It’s that classic story of theme park meets dinosaur.
LEGO builder James Burrows has constructed a miniature theme park reminiscent of the recent “Jurassic World” film—huge in scale and completely overrun with dinos. The build took Burrows, who primarily constructs three-dimensional photographic LEGO builds, three months to complete and approximately 125,000 LEGO pieces.
The build’s name is CoasterSaurus II, Burrows told Beyond the Brick, and is based off a real ride, CoasterSaurus, from the LEGOLAND Florida Resort. The real-life ride is a wooden roller coaster surrounded by massive dinosaur replicas built from LEGOs, but is a far cry from Burrows' new build, which is teeming with prehistoric life.
The build also includes some hidden Easter eggs, including a miniature Richard Hammond, the founder and CEO of Jurassic Park in the 1990 Michael Crichton novel by the same name and the subsequent film series. CoasterSaurus II also includes some subtle video game references, like a pair of monkeys causing a scene on a bridge, an homage to the 1999 Sega Dreamcast launch title “Hydro Thunder.”
“I don’t know if anyone remembers that; that’s just showing my age,” said Burrows.
The roller coaster itself is fully functional, including a train full of passengers that is designed to run continuously. The train can climb the steep tracks up to the ride’s highest point, dip down from that point and then pass through a nearby loop, all without requiring human interference. For this to work, Burrows started with the highest point to figure the correct angle for the train to dip so that it could gain enough momentum to make it through the later loop.
“I was having a lot of problems figuring that out, so I ended up actually taking a college course that dealt with centrifugal forces,” said Burrows. “Once I figured that out, it’s been great ever since.”
At the other end of the build is Congo River Rapids, Burrow’s LEGO interpretation of a real water park ride by the same name in Busch Gardens Tampa. Burrows wanted the replica to be as accurate as possible, and to make something “so large, everyone would usually miss it.” That’s where the secret putt-putt golf course comes in, nestled on the side of a rocky cliff face and covered in tall palm trees. He got his wish. Per Burrows, most people don’t catch it at first glance.
The golf course is a microcosm of Burrows build style, who strives to create photorealistic LEGO replicas so big that the details get lost in the scale.
“Like you’d see in a picture. Put so much in there that you won’t see it all.”