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If you are planning a Florida vacation make sure you take the kids on a trip to Legoland! They will think “Everything is awesome!” Legoland is a fun theme park that is perfect for kids age 2-12. My boys who are 6 and 8 thought Legoland was the best place ever! The park is full of fun kid friendly rides and shows, not to mention there are Lego creations everywhere you look! Your family will have a great time exploring all the many attractions that Legoland has to offer. But just like any vacation, you need to make some plans and do your homework so you will be prepared for the trip ahead. As a local Floridian, I have some insider tips that will help your Legoland vacation be AWESOME! Don’t you just love that song:)
Legoland has MiniFigure Trading
Before I talk about the park itself, I need to make sure that you know about Legoland’s Minifigure Trading. Theme park employees wear name tags that display Minifigures. These Minifigures are up for trading, all you have to do is ask. So make sure your kids bring some Lego characters from home to trade. The only requirement is the Minifigure must be complete including hat/hair. No missing pieces if you want to trade. My boys had a blast searching name tags for the best trading options. If you happen to forget, then no problem the shops in Legoland sell Minifigure packages by the cash registers.
Now for my helpful tips:
#1 Legoland Florida is not in ORLANDO
If you aren’t from Florida then you might think Legoland is in Orlando just like all the other theme parks. Well it is not. Legoland is located about an hour south of Disney World. And that’s an hour without traffic! The park is in Winter Haven Florida at the old Cypress Gardens location. While it may be a hike to get there, Legoland is definitely worth the trip! But, knowing how far you have to drive will help you plan accordingly and giving you a better use of time. And with kids, it’s always easier to be prepared.
#2 Stay at the Legoland Hotel
I strongly recommend booking a night at the Legoland Hotel, which will be just as much fun for your kids as the park itself. This hotel has entertainment and surprises around every corner. A giant lego pit is located in the lobby where the kids can have a blast playing while you check in. Rooms have bunk beds and are decorated in awesome Lego themes. They even include a special treasure hunt for your kids. Make sure to eat dinner in the hotel’s Skyline Lounge. It is located next to a giant Lego castle where the kids can run around while waiting for dinner, and the parents can have a relaxing drink. The Legoland Hotel is literally right next to the entrance for the park about “130 kids steps”! You can go from your room to the gate in about 5 minutes. How nice to be able to relax after a long day at the park instead of getting in the car to drive an hour back to your hotel! Also, this location is ideal to get an early start in the morning.
#3 Get to Legoland Park when it Opens at 10:00AM with Tickets In Hand
Legoland Florida opens at ten in the morning to the general public. If you are staying at the hotel or if you have an annual pass, then you will get extra brick hours and can enter the park at 9:30. If you didn’t stay at the hotel, so that you could walk right over, then make sure you get to the parking lot before 10. The parking booth line is long and slow. The ticket line is also long first thing in the morning. Legoland makes it easy to purchase tickets ahead of time and print them at home. It seems like you can always find a coupon code to help lower the cost of tickets, so search the web before you buy. It is important to arrive at the park when they first open because the crowds will be minimal. I noticed a lot more people and much longer lines starting around 11 o’clock.
#4 Not all rides are available during Extra Brick Hours
We stayed at the Legoland Hotel so that we can take advantage of extra brick hours in the morning. The park opens for these special guest at 9:30 but not all the rides are open early. All of the school rides at the back of the park, including the ford driving school, are closed until 10 when the park opens to the public. There are employees guarding the walkways that lead to this area of the park. But don’t worry, the extra 30 minutes still comes in handy while visiting Legoland. The kids can have time to explore MiniLand USA without crowds of people or they can head off to some other rides without a wait.
#5 Head to Ninjago World First
Ninjago World is Legoland’s newest attraction and it is very popular. Your kids will love finding their favorite life sized Lego Ninjas and trying out their own ninja skills. The best part of Ninjago World is the ride! Here riders wear 3-D glasses and use ninja hand moves to attack enemies. *Hint Hint-Please watch the video instructions and notice that the rider’s hands must be about 8 inches above the sensor for the game to work properly. On our first ride, my son had his hands to close to the sensor and it wasn’t picking up his score. This ride is very similar to Toy Story Mania at Disney World. The Ninjago Ride is open during extra brick hours!
#6 Ford Driving School is a Short Ride so Head there Early
Every kid will want to experience the Ford Driving School, but be warned the wait is long and the ride is short! The kids get 2 minutes of actual driving time, which they will love, but it seems like it is over as soon as it has begun. Definitely get in line for this ride as soon as it opens at 10 AM. If you arrive late and the lines are all long or if you only have time to choose one school experience, I suggest waiting in line for Boating School. The kids will have more time behind the wheel, or at least it feels that way:)
#7 Don’t Miss Pirates’ Cove Live Water Ski Show
Grab a times guide on your way into the park and don’t miss out on this spectacular water ski show. Your kids will laugh at the jokes and be in awe of the tricks. The stadium fills up quickly so grab a seat at least 15 minutes prior to the show’s start time. If you want to kill two birds with one stone, then grab some food to go and eat it on the lawn, located next to the stadium seating. From the lawn you will still have a great view of the water ski show, but it will be harder to see the additional stage show. Also be warned when signs say the first few rows might get wet, they mean it! Those kids were soaked.
#8 When It is Hot Outside Head for the Imagination Zone
Since it is hot in Florida, Legoland was smart to build the Imagination Zone inside. This attraction has lots of different activities for your kids to explore. Small children can play in the brick pit while older kids can build a car to race or plane to fly. In the ocean zone, children can see their fish creations come to life on a huge screen. Lego Mindstorms allows kids to build and program robots. I have heard this attraction fills up quickly so you must sign up early. My boys did not get to experience Mindstorms because all the time slots for the day were filled by local school kids on a field trip. Don’t get your hopes up for this one just in case it’s full, but be pleasantly surprised if you snag a spot.
#9 Have the Kids Ride the Carousel while You Wait for Apple Fries
A trip to Legoland won’t be complete without tasting the Apple Fries. These yummy apple slices are sprinkled with cinnamon sugar and served up like French Fries. The only serving location usually has a long line. Since it is conveniently located near the two story carousel, I suggest one parent wait in line for apples while the other take the kids on the ride. Watching my boys go round and round helped pass the time while I was waiting in line and then we all enjoyed a great snack after the ride was finished.
#10 Save the Quest for CHI Ride for Last
Quest for CHI is a great water ride and was my son’s favorite behind Ninjago. Kids have water fights with other boats and shoot targets that trigger large water splashes. My boys laughed and laughed every time there was another water explosion. The problem with this ride is that everyone will be soaked! We chose to ride Quest for CHI last so that we wouldn’t be wet all day. Who wants to walk around in soggy shoes! Another option would be to wear a bathing suit and sandals. You could also rent a locker to keep a change of clothes or towels. My family preferred to walk right back to the hotel and change:)
I hope you learned a few tips about Legoland Florida that will make your vacation Awesome! Don’t forget to pack your Lego Minifigures (if you need some they are available on Amazon)! If you have any more useful suggestions please leave a comment below, I’m sure my family will be back soon!