Adventures in Legoland!
March 12th, 2012 by Lizz
Last week my family and I had the opportunity to visit Legoland, Florida! It was a great overall experience for everyone. I will say up front that, although LEGO® is a big part of Bricks 4 Kidz, we are not officially affiliated with the LEGO® Group of companies and therefore I get no discounts or incentives to review anything LEGO® related. I just do it for fun!
We ordered our tickets online and had a McDonald’s coupon that got our kids in free. Well worth it! If you have family in Florida, have them look out for deals like this. Our extended family bought their tickets at Publix and saved $10 each but those tickets wouldn’t get them though the gate, they still had to wait in line at the ticket booth. That was unexpected and a little annoying.
First off, I hate to start with a negative, but the hours of Legoland are painfully short. The park is just open from 10:00am to 5:00pm. That meant, since we were traveling from Tampa, that the best way to maximize our time there was to battle rush hour traffic — both ways! We also learned that the week we were in Florida that they were closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. I think that probably is changing now that the spring break season is upon us but, if you plan to go, make sure you check their calendar.
We arrived shortly before 10:00am and, at the advice of a friend, made a bee-line to the back of the park where some of the more popular rides are. It is really hard to not stop and look at things along the way. There are a ton of amazing “LEGO® sculptures” all over the park.
The rides were fun but definitely geared toward younger kids. If you’re a hard core roller coaster fanatic then you will likely be disappointed. The good news is that my daughter, who is just 5, was tall enough for every ride in the park.
We started with the Coastersaurus which is a fun wooden coaster. They only run one car at a time so I’m glad we got to this one first. I imagine that the line would be pretty long on a busier day. We then headed over to Flying School, a suspended coaster. This one was fun and there was no wait. After that, my 8 year old son waited in line for Driving School with Daddy and his uncle. That line was terribly long and my brother-in-law was disappointed to find out that adults didn’t get to drive! He waited in that long line for nothing!
Meanwhile, I took my daughter to Junior Driving School for kids aged 3-5. There was no wait for this and she enjoyed getting to have her own car. Then she went to Boating School with her aunt and had fun on that as well.
After that we headed to LEGO® Technic area where we rode the LEGO® Technic Coaster. This was, by far, the most exciting ride in the park. It was fast with a lot of drops, twists and turns. The line was about 10 minutes long.
After a quick lunch stop we headed over to the water ski show. This was pretty cute. My kids enjoyed it but I would have liked to see more acrobatics from the skiers. After that we visited the Clutch Powers 4D Movie. This was very fun for all of us. Worth the half hour.
From there we did a little shopping and then went over to LEGO® Kingdoms where the kids road the Royal Joust, my daughter played in The Forestmen’s Hideout, and we all road The Dragon. The Dragon starts with a tour though a castle filled with medieval scenes made entirely of LEGO® bricks. Pretty cool. The rest of the ride is a traditional coaster.
Finally we headed to Land of Adventure where we went on the Lost Kingdom Adventure, where each person gets to shoot lasers at targets. Very fun! The kids then rode the Beetle Bounce and spent a ton of time at Pharaoh’s Revenge while the grown ups were happy to relax. I’m not sure what’s involved with Pharaoh’s Revenge but it was fun for both my kids and we welcomed the break!
Then, we started to make our way to the exit. We took a slow walk through Miniland USA which you have to see to believe. Imagine landmarks like the Kennedy Space Center, the Las Vegas Strip, the Golden Gate Bridge and Times Square created to scale out of LEGO® pieces. It was quite a site to behold!
We made a last minute stop at Island in the Sky, a ride that has been there since Legoland was Cypress Gardens. This was a relaxing way to end our day.
We had a really good time but due to the short hours of the park were not able to ride every ride or experience every area of the park. We were fortunate to go on a day that was not terribly crowded. Had it been busy, I’m sure we would have missed a lot due to waiting in line.
I’m glad we went while our kids are young (8 and 5). I think kids over age 11 probably wouldn’t enjoy it as much.
I was a little disappointed in the gift shop selections. We were hoping to find unique LEGO® items that are only sold at Legoland. Instead, we found the same sets as you would find in a department store only more expensive.
Legoland has a lot of land and will likely develop it more over the next few years. This May, they will open a water park on site which will probably be great for the kids. I hope they plan to increase their hours as well.
If you have any questions about our trip, I’d love to help! We were glad to have the advice of friends before we went and welcome to opportunity to pay it forward!