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Each year LEGOLAND Windsor hosts a number of special events. Most are annual, and take place year on year, but occasionally one-off events are held.
Held during the Easter School Holidays, the After Dark event spans three days, during which the park’s opening hours are extended to 9pm. As the name suggests, most of the event takes place after sunset, when a laser show can be observed over the LEGO City Harbour, or, in more recent years, over the Adventure Land Lake. This is often accompanied by small pyrotechnics, and in recent years water displays. To celebrate LEGOLAND’s 10th Anniversary in 2006, a large water projection screen was created over the Adventure Land Lake, and was used to project various images onto, including the 10th Anniversary logo. These events are also given themes, for example the 2007 event was given a Batman theme. Most rides within the park usually stay open until the park closes at 9pm. This excludes certain rides such as Boating School and Fairy Tale Brook, which close at dusk as they do not have sufficient lighting; a large safety issue as they are water rides. Rides such as the Dragon Coaster become very popular after dark, as without trackside lighting they take on the feel of an indoor dark ride.
A recent addition to the parks special events, LEGOLAND Live is a concert aimed at young children, which takes place in July at the start of school summer holidays. Various activities are held around the park, such as circus skills workshops within Brickadilly’s Circus Tent. Entertainers in costume also walk around the park. The highlight is a concert-style performance, showcasing performers for young children. For example, the 2007 LEGOLAND Live! concert featured Barney & Friends, Bob the Builder and Pingu.
Another recent addition to the special events calendar is Amazing Machines, which is held over a weekend in September. Monster Trucks and motorbikes perform various stunts in the arena. Classical vehicles are also brought into the park and are showcased in various different areas.
This is the only event to have occurred every year since the park opened in 1996. Usually spanning two weekends, the end of season fireworks often bring the park to capacity. Activities take place around the park all day, and have included such things as treasure hunts and dance workshops. Rides usually close one hour before the show commences, and some reopen after the show to alleviate congestion on the exit roads. The fireworks are usually fired from Adventure Land, with the whole area being cordoned off and used as a firing area and fall-out zone. The exit road also constitutes part of the fall-out zone, and so during the show it is not possible to leave the park. The show is regularly described as one of the largest firework displays in the south of England. The main viewing areas are the LEGO City Harbour, and the bottom of Miniland. At these locations, large public address systems are set up which play the music for the show. There is also a pre-display show, with special lighting effects and sometimes video, which ties in with the theme of the event. As the park is on a moderately steep hill, and the fireworks are detonated from the bottom, it is possible to have a good view from most of the park, though it is not possible to hear the music or see the pre-show from many areas. The event is always themed, usually around a range of LEGO products. Previous themes have included Rock Raiders, LEGO Insectoids and BIONICLE. The most recent theme was Star Wars.