Surely every LEGO fan wishes they could shrink down small enough to play inside their cool creations. LEGOLAND Florida delivers this experience by surrounding you with LEGO Movie characters and LEGO creations blown up to kid-size. Everything really is awesome!
Long has LEGO been amassing at our house. DUPLO gave us, or rather the kids, a taste for it and we clapped proudly as they built teetering towers of brightly coloured blocks. These days LEGO sets of ever-increasing complication threaten to cover every surface in a mini city of boats and cars and Lego Friends vet clinics and discos.
At 8 and 6 our little LEGO fans were the perfect age for a visit to LEGOLAND, with its target audience of 2-12 year olds.
And, after our slightly princess-focussed experience at Walt Disney World, LEGOLAND gave our trip some balance. Especially for LEGO-mad Hamish. After hours spent on his LEGO models at home, in his eyes this was the ultimate theme park.
It was a big winner for both the kids though, particularly because of the independence they could have here. They could ride almost every attraction together, without the need for an adult accompanying them. Plus rides like Ford Driving School and Boating School put them in the driver’s seat. Such freedom!
Where to stay at LEGOLAND Florida
These are the top 3 hotels (according to Tripadvisor) to stay near LEGOLAND Florida. We stayed at the LEGOLAND Hotel and HIGHLY recommend it. The immersive theming is incredibly well done. See all our pics and more info here – LEGOLAND Florida Hotel Review.
|Hotel||Beds||Star rating||Approx cost for a night (USD)||Click to check latest prices|
|LEGOLAND Florida Hotel||King + bunks + trundle||3 star (I find this hard to believe - definitely 4 star)||$580 (incl 2 day family park tickets)|
|Hampton Inn Winter Haven||2 double beds||2.5 star||$240|
|Holiday Inn Winter Haven||2 queen beds||3 star||$150|
This theme park is definitely all about the kids with some attractions having maximum ages of 12 or 13. But rather than feeling like hubster and I were missing out, it was quite relaxing being able to step back and wait while the kids went ahead.
LEGOLAND is a theme park focussed on children within quite a narrow age range, but if you can visit one while your kids are in that age bracket, then awesomeness abounds! Find all the LEGOLAND locations here.
9 best things to do at LEGOLAND Florida
We bypassed the attached LEGOLAND Water Park and easily filled a busy day at LEGOLAND. These were our favourite things to do in the order that we did them, which worked well for us.
1. Scream through the thrill rides
Hit the rollercoasters and driving school first to avoid long lines.
The Dragon in the LEGO Kingdoms area was Alannah’s favourite ride. The minimum height for this rollercoaster is only 102cm as long as they ride with someone over 122cm. This meant the kids could ride on their own, which they LOVED! It was such a novelty and there was no queue so they rode it twice in a row.
Coastersaurus in the Land of Adventure is another fun rollercoaster through a prehistoric jungle of animated and life-sized LEGO dinosaurs that the kids could ride alone – minimum height is 107cm.
Mia’s Riding Adventure in Heartlake City is a “disc coaster” for bigger kids only with a minimum height of 122cm, but Alannah and I loved this spinning, swinging screamfest.
Project X in LEGO Technic was definitely not my favourite rollercoaster. I didn’t like the sharp 90 degree turns, but it went down super fast and that made it a winner in Hamish’s book. Minimum height is 107cm as long as they ride with someone over 122cm.
2. Put the kids in the driving seat
The LEGO City area is all about driving boats, cars and planes. Being in control of a moving vehicle got a big thumbs up from both kids.
Boating School – This sweet ride allows kids to captain their own mini-vessels. Minimum height is 87cm as long as they ride with someone over 122cm.
Flying School – This one is a suspended coaster, a style that I’m not a fan of, but the kids are much more easily pleased than me! Minimum height is 112cm as long as they ride with someone over 132cm.
Ford Driving School – This is no dodgem car ride! The kids need to obey the road rules and stop at the red lights here. But Alannah and Hamish felt very grown up driving around realistic streets and were thrilled to earn their own driver’s licenses. This one is for ages 6-13. There is a separate Ford Jnr Driving School for ages 3-5.
3. Use your imagination
Although we bypassed areas for smaller children like DUPLO Valley, the kids were happy to ride the tame but adorable Royal Joust in the LEGO Kingdoms area (ages 4-12).
