The wizards, dragons and royal princesses have not yet taken up residency in Legoland's newest hotel, but the castle facade is complete and the themed guestrooms are on track for an April 27 opening, the Carlsbad, Calif., theme park announced last week.
The 250-room hotel, which started construction a year ago, marks the second themed lodging destination operating within the park itself, catering to families planning to spend more than a day at Legoland.
Although park officials never divulge how much Legoland's owner, London-based Merlin Entertainment Group, invests in park projects, the castle hotel is expected to be even pricier than the first hotel, which at the time it opened, was said to be one of the costliest undertakings since the park opened.
Based on building permit information provided by the city of Carlsbad, the valuation of the castle hotel project, which wouldn't include furnishings and equipment, is more than $20 million.
Hotel General Manager Frank Idris said last week that the deluxe guest rooms and suites are about 75 percent complete, and overall construction of the three-story hotel is about two-thirds of the way finished.
The Legoland Castle Hotel is being characterized as a "premium" experience, with heavier and richer theming in all of the rooms than in the original Legoland Hotel California, a full-service restaurant and a much more robust outdoor space with multiple forms of family entertainment. That means room rates will be slightly higher.
Here's a preview of what's to come:
Knights and dragons rooms: These will account for 130 of the 250 rooms. A centerpiece will be a 3-foot-tall Lego model of a dragon, complementing castle-like walls adorned with depictions of both girl and boy knights, plus more dragons. A curtain will separate the children's sleeping area from that of the adults in all of the 365-square-foot deluxe castle rooms. A new feature unique to this hotel will be a brick-building table that is part of the TV console area.
The decor is designed to inspire a story line in which the young guests are defending the king's castle against the imminent arrival of the evil dragon.
Magic wizards rooms: Expect plenty of male and female wizards populating the rooms, of which there will be 95. The largest of the Lego models will be a giant owl wearing a wizard's hat. The feeling of wizardry will be invoked with images of a magic potions shop, and there will be a shelf filled with Fiberglas bottles and crystal balls.