Legoland reopening its aquarium — again

Legoland in Carlsbad, California, plans to reopen its Sea Life Aquarium as it continues to await word from the state on when the theme park will be able to allow visitors again. (Howard Lipin/San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS)
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By Lori Weisberg The San Diego Union-Tribune (TNS)

SAN DIEGO — For the second time in more than two months, Legoland will reopen its Sea Life Aquarium as it continues to await word from California on when the theme park will be able to allow visitors again.

The reopening this Friday is now permitted as part of the state’s newly released COVID-19 guidelines that allow, with limits, the resumption of indoor activities, including dining, working out in gyms and visiting museums and aquariums. For the aquarium, capacity will be limited to 25 percent.

The only part of the Carlsbad resort that is currently open is one of its two theme park hotels, plus its retail shop and Miniland U.S.A. attraction.

“Sea Life aquarium not only provides additional experiences for our Legoland Hotel guests, but for all families looking for adventure,” Legoland California Resort President Kurt Stocks said in a statement. “With kids going back to school virtually and Labor Day around the corner, it offers a great excursion for families looking to enjoy a fun and educational experience.”

The two-story aquarium, home to more than 4,000 sea animals, including sharks, rays and tropical fish, was last open during the latter part of June, following a three-month closure due to the widening coronavirus pandemic. The reopening, though, was short-lived. A little more than a couple of weeks later, when COVID-19 restrictions were tightened yet again, Sea Life had to close.

The latest opening of Sea Life comes with bargain admission prices. Legoland is offering tickets for $10 per person for children and family members, and for those staying at the Legoland Hotel, the price is lowered to $7. Visitors will need to purchase tickets online in advance to reserve access to the aquarium for their desired dates and time slots. Face coverings will be required for all guests 3 years old and up, as well as staff members.

Meanwhile, fans of Legoland have access to the recently opened Miniland U.S.A. attraction, which is designed as an outdoor experience that allows visitors to experience six major cities fashioned out of more than 30 million Lego bricks. It’s part of what the theme park is calling its Big Shop retail experience open to hotel guests, annual pass members, and those who make a minimum purchase of $25 in the store.

Legoland, along with other Southern California theme parks, have been pressing the state to allow them to reopen. Legoland’s president, during a news conference earlier this week, said that the company has prepared a safety plan to reopen the park’s outdoor rides and attractions at reduced capacity, while meeting safety precautions for preventing COVID-19 transmission.

The measures are similar to those employed by the already reopened San Diego Zoo and SeaWorld, which partially reopened just days ago under aquarium guidelines. Its rides are still off limits.

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