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    Legoland '00

    Oct 21st, '00
    I was sort of hesitating to visit Legoland. I had heard it was really good, but still...... It's really for kids, and while I don't mind enjoying childish fun, I was wondering if There would really be enough there to keep me entertained. How many lego models can you look at before it just gets boring?

    I shouldn't have worried. If you have kids, Legoland should be a given. It's great for kids. But I had a great time. I'll probably go back some time just to spend more time poking around and looking at the details.

    Here's the Lego version of San Francisco. I had already taken an outrageous amount of photos at this point and I was wondering just why I needed 200 pictures of Lego models. Of course now I'm wishing I'd zoomed in on some of this stuff to get more detail. [sigh]

    This was wild. They actually made giant Lego blocks out of regular blocks and then used those to build the dinosaur. It also made a very strange belching noise. I'm not making this up. It would growl a couple times and then burp loudly.

    By the way - if you noticed that some jerk had spelled out "poop" on the Lego wall near here last weekend, that wasn't me.

    The Washington DC area was really incredible. The detail on everything just blew me away. I really wanted to climb out on the display and check out the models. Oh well. Maybe I'll go back with the tripod and get some close ups.

    Here's another picture from the Washington DC section of the park. I keep thinking I should go back and take lots more pictures, but then I wonder what the hell I need 200 pictures of Legos for. I could just do videos, but I suspect everyone would get queasy watching the camera zoom in and out for hours.

    They had a big harbor with all kinds of Lego ships and docks. Then we saw a guy wading around in waders adjusting things. Wild. This stuff is much more impressive in person. You lose all of the edges and details with the jpg compression. I had to bump up the compression level due to all the straight lines.

    They had this cool little "Ghostbusters" joke in one of the sections. Even though I was standing right next to it I still wished that I had some binoculars or something to check out all the details. You could tell that the makers had been having fun putting everything together.

    Usually I'd try to keep bystanders out of the picture, but it's hard to get a sense of scale with these buildings. So I snuck up on this woman and got a picture of her silly hat. "Hey lady, thousands of people are wondering what's up with your hat. What's the deal?"

    I'm kidding. The hat's fine. I just need to write silly, funny stuff or readers will get bored. Gimme a break. You try being witty every freakin morning.

    Ew! Ew! This is cool. Well..... at least I thought it was cool while I was there. But now it looks sort of lame. The little Lego fountain is pretty neat I guess. I'm undecided now. Okay, it's not cool. Just slightly amusing. I'm losing it. [groan]

    Here's yet another Lego boat. Wouldn't it be neat if they had little remote control units so you could make the ships cruise around the lake? Some kids were actually trying to climb into the displays and play with the models. I did my best to encourage this behavior.

    I thought this was neat. Even though it doesn't have all the detail that some of the other models have. Something about having a lifesize Lego elf just seems neat. Now if they can just combine it with some Mindstorms kits so that it could wander around and cast spells or something.

    They had this huge basil plant at one of the rides. It was a little over two feet tall. I didn't know basil grew like that. Is this some new mutant basil? Why wasn't I told about this? I asked the old guy running the ride, "Hey, what's the deal with that giant mutant basil?", but he just looked at me like I was a weirdo.

    They had some water canons that you could use to squirt things. Hey, here's a tip. The big fountain in the middle of the "wet area" has water canons that you can spin around to squirt other park visitors. Try to do this when there is a little kid near by you can quickly point to.

    Ya, that big thing in the middle there. You can use the water canons there to hose down anything within 20 feet. They also have these little pads that seem to make things squirt when you jump on them. But they only work some of the time. So you see people here jumping up and down all over the place trying to see if something will squirt. Okay......

    This was one of the coolest models I saw, but they had it on the other side of the lake so you couldn't get near it. The lattice work and the spires look a little iffy. I think maybe they cheated on those parts and they're trying to hide something. That dome is pretty impressive though.

    These buildings look small but they're actually about 10 feet high. They had little cars driving around in the streets too. They had a sign saying that these buildings used over 1 million Legos, but it seems like it would be a lot more than that.

    Here was a weird thing. On this ride you had to pull yourself up using the rope hanging from the top. And then when you got to the top you were suppose to let go of the rope and plummet to the bottom. But I got scared when I got to the top and just clung on for dear life. They had to call security to haul me down.

    This was really neat, but again you couldn't get close to it.

    They had lots of Lego animals. This elephant wasn't lifesize, but it was about 8 feet tall. I thought the pink flamingos were really cool. And the giraffes, those were impressive. And the alligators, I liked those.

    This is one of the first things you see when you start wandering around at Legoland. Before you get there you wonder what could be so impressive, and then you get blown away by all the cool stuff they've come up with. Highly recommended.

    The rest of these pictures are from the zoo. Here's another picture of the panda. Even though I go to the zoo several times a year I've only been to the panda exhibit twice. It has a huge line and very little pay off. This is the daddy panda. The other two were taken off exhibit just before we got there.

    Here you can see people hustling past the panda. They don't let you actually stand and look at the thing. Everyone has to rush by. If you even stop to take a picture they get cranky. And then it isn't even doing anything interesting. [groan]

    Here's a tip: They have another type of panda over by the children's petting zoo. It has a big red and black bushy tail, it wanders around a lot, and it looks really cool. And you can stand there all day and watch it if you want. Much more interesting.

    Here's a neat story. So we're over in the lizard area looking at stuff and it seems like every where we when there was this dorky looking guy who wanted to impress us with all the stuff he knew about the animals. He was just wandering around and talking to everyone. He seemed to know a lot. But maybe too much, you know?

    "Most of the spiny lizards are sleeping now but they'll come out and sun themselves in a couple hours. That turtle was sick last month but he's okay now." All right..... that's nice..... I'll just go over there okay?

    So finally someone just asks him, "Oh ya? So what makes you such a freakin expert?" It turns out he's one of the zoo keepers. But we're all wearing raincoats so he just looks like a weirdo. And of course we all feel like idiots because we thought he was some sort of retarded homeless guy.

    Here's the basilisk. I tried to take a good picture of him (or her? I should have asked the lizard guy), but he kept scooting around like he was on meth or something. This thing is just weird. Green, blue, purple, with big dinosaur lookin' fins.

    I thought this lizard was really neat. Lizard skin is just plain cool. They seemed to have a completely different batch of lizards than when I went a month ago. Maybe I should go back once every few weeks just to make sure I get to see everything. Yeah......

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