WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Daytona International Speedway has a sleek new look at LEGOLAND Florida Resort. It’s the newest model in MINILAND USA, where visitors discover dozens of towering LEGO landmarks from across the United States.
The sounds of roaring engines and cheering fans greet theme park guests as they approach the 1/20-scale model of the “World Center of Racing,” updated following the DAYTONA Rising project – a $400 million frontstretch renovation that made DIS the first motorsports stadium in the world. The new stadium made its debut earlier this year during the Rolex 24 At Daytona and the DAYTONA 500.
The theme park version was designed and built by Merlin Magic Making at its new creative hub in Lake Wales, Fla., which develops displays for Merlin Entertainment's attractions around the world. Made of nearly 300,000 LEGO bricks and stretching 31 feet long, the miniature stadium is now the single largest model in MINILAND USA.
“Race fans have been thrilled by the transformation of the world’s first motorsports stadium,” said Chip Wile, President of Daytona International Speedway. “I’m sure LEGOLAND guests will be just as impressed by this awesome replica.”
Veteran NASCAR driver Casey Mears visited the theme park today to celebrate the giant new display. Racing against Mears was 10-year-old Layla Popoff, whose dream of a giant backyard playhouse was fulfilled by Make-A-Wish Central and Northern Florida earlier this year. Afterward, Mears greeted fans.
- Designed by Dan Martinez and David Chambers of Merlin Magic Making, the new Daytona International Speedway display in MINILAND USA took a team of more than a dozen Master Model Builders to create out of 282,384 LEGO bricks.
- The new stadium model stretches 31 feet and weighs more than 1,400 lbs.
- The stadium was built in three sections at MMM’s new Lake Wales facility, a relatively short distance away from the theme park that saved the designers from having to split the model into smaller pieces for transport.
- The project took approximately 250 design hours and 2,100 build hours to complete.
- To match the elegant curves of the new stadium, more than 2,000 LEGO hinges were used in plate and brick varieties.
- When the theme park stays open past dusk, the stadium will illuminate with lighting installed throughout the model.
- Look for the word “Daytona” spelled out on fans’ shirts, a group of spectators holding letters that spell TURN LEFT and a contingent of soccer fans using their G-O-A-L signs to cheer on racers with G-O!
Sharp-eyed guests might also spot a cheeky nod to Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s recent heart-stopping moment when his steering wheel came off during a race.
Information provided by LEGOLAND Florida Resort.