Miniature world rises at Legoland

September 19, 2011, 4:14 am

Jason Miller has the dream job of many 9-year-olds: He builds things with Lego blocks for a living. The 27-year-old Orlando resident has been fascinated by the colorful building bricks since he was a child. So after Merlin Entertainments Group announced plans to open a Legoland in Polk County, Miller snagged a job in the theme park’s Model Shop.

As a master model builder at Legoland Florida, Miller spends his days installing the park’s Lego-based showpieces and readying the brick models for next month’s grand opening.

Legoland Florida unveiled many of its Lego creations Tuesday, including a replica of Daytona International Speedway complete with cars that race around perfectly angled, 31-degree banked turns. The park’s “Miniland USA,” as the collection is called, will feature intricate models of locales such as Washington, D.C., with a replica of the White House and First Family; New York City, with a 191/2 –foot-tall Empire State Building; and Sunshine State hotspots such as Key West and Miami’s South Beach.

“Everything that we have, people can build at home,” Miller said. “Kids can look at this and be inspired to go home and create a 15-story building.” Scheduled to open Oct. 15, Legoland Florida is well on its way toward completion. General Manager Adrian Jones said Tuesday that about 70 percent of the park’s rides have been tested and commissioned, while many of the buildings are already finished.


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