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Pirate River Quest

Winter Haven, FL

Client: Merlin Entertainments

Project Description

In 2023, A&ES and Merlin Entertainments endeavored to reinvigorate the historic waters of LEGOLAND® Florida Resort’s Cypress Gardens through the creation of a one-of-a-kind interactive boat ride attraction - Pirate River Quest!

A&ES was brought in during the early stages of the project to help conceptualize and design the experience. We provided pre-construction and development support as the turn-key contractor for the brand-new attraction. With the awe-inspiring and historic back drop of Cypress Gardens as the unprecedented location, this LEGO® Pirate attraction would serve as an opportunity for families of all ages to experience the natural beauty of central Florida’s waterways, wildlife, and nature, while being entertained with a thrilling story of treasures lost, monkey thieves, and pirate curses. We researched and performed careful analysis of the goals for the attraction and explored numerous opportunities that it presented by nature of the re-development and reinvigoration of a defunct river tour, which saw its first guests circa 1940. The call to establish a distinctive, pirate-themed, story-driven, high-tech, interactive, trackless boat ride in the true natural territories of Florida’s wild waterways was an ambitious goal to say the least. A&ES went to work closely with the team from Merlin Entertainments, developing the construction documents and designs for the marine construction, while navigating the delicate jurisdictional and environmental requirements to ensure that the integrity of the locally treasured Cypress Gardens, and the wildlife that make them home, was maintained at all costs. Our Project Development and Management teams developed budgets and schedules which would ensure that the financial goals of the new attraction could be met. Performing as the General Contractor on the project, A&ES was responsible for all infrastructure from Electrical to full AV systems design and integration for both off-board and ride vehicle on-board systems. We performed preproduction and prototyping of the unique special effects and show control systems which bring the attraction to life through cannon and water explosions, swashbuckling sword fights, and rumbling rapids. The LEGO® theming was meticulously planned and approved through LEGO® IP and constructed with flawless execution. Our site supervision and installation teams ensured that each and every detail of the attraction was completed to LEGOLAND® compliance and safety standards, all while seamlessly integrating the LEGO® figures, theming, and story into the protected and wild setting!

We encourage all to experience this attraction for themselves and set sail with a rowdy crew of LEGO® pirates in search of the lost treasure. Journey through the uncharted waters of the legendary Cypress Gardens on this exciting 20-minute adventure, discover the secrets protecting its canals and join in as the story unfolds brick by brick into a family-friendly treasure hunt. Adventure awaits you at LEGOLAND® Florida Resort’s Pirate River Quest!

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