Merlin Entertainments to Open LEGOLAND Discovery Centre at Meadowlands Xanadu
44,000-Square-Foot Interactive Child-Centered Virtual City Will Be Company's First in Northeast
Meadowlands Xanadu also Announces that Merlin, Owner and Operator of Famed London Eye, will Lease and Operate the Pepsi Globe Observation Wheel at the Spectacular New Jersey Entertainment and Retail Complex
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- March 10, 2008 -- LEGOLAND Discovery Centre, an indoor LEGO® world designed for families and children aged 2 to 12, will open its second and largest location in the USA at the spectacular Meadowlands Xanadu entertainment and retail complex, it was announced by Meadowlands Development, the developer of Meadowlands Xanadu and Merlin Entertainments today.
The UK-based visitor attraction operator will also lease and operate the spectacular Pepsi Globe observation wheel.
"We are delighted to welcome world renowned Merlin Entertainments to Meadowlands Xanadu," said Larry Siegel, President of Meadowlands Development. "They have a special gift for magnificent attractions that combine fun and learning for children and families. They marked the centennial for the world with the opening of The London Eye, and will make their mark here operating the Pepsi Globe and launching their newest concept - LEGOLAND Discovery Centre. Their presence affirms the attractiveness and magnetism of Meadowlands Xanadu at the dynamic core of a population center of 18 million, expected to draw 50 million visitors annually."
The 44,000-square-foot, interactive virtual city will feature a huge central iconic structure fabricated entirely of the iconic interlocking colored bricks; and activities ranging from hands-on LEGO play to life-sized LEGO adventures designed to provide hours of family entertainment centered around children.
The attraction will also combine LEGO model building and unusual construction challenges with theme park-like attractions such as a dragon ride, adventure trail, and 4D cinema incorporating fantastical LEGO creatures and LEGO-based special effects. Other highlights will include a DUPLO play area for younger children, birthday party rooms, a LEGO cafe, a LEGO store, and a special room with rotating exhibitions of work by master LEGO builders.
The world famous London Eye is that city's most popular tourist attraction and under Merlin's aegis the 287-foot high Pepsi Globe promises to be among the most outstanding tourist attractions in the metropolitan region.
"Merlin Entertainments is currently opening five or six new attractions every year around the world, and the attractions at Meadowlands Xanadu will be important additions to our portfolio," said Nick Varney, Chief Executive, Merlin Entertainments. "As the leading operator in Europe, we see enormous potential for our high quality attraction brands in the US - all of which are based on a strategy of 'fun-learning' and we look forward to enormous success at Meadowlands Xanadu."
ABOUT MEADOWLANDS XANADU
Meadowlands Xanadu, under construction in the heart of the NY/NJ metropolitan region, will feature approximately 2.3 million square feet of unique entertainment, interactive attractions, sports and retail unlike any other in the world. The $2 billion complex features five themed districts, Sports, Entertainment, Youth Culture, Food & Home and Fashion, providing a wide variety of experiences catering to different lifestyles and interests. The spectacular complex in the New Jersey Meadowlands will be home to North America's largest climate controlled Ferris wheel, The Pepsi Globe, offering breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline and northern New Jersey. The top-of-the line retail stores, gourmet restaurants, America's first indoor snow dome, a skydiving tower, multiple movie theaters, a concert and live theater venue and much more will be set in a high-energy, media-rich environment. Meadowlands Xanadu is a unique destination that will redefine leisure time. It will be a stage where brands, entertainment and technology join to create larger than life experiences. Meadowlands Xanadu is being developed by Meadowlands Development whose investors include Colony Capital, The Dune Real Estate Funds and KanAm.
ABOUT MERLIN ENTERTAINMENTS GROUP
The Merlin Entertainments Group is the leading name in location based, family entertainment, which has seen the most successful and dynamic growth of any company in the sector over the last five years. The world's No 2 visitor attraction operator, Merlin aims to deliver memorable and rewarding experiences to its 30 million visitors worldwide, through its iconic global and local brands, and the commitment and passion of its managers and 13000 employees. Merlin Entertainments operates the following attractions - Madame Tussauds, SEA LIFE, LEGOLAND, The London Eye, Dungeons, Gardaland, LEGOLAND Discovery Centres, Alton Towers, Warwick Castle, Thorpe Park, Chessington World of Adventures and Earth Explorer.