LEGOLAND, a wonderland of items made from tiny plastic bricks near Carlsbad, Calif., recently was a destination for a family reunion because it is just a few hours' drive from where our son, BZ, lives with his wife, Margaret, and their two sons, Aiden, 3 and Max, 6. My wife, Susan, and I took along our 6-year-old grandson, Caleb, who lives in Dallas.
The 128-acre LEGOLAND has more than 50 rides and attractions. It is aimed at kids 6 to 12, but we saw LEGO-loving teenagers hanging around to see what's new and to try their hands at building some of the Bionicle figures, the latest and more extreme LEGO block, geared to the science fiction enthusiast.
LEGOLAND is different from other theme parks. Six Flags is for thrill rides and Disney parks are where you see your favorite movie characters, but LEGOLAND is where kids are the heroes.
There are LEGOLAND parks are in England, Germany and Denmark, and one is under construction in Malaysia. The California park is the only one in the United States and is celebrating its 10th anniversary.
The fun started March 20 with a 10-foot-tall birthday cake made from more than 100,000 LEGO bricks, and the park is having firework displays Saturday nights through the end of August.
New this year is a "Bob the Builder" 4-D movie. Beth Downing, with the park's public relations department, said it's sort of like 3-D with the glasses, special effects, a big screen and lots of sound. The fourth dimension features wind, mist and snow.
"It gives viewers a really in-the-face feeling like they're actually in the center of the action. It and other 4-D movies are shown several times a day. Show guides are posted all over the park."
LEGOLAND also is celebrating the first year of operation for its aquarium, Sea Life, a two-story, 36,000-square-foot attraction built especially for kids, who can go to a touch pool and put their hands on a starfish or sea urchin. Downing says LEGOLAND is more than a one-day destination, especially with the aquarium.
The park does have some thrill rides. The Test Track is the park's fastest ride, a roller coaster that takes people on a two-minute spin up and down and around and around. Caleb rode it three times and loved it. Visitors also can ride through a cave in Adventureland, all the while blasting away with laser guns. While waiting for rides, kids can play with LEGOs. Max and Caleb built cars from LEGO bricks and raced them down a ramp. Both claimed victory.
Downing says Carlsbad was chosen as the site for the park because it's on the ocean, has beautiful weather year-round and is conveniently located on Interstate 5.
"The town really has grown up around LEGOLAND. The city now has numerous hotels, family resorts, a flower field, great outlet mall and other attractions," she said.
The park is easy to maneuver because there are so many interesting things to see. Giant animals and people are made completely out of LEGOs. Downing said it's like eye candy.
"You're constantly hearing kids exclaiming about something they see for the first time."
She said the park is a work in progress, with new things being added every year.
"We are officially on the map. Lots of people know about LEGOLAND. There was a period of time when you would be in San Diego, 30 miles away, and mention LEGOLAND and people would have no idea what you were talking about. Now, people know. It's very exciting for us."
Caleb couldn't wait to go to the Volvo Driving School where kids actually drive small cars made from LEGOs. These are golf-cart-like vehicles that kids drive around a track, and learn about traffic lanes and stop signs. At the conclusion of the ride, they are presented with a driver's license. Volvo is one of the park's corporate sponsors and there is a full-size Volvo sedan made from LEGOs.
Other attractions include a Skipper School where kids actually steer a boat; Sky Cruiser where they get to pedal the vehicle; a midway where youngsters can throw things and win stuffed animals; and the water ride Pirate Shores. Then there's Fun Town Fire Academy, where kids and their parents race against other families to put out an imaginary fire. They are in small fire trucks equipped with pumps with big handles. The harder you pump, the faster you go.
LEGOLAND is owned by Merlin Entertainment, which Downing said is the second largest owner of theme parks in the world, just behind Disney. It owns theme parks all over the United Kingdom, including Madame Tussaud's Wax museums.
