Before her position as a master builder at LEGOLAND New York Resort, Danielle Ross had never played with a Lego set. She had experience with various art mediums such as drawing, photography, sculpture, and even crafting mermaid tails from silicone and clay. With a background in the arts and a desire for a creative, hands-on career, she never anticipated incorporating toys into her daily work routine. However, Ross was amazed when she discovered a job posting involving Legos. Starting in April 2021, Ross made history as the first female master builder at LEGOLAND, New York, entrusted with designing the theme park that comprises over 30 million Lego bricks.
Danielle Ross works on maintaining the park’s 15,000 Lego models, focusing on adding diversity, especially at Miniland, which includes ten U.S. destinations. Ross hopes to inspire kids from all backgrounds to pursue their passions and find fulfilling careers. She finds it rewarding when children see her work and realizes they can become master model builders.
A LEGOLAND Master Builder’s Typical Day?
Every morning before the park opens, Ross and the rest of the model shop do their first rounds around the park to ensure it looks perfect. They’ll also check on things in the park throughout the day. Ross’ main job is to design and build new park models. Ross is one of four master builders on an eight-person team. In addition to two animators, there is a manager and a designer.
How Long Does It Take To Build Lego Models?
“It depends on the size,” she said. In addition to taking months to design, the Empire State Building took 1,000 hours to build. It takes a week to prepare and another week to make a Miniland car. “It’s quite a process.”
How Is It To Be LEGOLAND New York’s First Female Master Builder?
As the park’s first female master builder, she said the team is constantly growing and adding to its understanding of construction. In Ross’ words, “I love showing girls that they can do the same thing – she can be a master model too.” She recalled a woman pointing at her and telling a girl, “This can be your job.”