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Full-size Ford Explorer modeled from LEGOs promotes new LEGOLAND Florida

CHICAGO, USA /PRNewswire/ — Ford Driving School at LEGOLAND® Florida, a new theme park opening Oct 15, allows children to experience the fun and responsibility of driving in their own vehicles (at a maximum speed of 3 mph)

Symbolizing a unique cross-promotion and long-term alliance between Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) and the theme park, a full-size LEGOLAND® Florida Explorer was created from more than 380,000 LEGOs and made its debut at Chicago Assembly Plant; the model took more than 2,500 hours to create. The bright red model was created by 22 designers, weighs 2,654 pounds and is supported by a 768-pound interior aluminum base.

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 will cater to kids ages 2 to 12 with more than 50 family-focused rides, shows and attractions and a botanical garden. The park, which features exhibits using more than 50 million LEGO bricks, is divided into 10 themed entertainment zones for kids.

“We’re less than a month from opening and the anticipation level is incredibly high,” said LEGOLAND Florida General Manager Adrian Jones.

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. 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 who worked with LEGOLAND Florida management, and is designed to introduce the fun and responsibility of driving skills to children.

About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 166,000 employees and about 70 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. Visit www.ford.com.

LEGOLAND® Florida opens October 15, 2011 and will be a 150-acre interactive theme park dedicated to families with children between the ages of 2 and 12. Located midway between Orlando and Tampa, just 45 minutes from either city center, the park features more than 50 rides, shows and attractions. There are currently four other LEGOLAND Parks in the world – LEGOLAND California in Carlsbad, LEGOLAND Billund in Denmark, LEGOLAND Deutschland near Gunzburg, Germany and LEGOLAND Windsor outside of London. The LEGOLAND theme parks are a part of Merlin Entertainments Group.

Judith Rubin
Judith Rubin ([email protected]) is a leading journalist, publicist, strategist, blogger, content marketing specialist and connector in the international attractions industry. She excels at writing about all aspects of design and technical design, production and project management. Areas of special interest include AV integration and show control, lighting design and acoustics, specialty cinema, digital video and world’s fairs. Judith has ties to numerous industry organizations. From 2005-2020 she ran communications, publications and social media for the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA). In 2013, she was honored with the TEA Service Award. She was development director of IMERSA, and co-chair of the 2014 IMERSA Summit. She was publicist for the Large Format Cinema Association in the 1990s, now part of the Giant Screen Cinema Association (GSCA) and has also contributed to the publications of PLASA, IAAPA and the International Planetarium Society. Already making her mark as a magazine and book editor, Judith joined World’s Fair magazine in 1987, which introduced her to the attractions industry. Launching as a freelancer in the mid 1990s she has contributed to dozens of publications and media outlets including Funworld, Lighting&Sound America, Sound & Communications, Urban Land, The Raconteur and The Planetarian. She joined InPark in 2010. Judith earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Pratt Institute. She has lived in New York City and the San Francisco Bay Area, and now makes her home in Saint Louis, where she is active in the local arts and theater community.

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