There I sat with my first born Tessa — now 22 years old — inside of the 4D cinema at LEGOLAND Discovery Center Columbus watching "The LEGO Movie 4D: A New Adventure."

This was our third movie of the day inside of the super cool theater where fake snow falls from the sky and water squirts into your face all while a 3D movie featuring LEGO guys and gals plays out on the big screen.

My youngest two, ages 10 and 14, abandoned us after the ninja movie and left us alone to watch knights and dragons battle in the second feature of the day.

This was our first venture to the LEGO-themed world tucked inside the Easton retail and entertainment venture northeast of Columbus (columbus.legolanddiscoverycenter.com) where walk-up tickets are $24 for the day.

It is quite impressive and for those looking for a theme park fix — the discovery center has the feel and look (albeit on a small scale) of the big guys down south in Orlando.

The first attraction to greet visitors is a virtual visit to the famed LEGO Factory.

In addition to a tour of the factory via large video screens, you get to create your own LEGO figures thanks to a nifty joystick.

The next stop is the Kingdom Quest laser ride where you climb aboard five-person ride cars that take you past a variety of video screens and other scenes where you shoot at bad guys and lots of spiders. We ended up saving the kingdom, but let's just say it was not thanks to me as I had the lowest score of the bunch.

You then head down the stairs to the attraction's lower level where there are tons of LEGOs to play with along with a climbing area, another ride and the cinema.

Tucked off in a corner is MINILAND where more than 1.5 million bricks have been used to re-create some of the state's biggest landmarks, including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland and the famed Christmas Story House. With a nod to the latest installment of the LEGO Movie now in theaters, MINILAND has been infected by the sinister plot of the movie.

The ride on this level reminded me of ones at Universal in Orlando with its soaring soundtrack and special effect lights.

Once you climb aboard Merlin's Apprentice Ride — you have to ride alone if you are a big galoot like me — you are part of the plot. Once it starts going around in circles, it is up to you to pedal as fast as you can to make your magic seat rise.

Tessa and I rode it twice. The boys once each.

It seems my younger ones were more interested in playing with LEGOs and testing out their creations on contraptions that shook them, and race tracks that tested speed and durability, than going on the rides or watching a movie.

I have to admit I was a bit irritated at first that they left Tessa and me alone to get squirted in the face in the movies and pedaling to new heights.

But then it hit me. These young whippersnappers get the point and lure of LEGOs: to spark creativity and have some good old-fashioned fun.

 

Craig Webb can be reached at 330-996-3547 or cwebb@thebeaconjournal.com