When you park your car and walk toward the entrance, you are greeted by life-sized people made of LEGOs. You see a lady pushing a baby carriage, a lumberjack and a family taking a walk. That's where people start getting out their cameras. The statues are so well-done they that you have to look close to see the little bricks.
People often ask if the figures have something holding them up. Downing said there's no foam or any frame under the bricks. But the 16-foot tall statue of pharaoh does have a steel pole through the middle of it for safety reasons.
Downing thinks you can make anything from LEGOs.
"I don' think we've reached the point where one of our model-builders would say, 'We can't do that.' We have items ranging in size from a diamond ring made with 19 bricks all the way up to a big brontosaurus dinosaur (named Bronte) made of more than 1 million bricks."
The red dragon on the roller coaster ride on Castle Hill is a favorite of many people, including Downing.
"It is bright red and you look inside its mouth and it looks like fire inside. It comes out at you when you come around a curve and it's kind of scary," she said.
Miniland is the centerpiece of the park and the favorite of most visitors. It is the ultimate expression of the LEGO art form. Seven major cities or parts of the country are created from LEGOs on a 1:20 scale. You can put your child in front of New Orleans, New York, San Francisco or Las Vegas and when you see the picture you took it looks like the youngster was actually in one of those cities. You can even see the most recent presidential inauguration, detailed to the point of showing Aretha Franklin's hat. Three-year-old Aiden didn't want to leave Miniland, which was built using 20 million LEGO bricks.
The park has about 20 model builders and two people to do the upkeep. The bricks used in the buildings and statues at LEGOLAND are glued together. That upsets some LEGO purists, but Downing said they are glued so people won't try to take them apart.
LEGOLAND, which also features a factory to show visitors how the bricks are made and a LEGO store, is a park for young people. We saw strollers everywhere. I recommend LEGOLAND for families with kids 6-12. It is fun, colorful and will make for some wonderful memories.
If you go …
Where: One LEGOLAND Drive, off Interstate 5 in Carlsbad, Calif.; 30 minutes north of San Diego and an hour south of Anaheim.
Tickets: two-day pass, $80 for adults (13-59) and $68 for children and seniors; one-day pass, $65 for adults and $55 for children and seniors; two-day pass for LEGOLAND and Sea Life Aquarium, $85 for adults and $70 for children and seniors; one-day pass for LEGOLAND and Sea Life Aquarium, $75 for adults and $65 for children and seniors; Sea Life Aquarium, $18.95 for adults, $11.95 for children and $15.95 for seniors.
Hours: The hours of operation vary. See www.leogoland/california.htm.
Suggestion: If you have just one day to spend, start your visit counterclockwise. Go to the right instead of the left, which is the natural tendency of most park visitors.
Which is the perfect age for LEGOLAND® Dubai and LEGOLAND® Water Park? Both Parks are specifically designed for families with kids aged 2 – 12 years old, however we welcome guests of all ages.What age kids is LEGOLAND best for? ›
Which is the perfect age for LEGOLAND® Dubai and LEGOLAND® Water Park? Both Parks are specifically designed for families with kids aged 2 – 12 years old, however we welcome guests of all ages.Is LEGOLAND worth it for a 4 year old? ›
The answer is YES!!! LEGOLAND California is the perfect destination for families with younger kids including babies (kids under 3 are free). At first glance, you may think that your children are too young, but there is plenty to keep you and your little ones busy.Where is the best place to go to LEGOLAND? ›
- LEGOLAND Japan Resort.
- LEGOLAND Malaysia Resort.
- LEGOLAND California Resort.
- LEGOLAND Dubai Resort.
- LEGOLAND Windsor Resort.
- LEGOLAND New York Resort.
