After a public vote to determine its theme and a construction process that challenged the creative and design talents of a team of model builders, a revolutionary new interactive exhibit is opening at LEGOLAND Discovery Center Chicago this weekend. Starting Friday, March 8, 2013 during LEGO Star Wars Days, the general public will be able to try out the new LEGO Star Wars Miniland exhibit full of scenes inspired by Episode I The Phantom Menace.
Back in January, LEGO fans voted for a Star Wars theme for the proposed new exhibit over such other contenders as LEGO Racers, LEGO Hero Factory, and even LEGO City. Making good use of the room located between the Jungle Expedition and the Kingdom Quest ride, the model builders at LDC have been working hard since February to install an inspired set of models that can be enjoyed both as walk-through exhibits and as hands-on activities.
- A lovely model of Padmé's domed palace and city from Naboo contains not just detailed vignettes of clashes with the Droid Army but also a spaceship that actually zooms out of its hangar.
- Another model of Naboo displays a large-scale Droid Army battle scene with which visitors can play a "Droid Destruction" game with tiny silver balls.
- The centerpiece of the new exhibit is an enormous replica of a podrace on Tatooine, including race stands full of an immense number of spectators, Jabba the Hut overseeing the action from a balcony, a track that winds all around the exhibit table, and two podracers that visitors can actually race against each other.
Beautifully constructed with an eye to every last detail, this new interactive LEGO Star Wars Miniland used an estimate of at least 500,000 LEGO bricks, 2,000 Star Wars minifigures, and 1,500 hours of work to complete. Though dazzling, it may not be permanent, so LEGO Star Wars fans should plan to make time to experience it before it goes.