Lego Inside Tour – Day 4
Friday, May 8th. The last day of the Inside Tour. Oh noes, it was all over!
First off, there was breakfast and check out time. Luckily, Legoland Hotel has a luggage room, which was filled with most of the participants' loot before the day's programme began.
We were tasked to build and bring LEGO Miniland figures for this morning, the reason for this will not be revealed. Suffice to say, there were many odd shaped self portraits on display. That's what creativity is all about! After placing the figures on a table we had a presentation on the origins and present features of Legoland Billund. The Legoland franchise is owned by Merlin Entertainment, the reason for this being the deep crisis the LEGO group found themselves in about 10 years ago. TLG on the other hand, owns 30% of Merlin. On a side note, this is why the Legoland Shop doesn't provide VIP points for visitors - it's not a brand store, it's a owned by Merlin.
After the presentation, we had a Legoland backstage tour. We got to see one of the rides behind the scenes and visited the Legoland modellers' workshop. It was interesting to see how they worked and we got a few pointers on how they preserve the bricks from sunlight and how the various vehicles in the park move around. They even use silicone to glue pieces together some times! Oh the horror...Unfortunately, no photos from the workshop, as we had to hand in our gear on beforehand.
After some time on our own in the park, we had a nice lunch at Legoland King's castle. Some of us built an (almost) impregnable wall in the kids' playroom with foam bricks. Vince, however, managed to break out in the end. 😉
Back to the hotel seminar rooms for a talk from LEGO recruiter Mette Oppelstrup on what to expect when applying for a job as a designer and life in Billund. At least one of the tour participants is working towards becoming a designer, so should be exciting to see how that turns out. The final entry in the programme was a farewell speech and a special gift for every participant. I guess it's not a secret any more that LEGO designs a unique, numbered set for each Inside Tour (this was the 11th year of the Inside Tour) that somehow is connected to the LEGO group's legacy. We had this set signed from Steen Sig Andersen, who currently also plays a major part in the Architecture series.
Out of respect for the participants doing the next three tours this year, I will reveal no details or pictures of this exclusive set until they have finished their tours. I know for a fact that a couple of fellow participants have leaked images already (Bricklink forum) and put their copies up for sale on the Bricklink marketplace. So if you're going on the tour - stay away from those. I don't like to pass judgement, but I have to say it was somewhat thoughtless to put it up for sale immediately after coming home from tour 1. Could be a move to maximize profit, but still I think it was shortsighted and possibly in conflict with the Non-Disclusure Agreement we had to sign on the first day. Please show respect for the designer and the LIT team who made a great event for us.
After receiving an autograph on the exclusive set, it was time for goodbyes. I have to say it was sad that it was all coming to an end, we were just getting started! But still, I think most of us were pretty exhausted after a few intense days with loads of impressions and late nights (I was up until 3 AM the night before, unboxing sets to fit them into my luggage). At any rate, I appreciate meeting so many fun and interesting people, thanks to everyone for making the tour a great experience! It was as much the mood of the other participants that made me have a good time as the programme itself. Some of us have connected on Facebook and keep the discussions going actively, along with sharing of photos and videos from the event. Good stuff! If you're ever in Norway and close to Bergen - give me a ring, and let's meet up!
I shared a taxi to the airport with Pete, David and Karen. Since I didn't fly RyanAir, I had no trouble checking in and walking through security with ease. Obligatory stop at the airport LEGO shop, where we got our Billund Airport sets. A fun thing is that they have free table football next to the shop! Four tables even. Be prepared for busy games, as the ball is made out of cork.
Here are some photos from the last day. Stay tuned for a final review of the whole tour - I'll try to cover everything from the hotel itself, the Legoland shop, what we saw of Billund, the weather, the coffee, the food, the numbers. Everything along with pointers on what tour participants can do to have as much fun as possible during these hectic and exciting days.
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