Yes, the park is designed for children ages 2 to 12, but that doesn't mean the older kids won't have fun. With a little pre-planning and a bit of patience, all ages of kids (and adults too) can have a splendid experience at LEGOLAND.Is 12 too old for LEGOLAND? ›
LEGOLAND New York Resort is built primarily for families with kids age 2-12, but most of its rides and attractions are designed for the whole family to enjoy together!What age is Peppa Pig World for? ›
At what age should children stop watching Peppa Pig? While Peppa Pig is predominantly aimed at children aged 4 to 6 years, there is no upper age limit for who can watch Peppa Pig and it is enjoyed by people of all ages. Peppa Pig is suitable for family viewing and can be enjoyed by older children and parents alike.How long will my kids want to spend at LEGOLAND? ›
My biggest LEGOLAND California tip is to plan for at least 2 days for your first trip. And if the water parks are open, add one more day. What is this? We were able to leisurely enjoy the park and the LEGOLAND Aquarium during those 2 days.Are Legos safe for 4 year olds? ›
This will vary from kid to kid based on their experience with building toys, but we think 4 is the youngest age at which most children are ready to start with Lego bricks.What is the best age for Disneyland? ›
The “magic age” for taking your kids on a Disneyland trip is when they are in elementary school, specifically between about 7 and 12. I think this is the best age for a couple of reasons: Most elementary school age kids are better at handling lines than younger kids.
Both parks are super fun for toddlers. If you are just going with toddlers or young kids and want a chill theme park, head to LEGOLAND. You can easily have a fun LEGOLAND vacation for just 2 or 3 days. If you have more time, Disneyland is really fun for toddlers if you have 3-5 days so you can go at a slower pace.How long is it best to stay at LEGOLAND? ›
How long do you recommend to spend at LEGOLAND Windsor Resort? LEGOLAND Windsor Resort is a large theme park with a fantastic variety of rides and attractions suitable for all ages and therefore we recommend a full day visit.Is LEGOLAND as crowded as Disney? ›
Crowd levels at both of these parks depend on the time of the year. The busiest times of the year are when the kids are out of school. For example, Spring Break can get pretty crowded at both parks. However, Disneyland will almost always be more crowded than LEGOLAND because it is a more visited and popular park.What attractions are at LEGOLAND? › What is considered a kid at LEGOLAND? ›
To visit the LEGOLAND Water Park, a $5 toddler admission ticket is required and can be purchased at the Water Park guest services. All children ages 3 years or over are required to have an admission ticket to entry to LEGOLAND California Resort.Will a 10 year old like it at Legoland? ›
There is quite a bit at LEGOLAND for older kids, particularly those who grew up loving LEGOs. Regardless of whether or not your family are hardcore LEGO fans, these attractions are sure to be a hit with the 10 - 12 year old crowd.What age is LEGO for? › What age group is Legoland California for? ›
LEGOLAND® California is filled with more than 60 kid-powered, kid-tastic rides, shows and attractions all built for fun and geared for families with children between the ages of 2 and 12!Is Peppa Pig World expensive? ›
How much does it cost in 2022? Advance tickets for Peppa Pig World and Paultons Park are £39.75 per person over 1m tall – if your child measures under this height (while wearing shoes) or if you're wheelchair dependent you do not have to pay for entry. Advance family tickets are £155 for 4 people, or £190 on the day.Do you need 2 days at Peppa Pig World? ›
The first day is often spent in Peppa Pig World and the second day exploring the rest of the Park. There are over 70 rides and attractions to explore, including 5 themed lands, beautiful gardens and animals to see. Outside of the holidays it is possible to spend 1 day in the Park with fewer people visiting.
