Texas Man Spends 300 Hours Creating LEGO Disneyland Replica amid Coronavirus Pandemic
John Daugherty's miniature park includes Main Street USA, the Disney castle, a motorized Disney train station and more
As Disney parks remain closed amid the coronavirus pandemic, one fan discovered a creative way to bring the magic into his own home.
Instead of visiting the park, Texas resident John Daugherty built his own miniature Disneyland out of LEGOs from the comfort of his living room — a project that has since taken him more than 300 hours to build 25 different sets, he recently told Good Morning America.
The 48-year-old began working on the replica in 2017 when he first got hold of the Cinderella Castle LEGO set.
"That was when I decided I'd make my own Disneyland," Daugherty told the outlet. "All those sets could be put together and make a miniature version of the park."
Since beginning his passion project, Daugherty has built the park to include a motorized Disney train station, complete with Mickey and friends, the iconic Main Street USA, a Ferris wheel, a Marvel land, the Swiss Family Treehouse, a Pirates of the Caribbean themed ship and more.
The father of two even has his own YouTube channel dedicated to his LEGO creations, where he shows off his projects and gives detailed tours of the pieces.
"It's kind of like my therapy, just a fun thing to do," Daugherty said of his creation. "It's very zen."
Daugherty continued on to say that his family is supportive of his hobby, even letting him move his creation to the family dining room while at-home in self-isolation.
"She tolerates my hobby," Daugherty shared of his wife, Bonnie. "Thought if there was a time to bring it all out, it was during a quarantine."
Daugherty and his wife planned to take their two kids to Disney World over spring break, however, they had to cancel the trip due to the virus outbreak.
Thankfully, Daugherty's creation could bring his family a modified Disney experience while stuck at home.
"This helped me have a little Disney fun without actually being there," he told Insider.
When the park is able to reopen, Daughtery hopes he and his family can reschedule their vacation.
Disney has closed all of its attractions, hotels and stores in North America. This includes the Aulani resort in Hawaii, which was the last Disney property in the U.S. to close in the midst of the pandemic on March 23.
During earlier months of the pandemic, the iconic Orlando resort had been accepting new reservations for dates starting June 1, fueling rumors that a reopening was imminent, but bookings for June 1 through June 6 have now been canceled.
The company stated the June reservations would be flexible, and guests would be able to modify their bookings if the park did not reopen by the date of their reservation, or if it opened earlier. It also previously noted it would waive all vacation package change fees through June 30.
While the park remains closed indefinitely, a Disney spokesperson confirmed to PEOPLE on Thursday that "reservations are currently available for travel dates July 1 and later."
Matt Simon, Vice President of Disney Springs, announced the attraction's phased reopening on May 7, sharing that "a limited number of shopping and dining experiences that are owned by third-party operating participants will begin to open during this initial phase."
In order to keep everyone safe and healthy, Simon indicated that a number of operational changes will be made. These include "increased cleaning procedures, the use of appropriate face coverings by both cast members and guests, limited-contact guest services and additional safety training for cast members."
They will also have limitations on capacity, parking and operating hours during the first phase of the reopening.
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