It finally happened! After living in Florida for 15 years (yes, there was almost a 2 year hiatus when we lived in New Jersey, but 15 years total now in Florida)…we visited LEGOLAND! We decided it would be the perfect weekend staycation to celebrate my daughter’s 3rd birthday and we were right. She had an amazing time, as did all of us.
~Thank you to LEGOLAND Florida for hosting the Making Time family. As always, opinions are still 100% my own.~
When we decided to visit LEGOLAND with the kids, I went into mom mode and prepared as much as I could. It’s not easy traveling with kids and especially spending an entire day away from home where everything is at your fingertips. It’s one thing to head out on your own or with your partner, but when the kids are along for the fun, there’s a lot more that goes into planning.
So I scoured the official LEGOLAND Florida website for all the info I could get and then searched other online sources for any type of insider tips or secrets. My research payed off and we hit LEGOLAND well-prepared to spend a fun-filled day with our little LEGO fanatics. From my exploring the internet and my family’s own experience at the park, here are some things you need to know about LEGOLAND Florida before you go (plus tons of sneak peeks at the fun my family)!
Even though you purchased tickets to get in to LEGOLAND, parking is not free. You have two options, preferred parking at $27 or standard parking at $17. The difference between the two, is that preferred parking is 1) a little closer in walking distance and 2) covered parking. Personally, we opted for the standard parking. It’s really not that much further away than preferred parking.
If you’re making a true vacation out of your visit to LEGOLAND and want all things LEGO, you may decide to book accommodations at LEGOLAND Florida Hotel or at LEGOLAND Beach Retreat. A major perk is that the hotel is literally steps from the entrance to LEGOLAND, and the Beach Retreat has a complimentary shuttle to and from the park. This time around we didn’t stay at either, but next time we’re hoping to stay in one of the beach family bungalows. If, or should I say when, we do, I’ll be sure to share all about it!
Depending on the season and the day of the week, park hours vary. The water park also usually closes an hour before the theme park does. So if you’re planning to visit the water park, keep this in mind so you can plan ahead and make the most out of your day.
Speaking of the LEGOLAND Water Park, there is an additional cost for entry. When purchasing tickets, be sure to buy water park entry if that’s something you want to do while visiting. And don’t toss out your tickets once you get through the main entrance. To gain entry to the water park, staff will scan your ticket again at the water park entrance.
Within the water park area there are lockers to keep your stuff safe. It’s usually scorching hot out, so I’m sure the whole family is going to want to cool off in the water. Rent a locker to secure your belongings and take a lap (or 10) around the Build-a-Raft River.
Did you know that you can bring outside snacks and drinks into LEGOLAND? This is especially important if you have small kids, or even babies, with you. For our trip we left our littlest family member home with grandma, which was a relief because it was ridiculously hot, but also because I didn’t have to pack for him. We still took a few things in for ourselves though – water, Gatorade, and small snacks – just enough to get us through the day. Here’s the list of approved outside snacks that can be brought in.
On the other hand, it’s not an absolute necessity to bring stuff from home because there are plenty of places throughout the park to grab a bite to eat and stay hydrated. Pizza, burgers, chicken, slushies, ice cream, apple fries (which I missed this time around), and more. I’ve heard the apple fries are a must-have when visiting LEGOLAND, so it’s now on my to-do list for our next visit. Even though we brought in some snacks and drinks, we still bought lunch while at the water park and got refillable souvenir LEGOLAND cups.
LEGO Creations and Photo Opps
It wouldn’t be LEGOLAND without real LEGOs, right? Let me tell you…they are everywhere. There is no shortage of LEGO photo opps, either. From the moment you walk through the entrance, all the way to the very back of the park, the LEGOLAND master builders have been busy and are always redesigning.
If you really want to see some cool creations, Miniland is a must-see. From the Statue of Liberty, to the Daytona Speedway, Miniland is filled with realistic LEGO creations. There’s even a special Star Wars Miniland for all you Star Wars fans.
One of my favorite LEGO creations was this triceratops dinosaur. Made from 211,000 LEGOS and taking 640 hours, it’s design and color combinations are mesmerizing. I could stand and look at the intricacy and detail for quite a while.
Granted LEGOLAND is all about LEGOs, it doesn’t mean rides can’t be involved, and there are rides for all ages. We were celebrating our daughter’s 3rd birthday so she was the center of all the rides we did. As soon as we walked in, she wanted to ride the carousel (even though she won’t ride on the horses), and then she got her driver’s license from the Ford Junior Driving School (ages 3-5). Personally, I think she needs a retest, but the instructor said she passed. Don’t think I’ll be getting in the car anytime soon if she’s behind the wheel.
Unfortunately, my son didn’t get to do the Ford Driving School (ages 6-13) because the line was too long, so that’s another thing on our to-do list for our next visit. But he did get to partake in a fun (and tiring) fire truck ride we did as a family. We all hopped in a big LEGO fire truck and manually pumped our way to a building fire. The kids then jumped out of the fire truck, put the fire out, and then we had to go back to the starting line. It was a lot of work, but the kids had fun (there’s a peek of this in the video at the beginning of the post).
The whole family also got to ride the Safari Trek. We paired up, hopped in safari jeeps, and rode through the jungle. We saw elephants, zebras, giraffes, lions, monkeys, and all kinds of other animals, all made out of LEGOs of course.
There are plenty more rides to choose from too – water rides, roller coasters, boats, LEGO train, you name it. If it’s LEGO-themed, LEGOLAND has it. The kids were so set on hanging at the water park for a while that we didn’t get to see and do everything, hence the need for a second visit.
There are also some fun carnival-type games to play. We watched two people attempt this hanging challenge.
One look and I was like, yeah, there’s no way anyone in our family will win that. It’s an easy concept – hang for 2 minutes and win a prize, but it’s not at all an easy task.
Just imagine – it’s 90 some degrees out, you’re sweating so you’re hands are wet, you have to hang and hold your weight for 2 whole minutes – NOT HAPPENING! I really wanted that blue dinosaur prize hanging from the top too. We watched a grown man try it and he lasted a full minute, and then a young boy tried and he lasted about 20 seconds.
Think you could complete the challenge?
Plan for a 2-Day Visit
I’ve already mentioned that we didn’t get to see and do everything we wanted to. We arrived at the park at about 12 pm (park opened at 10 am) and at about 4 pm it started raining. Because of the rain, everyone had to get out of the water and all the rides were basically on lock down. We waited for about an hour, but it continued to rain. If you’re familiar with Florida, you know this is typical, so we weren’t very surprised. Once the rain lightened up some, we bought the kids some ponchos and headed back towards the car.
We were in the back of the park where the water park is, so it took us a good 20-30 minutes or so to get back to the car. The park closed at 6 pm that day, but the rain wasn’t going to stop anytime soon and there wasn’t much we could do with just 30 minutes left anyways. In the end, we only got about 4 hours of fun out of our visit, so of course we have to go back.
But even if we walked in when the gates opened and stayed until they closed, we’d still have more to see and do. So I recommend planning for a 2-Day visit if you want to do it ALL. Plus, once you get the kids in the water, it’s hard to get them out. At least that’s how it is with my kids. They love playing in the water.
Maybe for my next trip, once I’ve finally seen and done it all, I’ll be able to do a must-see and -do list of LEGOLAND attractions.