WINTER HAVEN, Fla., June 20, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Daytona International Speedway has a sleek new look at LEGOLAND® Florida Resort. It's the newest model in MINILAND USA, where visitors discover dozens of towering LEGO® landmarks from across the United States.
The sounds of roaring engines and cheering fans greet theme park guests as they approach the 1/20-scale model of the "World Center of Racing," updated following the DAYTONA Rising project – a $400 million frontstretch renovation that made DIS the first motorsports stadium in the world. The new stadium made its debut earlier this year during the Rolex 24 At Daytona and the DAYTONA 500.
Veteran NASCAR driver Casey Mears visited the theme park today to celebrate the giant new display, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' return to DIS for the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola on Saturday, July 2 and for a special event – a two-car race through MINILAND USA in kid-sized vehicles borrowed from the theme park's popular Driving School attraction.
Racing against Mears was 10-year-old Layla Popoff, whose dream of a giant backyard playhouse was fulfilled by Make-A-Wish® Central and Northern Florida earlier this year. The spirited Orlando, Fla., resident was tapped for the friendly competition with the assistance of Merlin's Magic Wand, a global charity that has enabled nearly 300,000 children and their families to enjoy a magical day out at more than 100 Merlin attractions around the world.
As a crowd of cheering fans gathered along the miniature racetrack for the "MINILAND 400," Mears climbed into a vehicle resembling a LEGO-built version of his No. 13 GEICO race car while Layla took the wheel of a car representing the Coke Zero 400.
The four most famous words in motorsports kicked off the exciting action: "Drivers, start your engines!" With a wave of the green flag, the race was off to a "fast" start, topping out at a modest 3.7 mph as the racers took off from between LEGO models of the Statue of Liberty and the U.S. Capitol.
Neck-and-neck as they zoomed past the New York City skyline, the racers remained close as they barreled down the Las Vegas Strip. With the finish line in sight at the new DIS model, Mears suddenly plowed into a pile of oversized LEGO bricks while Layla raced across the finish line to the delight of park guests and assembled media, claiming victory in the inaugural MINILAND 400. Posing next to Mears, she accepted a giant LEGO trophy from Wile with a triumphant smile.
This summer is packed full of excitement at the place #BuiltForKids, including LEGOLAND Night Lights, an all-new summertime event included with park admission that features extended park hours, special entertainment and a spectacular LEGO NINJAGO™ fireworks display taking place every Saturday and Sunday through July 31, plus Monday, July 4. For more information, visit www.LEGOLAND.com/florida.
- Video news release (with B-roll): https://goo.gl/XJSMhB
- Hi-res images: http://goo.gl/UVHFEF (password: legoland11)
- The new Daytona International Speedway display in MINILAND USA took a team of more than a dozen Master Model Builders to create out of 282,384 LEGO bricks.
- The new stadium model stretches 31 feet and weighs more than 1,400 lbs.
- The project took approximately 250 design hours and 2,100 build hours to complete.
- Look for the word "Daytona" spelled out on fans' shirts, a group of spectators holding letters that spell TURN LEFT and a contingent of soccer fans using their G-O-A-L signs to cheer on racers with G-O!
- Sharp-eyed guests might also spot a cheeky nod to Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s recent heart-stopping moment when his steering wheel came off during a race.
To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/legoland-florida-resort-unveils-new-daytona-international-speedway-model-with-nascar-veteran-casey-mears-300287512.html
SOURCE LEGOLAND Florida Resort