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Adrienne Krock & Lisa Perkis, Editors

Legoland's Block of Fame

Park celebrates fifth birthday with new attractions

Wednesday, February 18, 2004
by Lisa Perkis, staff writer

Legoland California is celebrating its fifth birthday in 2004, and to commemorate the anniversary, the park is opening five new attractions throughout the coming year.

The first addition was unveiled over President's Day weekend. Adding to its already impressive collection of Lego constructed buildings, animals, and fairy tale characters that decorate the park, the Lego Master Model Builders tackled two new challenges, real people and famous artwork. The Block of Fame transforms a winding, tree-lined walkway into a three-dimensional gallery. The first part of the Block of Fame are busts of well-known faces.

Even Marilyn's beauty mark is faithfully re-created. Photo by Lisa Perkis.

Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Marilyn Monroe, Albert Einstein and Arnold Schwarzenegger are among the famous icons lining the walkway. It took Legoland Master Model Builders more than 40 hours to design, plot and create each bust, and the results are pretty amazing, especially considering builders use standard bricks that anyone can buy.

Elvis was on hand to welcome his likeness to the Block of Fame. Photo by Lisa Perkis.

Guests can get up close and personal with the busts, taking pictures next to Shakespeare or Elvis. Legoland prides itself on being hands-on, so guests can touch and feel the Lego sculptures—even Queen Elizabeth's “jewel necklace.”

At the top of the pathway is a scenic lookout point where the Art of Lego gallery displays Lego versions of world renown art. Leonardo da Vinci's “Mona Lisa,” Rodin's “The Thinker,” Vincent Van Gogh's “Starry Night” and Salvador Dali's “Persistence of Memory” are among 24 classic selections re-created in the same regulation Lego bricks.

The brand new Art of Lego exhibit awaits guests. Photo by Lisa Perkis.

The gallery is certainly not your standard amusement park attraction. Legoland tries to make the gallery more accessible to children with panels next to the artwork discussing the artists and how they used color, shape and light to convey ideas in their pictures.

Unlike the real painting, guests can run their hands over the Lego reproduction of “San Giorgio Maggiore at Dusk” by Claude Monet. Photo by Lisa Perkis.

The main difference between a Lego gallery and a traditional art gallery is the hands-on element: children can touch these painting and get as close as they would like to see details. If a child could be persuaded to hold still and stay off the coasters long enough to read through the panels and discuss the artwork with their parents, the gallery will be a great learning experience.

No gallery is complete without its own Mona Lisa. Photo by Lisa Perkis.

Overall, this new attraction probably won't get families jumping into the mini-van or hopping a plane to Carlsbad to visit the park; however, like the Miniland area, it's amazing to see recognizable faces and artwork made entirely out of regulation Lego bricks. It adds additional atmosphere to a park that is teeming with it, and makes for an enjoyable diversion when the family needs a break from the rides and coasters.


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