The Upstate has definitely caught LEGO fever since gaining a LEGO store of its own. KAG Contributor Melanie Coblentz and her family visited LEGOLAND Amusement Park in Florida.
Here’s how she surprised her children and her review of the park.
LEGOLAND is offering guests a new “Peace of Mind” policy during the pandemic. You can read more about the current LEGOLAND cancelation policy, and the other important changes, online.
Santa decided to treat our family to a Christmas at LEGOLAND Amusment Park in Florida, and we are so glad he did!
The LEGOLAND Surprise
A few days before Christmas, we received a strange letter from Santa via our scout elves. It just said, “pack the bags” and was accompanied by two new duffels for our children. More clues were revealed in days that followed, leading up to us blindly hopping in a car to an unknown destination.
While we stopped for lunch on the road, we returned to the car to find Harry Potter LEGO mini-figures sitting on the kid’s car seats. This was the first clue that helped us guess our destination. Our son, eyes wide said “LEGOLAND?” Santa did not confirm our son’s guess until our second day in Orlando.
Where to Stay at Legoland
This article contains Stay22 affiliate links.
We wound up spending Christmas Eve in the park, and it was perfect. About an hour from Orlando, LEGOLAND is located in the town of Winterhaven.
If you are focusing mainly on the LEGOLAND resort, I recommend staying on the property. The LEGOLAND resort is right next to the entrance gate. Guests can almost hop out of bed and into the park. This is especially handy if you have nap times to consider.
A second option for staying close to the fun is the Beach Resort, with 83 beach-themed bungalows located on Lake Dexter. There is a free shuttle to get you the half-mile to the park, plus lots of other amenities.
Our family stayed right outside of the Disney Springs complex in Orlando, but definitely want to stay on the property next time.
Things to Do in LEGOLAND
The park has something for everyone, and I would recommend spending at least two days.
Stop at guest services to get your free souvenir pin, telling everyone that it’s your first visit to the park! The park is separated into several different sections, including a closed water park during our visit. The LEGOLAND water park is open seasonally, March through October.
There are lots to see and do, and we weren’t able to get to everything in the single day we spent there, even with the water park being closed.
One of the things I noticed and appreciated was how the lines were managed for rides geared towards younger children. It seemed that the rides were a shorter length than I’d expect, which kept the line moving. I felt like this was perfect for keeping everyone happy. Then, if you didn’t feel like you had enough time on the ride, a return to the line would have you back on the ride quickly. We did this several times on Merlin’s challenge ride, which became our three-year-old daughter’s favorite.
Without a doubt, the biggest hit of the day, as far as rides, was the newly introduced virtual reality roller coaster “The Great LEGO Race.” After donning a VR headset, riders will experience a head-to-head race against other riders through sight, sound & motion. Admittedly, I’m not a huge fan of non-inverted rollercoasters (where the track is below you). However, despite repeatedly telling my son I thought we were “gonna die,” I was sad when the ride was over!
For fans of LEGO Ninjago, there is an entire area dedicated to these characters, in addition to exclusive 3D movies shown throughout the day. The Ninjago Ride is an interactive one, where riders have to blast villains with animated fireballs generated with arm & hand movements.
LEGOLAND Special Events
The park has hosted several different special events in past years, including Star Wars days, Ninjago Days, A Fourth of July celebration, Brick or Treat, and A Bricktacular Christmas.
2021 Scheduled Events include:
- Piratefest Weekend
- LEGO Friends Weekend
- Red, White & Boom
- LEGO Ninjago Days
- Heroes Weekend
- Brick or Treat
- Holidays at LEGOLAND
A Bricktacular Christmas included special activities for guests like a scout elf scavenger hunt through the Miniland, where the kids earned a special-edition LEGO piece.
The attraction formerly on the property occupied by LEGOLAND, was something I never got to see. I was pleasantly surprised to find that The LEGO attraction had been built around Cypress Gardens. So it was like we had gotten a “two for one” deal! Unfortunately, we ran out of time before getting to see that portion of the park, but hope it will be one of the first things we see on our next visit. There is an amphitheater on the lake, which recently hosted a Kidz Bop weekend, for fans of the pint-sized pop music.
If you are looking for a fun place to visit, I suggest you consider LEGOLAND resort in Florida. We loved it, and I think your family will too.
New At LEGOLAND Since Our Visit
Merlin’s Magic Wand
Our family received free tickets to LEGOLAND through the Merlin’s Magic Wand Program. This non-profit organization provides a single-day visit to families of children with special needs. For more information on this program, please visit Merlin’s Magic Wand. They also offer something called the HERO Access Pass for families that have children with special needs. It’s a free “fast-pass” style benefit.
LEGOland | 1 Legoland Way, Winter Haven FL | 877.350.5346