Peppa Pig World is definitely the most popular but its so worth checking out the other worlds. They're pretty great too. Food – there are a few food spots at the park but if you want to save some money then its always smart to bring a picnic.Is it worth going to LEGOLAND for 2 days? ›
There is something so magical about a trip to the LEGOLAND California Resort. We're often asked how long you really need at LEGOLAND. We think that two days is a pretty perfect length of stay ticket for LEGOLAND. And, it's even better when you get your 2nd day free - a special that we regularly offer!Is it true you can't go to LEGOLAND without a child? ›
Can Adults Visit LEGOLAND Discovery Center Without Any Children? Adults (18+) must be accompanied by at least one child (17 & under) to enter LEGOLAND Discovery Center.How far is LEGOLAND from Disney? ›
Yes, the driving distance between Walt Disney World to Legoland Florida is 38 miles. It takes approximately 46 min to drive from Walt Disney World to Legoland Florida. Where can I stay near Legoland Florida?Why is the Lego age limit 99? ›
The age “limit” is just a way of explicitly giving prospective gift buyers a way of knowing whether or not their gift is appropriate. If you were buying a gift for your 10 year old nephew, and you saw a LEGO set that said “ages 4–7”, you might switch to something that was more appropriate.Is LEGO good for the brain? ›
Activities like painting and crafting induce a naturally calming effect on the brain, and it's no different for Lego. In an article by Well+Good, psychotherapist Melissa Lapides expresses the benefits of using it to reduce stress and anxiety.Is 13 too old for Legos? ›
Legos are for everyone. Your never too old to play with toys. Can LEGO and Duplo blocks be used together?Is it free to go to Disneyland on your birthday? ›
Disney does not give you free admission on your birthday but they do give you special treatment, free food, and other perks. Let's take a look at the benefits of celebrating a birthday at Walt Disney World Resort.Is Disneyland worth it for 5 year old? ›
Disneyland is the optimal preschooler vacation destination, with shows, rides, food and entertainment that is geared directly to this age range. As southern California natives, my family and I have taken day trips to the Disneyland and Disney California Adventure theme parks for many years.How strict is Disney on age? ›
No need to bring along any proof of age or identification for your child. Kids under 3 will not require a theme park ticket. There is child ticket pricing for kids age 3-9, then any guest age 10 or older requires an adult priced ticket.
The park is fun for all ages – even younger kids.
Unlike many theme parks in California, there are a ton of rides and attractions with no height or age restrictions. Fairy Tale Brook and Coast Cruise are great for babies to enjoy, and there are baby-friendly splash pad areas in Pirate Shores and Heartlake City.
LEGOLAND Tips for Family Travel
The park is very easy to navigate, but includes a lot of walking with stops for rides and attractions along the way.
The first park in the U.S., LEGOLAND California has more than 60 interactive rides, shows and attractions, a SEA LIFE Aquarium, and two water parks: CHIMA Water Park and LEGOLAND Water Park, both popular on steamy southern California days.What are the busiest days at Legoland? ›
Best Time to go to LEGOLAND
It's definitely more crowded on Fridays-Sundays than Mondays-Thursdays. And it's crowded on holidays. So, that should be your first consideration. If your schedule is flexible, check out this LEGOLAND California crowd calendar.
LEGOLAND California is an elaborate fantasyland that's focused on kid-oriented fun, but even adults will be amazed at the incredible creativity and craftsmanship on display.What time of day is best for Legoland? ›
Get there early
From 10 am you are allowed to make your way down the hill in to the rest of the park and go on the rides. Getting there before 10 am means you miss a lot of the traffic and queues of people entering the park. See our opening hours page for full details of Legoland opening hours.
You can really enjoy all LEGOLAND has to offer in a single day. If you decide to visit all three parts of LEGOLAND (main park, water park and aquarium) go for two days. Dedicate one to the main park and the other to the aquarium and water park. Hours – Most days include hours from 10am-5pm.How many nights should you stay at Legoland Florida? ›
We recommend at least one full day to explore. If you are planning on visiting our LEGOLAND Water Park as well, you may want to consider purchasing an additional two-park ticket to ensure enough time to fully enjoy all LEGOLAND Florida Resort has to offer!What's better for kids Disney or Universal Studios? ›
If you have cautious children or children who are not big fans of sudden jolts, large drops or loud music, the rides at Universal Studios are probably not the best place for your family. Disneyland has the most family friendly rides suitable for all ages and temperaments.Is Disney or Universal better for a 5 year old? ›
Disney World has more for younger kids.
