May 27, 2024

Want to live in Legoland California forever? Here’s how

Visiting a popular theme park for the day can be a fun indulgence, but what about living in one — forever?

Legoland California, in a novel fundraising effort for disadvantaged and ill children, is offering anyone the chance — via an auction — to have their 4-inch-tall likeness replicated with Lego bricks and then immortalized in a home with a view inside Miniland USA.

And did we mention that this would not be any old tract home but rather a four-bedroom beachfront abode with a designer kitchen, Jacuzzi and firepit — and designed by a real estate celebrity?

The winner of the auction, launched last week, will get to have up to 10 family members and a pet or two pose for Lego Master Model Builders, who will transform them into Minilanders before moving them into their dream home in Coronado — that is, the re-creation of Coronado within Miniland San Diego. The new attraction, featuring iconic San Diego landmarks, debuted just a few months ago.

“It’s the only way most San Diegans can afford a beach home,” joked Julie Estrada, director of public relations, North America, for Merlin Entertainments, owner of Legoland.

“And it’s a way to never age, you’ll never need plastic surgery,” Estrada said. “You’re taken care of every day, our model builders go through Legoland every day, so you have house cleaners, there’s even a playroom inside, and imagine being able to see cities like San Francisco, Las Vegas and New York all from the veranda of your Miniland home.”

Designer kitchen in the Lego-brick Craftsman-style house.

(Legoland California)

The idea for the charitable fundraiser originated from a somewhat similar initiative undertaken years ago at Legoland’s Windsor resort in Britain.

In that instance, the Legoland park had a contest where people could submit photos of their homes in hopes of being chosen to have their house built out of Lego bricks and put on display within the park. That competition, though, was not designed to raise money for a charitable cause.

“We thought that was a really cool idea, and with San Diego Miniland, we’ve had so much good feedback that we thought, wouldn’t it be amazing to have a house built specifically for you where you can see all of San Diego in no more than 15 minutes,” Estrada said. “You can see Petco Park, the convention center, Old Town, the beaches, all the different landmarks, from this home.”

To pull off this designer home feat, Legoland collaborated with celebrity real estate agent Allie Lutz of the Netflix program “Buying Beverly Hills,” who worked with the master model builders to create the Craftsman-style home. The mini-construction project took 380 hours and 50,000 Lego bricks.

In addition to its four bedrooms and 4½ bathrooms, the Coronado beach home has an outdoor area that would be the dream of any coastal dweller — a “brick-scaped” front yard and porch with a bird feeder and fountain, veranda-covered backyard deck gussied up with a flower overhang and dining table, and a shower, hot tub and grill for evening relaxation.

And it’s within walking distance of human-scale attractions such as Dragon coaster.

A beachside house with buildings behind, all made of Lego bricks.

The Coronado Craftsman-style beach house is the latest construction project at Legoland California’s Miniland USA, which contains tableaus with landmarks from across the country.

(Legoland California)

The auction, which closes Aug. 7, started off slowly but has picked up with the highest bid reaching nearly $9,000 as of Monday morning.

Merlin’s Magic Wand Foundation, which will be getting the proceeds, is described as a nonprofit organization that partners with Merlin Entertainments to “deliver magical experiences to children who need them most.”

The foundation, Estrada said, supports children ages 2 to 18 who may be seriously ill, have disabilities, are in foster care or are under guardianship.

In some cases, the beneficiaries of the foundation get to take advantage of “magical days off,” where they get free tickets to attractions such as Legoland, Madame Tussauds or the Sea Life Aquariums. In other cases, the nonprofit will go to the children or remake spaces with a Lego-themed experience in hospitals or treatment centers where the kids need to spend a lot of time.

Once the auction ends, work will begin to re-create the winning bidder and family. Estrada said it’s the park’s hope to have the occupants of the new home, which is already completed, ready by Sept. 16, when Legoland’s popular Halloween celebration — Brick-or-Treat — begins.

“The winner’s home will be redecorated during the holidays, where we will put up Christmas lights and decorate for Halloween,” Estrada said. “It should be playful, because that’s what we are all about.”

Weisberg writes for the San Diego Union-Tribune.

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