Legoland's brand-new, adorable Pirate River Quest boat ride sets sail
Pirate River Quest, the ambitious and adorable new ride at Winter Haven’s Legoland Resort, takes guests on a 20-minute tour of the historic Cypress Gardens canals, which have become infested by a rowdy crew of plastic pillagers.
Since taking over the property more than a decade ago, Legoland’s horticultural team has always done an admirable job of maintaining the vintage botanical displays, which were Central Florida’s first tourist attraction decades before Disney’s arrival. But the work they’ve now completed on the canals is truly remarkable, restoring the eroded waterways and integrating new life-sized creatures and characters — including Captain Redbeard, a tribe of mischievous monkeys, and an enormous octopus-like Kraken — without ruining the area’s natural integrity.
As a lifelong LEGO fan, I found Pirate River Quest’s scalawag scenery utterly charming, and even toy-hating adults who are suffering PTSD from stepping on painful plastic bricks will be soothed by the finale float along the open waters of Lake Eloise, where waterfowl and even river otters can be spotted along the marshy shoreline. My only caveat, before you make the 80-odd-minute drive from Orlando, is that with only about a dozen passengers per boat, the attraction’s theoretical carrying capacity is under 250 guests per hour. That means you’d better either arrive at park opening and make Pirate River Quest your first destination, or prepare your booty for a long wait in the queue.
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