“Everything is awesome…everything is cool when you’re part of the team!” If you love hearing this song on repeat, then you will LOVE Legoland! 😉 So I had the pleasure of visiting Legoland California (there is another one in Florida for those who don’t know) and I wanted to share a few of my experiences in this “awesome” themepark! 😉 See what I did there?
Tickets: We purchased our tickets at the ticket office on the military base, which gave us about a $30 discount per ticket. I also had a coupon for a buy one adult ticket, get one child ticket free…so we purchased that ticket at full price – which was about $117. This was a hopper ticket where you can choose between the water park and the aquarium. We chose the water park since it was a hot day and my tiny humans love splashing in the water. The tickets we purchased on base also included a free second day to be used before the end of the year.
Parking: Parking is $15 for regular parking and $25 for preferred (upfront) parking. The preferred parking was sold out this day so we parked in the general parking. It wasn’t a long walk so it wasn’t too bad, although I was surprised there wasn’t a golf cart or shuttle service for those who may have a harder time walking long distances.
Season/Hours: We went on a Thursday and got there around 1pm. P.S. it’s July…in California soooo I was melting by the time we got to the gate. The park hours are 10am-8pm so keep that in mind when planning your trip. They stay open until 9pm on weekends, but it’s still an early closure time compared to other theme parks. Even though it’s prime tourist season, the parking and park itself wasn’t too crowded. We got in pretty quick and moved easily around the park. Also, unlike many theme parks, they don’t do fireworks here unless it’s during Fourth of July.
First Impressions: Everyone was very friendly and cheery and eager to help. I would almost venture to say they were friendlier than the Disney staff (maybe everything really IS awesome in Legoland). We headed to the information booth to get maps and our “First Time Visit” pins so we could plan out our day. The attendants were super helpful and explained which rides the kids could ride as well as how to decipher the map. You can also download the app to help navigate the park and view the wait times at each attraction.
Food: We got some food at the Pizza buffet and again, the staff was super friendly with helping us find the right spot. We also discovered that several of the restaurants offered free meals for kids (with the purchase of an adult meal) after 5pm. We were a little early to take advantage of this deal, but I was surprised that many of the eateries offered so many healthy options and salad bars. It was great to have choices other than fried foods and greasy pizza. I ended up purchasing one of the collector cups for $9.95. Sometimes I think these are a scam, but since it was an excruciating hot day I knew we would be drinking lots of fluids. The cup included $1 refills at any restaurant, but next time I will know to bring lots of water and drinks for the kids. And if you download the app, you may receive 10% off your refillable collector cup purchase.
Water Park: The water park is much smaller than typical water theme parks, but it’s great for smaller kids. There are also a couple of splash pads placed throughout the main park which is a great way for everyone to cool off when it’s super hot. The tiny kids loved the water park and the bigger kids (my husband and bro-in-law) liked the water “thrill” ride. They also have a lazy river type ride but the line was too long so we didn’t check it out. They have plenty of beach chairs and benches for you to rest as well as lockers/showers, concessions and towels for purchase. They also offers cabanas for $250 a day. They include a private area with chairs and a mini fridge. This is a great option if you plan to spend the whole day at the water park with family or if you wanted to split the cost with friends.
Legos, Legos, Legos: So the park is literally made of Legos. Like everything! I really enjoyed seeing all of the Lego sculptures. There is a work of art everywhere you look! My favorite exhibit was Miniland – tiny cities made up of…you guessed it – Legos! Take special note of the One World Trade Center Lego building in the New York City sculpture – it’s the tallest Lego tower in the country (26 feet)!
And this is where the magic happens!
I can’t even imagine the time and effort it takes to strategically place each one of these Lego pieces!
Rides/Shows/Play areas: There were several rides for smaller kids and a couple of thrill type rides. I will say most rides are geared for ages 12 and under so don’t expect any crazy adrenaline-pumping rides when planning your visit. There is also a 4d Lego show, but we didn’t get a chance to attend this day. They have a few outdoor play areas for smaller kids as well as indoor play spaces filled with Legos. You can literally bathe in Legos if that’s your jam. I took the opportunity to make my own creation….a Lego apple martini!
Ninjago: This is the new area for 2016 so it’s pretty hyped up (it’s mentioned in every Legoland commercial here). It’s actually a fairly small area, but there is a rock climbing wall, some sculptures and the Ninjago ride. The ride is an indoor virtual reality experience where you are given 3d glasses and then you use your hands to fight ninjas that pop up on the screen throughout ride. You score points for each ninja you take down and the goal is to get the highest score in your four-person car. This really was an arm workout more than anything, but I’m sure that a ninja aficionado or a six-year-old would find this to be a more exciting experience.
Souvenir Shops/Extras: I will say that there are lots of things to see at this theme park! So much that we didn’t have a chance to see everything! There are plenty of souvenir shops so that you can remember your day at the park and you will see Lego characters periodically walking around although we didn’t have time to get photos with them. There is also a face painting station and lots of gaming areas. We stopped by the ticket table on the way out where we received a free extra day! It can only be used between September-November, but it’s still a nice incentive!
Hotel: I will also note that there is a hotel on site – within feet from the entrance of the park. This is something that we may invest in on the next visit so that we can get the full experience.
SWAG: There wasn’t really any obvious swag besides the 1st Visit pin…but we did get an extra free day as well as the souvenir cup. My brother-in-law also played one of the basketball games. It was $20 for 9 balls and he’s a pretty amazeballs basketball player. He ended up making two goals so he received two stuffed animals…and like a good uncle, he generously gave them to each of my kiddos. I was surprised at the awesome quality of these toys! They were huge, full-sized stuffed animals made of a soft, plush material – not like the cheap, carnival stuffed animals you typically win at a county fair. This was a nice surprise and again, the young man running the game was super friendly!
And we received a coupon from Shutterfly for a free photo book! Can’t wait to cash this in!
Overall, it was a great day! I can’t wait to go back and see all of the exhibits and rides that we missed on the first day. Stay tuned for part two the Legoland California experience! I’d also love to hear about your Legoland adventures! Please comment below!
“…Everything is awesome when you’re living out a dream!”