If you're planning a once-in-a-few-years vacation, you probably want your little one to get to experience a variety of experiences with you, and Disney World—specifically Magic Kingdom—offers much more for the littlest ones than Universal.
The Park is filled with more than 60 kid-powered, kid-tastic rides, shows and attractions all built for fun!How many pieces of LEGO are at LEGOLAND? ›
Explore the world's best landmarks. Take a look at our amazing model scenes from Europe, the USA and around the world featuring nearly 40 million LEGO® bricks!What is the fastest ride at LEGOLAND? ›
Also known as the Test Track, the LEGO Technic Coaster is the fastest roller coaster in LEGOLAND® California. It is possibly the most classic roller coaster focused on thrills the park offers and is a popular attraction there. The excitement is generated by track elements like drops, turns, and twists.Why are adults not allowed in LEGOLAND? ›
Legoland Discovery Centers also don't allow adults (although the management didn't mention this) to prevent them from monopolizing the activities. The Discovery Center caters to children, so this rule prevents the adults from adding to the crowd and hinders their enjoyment.What age group is LEGOLAND California for? ›
LEGOLAND® California is filled with more than 60 kid-powered, kid-tastic rides, shows and attractions all built for fun and geared for families with children between the ages of 2 and 12!Is LEGOLAND or Chessington better for 3 year olds? ›
Legoland is geared towards younger, primary school aged kids. Chessington is geared more towards middle school aged children, and Thorpe Park is for high school age and above. Again, go to the websites and have a look at the height restrictions.What rides are at LEGOLAND Florida? › Can adults go to Legoland California without a child? ›
Do I Have To Come With a Child to Visit the Attraction? All adults must be accompanied by a child (aged 17 and under) to visit the attraction (with the exception of Adult Fans of LEGO Nights).Is Legoland California for adults? ›
LEGOLAND California is an elaborate fantasyland that's focused on kid-oriented fun, but even adults will be amazed at the incredible creativity and craftsmanship on display. Located north of San Diego near Carlsbad's spectacular beaches, LEGOLAND is a must-visit for families.How old is free at Legoland California? ›
Children under three years old receive FREE admission to LEGOLAND California. To visit the LEGOLAND Water Park, a $5 toddler admission ticket is required and can be purchased at the Water Park guest services.
Families love the Disney experience as there is no other vacation like one at a Disney Resort. And, you are never too young (or old for Disneyland.) In fact, there are over 60 rides with no height restriction, making it a place perfect for toddlers, preschoolers, and babies!Is Lego suitable for 3 year olds? ›
The short answer to this is YES! Legos are a great toy for 3-year-olds! They provide hours of fun and open-ended play. Legos have also been proven to help kids with their problem-solving skills, math skills, creativity, and hand-eye coordination.What age do kids go free at Chessington? ›
For the purposes of admission an adult is 12 years and older at Chessington World of Adventures Resort. We do not accept entry into the park of children under 12 years old without an adult 18 years old or over. All those aged 3 years and over require an entry ticket.Do a 3 year olds pay for Chessington? ›
Under 3s visit free!How many days do you need in Legoland Florida? ›
We recommend at least one full day to explore. If you are planning on visiting our LEGOLAND Water Park as well, you may want to consider purchasing an additional two-park ticket to ensure enough time to fully enjoy all LEGOLAND Florida Resort has to offer!Is Peppa Pig park in LEGOLAND? ›
Peppa Pig Theme Park is a new theme park just steps away from LEGOLAND® Florida Resort Theme Park's front entrance and on-site hotels. The new park shares the same parking lot and is located within easy walking distance to LEGOLAND® Hotel, LEGOLAND® Pirate Island Hotel and the entrance to LEGOLAND Florida Theme Park.Who gets in free at Legoland Florida? ›
Children under the age of 2 will not need a ticket for entry into LEGOLAND® Florida. Children aged 2 years and over will need a ticket to enter the Park.