January 11, 2012

Free-fall coaster to debut at Denmark's Legoland Billund in May

The Polar X-Plorer roller coaster at Legoland Billund in Denmark will take riders around a snowcapped mountain and under a frozen waterfall before sending them crashing through an ice-covered lake.

Themed to look like a ski mobile, the free-fall drop coaster will serve as the centerpiece of a new $13-million Polar Land themed area set to debut at the theme park in May.

The 70-foot-tall Zierer family coaster will reach a top speed of 40 mph as riders navigate high-banked turns and camelback hills while zipping past Arctic animals built with Lego bricks.

Inside the mountain, Polar X-Plorer will come to a sudden stop and the train will drop 15 feet through a simulated crack in the ice, similar to the free-fall drop on the Thirteen coaster at Alton Towers in England.

After the drop, the coaster will slow down to allow riders to view a first-of-its-kind live penguin display.

The addition of the 3-acre Polar Land-themed area marks the largest and most expensive expansion in the history of the flagship park in the Legoland chain.

Polar Land will also include a dine-with-the-penguins restaurant allowing diners up-close animal encounters.

As part of the expansion, Legoland Billund will re-theme the existing Power Builder ride as the Polar Pilot School flight simulator, allowing riders to program movements on the robotic-arm ride.

The theme park industry has seen a recent spate of Arctic-themed attractions. Ocean Park in Hong Kong plans to debut the Polar Adventure-themed land in 2012 with an Arctic Blast coaster while SeaWorld Orlando in Florida just announced plans to add an Antarctica-themed land in 2013.

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