Picture: Legoland

Who doesn't know the plaything of the LEGO® company in Denmark? The colored bricks with the nubs offer such a variety of combinations that whole miniature cities can be made of those plastic chips. Godtfred Kirk Christiansen, the son of the company's founder, identified this potential and created a family park right next to the main factory in Billund, Denmark at the end of the 60s. The idea behind Legoland® was a huge success: Already during the first summer season more than 600.000 visitors came to see the world of bricks.

Today there are four LEGO® destinations worldwide, one of them since 2002 in Bavarian Günzburg. With an investment volume of 150 million Euros a 15 hectares park was created that unites the highlights of its predecessors with numerous new family attractions, grouped in several themed areas.


Official website of Legoland® Germany


The heart of Legoland® is the mini land, a model world of the scale 1:20 that contains famous cities, sights and landscapes of Europe. Berlin, parts of Venice or Neuschwanstein are modeled into the last detail. Around this central hub six themed areas with different emphases are placed. One of them is the land of the knights. There a splendid castle complex rises, housing the chambers of King Arthur and an attraction that combines a dark ride with a speedy roller coaster. The three trains first move through the interior of the castle before the open air roller coaster part follows.


Right: The castle's inner court

Themed roller coasters came to life early in the 20th century. Rides offering a story line became world famous by the Disney parks, but the combination of a dark ride with different scenes and a roller coaster was implemented at the Lego® parks for the first time. The German version of the Feuerdrachen (Fire Dragon) is the fourth of its kind after the debut in Billund in 1997. So Lego® is the real precursor of this new but unassertive trend at shaping roller coasters.

The story-telling part isn't reduced to a preshow or the queuing area, but rather reaches its peak during the ride. At the Fire Dragon in Legoland® Germany this highlight is the escape from a dragon guarding the royal treasure. The roller coaster becomes a means to an end, it is used as stylistic device.

More enhancements of this kind of roller coaster will debut during the next time. So Universal is going to open a fiery orgy with Revenge of the Mummy at both their American studio parks in summer 2004.

Panorama of the Fire Dragon

The roller coasters delivered by the American manufacturer Premier Rides possess LIM propulsion systems which are used during slower sections as well as for the launch of the train marking the escape from the mummy. Roller coaster parts and themed rooms take turns, the story telling primarily happens during the ride. The LIM launch is only one stylistic device, a backwards section marks another one on the escape from the cursed mummy and its bloodhounds.


Right: This drop follows the lifthill

Picture right: Legoland

The budget of Fire Dragon may well have been only a fraction of those multi million dollar rides overseas, but the experience in Legoland® marks a successful attraction that is very popular among the visitors. This may be caused by the beautifully designed dark ride part, the felicitous integration into the medieval area or the plausible changeover to the coaster part, even though it takes place on "naked" steel supports.

Somewhere in King Arthur´s castle the giant dragon, a magical creature once accommodated by the court sorcerer Merlin, safely guards the royal treasure. Following the queue line - that is skilfully lead on a balkony around the inner court and holds some gimmicks in the form of figures made of those small plastic bricks like at most of the Legoland® attractions - the visitor quickly reaches the dimly-lit station.

The tour of the castle is continued in small cars that slowly move through the empty hallways powered by friction wheels. Somewhere in this enchanted labyrinth the terrifying dragon keeps watch. "Take care" is the good advice the Lego® Merlin gives us to follow after the start of the ride.

Inside King Arthur's castle

Picture: Legoland

The lindworm moves through the magic chamber and the dining room, deeper and deeper into the castle complex. Bats cross our path, and then the treasure guard has already spotted us. But the creature can't carry out his final fire breath: Merlin is on the spot, waves his wand and opens up the escape route. In a flash the train dives down in an S-curve, flies through a tunnel and escapes towards the sunlight. The roller coaster part has begun.

Zierer company from Offenburg shows responsible for it - Fire Dragon is a customized layout of their Force II design. This 860 meters long family coaster is based on a track profile that is substantially different from the I-shaped one used for the Tivoli coasters with their mostly too long trains. Speeds of up to 60 kilometers per hour are reached on the course that offers multiple helices, bend- and drop combinations. A maximum height of 16 meters guarantees for a varied but still family compatible thrill. Especially laudable: Even the smallest Legoland® visitors don´t have to do without a roller coaster ride. Those not fulfilling the restrictions (a height of 120 centimeters or the minimum age of six) can take a ride on the Drachenjagd (Dragon Hunt), the counterpart of the "big" Fire Dragon placed close to the castle complex with its pewters and towers.

Editorial  |   Ride Insights  |   Visit the Parks  |   General Topics  |   Coaster Basics  |   Shop  |   Links  |   About
Über das Web-Magazin: Impressum, Nutzungsbedingungen und weitere Informationen

Copyrights 2000-2017 - Kontakt zu den Autoren: