Opening May 5, 2016 is the brand new Ninjago World in LEGOLAND California. We were granted a sneak peak last week to this new addition and while there were some fun details to be found, the highly-touted Ninjago The Ride was rather hard to control.
The ceremony featured special performance by the Tiko Drummers and “Sideswipe” Ninjas as seen on America’s Got Talent. It was a fantastic spectacular with special effects and amazing choreography. The main attraction, though, was the brand new Ninjago The Ride. In this ride, guests harness the power of four elements and use teamwork to battle the Great Devourer. The ride enables guests to demonstrate their ninja skills without the use of a hand held device and instead, they simply use their hand gestures.
We were warned up front that the ride takes some ninja training and that fact can not be overstated enough. The technology used for this ride is definitely a big step as this is the first ride of its kind using this sensor technology in the USA. Now, I love these types of interactive shooting rides. The new Ninjago The Ride’s motion sensor technology, however, left me very frustrated. I couldn’t really control the direction of my shots, and I was exhausted by the end waving my hands back and forth for the 3 ½ minute ride.
The actual ride itself was similar to the Voyage to the Iron Reef ride at Knott’s Berry Farm (which I love), but I would have preferred more training before the ride. I didn’t feel that I really grasped the exact way to use my hands. My wife and everyone we spoke with agreed that there should be much more training before playing this game. You need to know exactly how high above the sensor to hold your hand, how fast to move your hand, how far to move your hand back and forth, etc. It was the same sensation I have when I play Super Smash Bros. with my oldest daughter. I’m just smashing buttons and hoping I hit something. That’s basically the same here – you’re just waving your hands in different directions hoping to hit something on the screen. I rode a couple times and I didn’t feel I grasped it any better the second time.
While I think younger kids and teenagers will absolutely love this technology and the fun 4D effects of the ride, adults may find themselves as frustrated as me. My wife and I love to compete on rides like this, but neither of us felt very good about our scores. One huge benefit is that there is not a height limit so I was able to bring my 20 month old on the ride. A vast majority of the rides at LEGOLAND California have a height limit of 34” or higher so this was a huge bonus for us.
Outside of the ride you had the following new areas designed for smaller children which can best be described as a ninja playground.
Overall, this is a fun, albeit small addition to LEGOLAND California. The passionate fans of Ninjago will be in Heaven in this new area surrounded by their four favorite ninjas and of course, Master Wu.
DISCLOSURE: LEGOLAND California provided complimentary admission during this special media preview of Ninjago The Ride. However, all opinions expressed are those of the author. For more family travel news, reviews, and trip reports, be sure to follow Adventures by Daddy on twitter and “like” our facebook page too.