Photo by the Associated Press
WINTER HAVEN, Fla. -- Pitting roaring lions against snarling crocodiles, Legoland Florida's first new expansion land, World of China, opens Wednesday.
The area is home to three new attractions: a toy play area, a water splash pad area, and a centerpiece boat ride called The Quest for Chi that has kids and parents getting soaked by water cannons.
What is the World of Chima? Eight animal tribes are locked in conflict over a mysterious force that runs through the land they all share.
The world comes alive in a TV show on Cartoon Network, several Lego playsets, and in this new expansion land. Legoland Florida has added a water park since opening in 2011, but this is the main park's first new area.
More attractions are a sign of continued investment and growth at the Winter Haven theme park, which competes with Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, Busch Gardens, and others for the attention of tourists and locals from Tampa Bay and Central Florida.
Park general manager Adrian Jones says the new World of Chima stays true to what he believes is the core of why parents choose Legoland Florida -- a focus on interactive experiences that kids ages 2 to 12 can do together with their families.
Jones says the new World of Chima area features two million Lego bricks used to create sculptures and landmarks, which adds to the existing park total of about 52 million individual Lego pieces.