Global leisure giant Merlin Entertainments plc (Merlin) and The Mills, a Simon company, today, announced plans to open a LEGOLAND Discovery Center (LDC) at Arizona Mills. LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Phoenix will be Merlin’s seventh LDC to open in the USA and reflects the success of the concept and the huge and enduring appeal of the LEGO brick. It will join Merlin’s popular SEA LIFE aquarium at Arizona Mills.
LEGOLAND Discovery Center is a unique indoor attraction, based on the popular LEGO brick. Specifically designed for families with children 3-10 years old, LEGOLAND Discovery Centers offer a fun, highly interactive and educational two- to three-hour experience consisting of a range of exciting LEGO play areas, including a brick pool, master classes from the LEGO Master Model Builder, a fun LEGO ride, special party rooms for birthdays and other celebrations, a 4D cinema, and, of course, the popular MINILAND exhibit found in every LEGOLAND Park and attraction. MINILAND is designed to reflect the iconic buildings of each individual attraction’s location – at LEGOLAND Discovery Center Phoenix, this will include both buildings from the City’s impressive skyline and landmarks from the surrounding area, all nominated by the local community.
“The LEGOLAND Discovery Center concept has been a huge success across the globe, particularly as part of a family day out of shopping and dining. This, together with the fact that a large number of families with small children live within a 2- to 3-hour drive, makes Arizona Mills the ideal location for the attraction. We are sure visitors, both here and abroad, will embrace the Center,” said Glenn Earlam, managing director of Merlin Midway Attractions Operating Group.
This significant addition will mark a transformative time for Arizona Mills as it prepares for an upcoming summer renovation to its entertainment wing that will be centered around family friendly experiences and dining options. LEGOLAND Discovery Center Phoenix will expand Arizona Mills’ presence in the market as the state’s largest outlet and value retail shopping destination.
Plans and designs are already in place for the 60,000-square-foot attraction, and construction will begin in June 2015. LEGO models for the Phoenix attractions will be made in Merlin’s specialist studios around the world and shipped in during construction to be ready for the opening in late spring 2016.
“We have an excellent working relationship with Merlin at many of our properties and are very pleased to welcome LEGOLAND Discovery Center, their best global brand, to Arizona Mills,” said Gregg Goodman, president of The Mills. “This, together with SEA LIFE, which Phoenix has embraced as its own special aquarium in the desert, will play a key role in our plans to create a family entertainment district within Arizona Mills. Our goal is to make it the premier destination for families who enjoy great shopping combined with high-quality entertainment and dining.”
Merlin has grown significantly since it first opened SEA LIFE in Phoenix and now has more than 20 attractions in the US. “Our objective is to ‘cluster’ several complementary attractions together, as we are doing in Phoenix, offering even more reason for families with young children to spend an exciting day at Arizona Mills. Indeed, projects such as this play a very important part in our future growth strategy,” added Earlam.
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