Obnoxious parents are being urged to stop destroying the new LEGOLAND New York theme park in Goshen.

This summer the Hudson Valley's first major theme park opened to lots of fanfare and excitement. LEGOLAND New York is a $500 million, 150-acre amusement park that is the largest brick-based park in the world. Groundbreaking rides, breathtaking LEGO models and a gorgeous view of the Hudson Valley await visitors who have yet to explore this amazing playland for kids and adults.

Unfortunately, the beautiful new park is already getting torn up by parents who refuse to follow the rules.

LEGOLAND New York is built on a large hill in Goshen, with different lands situated up and down the steep incline. In order to get from one end of the park to the other, guests follow a winding, paved path decorated with hundreds of elaborate LEGO figures. Just walking through the park is a fun experience, but for some miserable parents, no path is going to stop them from ruining things for everyone.

I've taken several trips to LEGOLAND, and every time I visit, I feel like I'm the only one following the rules. Parents in a rush to get their child to the next ride are blazing their own trails up and down potentially dangerous terrain and stepping all over LEGO models that are not supposed to be touched.

On a recent visit, I witnessed a family with children and an elderly woman bypass the path and climb down to the Pirates area from Miniland. The incline is extremely steep and dangerous. Halfway down, the elderly woman got stuck, yelling to her family for help. Losing her balance, she was rescued just before tumbling forward. It's only a matter of time before behavior like this results in serious injuries.

A. Boris

There are signs all over the park urging visitors to stick to the path and not to touch the elaborate LEGO models. Sadly, these signs have had little impact on the behavior of parents who can be seen urging their children to climb onto the back of a LEGO animal for a picture. It's not just an isolated incident or two either. On my last trip to the park, there wasn't one LEGO model on the paths that I could photograph without a child climbing on top of it by the urging of their parents. This was almost always done within sight of a huge sign warning against touching the models.

As a result of all of the rulebreaking in the park, once grassy areas are now ripped up patches of dirt. Anyone walking down through the pathways can see torn-up trails leading to new "shortcuts" that are being used by guests who don't want to be told where to walk.

It's clear that LEGOLAND is doing its best to thwart this behavior. On a recent visit, there appeared to be twice the amount of signs urging people to stay off the grass, but it's had little to no effect. Sadly, barriers or some other sort of deterrents are going to be needed, especially in areas where steep terrain makes cutting through the grass a serious hazard.

Before it comes to that, I hope at least a few parents reading this will realize what poor role models they are being by encouraging their children to break the park rules. Posing your child in front of a model from the trail is a perfect photo opportunity. There's no need to tell them to go climb a giant boulder and then jump on the back of a creature made out of LEGO bricks. Let's keep everyone safe and protect the beauty of this theme park that the Hudson Valley is so lucky to have in its backyard.

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