’s Antarctic Encounter Underwater World, Oceanworld Manly and Hamilton Island Koala Gallery. All brands which are distinctive, challenging and innovative – and have great potential for growth in the future. Visit www.merlinentertainments.biz for more information.