The sun shone on young LEGO fan James Waine who was able to enjoy his moment in the spotlight as he placed the final brick on the build that he inspired. The LEGOLAND Castle Hotel grand opening appropriately had a child at its heart, which makes perfect sense considering how much the new hotel is aimed at LEGO loving youngsters.
On July 1, 2017, the LEGOLAND Castle Hotel’s grand opening saw LEGOLAND staff, park guests and media gather to see 11 year old James’ model unveiled for the first time. The wannabe theme park designer had entered a competition to design a build for the hotel, and had been selected by LEGOLAND judges as the winner. At the opening, he was given the final bricks to add to the model. One brick within the sculpture is engraved with his name.
The build depicts a LEGO knight – named ‘Sir Bricksalot’ – riding on a classic LEGO style horse, lance in hand in a dramatic pose. 160,000 bricks were used and 360 hours spent constructing the model in the Model Making Workshop at the LEGOLAND Windsor Resort.
‘It’s so awesome to see my design turned into a real life LEGO model,’ James said. ‘It’s so big and even better than I imagined it would be. I want to be a theme park designer when I’m older so this is a dream come true.’
Once the model had been unveiled, visitors to LEGOLAND were invited to check out the lobby of the newly opened Castle Hotel. Designed as a premium experience, even more so than the existing LEGOLAND Hotel, it features theming throughout – from the elevators to the bathrooms. Classic LEGO Castle touches are found throughout, as are activities and little games that are likely to keep families occupied.
To mark the occasion, a pair of knights put on sword fighting displays throughout the day outside the LEGOLAND Castle, wowing onlookers with an escalating display of duelling. Certainly not involved in any such aggression, the venue’s main minifigure, Jester, was also regularly on hand throughout the day for photo ops and merriment.
Among the guests staying on the opening night were number of famous faces, including McFly star Tom Fletcher with his wife Giovanna Fletcher, Popstar Sophie Ellis Bextor with The Feeling bassist, Richard Jones and Steps member Claire Richards with her family.