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Old Posted Mar 11, 2008, 11:04 PM
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Legoland moving in to Xanadu at Meadowlands

by Maura McDermott
March 10, 2008

The Xanadu retail/entertainment complex at the Meadowlands will include a Legoland Discovery Centre, developers announced today.

The 44,000-square-foot children's attraction will be a "virtual city" made out of colorful, interlocking blocks, with hands-on activities such as model building, rides, a cinema with special effects, party rooms and a cafe.

Currently the only Legoland in the United States is in Carlsbad, Calif. Other locations include Denmark, Germany and the United Kingdom.

The Legoland attraction will be run by Merlin Entertainments, which is also set to operate the Pepsi Globe observation wheel. Merlin is also the operator of the London Eye observation wheel in England.

Merlin's presence at the complex "affirms the attractiveness and magnetism of Meadowlands Xanadu," said Larry Siegel, president of Meadowlands Development, which is building the complex.

The $2 billion Xanadu complex is under construction at the Meadowlands Sports Complex, and it is due to open in November. It is being financed by Colony Capital, a private equity firm.


Merlin Entertainments to Open LEGOLAND Discovery Centre at Meadowlands Xanadu

March 10, 2008

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--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 café, 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.”


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.
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