$12 Million LEGOLAND® Discovery Center to Open at Arizona Mills in 2016

New Phoenix-area Family Attraction to be The Focus of an Upcoming Summer Renovation at Arizona Mills

<>Tempe, Arizona (PRWEB) February 12, 2015

Global leisure giant Merlin Entertainments plc (Merlin) and The Mills, a Simon company, today announced plans to open a LEGOLAND Discovery Center (LDC) at Arizona Mills. LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Phoenix will be Merlin’s seventh LDC to open in the USA and reflects the success of the concept and the huge and enduring appeal of the LEGO brick. It will join Merlin’s popular SEA LIFE aquarium at Arizona Mills.

LEGOLAND Discovery Center is a unique indoor attraction, based on the popular LEGO brick. Specifically designed for families with children 3-10 years old, LEGOLAND Discovery Centers offer a fun, highly interactive and educational two to three hour experience consisting of a range of exciting LEGO play areas including a brick pool, master classes from the LEGO Master Model Builder, a fun LEGO ride, special party rooms for birthdays and other celebrations, a 4D cinema, and of course, the popular MINILAND exhibit found in every LEGOLAND Park and attraction. MINILAND is designed to reflect the iconic buildings of each individual attraction’s location – at LEGOLAND Discovery Center Phoenix this will include both buildings from the City’s impressive skyline and landmarks from the surrounding area, all nominated by the local community.

“The LEGOLAND Discovery Center concept has been a huge success across the globe, particularly as part of a family day out of shopping and dining. This, together with the fact that a large number of families with small children live within a 2 – 3 hour drive, makes Arizona Mills the ideal location for the attraction. We are sure visitors, both here and abroad, will embrace the Center,” said Glenn Earlam, managing director of Merlin Midway Attractions Operating Group.

This significant addition will mark a transformative time for Arizona Mills as it prepares for an upcoming summer renovation to its entertainment wing that will be centered around family friendly experiences and dining options. LEGOLAND Discovery Center Phoenix will expand Arizona Mills’ presence in the market as the state’s largest outlet and value retail shopping destination.

Plans and designs are already in place for the 60,000 square foot attraction and construction will begin in June 2015. LEGO models for the Phoenix attractions will be made in Merlin’s specialist studios around the world and shipped in during construction to be ready for the opening in late spring 2016.

“We have an excellent working relationship with Merlin at many of our properties and are very pleased to welcome LEGOLAND Discovery Center, their best global brand, to Arizona Mills,” said Gregg Goodman, president of The Mills. “This, together with SEA LIFE, which Phoenix has embraced as its own special aquarium in the desert, will play a key role in our plans to create a family entertainment district within Arizona Mills. Our goal is to make it the premier destination for families who enjoy great shopping combined with high quality entertainment and dining.”

Merlin has grown significantly since it first opened SEA LIFE in Phoenix and now has more than 20 attractions in the US.

“Our objective is to ‘cluster’ several complementary attractions together, as we are doing in Phoenix, offering even more reason for families with young children to spend an exciting day at Arizona Mills. Indeed, projects such as this play a very important part in our future growth strategy,” added Earlam.

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About Merlin Entertainments plc
Merlin Entertainments plc is the leading name in location-based, family entertainment. Europe’s number one and the world’s second-largest visitor attraction operator, Merlin now operates 106 attractions, 11 hotels/3 holiday villages in 23 countries and across 4 continents. The company aims to deliver memorable and rewarding experiences to its almost 60 million visitors worldwide through its iconic global and local brands and the commitment and passion of its managers and more than 25,000 employees worldwide.

Merlin has 24 attractions and one hotel in North America – including two stunning LEGOLAND Resorts – LEGOLAND Florida with its theme park, water park, (new hotel to open in 2015); and LEGOLAND California theme park with water park, SEA LIFE aquarium and themed hotel; Madame Tussauds celebrity wax attractions in New York, Washington DC, Las Vegas; Hollywood; and San Francisco; LEGOLAND Discovery Centers in Chicago; Dallas/Fort Worth; Kansas City Missouri; Atlanta, Georgia; Boston; Westchester, New York; Toronto, Canada; a Dungeon in San Francisco; and SEA LIFE aquariums in Phoenix, Arizona; Kansas City, Missouri; Michigan; Dallas/Fort Worth; the Mall of America in Minneapolis and Charlotte Concord – underlining the company’s position as the world’s biggest global aquarium operator. For more information, visit http://www.merlinentertainments.biz.

About Arizona Mills
Arizona Mills, the largest outlet and value retail shopping destination in Arizona, provides the ultimate shopping experience with more than 175 outlet and value retail stores, including Neiman Marcus Last Call, bebe, American Eagle Outfitters, The Disney Store Outlet, G by GUESS, Gap Outlet, Kenneth Cole Company Store, Nike Clearance Store, Perry Ellis, Tommy Hilfiger and Victoria's Secret. Shoppers also enjoy high-quality entertainment venues such as SEA LIFE Arizona, GameWorks, Harkins Luxury 25 Cinemas and a newly renovated Harkins IMAX Theatre, plus restaurants such as Claim Jumper, Garcia’s and Rainforest Cafe.

Arizona Mills is located at the Arizona Mills interchange at the intersection of Interstate I-10 and US Highway 60 in Tempe, AZ, about 14 miles east of downtown Phoenix. Regular mall hours are

10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m., Mon-Sat, and 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. on Sunday. For more information on Arizona Mills, please call (480) 491-9700 or visit http://www.arizonamills.com. Like Arizona Mills on Facebook at facebook.com/ArizonaMills and follow us on Twitter @ShopAZMills and on Instagram @ArizonaMills.

About The Mills
The Mills®, a part of Simon, offers a unique brand of shopping with a mix of popular name brand outlets, value retailers and full-price stores, plus family-oriented dining and entertainment concepts. The Mills are well-located in major metropolitan markets and many are recognized as leading tourism destinations. Notable properties include Arundel Mills (Baltimore), Gurnee Mills (Chicago), Grapevine Mills (Dallas), Ontario Mills (Los Angeles), Opry Mills (Nashville), Potomac Mills (Washington, DC) and Sawgrass Mills (Ft. Lauderdale/Miami).

Simon is a global leader in retail real estate ownership, management and development and a S&P100 company (Simon Property Group, NYSE:SPG). Our industry-leading retail properties and investments across North America, Europe and Asia provide shopping experiences for millions of consumers every day and generate billions in annual retail sales. For more information, visit simon.com.

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