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Legoland to close popular Star Wars attraction in January

Pam Kragen, The San Diego Union-Tribune on

Published in Travel News

SAN DIEGO -- Just as the Death Star exploded into stardust in the movie "Return of the Jedi," the popular Star Wars attraction at Legoland California will also soon evaporate.

Jan. 6 is the last day visitors at the Carlsbad theme park will be able to tour Star Wars Miniland, an extensive outdoor collection of more than 2,000 Lego brick models inspired by the Star Wars film canon. Along with the departure of the Star Wars attraction, Legoland will no longer produce Star Wars Days, which were two weekends of themed events in June that drew thousands of costumed enthusiasts.

Star Wars Miniland, hand-constructed from more than 1.5 million Lego bricks, will be removed to make way for what Lego officials say is an unnamed future attraction. Star Wars Miniland at the Legoland park in Cypress Springs, Fla., will also close on the same day.

Legoland California spokesman Jake Gonzalez said the closure of the Star Wars attraction is part of the park's continuous effort to change and update the park to keep the guest experience fresh.

He declined to comment on whether the closure was related to a possible impending expiration of Lego's license with Lucasfilm and Disney to host a "Star Wars" attractions. Disney -- which purchased Lucasfilm in 2012 -- opened its own Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge lands at its Anaheim and Orlando theme parks earlier this year.

Star Wars Miniland has gradually expanded at the Carlsbad park since the first models were installed in 2011. Over the years, the attraction has grown to include layouts and figures of multiple Star Wars planets, spaceships and characters.

 

Features include a walkway lined with 3-foot figures of classic characters including Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia, Yoda and Chewbacca. There are also several large scenic landscapes from the planets Tatooine, Hoth, Naboo, Theed, Endor and Jakku, among others. The land's largest element is the Death Star. Installed in 2015, the 1,900-pound, 500,000-brick globelike sculpture has 58 automated orbiting starships. Another major attraction is the Star Destroyer, a 14-foot ship made from more than 350,000 bricks.

News of the impending closure shocked some families visiting Star Wars Miniland at Legoland California on this week. The announcement seemed to disappoint the dads more than their grade-school-age children.

"This will be really sad to lose this," said Kenny Goskesen of Riverside, who was visiting Star Wars Miniland for the third time with his wife and two sons. "I grew up on Star Wars as a kid and really enjoyed introducing it to my kids."

Dan Reyes of Orange County, who was visiting with his wife and three children, was equally disappointed.

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