GRAPEVINE -- Ryan Homer, 11, has been to Legoland many times, but he had never done anything like Lego City: Forest Ranger Pursuit.
"It was fun!" he said.
Forest Ranger Pursuit, which will open Friday, is the latest addition to Legoland Discovery Center at Grapevine Mills mall. It has nine forest scenes covering 5,000 square feet, through which kids drive off-road vehicles on 200 or 315 feet of winding track, depending on whether a pair of garage doors are opened to an outdoor section.
A thunderstorm kept the doors closed during Wednesday's media preview.
"We figure we'll be able to use the outside track eight or nine months out of the year," Legoland manager Iain Scouller said.
Electric cars on the double-figure-eight track aren't restricted by rails or cables, so they go wherever the drivers point them. They top out at 3 mph.
The cars' manufacturer, SB International of Switzerland, set the limits on drivers, Scouller said. Any kid who is at least 4 and is between 3 feet 4 inches and 5 feet tall can jump in and go.
"It's a children's ride," Scouller said "If you're a short adult, well, you have a driver's license and can drive a real car as much as you want."
Ryan, of Flower Mound, gave Forest Ranger Pursuit a 7.5 on a 10-point "funness" scale. His brothers, Reid, 8, and Rhett, 6, each gave it a solid 8.
It would have scored higher, they agreed, if smaller kids hadn't occasionally gotten in the way. Among the dozen or so drivers brought in to demonstrate for the news media were a couple of 4-year-olds who didn't seem to grasp how to steer.
"We get a lot of first-time drivers," Scouller said.
This is not a bumper car ride, he pointed out, but there were still plenty of gentle bumps as those younger drivers tried to go left by turning the wheel right, or just didn't turn it at all.
Kids can drive as often as they want, Scouller said.
"You can ride as many times as you feel like going back through the line," he said. "We have 20 cars, and the number on the track depends on the number of kids waiting to ride. We strike a balance between having as many kids on the track as we can and limiting the amount of bumping."
Pursuit is the third ride for the 44,000-square-foot Legoland. It joins Kingdom Quest, where riders shoot lasers at targets, and Merlin's Apprentice, a merry-go-round that rises higher as riders pedal faster.
Like everything else short of the cafe and store, it has no additional charge after the general admission is paid.
While everything's designed to be fun, Legoland is also an educational attraction, Scouller said.
Terry Evans, 817-390-7620