• Danielle Ross is Legoland New York Resort’s first and solely feminine grasp builder.
  • Her typical day entails working with hundreds of Legos to construct every part from mermaids to snowmen. 
  • Her aim is to increase illustration throughout the park’s 15,000 Lego fashions. 

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A yr in the past, Danielle Ross had by no means performed with Legos. 

“I had by no means used a Lego set, I would by no means constructed a Lego set, and I had by no means even owned one,” Ross, 25, instructed Insider.

However in April 2021, that modified when she was employed as Legoland New York Resort’s first and solely lady grasp builder.

Ross mentioned her inventive background in sculpting mermaid tails together with building and administrative expertise landed her a spot on the seven-person workforce. 

Now, Ross’ whole job revolves across the once-unfamiliar colourful bricks. As a grasp builder, it is her duty to take care of the park’s 15,000 Lego fashions in addition to brainstorm new additions. 

This is a take a look at a day in her life.

Ross’ day revolves round creativity from the beginning

A ride at the Legoland New York Resort.

A trip on the Legoland New York Resort.

LEGOLAND New York Resort

Every morning, Ross travels from her New York residence to the 150-acre resort within the Hudson Valley.

The second she steps contained in the park, she’s greeted by 30 million Lego bricks. There is a water playground, life-size Lego animals, and Miniland, that are interactive Lego-built cities that mimic the true world. 

“It is completely probably the most thrilling place I’ve ever been,” she mentioned concerning the park.

Every day, Ross walks across the park. She’ll chat with guests, however her major focus is on the fashions, she mentioned. A part of Ross’ job is to ensure every part is in its correct place and nothing has damaged.

Because the park is constructed of Lego bricks, Ross mentioned it is common for buildings to fall or Legos to interrupt off. If a mannequin has damaged, Ross or one other grasp builder will both rebuild it on-site or convey it again to the Lego store for restore.

If she’s not fixing damaged Lego fashions, she’s designing new ones

Subsequent, she’ll work on the important thing a part of her job — including new Lego fashions to the park. 

Ross mentioned all 5 grasp builders have the liberty to construct and design round their pursuits. “It simply begins with creativity,” she mentioned.

One in all Ross’ passions is mermaids. When not working at Legoland, she mentioned she’s usually designing, sculpting, and casting her personal mermaid tails out of silicone. She makes use of the purposeful mermaid tails to decorate up for occasions and kids’s birthday events. 

Her whimsical curiosity led to her most up-to-date Lego creation — a complete mermaid metropolis, which is ready to debut within the park this spring.

Danielle Ross owns a company where she dresses up as a mermaid for events.

Danielle Ross designs her personal silicone mermaid tails and attire up as a mermaid for occasions.

Picture courtesy of Danielle Ross

As soon as Ross has an thought, she first designs the mannequin on her pc and plans what to construct. For her mermaid metropolis, she brainstormed components like a sunken pirate ship, treasure chest, divers, aquatic animals, and, in fact, mermaids. 

Then, Ross begins constructing. She makes use of the methods she’s realized on the job, just like the Lowell-sphere strategy, which is whenever you take rectangular blocks and create a spherical construction. She’ll additionally work with different groups. For the mermaid metropolis, Ross mentioned the animation workforce helps her create shifting options.

When Ross finishes her work within the store, she’ll begin assembling it on-site. Usually, guests will spot grasp builders engaged on their initiatives throughout working hours.

Between working with Legos, Ross bonds with coworkers and collects toys

A mermaid tail Danielle Ross is currently designing.

A mermaid tail Danielle Ross is presently designing.

LEGOLAND New York Resort

Since beginning final April, Ross mentioned she’s additionally change into shut together with her male coworkers. There is a workforce of seven folks — 5 grasp builders, a supervisor, and a technical builder — they usually usually all eat lunch collectively within the store. Throughout these breaks, they may watch the most recent film trailer or talk about a TV present, she mentioned.

After work, Ross’s creativity would not cease. If she’s not engaged on her newest mermaid tail, Ross mentioned she may crochet, make jewellery, or construct Legos — which is now a pastime, too. Her whole attic is devoted to her toy assortment, which incorporates each new and classic Lego units. 

Ross mentioned she’s centered on creating a various Legoland

Danielle Ross in the Lego shop at Legoland New York Resort.

Danielle Ross works on a Lego mannequin at Legoland New York Resort.

LEGOLAND New York Resort

When Ross arrived at Legoland, she mentioned she noticed alternatives so as to add variety to Miniland and set to work “designing folks of all totally different creeds, races, religions, and ethnic teams.” For example, there weren’t Muslim Minilanders, so she added these to the resort. 

For Delight Month final summer season, Ross create a Delight parade that stuffed the duplicate of New York Metropolis. 

Guests look at miniland at Legoland New York Resort.

Friends take a look at Miniland at Legoland New York Resort.

LEGOLAND New York Resort

Ross mentioned that she desires anybody who involves Legoland to have the ability to “see themselves represented.” 

“If somewhat child comes by means of and sees a Minilander who seems like them, that’ll simply make their expertise much more magical and memorable,” she mentioned.

One in all her favourite recollections was when a teen noticed herself represented within the Delight parade Ross was constructing. 

“[She] seen that one of many Minilanders represented her within the Delight parade,” Ross mentioned. “It introduced the most important smile to my face.”

Ross’ recommendation for different women and girls is easy 

The 25-year-old had never played with Legos before getting the job at Legoland Resort.

The 25-year-old had by no means performed with Legos earlier than getting the job at Legoland Resort.

LEGOLAND New York Resort

“Simply go for it,” she mentioned.

Ross urged women and girls to proceed being inventive, and if there’s one thing that piques their curiosity, do not hesitate to discover it, she mentioned.

For ladies coming into the inventive business, Ross additionally urged making a portfolio early in your career. 

Ross, for instance, had a assorted resume when she utilized to the Legoland New York Resort. She had expertise utilizing instruments and doing building and even had her personal firm performing as a mermaid alongside prior administrative work.

“All of it got here collectively as an ideal storm to convey me right here to Legoland,” she mentioned. 

“Preserve being inventive and preserve having enjoyable as a result of that is crucial factor about being a grasp mannequin builder,” she mentioned. “In case you’re anxious that you just’re not ok, you might be. You might be sufficient, and you are able to do it.”


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