At Legoland Florida Resort it was a case of “shiver me timbers” as a new Pirate-themed attraction navigated its way to the park for its opening on 12 January at the turn of the new year. Legoland Pirate River Quest promises a hearty adventure for its intrepid travellers to “set sail through uncharted waters.”
The pirate attraction was originally scheduled to open last November but suffered a delay due to the damaging water effects of Hurricane Ian. The new attraction lives up to the tagline of the visitor attraction’s focus on children that “Legoland Florida Resort is the place where kids rule!”
The pirates’ boats take a voyage through the lush green forests of the park where guests will see various pirate-themed Lego characters and scenes such as a pirate duelling with a monkey and crossing swords as they battle on a multi-coloured beam overhanging the river. Appearances by parrots and a pink flamingo heighten the theming further, reinforcing that you are amid a pirate paradise. A family-friendly treasure hunt adventure awaits the daring pirate in you.
Guests will travel in style on board red rustic boats, which have four rows sitting three guests to a row and is navigated by a Legoland team member. Emblazed on the boats are a statue of a parrot as well as a white skull and cross bone – a must for any pirate ride.
As well as the debut of Pirate River Quest, Legoland Florida Resort commenced the Pirate Fest Weekends in which, for five consecutive weekends, families can enjoy pirate-packed days of play, including exclusive character meet-and-greets, entertainment, Lego builds, and specialty food – all of which is included with a theme park admission or with a Legoland Florida Resort annual pass.
Nick Miller, Director of Operations & Guest Excellence from Legoland Florida Resort, provided InterPark with further treasures about the Pirate River Quest.
InterPark: Can you give us a flavour of the new ride?
Nick Miller: “Ahoy adventure and set sail aboard the all-new Pirate River Quest! Journey through the natural passageways of Lake Eloise and travel along the uncharted waters of the historic Cypress Gardens on a captain-driven boat in search of Captain Redbeard’s lost treasure. This family-friendly ride will unfold brick by brick with a variety of exciting sequences that tell the tale of a rowdy Lego pirate crew, a troop of mischievous monkeys and even a fearsome kraken.”
IP: How long did the ride take to build from start to finish?
NM: “The ride has been under construction since January of 2021. That said, this attraction is a culmination of years of refurbishment of the traditional Cypress Gardens canal waterway, which has been an ongoing project since 2019.”
IP: What challenges did Pirate River Quest pose in constructing?
NM: “Working with a canal system that is nearly 90 years old created interesting challenges. Additionally, the ride takes place on a free-floating boat, which meant developing new standard operating procedures [SOPs] and training captains that can manoeuvre our boats for an enjoyable experience. Finally, Hurricane Ian posed its own challenge as it did cause some damage to the Gardens that needed to be repaired before we could open the ride.”
IP: How long is the ride journey?
NM: “The ride is 22-minutes long.”
IP: What previous attractions were in place where Pirate River Quests sits now?
NM: “We are using some historic infrastructure from Cypress Gardens, along with new construction. The docks were constructed next to an old picnic section of the park.”
IP: Complete the phrase: ‘A ride on Pirate River Quest…’
NM: “A ride on Pirate River Quest is a relaxing journey to learn the tale of Captain Redbeard, the Pirate. The ride takes you on an adventure through the historic Cypress Gardens and is filled with surprises that will interest guests both young and old.”
Legoland Florida Resort, which is run by Merlin Entertainment, opened its doors to the public on 15 October 2011. It is located 45-minutes from Orlando and Tampa and accommodates a sprawling 145-acre theme park. Its huge size makes the resort the second largest Legoland park after Legoland Windsor in the UK.
Legoland Florida Resort has more than 50 rides at its park for guests to enjoy. It also provides a splashing fun experience with 14 water slides in the water park, which is open all-year-round. Guests can also stay for longer and get their fill of the new Pirate River Quest attraction as Legoland Florida Resort accommodates three unique themed Hotels. Legoland Florida also features live shows and themed attractions inspired by Lego brands and characters.