Mama in the Now recently teamed up with Legoland Florida as our Lego-loving family spent the day at the park. After our highly successful trip Legoland Florida – our best trip to date, I wrote a review and compiled a list of tricks and tips to ensure everyone enjoys their Lego-filled day. The only melting going on will be your ice cream in the hot Florida sun, there won’t be any time for meltdowns of the toddler-kind.
We normally go to Legoland at least three times a year. From where we live in South Florida it is a two hour drive north, so definitely conducive to a one-day trip. Legoland Florida is located in Winter Haven, which is about 45 minutes outside of Orlando. For those of you who are not familiar with Florida’s weather it is safe to say that we have one season all year. It gets HOT here, sometimes cool – but very rarely does it get “cold” at least not in the eyes of a non-Floridian.
Top 10 tips and tricks to an AWESOME trip to Legoland Florida:
1. Arrive early. We prefer to be there right as the park opens. The park’s hours are listed on their website, as they change from day to day, or week to week.
2. Buy your tickets online and print them from home. You will avoid having to wait in line at the park. Their website normally lists deals, or you can search for current coupon codes online before purchasing.
3. Go before or after a major holiday. We went the weekend before Thanksgiving and the park was not crowded at all. Try to avoid going on weekends during school breaks or national holidays – unless you love big crowds of sweaty people.
4. Use the restroom before entering the park! (This is a total mom-observation on my part. Only moms would plan bathroom breaks!) There are restrooms right outside the main entrance to Legoland Florida. It is a family tradition that we all use those restrooms before entering the park. There is generally a line to go through the turnstiles, so while one adult holds our place in line, the other will do a bathroom run with the big potty trained kids. This give you more time to play once you are inside the park and it makes waiting in line go by quickly – a true parental win-win.
5. Bring a stroller, at least a small umbrella stroller. Our kids are 8, 6, 3 and 10 months. I wear the baby and then we have the 3 and 6 year old sit in the stroller when they tire out – which they will do EVENTUALLY. Besides, the stroller is also a great way to carry a few essential items (which I will get to soon) – and the big yellow bags full of new Lego sets, which you are sure to leave the park with – trust me!
6. Take a lunch break around 11:30am! (Here goes the mom in me again; I am even telling you when to eat! Force of habit, sorry!) Plan to eat right before the rest of the park guests decide that they are hungry too!
7. Visit the Lego store as the last stop on your way out of the park. It is a great way to end a long day of fun – and you avoid having to carry big bags of Lego through the entire park – again – trust me on this one. I AM the voice of experience when it comes to these matters. (Editor’s Note: a reader informed me that you can do “package pick up” through Customer Service so you avoid carrying boxes around the park all day! I haven’t tried this fancy benefit, but it is worth checking out next time we go!)
8. Save all your photo cards from your photo sessions throughout the day. Remember to visit the photo shop in guest services before you leave the park. The photographers typically stand right outside and inside the main entrance and they follow the characters around ready to capture your Kodak moments.
9. Bring water, light snacks, sunscreen, hats and sunglasses for everyone in your party – even during the winter, remember: it is Florida!
10. Head straight for the big popular rides as soon as you arrive. Then back-track through the park afterwards. Enjoy the Chima ride, the driving school and the roller coasters as early in the day as possible before the lines get too long.
Bonus! Review of the rides, by age:
Our kids ventured out of their usual comfort zone on this trip and they tried new rides. It was wonderful to watch each one of them broaden their horizon and grow a little.
- Jonah (10 months) and Jansen (3 years) really loved the Duplo Village. They both rode the Tractor and the Train with confidence.
- Jansen was such a big boy as he played with his older brothers in the recently updated Duplo Village Tot Spot and the Splash & Play.
- Jordan was a day away from turning 6 years old, so he went to both the driving schools: Lego City Ford Jr. Driving School and Lego City Ford Driving School. Personally, I think he enjoyed the Jr. Driving School a little better.
- Jacob (8) and Jordan are always two peas in a pod, so after they finished the Driving School they went to the Quest for Chima ride with Dada. It is a very wet ride, but oh so fun – even for the people who stay on “dry” land to watch.
- We all relaxed as the kids raced Speedorz in the Arena, which is slightly shaded and has seating all around.
- Jacob was such a big boy, he went on the Technic Techicycle all on his own, while we stood on the ground watching him – THAT was a big moment for all of us.
- After lunch at I-Zone Panini we went to the Build and Test Center at the Imagination Zone. This was an indoor play area where the big kids built Lego cars, while Jansen built towers out of Duplo. There was something for all ages, seating for the adults, cool AC. It was a perfect place to recharge after lunch.
- We left the park after walking through Mini-land, enjoying the sights of all the Lego landmarks recreated in Lego.
- The Big Shop was our last stop – it’s now a tradition to do some brick-shopping on our way home! We were back in our car and on the way home by 3:00pm.
The day was a raging success, the kids AND the parents had fun. Brick by brick we made memories, shared laughter and smiles – and I felt a little closer to my childhood in Denmark!
How was your child’s first amusement park experience? At what age did you start going?