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A Firsthand Look at LEGOLAND’s New VR Coaster

As a 30-year-old adult who has gone on her share of adventures, I thought I had experienced every type of thrill ride out there. From Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Illinois to Walt Disney World, and even bungee jumping off a bridge in Ecuador, I’m no stranger to the stomach-dropping fun that comes with theme park rides.

I didn’t know what to expect from The Great LEGO Race in LEGOLAND, but I figured it couldn’t be much different from anything else I’ve tried.

I was wrong.

I have never experienced anything like The Great LEGO Race, the new virtual reality roller coaster that LEGOLAND Florida recently debuted. This epic ride immerses riders in a world constructed entirely of LEGO bricks through the VR headsets worn by each rider (age permitting).

You start by walking through the entry portal into what feels like a racing pit. As I waited in the queue my excitement began to mount.

Since the premise of this ride is that you’re racing against 5 other LEGO racecar drivers—a pirate, a surfer, a trendsetter, a pharaoh and a wizard—the walls display information on your competition. You can also watch the video screens above you to learn more about the VR experience you’re about to have.

When it was finally my turn, I received my instructions from the Model Citizen operating the ride as I clutched the magical VR headset in my hands. The ride seats 4 passengers to a car. Before you put on your headset, you tether it to the vehicle, then the ride operator gives you instructions for securing the headset and making sure it fits correctly.

I was a little nervous that it would be uncomfortable or give me a headache, but since riders are able to adjust the size of the headset that wasn’t an issue. And to be honest, once that headset was in place, I was immersed in the LEGO universe and wasn’t thinking about anything else!

This is where the magic begins. While you’re waiting at the start of the race, you’re going to want to take some time to check out your virtual surroundings. The designers of this experience thought of everything. Your competition is all around you getting into position. A crowd of LEGO people is cheering you on. The LEGO brick road ahead of you beckons.

Then the ride begins. I was floored by how seamlessly the visuals synced with the movements of the roller coaster itself. For example, if there was a small drop in the ride, on-screen the LEGO road would crumble before you sending your car freefalling into the depths. As you physically experience twists, turns and drops, your visual experience will reflect that with creative scenarios.

At the same time, something about this ride brought out my inner child, and I heard myself shouting things like, “That was so cool!” It’s the imaginative play you experienced as a child playing LEGOS brought to life with you as the star of the show.

What amazed me the most was that it’s not just a screen in front of you, but truly a virtual world where you can turn your head in any direction and see something different. You’ll feel like you’ve been dropped right in the middle of a LEGO movie!

The only downside for me was that I couldn’t bring my kids on the ride with me since they’re too young. Kids ages 6 and up at least 48 inches tall can ride with the headset.

4 and 5-year-olds who are tall enough can ride but are not old enough to wear the headset. If you’re a parent of young kids, this isn’t your ride, yet. Wait a few years and then definitely come back to experience this as a family. In the meantime, the NINJAGO ride might be a better option.

(Of course, every part of LEGOLAND Florida is geared toward kids ages 2-12, so you should have no problem finding other things to do. Try DUPLO Valley for your tiniest tots.)

If your kids are old enough, your whole family will have a blast reliving everything you saw and felt during this incredible experience. I personally want to go back, again and again, to look around for different things I missed the first time around when I was in complete awe.

Before or after you ride with your kids, don’t forget to take a picture of each other in the headsets! Your kids will love looking back at the pictures of themselves with LEGO eyes and reliving the moment they were part of the LEGO world.

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