Merlin Entertainments Group
NEW PARK UNDER CONSTRUCTION
2017 - New Park - Confirmed - (2/8/17) Looks like it wont be too long before the all new Legoland Japan theme park opens. According to the website the park will be open for special preview day visits from passholders on March 25, 26 and 27th, and I believe the grand opening will officially take place on April 1st.
(9/9/16) A quick correction... as unfortunately my experience with the LEGOLAND theme park has only been to the American parks, but it seems I was wrong about the observation tower comment. The original LEGOLAND park in Billund as well as Legoland Germany and Legoland Malaysia are all said to have observation tower rides.
(9/5/16) Legoland Japan has posted a picture of the park's colorful LEGO themed observation tower that will provide a view of the park from 59.8m (196 feet) in the air. Other than Legoland Florida, which has a unique observation platform attraction that was handed down from that location's previous life as Cypress Gardens, I don't believe I've seen an observation tower ride at any other Legoland park before.
(8/25/16) Aerial drone-cam footage of the new Legoland Japan theme park under construction can be found on Twitter. Looks like things are well under way there ahead of the park's 2017 grand opening.
(5/12/15) ThemeparX has a shot from the ground breaking ceremony held for LEGOLAND Japan back in April, as well as a few graphic images showing off the layout of the park which gives us a good look at some of the park's coasters and rides. For example I can see a LEGO Technics Test Track style coaster, the car driving ride, Aquazone ride and much more.
(10/13/14) Layout artwork showing off the look of the new Legoland Nagoya theme park can be found at ThemeparX.
(7/8/14) Merlin has confirmed that the deal to build Legoland Japan is now official and that their first Legoland park in Japan will open in Nagoya by mid-2017. The park will cost c•32 billion (just under $315 million US) and according to the press release:
“The park will be opened under Merlin’s ‘operated and leased’ model, with the infrastructure of the park being funded by a third party. Merlin will directly invest c•9.2 billion (c£53 million2) in the park over the next 3 years and lease the balance of the assets from a company owned by KIRKBI Invest A/S (which is a subsidiary of KIRKBI A/S (‘KIRKBI’) a privately held investment and holding company with a 75% ownership share in the LEGO Group and a 29.9% shareholding in Merlin). KIRKBI’s investment, which is separate to that of Merlin’s, will be funded through a combination of equity and external debt provided by Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC). Merlin’s investment is expected to deliver returns consistent with the Group’s stated pre-tax cash ROIC target of 20%.”
Located in Nagoya, the park location is described as being in “the center of Japan”, approximately 2 hours from Tokyo and 1 hour from Osaka. They will focus on building the park first, but the site will have room for future expansion possibilities, including the addition of a themed on-site resort. The city will support the new park project with the development of the local traveling infrastructure, as well as a 5,000 space multi-level parking structure.
(10/31/12) According to a Japanese news site, Merlin officials signed a deal to open their first Legoland theme park in Japan in March 2016 in Nagoya.
(11/22/11) Merlin Entertainment sent out a press release announcing that Nagoya was selected as their preferred location for Legoland Japan, noting that they will begin formal talks with the city to secure the site and development terms. The park could open as early as 2015.
(10/31/11) JapanTimes reports that Merlin Entertainment has chosen a 10 hectares (24 acre) site on the Kinjo Pier in Nagoya as the site for a Legoland theme park in Japan. This seems a bit small of a site for a full scale Legoland theme park however as even the new park in Malaysia that will open in 2012 will be 76-acres, and I believe the California park is 150 acres. At the same time, 24 acres is a bit too big for a Legoland Discovery Center... Deutschland
Merlin Entertainments Group