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It's Ninja Time!!! LEGO® NINJAGO World® Officially Opens at LEGOLAND® California Resort Print

 TV Star Joel McHale Joins Guests of Merlin’s Magic Wand Charity During Ribbon Cutting Festivities

Media Contacts:
Julie Estrada/760-918-5377
Jake Gonzales/760-918-5379  

Video Link: https://www.hightail.com/download/cUJWd0VPZ2pVbStGa2NUQw Photos Link:   https://spaces.hightail.com/receive/DILy7

Excited children’s faces waited in anticipation as the ceremonial ribbon was officially cut opening LEGO® NINJAGO® World at LEGOLAND® California Resort! Actor and comedian Joel McHale joined Merlin’s Magic Wand’s special guests from Rady Children’s Hospital and the Autism Society during the opening ceremony. Merlin’s Magic Wand is a global charity which supports seriously ill, disabled and disadvantage children by supplying tickets and travel grants to any Merlin Entertainments attractions. McHale and the guests were the first to officially train like a ninja and experience the new interactive 4D ride which is the first in North America to enable guests to control the outcome of their adventure just by using their hands.

“I’m very excited to be here today and become a ninja,” said McHale. “Big thanks to Merlin’s Magic Wand for bringing the kids from Rady Children’s Hospital and the Autism Society here today and for making my boys’ dreams come true!” McHale, known for starring in the comedic hit show “Community”, hosting E! Entertainment’s “The Soup” and recently starring in the revival of “X-Files”, was joined by his wife Sarah and children Eddie (11) and Isaac (8) for a full day of ninja training and family fun.

“We’re very excited to unleash the power of NINJAGO upon LEGOLAND California Resort!” said General Manager Peter Ronchetti. “This has been a couple of years in the making and there’s nothing like seeing the excitement in children’s eyes as they enter this new land and experience a ride that grasps the new world of virtual technology.”

NINJAGO The Ride uses cutting-edge Maestro hand gesture technology, manufactured by Triotech, the world leader in media based interactive attractions, and enables guests to throw fire balls, shock waves, ice and lightning to defeat villains. Riders collect points for their training and battle efforts and scores are displayed when their quest is completed. Effects such as heat, smoke and wind are incorporated throughout the adventure, giving guests the ultimate interactive 4D experience. 

The ride is the center of NINJAGO World where interactive experiences test guest’s creativity, speed, balance and agility. Twenty-two new LEGO models flank the new land, in addition to a new retail outlet, Wu’s Warehouse and a dining option, Ninja Kitchen, where LEGOLAND chefs put a special twist on Asian street food with Banh Mi sandwiches on fresh baked baguettes or steamed Bao Buns with crispy pork belly, lemongrass chicken or baked sweet chili tofu. 

NINJAGO World is included in admission to LEGOLAND California Resort. For more information, log onto www.LEGOLAND.com or call (760) 918-LEGO (5346).

LEGOLAND® California Resort includes LEGOLAND® California, SEA LIFE® Aquarium, LEGOLAND® Water Park and LEGOLAND® Hotel. All are geared for families with children between the ages of 2 and 12. At LEGOLAND California, you’ll find more than 60 rides, shows and attractions including LEGO Star Wars Miniland Model Display, Pirate Reef and Dino Island.  SEA LIFE Aquarium is home to more than 5,000 living creatures and incorporates LEGO® models into a child’s voyage to the depths of the ocean featuring play zones, fun facts and quiz trails. LEGOLAND Water Park features more than seven slides, sandy beaches and the unique Build-A-Raft River. LEGO Legends of Chima Water Park presented by Cartoon Network offers guests a chance to splash about in a Lion Temple Wave Pool, slide out of a crocodile’s mouth and race LEGO boats. The nation’s first LEGOLAND Hotel features 250 rooms, all themed either as pirate, adventure, or kingdom plus more than 3,500 LEGO models throughout the three-story hotel. For more information, visit  www.LEGOLAND.com or call (760) 918-LEGO (5346).

MERLIN ENTERTAINMENTS plc is the leading name in location-based, family entertainment. Europe’s number one and the world’s second-largest visitor attraction operator, Merlin now operates 111 attractions, 12 hotels/4 holiday villages in 23 countries and across 4 continents. The company aims to deliver memorable and rewarding experiences to its almost 63 million visitors worldwide, through its iconic global and local brands, and the commitment and passion of its managers and approximately 26,000 employees (peak season). 

Merlin has twenty five attractions and two hotels in North America  - including two stunning LEGOLAND Resorts – LEGOLAND Florida Resort with its theme park, water park and hotel; and LEGOLAND California Resort with its theme park, two water parks, SEA LIFE Aquarium and themed hotel; The Orlando Eye; Madame Tussauds celebrity wax attractions in New York City; Washington, D.C.; Las Vegas, NV; Hollywood, CA; Orlando, FL and San Francisco, CA; LEGOLAND Discovery Centers in Chicago, IL; Dallas/Fort Worth, TX; Kansas City, MO; Atlanta, GA; Boston, MA; Westchester, NY; Toronto, Canada; a Dungeon in San Francisco; and SEA LIFE Aquariums in Phoenix, AZ; Kansas City, MO; Auburn Hills, MI; Dallas/Fort Worth, TX; the Mall of America in Minneapolis, MN; Orlando, FL and Charlotte/Concord, NC - underlining the company’s position as the world’s biggest global aquarium operator.  Visit www.merlinentertainments.biz for more information.

Merlin's Magic Wand works with Merlin Entertainments Group and its attractions by providing magical experiences to seriously ill, disabled and disadvantaged children.  The charity helps fund travel grants to families to enjoy their day out and support local outreach efforts with charity partners.  Highly interactive Merlin themed waiting and therapy rooms called Merlin’s Magic Spaces have also been created for children too unwell to visit the Merlin attractions.  Merlin’s Magic Wand has provided more than 300,000 tickets to children and their families since it began in 2008 and completed 20 Merlin’s Magic Space projects to date with more to come. Merlin's Magic Wand Foundation is a public charity and a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.  For more information: www.merlinsmagicwand.org/usa

Rady Children's Hospital-San Diego is a 520-bed pediatric care facility providing the largest source of comprehensive pediatric medical services in San Diego, Southern Riverside and Imperial counties. Rady Children’s is the only hospital in the San Diego area dedicated exclusively to pediatric healthcare and is the region’s only designated pediatric trauma center. In June 2015, U.S. News & World Report ranked Rady Children’s among the best children’s hospitals in the nation in all ten pediatric specialties the magazine surveyed. Rady Children’s is a nonprofit organization that relies on donations to support its mission. For more information, visit www.rchsd.org and find us on Facebook, Twitter and Vimeo.

The Autism Society is the nation’s leading grassroots autism organization. Started by parents fifty years ago, the Autism Society has evolved to over 100 affiliates with the same mission - to improve the lives of all affected by autism.  Each year, thousands of hours are volunteered by professionals, family members, individuals with autism, and community members, working to create a world where individuals and families living with autism are able to maximize their quality of life, are treated with the highest level of dignity, and live in a society in which their talents and skills are appreciated and valued in their community.   For more information on the Autism Society visit  www.autism-society.org or call 1(800) 328-8476.