Sneak Peek: Legoland Discovery Center Columbus

Julanne Hohbach

Legoland Discovery Center Columbus opened its still-under-construction doors Aug. 29 to preview of one of the attraction’s interactive rides.

The hotly anticipated Easton newcomer, which opens next month in the space formerly occupied by KDB and GameWorks, remains a work in progress. Members of the media were invited to walk through the ride, which is not yet operational but is largely complete.

Kingdom Quest is an interactive adventure that riders travel through on chariots. “The idea is you’re going to embark on an epic journey to save the princess,” said marketing manager Jenna Maffei.

The trackless ride, which lasts two to three minutes, features a mix of animated sequences and 3-D models. Passengers have laser blasters to shoot at targets—earning points and uncovering surprises along the way. “There is a competitive element to it,” Maffei said. “You may trigger something to spin or something to pop up.”

The concept, though occupying a smaller footprint, will be familiar to anyone who’s ridden Boo Blasters on Boo Hill at Kings Island or Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin or Toy Story Mania at Disney parks.

Kingdom Quest accommodates up to five people per chariot; five cars can rotate through the attraction at a given time. Maffei said there are no age or height restrictions, but all riders must be able to walk and sit up unassisted.

Kingdom Quest is one of two areas on LDC Columbus’ top floor. Arriving visitors first will go through a “factory tour” before embarking on the ride. The downstairs area features the 4D cinema, play areas and more. First-time visitors can expect to spend two to three hours taking in the whole attraction, Maffei said.

LDC Columbus will open first to annual pass holders, who have exclusive access Sept. 21-23. The attraction opens to the public Sept. 24, and tickets already are on sale. Advance tickets are timed every half-hour, but once inside visitors can stay as long as they like.

A grand opening ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. Sept. 28 on the grand staircase of the Easton Station building. The event is open to the public, but it does not include access to the attraction itself.

When it opens, Legoland Discovery Center Columbus also will offer 10 play zones, Duplo and Soft Play areas for younger children, Master Model Builder classes, a vehicle test track, 4D cinema, party room, café, store and a Miniland Ohio, with Lego re-creations of landmarks from Columbus, Cincinnati and Cleveland.

Miniland Ohio buildings unveiled to date—all of which were voted on by the public—are COSI, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Cincinnati’s Union Terminal. All told, 1.5 million Lego bricks will be incorporated in Miniland Ohio.

The 4D cinema will feature four movies, each about 20 minutes long. “The fourth dimension is wind, rain, smoke—whatever the movie calls for,” Maffei said.

Legoland Discovery Center Columbus is a $10 million, two-story, 36,000-square-foot play center geared for ages 3-10. The attraction, which will be owned and operated by Merlin Entertainments, will be the 12th LDC in North America and 22nd worldwide.

One other special event of note: The venue will host Brick Or Treat events every weekend in October, with special builds, activities and décor. Guests are welcome to come in costume, Maffei said.

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