My family of four recently visited Legoland, Florida. We stayed Thursday through Saturday nights in the Legoland Resort Hotel in October 2016, and highly recommend it as a stand-alone trip or in combination with another vacation that you plan in central Florida.*
Here are ten reasons to bring your family Legoland, Florida:
- It was not crowded. I repeat, the resort and the park itself were not crowded. In my book, this is reason enough to go. Especially as compared to the other theme parks around Orlando. Being able to do two-full days in a relatively empty park wherein we could ride absolutely everything multiple times without having to wait in tedious lines is seriously the BEST reason to get to Legoland. There’s no annoying fastpast to buy or strategize over. If you stay at the hotel on site, like we did, you get in earlier than the general public by thirty minutes. However, I didn’t feel like that was the only reason we were able to ride so many things. Obviously, like anywhere else, getting an early start to the day is critical to managing small bodies.
- The roller coasters were perfect for my kids, aged 7 and 5. In fact, I felt the whole park was really geared for my age group. Rarely did you see children over 12. My children were: (1) tall enough for each of the four unique coaster (minimum height requirement of 42 or 44 inches. See all height requirements here); (2) the four coasters were uniquely themed and designed (from wooden to suspended); and (3) the lines were not long on any. We waited less than ten minutes for each of these coasters (or any ride), some of which we rode multiple times in a row, by getting off, and coming back and waiting just one coaster before getting on again.
- Legoland’s rides and attractions. Chima water ride, Lost Kingdom Adventure, Safari Trek, Ford Riding School, Island in the Sky, and Merlin’s Challenge rounded out my crew’s favorite non-coaster rides. The park itself is laid out into different zones, which include The Beginning, Fun Zone, DUPLO Valley, Heartlake City, Miniland, World of Chima, LEGO Kingdoms, LEGO Technic, LEGO City, Imagination Zone, Land of Adventure, and Pirates’ Cove. See park map. Giant characters made out of LEGO bricks are everywhere in the park and hotel. Imagination station should not be missed, which is like an indoor educational discovery center. Character meet and greets were posted throughout the park and hotel.
- The shows and games-of-chance were amazing. We saw the water skiing show on Lake Eloise with Brickbread’s pirates and the Lego Movie in 4D. Both were spectacular. I wanted to see more, but of course, I got outvoted. I venture to say they all are good. There were some games that allowed the children to play until they won a prize. Now granted the prize was small and these games were say $6 each as compared to $2 each, but a great concept if your family is into winning stuffed animals as much as mine is. Since we went in October, our kids dressed in costumes for Brick or Treat, Legoland’s Halloween trick or treating in the park. See events calendar.
- The Legoland hotel lobby. The hotel is not very big or crowded. Even if you are not staying, I would recommend checking it out and having a drink while you kids play with the millions of bricks there. They didn’t use wristbands for hotel guests, so it was very accessible from the parking lots and the park. The second best thing for me and my hubby (behind the relative emptiness of the whole place) was the fact that the fully stocked bar was located right next to a castle where the children played day and night. They built bricks, ran around the castle, did pajama dance parties (I wish I would have known because mine were in their ratty pajamas, but they seriously didn’t care – bring slippers too), building contests, and more with costumed hotel personnel leading the children through various activities, all while the parents sat nearby and drank. Seriously, it was brilliantly laid out.
- Themed guest rooms include pirate, Lego friends, and adventure rooms. We stayed in a pirate decorated floor, complete with bunk beds separated from the parents’ space with the bathroom in between. Even the elevators were cool with disco music for every ride.
- The Legoland hotel restaurants and park food was both kid and adult friendly and fairly priced. Everything was kid-friendly, as expected, from the buffet breakfast (included in room fee) to the buffet dinner (also at Bricks restaurant in the hotel – separately priced). We ate one night at Bricks buffet and one night at the Skyline Lounge (also in lobby, next to the castle and nightly entertainment) for some variety.
- The Legoland hotel pool was clean, warm, not very deep (4 foot maximum, but only a small area), and full of soft foamed bricks for even more building.
- The Legoland water park is optional. This time of year, it is only open on weekends (check park hours here). The water is not heated. We didn’t do the water park because we thought there was enough to do in the amusement park and because the admission to that cost extra. Instead, we utilized our hotel pool each day that we stayed.
- Winter Haven, Florida is easy to get to (and historic if you are interested in that. Legoland is located on the site of Cypress Gardens. Take the Island in the Sky ride for your brief history lesson of the area). The drive from Orlando international airport to Legoland took 60 minutes exactly. If you stayed at a Disney resort or in/or around Kissimmee, the drive would be even shorter, probably 45 minutes. Legoland is also close to Tampa, a mere 60 miles to Tampa’s International Airport and less from downtown Tampa. Directions here. I would even consider a shuttle service next time to save money on the rental car, seeing as how we didn’t leave the property for 3 days. Although I haven’t fully researched that, here’s where I’d start.
*I’m personally not a Disney world expert, lover, or hater, but I have many friends who are and have incorporated their experiences with the crowds at Disney into this piece.