Dark Ride Turns Riders into Lego Characters
Following a delayed grand opening in the summer of 2020 because of COVID-19 restrictions, Legoland New York Resort is slated to open this year with a special effect unique to dark rides.
The new 150-acre facility in Goshen, 60 miles north of New York City, is one of the largest Legoland theme parks ever built, with seven lands and more than 30 attractions. The signature attraction, “Lego Factory Adventure Ride,” will feature on-ride tracking technology introduced by Holovis and ETF Ride Systems. Riders will discover a series of interactive pauses throughout the journey, where their own likeness will be transformed into a Lego Minifigure.
“One of the most amazing features of the ‘Lego Factory Adventure’ is the combination of authenticity and fantasy the guests will experience within the ride,” says Matt Besterman, public relations manager for the resort.
Halfway through the experience, the vehicles created by ETF Ride Systems will spin guests until they end up face to face with a screen. The big moment takes place when Holovis-pioneered technology will allow riders to appear as Lego Minifigures.
“The onscreen recreation is customized, based on guests’ attributes,” Besterman tells Funworld. “Motion tracking even allows the Minifigure to move as the guest does. Holovis’ proprietary HoloTrac platform leverages advanced computer vision and tracking technologies underpinned by deep neural network-based facial detection and recognition algorithms.”
“Lego Factory Adventure Ride” will become the first dark ride found at a Legoland theme park to offer three degrees of freedom (3DoF), combining lift, tilt, and rotation in the motion experience.
On the ride, guests join Lego character Professor Brick on an unpredictable journey through the Lego factory and are “shrunken” down to Minifigure size to watch the creation process of a Lego brick.
“Genuine Lego factory molding machines are utilized to show the process of melting granules and compressing them to size. Guests will have to wake up a sleeping fire-breathing Lego dragon to help melt the granules,” Besterman says. He notes that once riders shrink to the size of Lego Minifigures, they find themselves immersed by gigantic scenery—like a 20-foot-tall bed—which reinforces the riders’ impression that they are now tiny.
One other unique aspect of the “Lego Factory Adventure Ride” is its universal accessibility, according to Besterman, making the new dark ride accessible to all Legoland New York Resort guests.
“This is the first time that there will be a ride with an ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) vehicle in Legoland parks that is capable of carrying a wheelchair. In this ride, it doesn’t mean that the capacity will slow down when an ADA vehicle has to be loaded, as there will be a special loading bay reserved for the ADA vehicle, which will just swap in with one of the regular vehicles when a wheelchair is loaded,” Besterman explains. In addition, there is no minimum height requirement for the new dark ride.
The rest of the new Legoland New York Resort features a 250-room themed hotel and a “Miniland,” where miniature recreations made from Lego bricks include Yankee Stadium and the New York Botanical Garden’s Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. There’s also a tribute to the park’s location in the form of a “Miniland Goshen.” Here, guests discover a small-scale version of Goshen, New York’s 1870s First Presbyterian Church, complete with its clock tower, and the Goshen Historic Track with tiny harness racing fans. In total, the theme park will open with 15,000 Lego models made from 30 million Lego bricks.