Eighteen job hunters competed for the ultimate dream job at LEGOLAND® California today and five walked away with offers to work as Model Builders at the family theme park in Carlsbad. Joel Baker (23) of Seattle, Washington; Brian Heins (35) of San Diego, California; Amanda Jouan (26) of Chula Vista, California; Mark Larson (32) of Chicago, Illinois; and Ryan Wood (25) of Los Angeles, California out built other hopeful contenders to be the newest members of the LEGOLAND Model Shop Team.
The Model Builder Search began with 150 people submitting applications online. More than 25 were selected to compete in the first round of competition on June 25 in which qualified candidates were asked to complete three challenges: a copy build, where applicants had to copy an existing LEGO® model; a team build, where applicants were challenged to build something together; and a creative build where each applicant built a model within just one hour, testing their creativity and time management skills.
The search culminated with today’s final build-off where Park guests watched in anticipation as the finalists had just two hours to build an impressive 3D model based on the Park’s newest area, Land of Adventure. They were judged on their creativity, strategy, ability to build a three-dimensional model and their calmness under pressure. After today’s competition, all of the finalists got the chance to slide down Dune Raiders, the Park’s newest ride before it opens to the public June 26, 2009. The winners’ models will be installed in Dune Raiders to be seen by Park guests all summer long.
Dune Raiders features six side-by-side nearly 50-foot-long racing lanes and a pair of double-helix corkscrews that are more than 15 feet high. The fifth attraction within Land of Adventure, Dune Raiders is themed in an Egyptian bazaar motif complete with a new gaming area called Thunder’s Quest and new LEGO models including a snake charmer with animated snakes.
Baker, Heins, Jouan, Larson and Wood will not only help with projects within LEGOLAND California such as Dune Raiders, but will help build the thousands of LEGO models going on display in other Merlin Entertainments properties such as LEGOLAND Malaysia, LEGOLAND Discovery Center in Shaumburg, LEGOLAND Discovery Center in Xanadu and LEGOLAND Dubailand as well.
The Model Builders hired today will have 30 days in which to start their new job. There are a mere 24 Model Builders at all four LEGOLAND Parks. Ten of them currently work here at LEGOLAND California. Coming from various backgrounds and skills, they all have two things in common: They use every ounce of creativity in their daily work, and they’re passionate about it.
With so many talented finalists, LEGOLAND California also offered entry level positions to four of the competitors. Bryan Decker of San Diego, Samuel Swiger of Carlsbad, Eric Christie of Hemet and Dana Bradsema of San Diego will be working on the Model Shop Team at LEGOLAND California as Model Shop Associates.