Ford debuted its Lego Explorer at its Chicago assembly plant before shipping it to the new Legoland theme park just outside of Orlando, Florida. The block Explorer will ride all the way down to the sunshine state in a transporter with transparent sides so fellow motorists can view the creation.
As an attraction at Legoland, the Explorer will welcome visitors to the Ford Driving School for children, which allows kids to get behind the wheel of their own scale vehicle at a max speed of three miles per hour. Hit the jump to check out a time-lapse video of Explorer being created as well as a full press release on the vehicle.
Full-size LEGOLAND® Florida Explorer created from more than 380,000 LEGO bricks makes its debut at Chicago Assembly Plant; model took more than 2,500 hours to create
New LEGOLAND Florida theme park is the second in the U.S. and the fifth and largest LEGOLAND park in the world; it's comprised of more than 50 million LEGO bricks
Ford Driving School at LEGOLAND Florida allows children to experience the fun and responsibility of driving in their own vehicles (at a maximum speed of 3 mph)
CHICAGO, Sept. 26, 2011 – A unique Ford Explorer rolling off the line today at Chicago Assembly Plant will feature the model's trademark eye-catching craftsmanship with one notable distinction. This Ford Explorer is created from more than 380,000 LEGO bricks and marks the beginning of a long-term alliance between Ford and LEGOLAND® Florida theme park.
The bright red LEGOLAND Florida edition Explorer, created by 22 designers, weighs 2,654 pounds and is supported by a 768-pound interior aluminum base.
Click here to see time-lapse video of the build of the unique Explorer.
The completely reinvented Ford Explorer is a head-turner on its own, of course, blending style, capability and technology with class-leading fuel efficiency. It delivers an EPA-certified 28 mpg on the highway with an all-new EcoBoost® engine.
After its debut at the historic Chicago plant, which produces the Explorer, the vehicle will be loaded onto a trailer with transparent sides so motorists can see the LEGO Explorer as it makes its way to the new 150-acre LEGOLAND Florida theme park just outside Orlando.
There it will be featured in front of one of the park's attractions, the Ford Driving School for children.
"Ford is excited to support the alliance between LEGOLAND Florida and the Southeast Ford dealers. The LEGOLAND Florida Explorer and the Ford Driving School attraction are great opportunities to showcase our products and safety messages to families and visitors in a unique way," said Tracy Magee, Ford Experiential Marketing manager.
LEGOLAND Florida, which opens Oct. 15, will cater to kids ages 2 to 12 with more than 50 family-focused rides, shows and attractions and a historical botanical garden.
The park, which features exhibits using more than 50 million LEGO bricks, is divided into 10 themed entertainment zones for kids. It allows them to experience different adventures, including the empowering thrill of getting behind the wheel and learning to drive their own vehicle.
"We're less than a month from opening and the anticipation level is incredibly high," said LEGOLAND Florida General Manager Adrian Jones. "This is the only park of its kind in the world built exclusively for kids ages 2 to 12, and it will be a total departure from anything families with young children have seen before. It's a completely immersive experience, engaging kids' imaginations and their sense of adventure through interactive play."
Driving through LEGOLAND Florida
The driving school is divided by age. There's a Ford Junior Driving School for children ages 3 to 5 years old and a Ford Driving School for those ages 6 to 12. The children watch a video with driving instructions and safety tips – starting with the basics like safety belts and the difference between the accelerator and the brake – and move on to stoplights and stop signs. Children then have the opportunity to drive in their own electric vehicles on curbed roads with maximum speed limits of 3 mph.
With its detailed LEGO theme, the attraction is designed to give children the experience of driving in a real-world neighborhood.
\While the children are behind the wheel, park employees known as "model citizens" are nearby to ensure the experience stays positive. After the drive is complete, the children are issued their own Ford Driving School license.
The school was the brainchild of Florida-area Ford dealers that worked with LEGOLAND Florida management, and is designed to introduce the fun and responsibility of driving skills to children.