Legoland's Best Models, Picked By a Master Model Builder

BY: Andy Seifert | May 17, 2018

legoland pirate band

For millions of kids with imaginations running wild, Legos are an outlet to conceive, design, and build whatever their minds envision. That childlike creativity extends to LEGOLAND theme parks around the world, where visitors are entertained by hundreds of Lego models, big and small, that depict precise recreations of both historical landmarks and whimsical, fictional inventions.

If you've ever been, you've probably thought, 'Wow, someone gets paid to make these sweet Lego sculptures." One of those people is Matt Slagle, a Master Model Builder at LEGOLAND California. To get you amped for your visit to a LEGOLAND park, we asked Matt to choose his favorite Lego models at the parks. There are a lot to choose from: LEGOLAND California alone has 30,000 models, made from more than 60 million Lego bricks.

The best part? Not only can you visit all of these models (ideally with our LEGOLAND admission deal), but you could conceivably create them yourself—each model is built with the same Lego bricks you find in stores. 

 

Legoland Golden Gate Bridge

GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE

See it at: LEGOLAND California

Matt says: "For our park (LEGOLAND California), my two favorite models are both in Miniland. One of them is the Golden Gate Bridge, which we rebuilt recently, and it was a lot of fun to build. It's 30 feet long and it spans over a waterway in Miniland."

 

Freedom Tower Legoland

Freedom Tower

See it at: LEGOLAND California

Matt says: "It's 28 feet tall. (ed. note–this makes it the tallest Lego model in North America). What we love doing is getting those small details to where you can walk up to something and instantly know what it is. ... It adds to the effect of knowing 'oh, that is the Freedom Tower, that is how it looks.' It's got two cool squares on the top and bottom but they're rotated to give it that cool shape, that shift, as it goes up."

 

Grand Central Station

See it at: LEGOLAND California

Matt says: "If you're from [the New York area], and you've been in Grand Central Station, you can come up to our model and think, 'oh, that's exactly how it is!' On the roof of our Grand Central Station, we have the constellation of lights where the constellation is [in the actual Grand Central Station] ... It's things like that that makes the final touches." 

 

LEGOLAND Starfighter

X-WING

See it at: LEGOLAND Holiday Village

Matt says: "Just so cool. They have it set up where you can sit in the cockpit and take photos. We had it at our park a couple years ago ... and it was so cool to be standing on top of this huge model that's the size of what a small plane would be. It's 5 million bricks. (ed. note–this makes it the world's largest Lego model. It is larger than an actual F-14 Tomcat). It was just so cool to take that apart and see such a big model and see the versatility of the brick."

As a bonus for Star Wars fans, check out video of Legoland California's Death Star:

 

The Rugby Pitch

See it at: LEGOLAND Windsor

Why Matt picked it: "I'm a big sports fan, so I always like to get a lot of sports references in the park. That one, it shows people who are playing rugby, those are who we call Minilanders. Those are the people that live in Miniland. Minilanders are really versatile—you could have all sorts of Minilanders doing all sorts of things. ... But also this shows how we combine Legolanders with landscaping and real trees and bushes. It gives it that realistic touch. Working on Minilanders, the landscapers do amazing work and the things they can do with plants to add scenes is just phenomenal."

 

LEGOLAND Skipper SChool

The Lion and the Shark

See it at: LEGOLAND California

Matt says: "We have a lion and a shark which you can stick your head in and a take a photo, so it looks like your head is inside of a lion's mouth or a shark's mouth. And the lion will make a noise when you walk into it; so it'll make a lot of growling and roaring noises as well."

 

 

PIRATE BAND

See it at: LEGOLAND Deutschland, LEGOLAND California, LEGOLAND Windsor

Matt says: "That one is cool because they're basically a 1:1 scale pirates. They're average height. They've got music playing, they're moving, they're playing guitars. It really shows the versatility of Lego brick. You can really build big X-Wings, but you can also build lifelike figures. ... It's a full experience to see this Lego band playing some sweet tunes.

 

LEGOLAND Dad

THE DAD

See it at: Various parks, in various forms

Matt says: "One of the magical things about Legoland is how you get to interact with these models. Some of them you can only see from afar, but other ones you can interact with and take pictures with. There are several different versions of this guy in various parks. In our park, we have a version where he's a sleeping dad on a bench. It's always fun to be able to sit with and interact with this model that took 40 or 50 hours to build with 20- or 30-thousand Lego bricks, and a metal structure inside of it."