Last year’s (2012) new attraction at LEGOLAND Billund was the frigid Polar Land, including penguins and a surprising roller coaster. This year (2013) the penguins have had babies, but that’s not the new attraction – Chima is. Namely the Chima Miniland (more on that later) and the LEGO Chima 4D Movie Xperience. The Chima movie is not actually a new physical attraction, it plays at the existing LEGO Studios 4D theater at the amusement park. In addition to LEGO Chima 4D Movie Xperience, I was also able to catch the LEGO City A Clutch Powers 4D Adventure.
Limited spoilers alert: “4D” in amusement park parlance usually means a 3D motion picture experience with added effects – be it from moving chairs to squirting water. In the case of LEGOLAND Billund, the fourth dimension doesn’t add moving chairs, but it does bring peripheral vision projection, smoke generators, disco lights, blowing air and falling droplets. The effects are fairly benign and global in nature, they don’t jump out from your chair for example. In fact, the seating is quite regular movie theater stuff. Passive 3D glasses are handed out and used as in movies.
First off was Clutch Powers, a sort of an agent story set in LEGO City. 3D effects protruding into the audience were plentiful (and were sure to make children giggle), but “4D” was used quite sparingly and sporadically here. There was always the anticipation though – when Clutch Powers took a water hose and sprayed the audience, you half expected to become wet, but there wasn’t even a drizzle at that point. The peripheral vision projection was quite interesting, though. Additional images were projected on the sides of the theater, some just colors similar to those on the main screen, other times there were weird patterns meant to enhance your visual experience. The peripheral projection worked best when seated in the middle, from the side it wasn’t really doing the trick.
I saw the brand new Chima 4D second. It reminded me a little of Star Tours in Disney Land, where a transport shuttle piloted by a crazed robot takes you through the main scenes of Star Wars. Here this setup was kind of repeated. A bunch of Chima tourists were flown (incompetently) around the land of Chima and shown the main locations and events – including watching some protagonists and antagonists battle it out. The tourists make a mess of everything and it all ends in a big fart joke. “4D” was used to far(t) better effect here. For example, at one point the tourists fly into beautiful mist and 3D effects are complemented by a sort of mild rain inside the theater – kids giggled again and a middle-aged lady next to me broke into hearty laughter.
Shows run in different languages at various times. There is a schedule posted on the side of the building, so you may want to check that out. Although, I had the privilege of enjoying Danish and German and it didn’t really matter that I don’t speak either one. Shows start every 30 minutes, with each one lasting around 10-15 minutes. The park map also mentions a couple of other movies, but they weren’t playing at the time I visited the attraction.
Note: You can click the images for larger versions.