CARLSBAD, Calif. - Lego City Deep Sea Adventure allows anyone to dive into the underwater world and connect with the ocean - no dive gear needed.
Guests get into one of eight submarines that travel throughout the tank where kids or kids at heart can play along with an interactive map to hunt for treasure and identify what they're seeing below the surface.
"This is the first submarine ride that we have in the united states and as far as we know there's nothing like this ride out there,” Legoland curator Marie Collins said. "It was really complicated because we had to engineer the ride portion and the aquarium portion of this exhibit. It was quite challenging and really exciting how we were able to pull it off.”
There are other parks with other submarine rides, but this is unique in that the ride is in an actual aquarium. It includes more than 2000 fish: real sharks, real rays, and an up-close and personal look at all of it.
"Occasionally, you might get stuck with one of us,” aquarist and dive master Matt Minkalis said.
Minkalis loves to look out from the submarine as much as he loves to look around it.
"We actually get a good opportunity to see all the guests go through the ride especially for the first time,” Minkalis said. “Seeing their expressions of their face and hearing them talk about the animals is unreal. They don’t get an experience like this anywhere else.”
"I’ve been working on this project for over two years and i got to go one of the first rides with the kids,” Collins said. “They were so excited to see sharks, sting rays and real fish and interact with the touch screen that it made everything worth it that we went through."
The amusement ride aims to do more than amuse it's guest. The goal is education---teaching each person who comes through about ocean conservation.
"A big part of what we do here is teach people about how they can protect the oceans even if they're at home whether that be Mississippi or Missouri or even right here in Southern California. Our goal is to make sure people leave knowing that they can make an impact," Collins said.