Seth Kubersky’s Best Week Ever February 4, 2016: Legoland’s The LEGO Movie 4D Premiere

Unless you live in London, New York, or L.A., you probably don’t see celebrities walking the red carpet in person every day. But for this Best Week Ever, we are taking a road trip to a movie premiere in the well-known cultural capital of…Winter Haven? Legoland Florida (which we cover in-depth in the new edition of Beyond Disney) recently hosted the global debut of the newest installment in their hit cinematic franchise, and I was lucky enough to get an invite to last weeks’s premiere of The LEGO Movie 4D A New Adventure.

 

Rain or no, it’s a Best Week Ever when we’re at Legoland’s premiere of The LEGO Movie 4D (Photos by Seth Kubersky).

 

Legoland counldn’t have picked an unluckier day for their big blowout, because the wind was blowing and rain was coming down in buckets as dusk fell. The storm was slacking by the time I arrived at the park, which is about a 75 minute drive from my home, mostly along poky Highway 27.

 

 

Check-in for the event began around the park’s closing time. While the media huddled under the entryway to stay dry, we were handed color-changing LED wristbands to wear. They would turn out to play a part in the presentation later on.

 

As a former theme park special event supervisor my heart went out to Legoland’s team, who did their best to compensate for the weather. Here’s the “interactive” red carpet they set up — featuring fog machines and lighting effects — and a giant golden Emmet-shaped award, intended for photo ops that were forced inside.

 

 

Instead, the festivities sheltered inside the Wells Fargo Fun Town Theater, where the LEGO Movie 4D film is now playing daily. The confines in the entryway were cozy to say the least.

 

 

Prior to the premiere, the press lined up for some refreshing mock-tails (non-alcoholic, of course)…

 

 

…and a colorful buffet.

 

 

Munchies in hand, we sat in the theater seats and awaited the main event.

 

 

Before long, the evening’s celebrities arrived for their indoor red carpet media moment. Unfortunately, none of the stars in attendance were involved in the LEGO Movie 4D in any way. In fact, they were mostly from television series and YouTube vlogs that I’d never heard of before. However, tweens I took to the event with me recognized many of them, so obviously my Logan’s Run life-clock is long expired.

 

The Eh Bee Family (YouTube vlogs ears)

 

Jack Griffo (Nickelodeon’s The Thundermans)

 

Madisyn Shipman (Nickelodeon’s Game Shakers)

 

Joey Bragg (Disney Channel’s Liv and Maddie)

 

Isabela Moner (Nickelodeon’s 100 Things to do Before High School)

 

Jace Norman (Nickelodeon’s Henry Danger)

 

Family Fun Pack (YouTube)

 

Finally, it was time for the big debut of The Lego Movie 4D A New Adventure. The premiere screening was prefaced by a switch-throwing ceremony, which involved the audience’s wristbands (remember those?) glowing in synch with the emcees’.

 

 

Here’s a video from Legoland with highlights of the ceremony and celebrity interviews:

 

 

Obviously, no photography was allowed during the film itself, but they did release this footage to give you an idea of the 12 1/2 minute attraction:

 

 

As far as 4D attractions go, The LEGO Movie 4D lacks the bells and whistles that you’ll find in similar Orlando attractions. There are no moving seats (like Shrek 4D), animatronics (like MuppetVision and ITTBAB), or live actors (like T2/3D) at Legoland, and in-theater effects are limited to fans, light projections, and lots of water. The actual 3-D is also disappointing, as it uses a dated polarized projector instead of the brighter, sharper 4K Dolby 3D systems used in all new Disney and Universal attractions.

To be fair, most kids won’t care about any of the above, because they’ll be so happy to see their favorite LEGO Movie pals (save Batman and other licensed characters) reunited on screen ahead of the 2018 theatrical sequel. Parents should smile and snicker as well at the satire, which casts Patton Oswald as Risky Business, the “less expensive” brother of Will Ferrell’s Lord Business, and owner of a LEGO Movie-themed theme park designed to enslave Emmet and Wyldstyle.

There are a lot of witty one-liners crammed into the brief story, many of which will sail right over youngsters’ heads. (I missed some myself, thanks to a somewhat muddy sound mix.) But it doesn’t get snide and cynical like the Shrek flicks; there’s a healthy moral along with the humorously self-aware mocking of consumerism.

After the film, guests and celebs could get photos with new life-sized mascots of the movie’s stars. These characters will be available for meet and greets in the park, especially during LEGO Movie 4D Weekends on Saturdays and Sundays in February.

 

 

By the time the party was over, the skies had cleared and it was a perfect night for walking the red carpet…albeit in the wrong direction!

 

(Photo by Dewayne Bevil)

 

Will your family make the trek to Legoland next time you vacation in Florida? Let us know what you think of the park in the comments below!

 

Seth Kubersky

Author of The Unofficial Guide to Universal Orlando. Co-author of The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland and Beyond Disney. Contributor to Unofficial Guides to WDW and Las Vegas. Live Active Cultures columnist for the Orlando Weekly. Travel and arts journalist. Theatrical director and producer.

5 thoughts on “Seth Kubersky’s Best Week Ever February 4, 2016: Legoland’s The LEGO Movie 4D Premiere

  • February 4, 2016 at 7:37 am
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    Love that Benny character, all of Lego helmets had snapped there too.

    Spaceship SPACESHIP SPACESHIP!!!

  • February 4, 2016 at 8:41 am
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    We took a day trip to Legoland during our last Florida vacation. We were staying at the Royal Pacific. It was about 45 minutes, and we were an hour early because Somebody forgot to check the hours online. (It was me.) I recommend if you arrive early to check out the lobby of the Lego hotel, it’s an attraction in itself. The staff welcomed anyone in to come and play in the giant Lego castle. The park was very pleasant, not at all crowded (in very early October). We had a too hot day, if you have hot weather, tour the Lego model cities early in the day, there’s almost no shade. The rides mostly catered to the younger set, but even my 9 year old enjoyed most with his little brother. The food was typical theme park stuff, burgers, chicken nuggets, but better than average, IMO. We used Len’s basic touring plan at http://blog.touringplans.com/2012/05/07/a-basic-touring-plan-for-legoland-florida/. We didn’t see everything, but we probably could have if it hadn’t been so hot/didn’t re-ride their favorites so many times. Note also, the no-bags on the rides rule is very strictly enforced. I had to leave my purse in cubbies for every ride. Staff were all really wonderful and friendly, and the grounds were clean.

  • February 4, 2016 at 8:35 pm
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    We have a LegoLand coming to New Jersey, scheduled to open this Summer in the new American Dream mall 10 minutes outside of NYC. Can’t wait!

    • February 5, 2016 at 8:59 am
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      Hi Heather, it won’t be the same as the Legoland theme park in Florida. There are Legoland Discovery Centers scattered around the US and Canada that are indoor kids’ entertainment venues, but not big outdoor rides and roller coasters. I thought it was confusing when I looked up the difference, but for some reason they call both the Discovery Centers and the Theme Parks “Legoland.”

  • February 12, 2016 at 3:18 pm
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    My family paid a visit to Legoland Florida after our Disney cruise in 2014, and we will not be going back. My kids had a good time, but from someone who considers herself somewhat of a theme park connoisseur, I give Legoland a big thumbs down! The food is mediocre and expensive. The ride attendants were extremely slow and inefficient in getting people on and off the rides. And there is only one attraction indoors, so when it rained, there was practically nothing to do except sit under an awning and watch the rain come down. I think Legoland has a lot of work to do if they want to be even close to the same level as Disney or Universal.

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