Orange County Partnership - News

LEGOLAND New York Opens All Seven Themed Lands at $500-Million Resort

The multi-year campaign to bring a $500-million theme park to Orange County came to fruition. Successful negotiations with town Boards, the advocacy by the Orange County Partnership, Orange County Executive Steven Neuhaus, the business community, the Building Trades and others that led to more than $15 million in state aid, the massive investment by Merlin Entertainments that included a $40-million road and bridge flyover from Route 17 and finally delays from the coronavirus pandemic all culminated in the festivities celebrating the full opening of the theme park on July 9.


Led by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Merlin Entertainments officials and a host of state, county and local officials, as well as business and labor representatives, were on hand for the ceremony held at the newly constructed theme park.


LEGOLAND New York Resort is the first new major theme park in the Northeast in more than four decades. Developed by Merlin Entertainments, the 150-acre project is the first LEGOLAND theme park in the Northeast, the third in the United States and the ninth in the world. It features seven LEGO themed lands, each with its own rides and attractions, and strong educational elements for children ages two to 12 and their families.


“The pandemic took a devastating toll on New York, and as we make our comeback, the new LEGOLAND New York Resort in Orange County is a testament to the resilience and ingenuity that this state has always been known for,” Gov. Cuomo said. “This magnificent destination for people of all ages will help spur the Mid-Hudson region's economic recovery, jumpstart the state's critical tourism industry, and provide a world-class, family-friendly experience for travelers from all over the world.” 


In addition to the seven themed lands, a 250-room LEGOLAND Hotel is now taking bookings starting Aug. 6.


The theme park is the first to feature the world-premiere LEGO Factory Adventure Ride, which transforms guests into Minifigures and gives them a "brick's eye view" of how LEGO is made. The ride also incorporates a specialized ADA vehicle capable of carrying a guest who uses a wheelchair. It is one of several amenities that allows LEGOLAND New York to be enjoyed by visitors of all abilities, including a "Sensory Room" where children and families can combat sensory overload.


The LEGOLAND Hotel is built for kids and each of the hotel's fully LEGO themed rooms will feature a separate children's sleeping area, with daily children's entertainment and scavenger hunts for LEGO prizes. Located just steps away from the theme park, the hotel will also feature a heated resort-style swimming pool.


Stephanie Johnson, Divisional Director of LEGOLAND New York Resort, said, “We appreciate the support of New York State and Empire State Development as LEGOLAND New York Resort prepares to welcome guests from far and wide to build unforgettable memories this summer. We aim to be a child's first theme park experience, and we've always seen the Hudson Valley as the perfect fit for LEGOLAND New York Resort, not only for its picturesque setting, but its proximity to the largest tourist market in the world. After the challenges of the past year, we are pleased to see signs that people are ready to travel again, and we're proud to play a part in the rebirth of New York's crucial tourism economy.”


LEGOLAND New York was supported by grants through the Regional Economic Development Council and Upstate Revitalization Initiative. Additionally, LEGOLAND New York and New York State invested more than $40 million in new road and bridge infrastructure to enhance capacity and improve reliability, including the reconfiguration of the Route 17 Exit 125 interchange; construction of a new bridge over Route 17; widening the South Street and Route 17M intersection; and the reconstruction of Harriman Drive.


Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus said of the theme park’s opening, “Orange County is proud to welcome LEGOLAND New York which joins other attractions that make the county a destination for tourists from around the world. We had a great opportunity to bring LEGOLAND to Orange County and it will be a major economic draw for the region. Not to mention it has made a lot of young children in the area very happy.”


Goshen Town Supervisor Douglas Bloomfield added, “Today's announcement is a major step forward in transforming Goshen's economy for generations to come, and the eagerly anticipated opening will help spur significant job growth and local tourism. I want to thank Merlin Entertainments, Governor Cuomo and all of the elected officials who made today possible, and I look forward to years of fun ahead at LEGOLAND New York.”


In accordance with New York State and CDC guidance, face coverings are optional for fully vaccinated guests, while guests who are not fully vaccinated are encouraged to wear face coverings while at the park. All tickets and passes will be digital, transactions will be cashless and mobile app-based food and beverage offerings will include digital menus in the future. Hand sanitizing stations are located throughout the theme park and social distancing is encouraged. 


LEGOLAND New York will offer year-round educational opportunities to school-aged children throughout the region, with programs focused on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math education. The new theme park will also bring significant community benefits to the Town of Goshen. LEGOLAND New York will pay the Town of Goshen a Host Community Fee, based on attendance, of at least $520,000 the first year and increasing each year thereafter for 30 years, with no cap on payments. The theme park will also host two Community Days for the town per year, donating 50% of event ticket sale revenue to the town.