We had an adventurous few days of Spring Break at Legoland California in Carlsbad, and I want to share our experience. It was our first time at a big theme park with the kids, and we had a blast. At four and nearly-six, I felt like Legoland was made just for them. The park is a great size to see everything in two days unless you want to try the water park (additional admission price, totally awesome!).
http://news.legoland.com/ is the blog for insider tips.
It wasn’t all smiles and tiny bricks though. I had my own meltdowns. Being pregnant at the amusement park is not as fun as it was going to be in my head. I was kept off some of the best rides, hungry all the time, and had to pee constantly.
Milo’s favorites, age 4:
- Indiana Jones style cars where we all shot at targets (in the dark, no pictures)
- Slow pedal-powered “roller coaster” I waited an hour for us to ride (thanks kid!)
- The huge family-size inner tube water slide ride in the water park (in the wet, no pictures)
Holden’s favorites, age 5:
- Hideaways, best playground ever
- Miniland, small models of famous places in the world including world cities and the new Star Wars exhibit
- Small boats that kids can drive through the water
I loved that boys were tall enough to ride all of the cool rides (42″); there is a full-on DUPLO area if you’re there with toddlers; and the rides with the longest lines included a Lego-building play area for kids to wait it out. The live-action and movie shows are a great respite from so much walking in the heat.
What’s not to love?
The food was totally meh (not all the way blech, mind you) and very expensive. A typical lunch for four of us would be about $40. And, of course, outside food was forbidden. By the second day, I learned that I could order merely a kid’s sandwich or hot dog with a cup of water and avoid the bundle up-charge. That saved us almost half.
Where to stay?
We stayed at the adjacent Sheraton and got a decent rate for being in their frequent sleeper club (or whatever its called). The advantage to staying so close is that you pay $0 for parking each day and can walk in through a private entrance for super-Lego-intense families like us. If you can pull your kids away from the Hideaways playground (which is at the back entrance), head straight for the dragon roller coaster because the lines get long as the day wears on.
Any other questions for me or tips to share?
+++Disclosure: The Lego folks treated my family to one day at the park… we paid for all the rest.