Driving through the Safari Trek in Land of Adventure was a relaxing one too. Minimum height is 86cm as long as they ride with someone over 122cm.
4. Pose with the giant LEGO creations
Throughout the park there’s plenty of fun photo opportunities with all sorts of creatures and people made from LEGO.
5. Take a quick trip around the States
Miniland USA is where you’ll find mini versions of New York, Las Vegas and so on made out of LEGO bricks. Very little of it was familiar to the kids, but they still loved the interactive exhibits like racing cars at Daytona International Speedway, watching the space shuttle take off at Kennedy Space Center (read about our visit to the real Kennedy Space Center here) and spraying each other with water from cleverly positioned mini fire trucks and fountains.
6. Take a break and relax
The Island in the Sky is a leftover from when the LEGOLAND property was Florida’s first theme park called Cypress Gardens. It is a 46m-high rotating platform. With its short line it was a lovely way to get off our feet for awhile and enjoy the view. It’s a bit like going on a ferris wheel – not a thrill ride, but wonderful fun.
View to the LEGOLAND Hotel and car park and lakes beyond.
7. Go shopping
Before you leave, check out the LEGO Studio Store. There are some amazing LEGO sets in here if you think you’ll be able to get them home. For something easier to pack, their range of LEGO watches is super cool. Hamish snaffled an R2D2 one that is one of his favourite souvenirs from our Orlando trip.
8. Get wet to beat the heat
It’s pretty much always hot in Florida. Or at least warm. Average high temps vary from 21 to 33˚c throughout the year. We were there in October when the average high is 29˚c and it was hot. LEGOLAND felt more exposed to the elements than Disney World, so at times we felt like we were baking on the concrete.
Cool off at the LEGOLAND Water Park where you’ll find a wave pool, waterslides and plenty of other fun. We chose to stay at the LEGOLAND hotel and didn’t have time to fit the waterpark in, but had a ball playing in the hotel pool and water play areas.
To survive the heat in the park, look out for these water spray stations. Such a brilliant idea!
9. LEGO NINJAGO World
Check out the newest addition to the park – LEGO NINJAGO World.
Revealed at the start of 2017, this land is all about sharpening your ninja skills. There are various outdoor activities, but the highlight is LEGO NINJAGO The Ride. Use your ninja hand moves to blast animated fireballs, lightning and more at waves of 3D villains.
This area was not open when we visited, so we are hanging out to see it at LEGOLAND in England later this year.
There’s heaps more to see and do at LEGOLAND if you have the time. There’s a water ski show, a LEGO Friends musical show and The LEGO Movie 4D – A New Adventure. Many more rides too, especially for smaller children. There’s even a botanical garden!
Once you’re 122cm you can pretty much go on everything in the park on your own. For pre-schoolers there’s the DUPLO area, playgrounds and more rides. And for kids in between pre-school and 122cm it’s very handy having a big brother or sister to ride with!
LEGOLAND Florida tips & tricks
Before you go
- Check the opening hours calendar here. It’s often closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays outside peak periods.
- If you’re not hiring a car for your Orlando stay, then use the LEGOLAND shuttle to get there.
- Consider staying at the on-site hotel to get early admittance to the park. This made a huge difference to our visit. Read my LEGOLAND Hotel review here (hint – we loved it possibly even more than the theme park itself!).
- Take your own food and drinks. This is permitted and is a fantastic way to save some cash.
- If you can get your hands on a LEGO magazine, they often have free LEGOLAND tickets offers.
- Or if that doesn’t work out, book your tickets online on the LEGOLAND site ahead of time if you possibly can. It is significantly cheaper than buying on the day.
Plan your day
- Get there early! Since the park is a 45 min drive south of Orlando, it can be very quiet at open as I assume people are still on their way there. Make an early start and allow plenty of time to park your car and get to the entry gates as it’s quite a distance. You will most likely be allowed in before official opening time. We found wait times on rides got extremely long in the middle of the day, so get in as many rides as you can within the first couple of hours of opening.
- Ride the rollercoasters and driving school first. We did The Dragon and Coastersaurus before official park open, so there were no lines at all, but by the time we got to Project X the lines were getting very long.
- Heading straight to the back of the park and working towards the front can be a good way to avoid the crowds too.
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Disclosure: Many thanks to LEGOLAND Florida for gifting us entry tickets.