(Reuters) – After spending a lot of time indoors through the year-long coronavirus pandemic, families in the New York area will soon have one of the first new theme parks in years to visit as restrictions are eased, with LEGOLAND preparing to launch its latest resort.
Located in Goshen, some 60 miles (95 km) north of New York City, LEGOLAND New York is in the final stages of construction, and plans a phased-in opening this summer in order to comply with social distancing guidelines.
“We are the first theme park to be built in the Northeast in decades and really I think particularly with the challenges in the last year, people are looking to get out,” said Matt Besterman, public relations manager for LEGOLAND New York. “They’re looking to have a safe and fun place to play.”
Besterman said the company hopes to make the theme park cashless and contactless in order for everyone to feel safe.
New York Back By July 1
As coronavirus cases have dropped alongside the vaccine rollout, restrictions on businesses are being lifted, with New York City set to be “back fully” on July 1, its mayor said on Thursday.
Features of the new theme park include a LEGO Factory Adventure Ride, which has never appeared before at a LEGO-themed park and takes visitors on a ride through a Lego ‘factory’ where the bricks are people-sized.
The first LEGOLAND park was opened in Denmark in the 1960s to show off the company’s LEGO models. It later expanded to others parts of Europe and Asia, and has two existing parks in the United States, in California and Florida.
As well as rides, LEGO models are a feature of the parks, and the New York one will feature some 15,000 models.
(Reporting by Dan Fastenberg and Andrew Hofstetter; Writing by Diane Craft; editing by Rosalba O’Brien)