By Stephanie Allen and Caitlin Dineen, Orlando Sentinel
Legoland Florida Resort was evacuated Thursday afternoon after receiving a bomb threat, officials say.
Adrian Jones, the resort’s general manager, said park officials received the anonymous bomb threat and “quickly made the decision to evacuate our theme park and hotel according to our established safety protocols.”
(Legoland in Winter Haven had to be evacuated Thursday because of a bomb threat. Courtesy of ABC Action News and YouTube)
The threat, which was received just before noon, was found on a note inside the park, said Winter Haven Deputy Police Chief David Brannan. He did not go into detail of what was written in the note.
It took approximately 20 minutes to clear the 150-acre theme park built for children ages 2-12. Park officials would not say how many people were evacuated from the park and hotel.
Police K9s from a multitude of agencies, including the FBI, scouted the park for any possible bomb materials.
Police spokeswoman Jamie Brown said there weren’t any reported injuries.
“Everyone’s fine,” she said.
Theme park guests were asked to leave the resort entirely when they were evacuated while hotel guests were asked to wait in the parking lot until the hotel was searched by law enforcement.
The hotel reopened shortly before 5 p.m., as soon as park leaders “received the all-clear” from the police department, said a Legoland spokesman.
Lawmen are determining the validity of the threat. Jones said park leaders believe it was a hoax, but they take all threats seriously.
“Our theme park will remain closed [Thursday] so that Winter Haven Police Department can finish its investigation,” Jones said. “We’ll work with all guests to address any requests for ticket or hotel changes and refunds.”
Legoland’s Water Park was not affected by the incident as it was already closed for the day.
The Legoland Florida Resort, which opened in 2011, became a multi-day destination in May 2015 when a 152-room hotel opened on the Winter Haven property.
The park is undergoing a major expansion with the development of 24 acres into the new Legoland Beach Retreat, another hotel property expected to open in mid-2017.
Other future park upgrades include a new theme park land, Lego Ninjago World. A hard-hat media tour of the construction is scheduled for today.
Legoland is about 50 miles southwest of Orlando. The 150-acre park was supposed to be open Thursday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is one of seven in the chain of Legoland parks around the world.
(Legoland Hotel reopens after authorities clear scene after evacuating the hotel and park for a bomb threat. Courtesy of ABC Action News and YouTube)
The park is expected to resume normal 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. hours today.
Guests who were asked to evacuate are being offered refunds through the Guest Services team, which can be contacted at LLF.Experience@Legoland.com.
Guests who need assistance with tickets or hotel reservations should also contact Guest Services.
Original post http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/breaking-news/os-legoland-bomb-threat-evacuation-20161013-story.html