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One of a number of similar LEGOLAND theme parks located all over the world, LEGOLAND California was the first to open in the US. Located in Carlsbad, not far from San Diego, it is geared towards families with children aged 2-12. The park hosts a variety of attractions inspired by LEGO toys, along with a predictably large number of retail outlets selling LEGO kits and merchandise. The park's signature attraction is Miniland USA, which features recreations of famous landmarks constructed using millions of tiny LEGO bricks. The on-site water park carries an additional charge, with the two sub-parks sharing the Pirate Reef attraction.
LEGOLAND California was the third LEGOLAND park to open, after LEGOLAND Billund and LEGOLAND Windsor. It made its debut in 1999, featuring a line-up that closely matched those of its European sister parks. Along with the rest of the LEGOLAND chain, it was acquired from parent company LEGO by Merlin Entertainments Group in 2005. It has since been expanded aggressively, with a neighboring Sea Life aquarium opening in 2008 and a water park following in 2010. An on-site hotel welcomed its first guests in summer 2013.