Leif Pettersen's Travelogue

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Posted on 7/17/03

Take a close look.  Yep, made totally out of Legos


I went to Vejle for one reason and one reason only. Frickin’ Legoland®. An inordinate amount of my youth was centered around Legos. From before I can remember until my early teens, I sat on the floor of my room and constructed Lego houses, spaceships and futuristic communities. Even the advent of the Atari 2600 didn’t completely kill my Lego habit. Legoland® was my Mecca. My holy land. My Dollywood. I have to admit that I have already been to Legoland® once before. Eleven years ago I spent a day at Legoland® on my quick, stone broke tour of Norway, Sweden and Denmark, but seeing as how I was in the neighborhood again, I thought I’d stop in to relive my youth.

What I remember most about Legoland® was all of the huge Lego exhibits. Some of them constructed with more than two million individual Lego pieces. Whoa! Lego Dutch cityscape. Lego Statue of Liberty. Lego Mount Rushmore. Lego Munich airport with planes and trucks that drove around! Lego shipping site with working railroad lines and (oh-wow!) fully functional lock and dam that plucked a moving Lego barge out of the (not Lego) river, raised it and sent the barge on it’s merry way through the exhibit!!!! My god, it was effing awesome! I had fantasies about standing around and commenting on the brilliance of the design and construction of the exhibits with a stranger, expressing my passion for Legos and then the stranger would turn out to be the park’s lead design engineer and he would offer me a job on the spot!

Needless to say I had high hopes. Well, as is inevitable when you screw on so much anticipation, the result was a disappointment. In the 11 years since my last visit, Legoland® has gone ape-shit commercial. The entry fee doubled. Where I had memories of only one gift shop at the entrance, now there were shops, kiosks and carts everywhere you turned, trying to sell you Lego stuff. Simply finding all of the fantastic Lego exhibits had turned into a game of hide and seek. The huge exhibits were still around, but they had been surrounded and overwhelmed with the horrid commercialism. And if that weren’t enough, the crowds were hideous. People were everywhere and, more importantly, right in my way. Taking three consecutive steps in the direction that you wanted to go was totally impossible without dodging numerous slack jaws adults staggering blindly into me with their baby carriages and the obvious swarm of kids running around, often totally unsupervised. The crowd anxiety that I thought had more or less subsided with the onset of the Happy Pills was stirred up so badly that not only was I shoving yokels who were walking into me like I wasn’t there, but I was also jostling kids that jumped into my path and stopped right in front of me while I was in mid-step. At first, I did my best to dance around these kids to keep from stomping them, but after a while I was so annoyed that I just hip checked them right out of my way.

Speaking of the maddening little kids, at any given moment, I was being bombarded by the screeches and cries of no less than a dozen kids having temper tantrums. I have never seen so many miserable and pissed off kids who were being treated to a day at a theme park. Thankless little bastards. And people ask why I haven’t given one nanosecond of consideration to having kids. If my kids spent the day throwing hissy fits after I paid $25 a piece to bring them into a theme park, two things would happen. One, I would take back that $25 out of their college funds. Two, I would not ever bring them to a theme park again. Ever. Moral of the story; Do not mess with the care giver, because I will eff your shit up in a hurry. Needless to say, I am not a suitable candidate for parenting.

I have to give one bit of genius kudos to the Danish parents. It seems to be common practice when you and your dependents are out for a day in a crowded place to write your cell phone number on both arms of each child. I think this is pure brilliance. When taking your high-energy three-year-old to teeming places like Legoland®, it is almost a given that he/she will wriggle away at some point during the day and sprint 20 yards into the crowd before anyone realizes that they are gone, unless you decided to use a harness and leash on the kids which seems to be no more kosher in Europe than anywhere else. Since everyone over the age of eight has a cell phone in Scandinavia, someone is bound to notice the child wandering around alone in mere minutes and give you a call and a happy reunion is made in no time.

As I barged my way through the park, trying to find the Lego exhibits between the overwhelming crowds and distracting gifts shops, I found myself trapped in a circle of overpriced food carts and shameless souvenir stands. I whipped out the Legoland® map to get my bearings and found something new and strange. In a remote corner of the park there was a huge enclosed garage labeled “Power Builder,” with the word “New” scrawled across it. There was almost no description of what this attraction was on the map, so I charged in that general direction to investigate. What I found changed my attitude faster than a bottle of free wine. Power Builder was a design-your-own thrill ride! Power Builder itself is basically two padded, bucket seats, screwed onto the end of a giant, multi-jointed, super powerful robot arm. Upon entering the facility, you go to a touch screen where you program exactly what you want Power Builder to do to you and how violently you want it to be done. Then the touch screen spits out a smart card with your selections saved on it, that you carry with you while you wait for your turn to get on one of the 10 Power Builders. When your time comes, you shove your smart card into your Power Builder, strap yourself in and prepare to get your brains scrambled. Being the dumb-assed, balls-out idiot that I am, I programmed Power Builder to kick the living ca-ca out of me. The results were nothing short of fabulous. I haven’t been physically and emotionally moved like that since the dream I had where Jennifer Garner and Salma Hayak gave me a nude, Swedish massage while on a private jet destined for Vegas. Power Builder is the greatest theme park ride in the history of human existence and I am sorry to say that anyone who wants the pleasure of this experience, has to come all the way to Denmark, since Legoland® is the one and only place in the world that has Power Builders at the moment.

To see me getting whuped by Power Builder, click here for high speed connections or click here for low speed. It's worth the bandwidth! Special thanks to Wil from Limitless Exposure for the server space.


After coming down off my Power Builder high, I managed to discover the awesome Lego Interactive Center that gave kids the opportunity to play Lego video games, construct strange and dynamic, creations and design and build their own working Lego race cars that they could then road-test on the Lego race track and attempt to break the Lego race car speed record. These late discoveries improved my general spirits on Legoland® and I left happy and severely sunburned on my arms, shoulders and face.


My plans to spend my last few days in Denmark in a cushy resort town called Skagen, on the northern most point of the country were squashed when I realized that if I wanted a chance in hell at getting a bed in a hostel in Berlin, I had better show up before the weekend. I made the arrangements and mentally prepared myself to enter the first country and city on my tour that I had not previously visited.

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