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 News | Jobs | Sign up for our free e-zine 21 July 2019 
08 Jul 2019
Europe's first Lego waterpark coming to Italy's Gardaland
By Tom Anstey
Europe's first Lego waterpark coming to Italy's Gardaland
The waterpark is scheduled to open by the end of next year

Gardaland has announced plans to open Europe's first Lego-branded waterpark, with the multi-million dollar development set to open its doors in 2020.

Aimed at families with children aged two to twelve, the new addition to the Italian theme park and resort will be the first Lego waterpark inside a theme park not entirely Lego branded.

"The Lego brand is renowned globally and will undoubtedly contribute to strengthening Gardaland Resort’s position as a major European tourist destination, as well as confirming it as a top player for family entertainment", said Gardaland CEO, Aldo Maria Vigevani.

The news follows the recent £4.8bn (€5.35bn, USS$6.1bn) acquisition of Gardaland's parent company – Merlin Entertainments – which is in part owned by the Kirk Kristiansen family who also own the Lego brand.

As part of a consortium known as Bidco, the family (operating as Kirkibi) now owns 50 per cent of Merlin, with Blackstone Core Equity Partners and Canadian pension fund CPPIB jointly owning the other half of the company.

Merlin's partnership with Lego dates back to July 2005, when Blackstone acquired the Legoland theme parks portfolio from Kirkbi in a £259m deal which included four sites – in Germany, UK, Denmark and US – and a 176-bedroom Legoland hotel adjacent to the theme park in the Danish town of Billund. The recent acquisition brings these properties, and other Lego attraction developments, back under the Kirkbi umbrella.

"This is great news", said Paolo Lazzarin, general manager of Lego Italia," commenting on the development plans. "We're really proud and I’m certain that the waterpark will fill the young and adult builders who passionately follow Lego with joy."

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