Legoland California will open a new Pirate Reef attraction on May 24, among several new features planned for 2012 at the Carlsbad theme park.

The pirate attraction and other recent additions represent “millions of dollars” in investments at Legoland, park officials said in a statement following a Jan. 19 press conference.

Pirate Reef lets guests battle each other on the high seas aboard a pirate ship replica, blasting water cannons as they try to avoid getting drenched. The attraction includes a plunge down a 25-foot chute, and will be accessible through the park’s Pirate Shores and water park.

Legoland’s Star Wars Miniland, which opened in 2011, has been expanded to include a new Lego gallery of seven famous scenes from the six live-action “Star Wars” movies, debuting in March. Also that month, its Sea Life Carlsbad Aquarium will open an interactive exhibit called “Claws,” with five new displays that include Japanese spider crabs and coconut crabs.

The park also has begun construction on a new resort hotel announced last year. Legoland California General Manager Peter Ronchetti said attendance in 2011 topped 2010 by a double-digit percentage, “marking the eighth year of continuous attendance growth.”

Legoland’s owner, U.K.-based Merlin Entertainments, does not divulge attendance or revenue figures for its individual venues.

— Lou Hirsh