My kids got a dream vacation this summer, getting to go to Legoland. We are a lego-loving family; all the kids love to build and they were the perfect ages for a trip to Legoland. Our oldest is 11 and youngest is 5. I did a lot of searching online for Legoland tips and I found a few sources, but there were still a few things that were missing, so I’m giving you my favorite tips.
But before we get into that, let me tell you who Legoland is for. Yes, it’s a great thing for kids who love legos. But age is key here. The rides at Legoland are geared for younger ages (2 to 11) so they are much tamer than your typical amusement park. We have 2 older kids who are scared of roller coasters and they each did everything but 1 ride (different rides for both of them) that they just couldn’t get up the nerve to go on. The younger 3 kids went on every ride and had a blast. Our two youngest kids were too short to ride on some of the rides alone but the other 3 were all tall enough to ride alone which they loved doing. And since both my husband and I were there, we could each ride with one of the shorter ones. It couldn’t have been more perfect.
We went in the summer time, with big crowds, but the wait wasn’t too terrible, even on a busy day. And we managed to do almost everything in the park without spending extra money to shorten the wait times. (That was so important with a family of 7 because those extras can really add up!)
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- Bring your own minifigure — The night before we went to Legoland, I surprised the kids with 2 minifigures each. I got a great deal on Amazon, for a considerably cheaper price than they sell them at Legoland (though you can buy them there, too). The workers, will have minifigures on their name tags or lanyards and will trade with you, if you want. Almost every ride that we went on, the kids traded with the workers for a new minifigure. They loved this part! And bonus is that it gives them something to play with while you’re waiting in line!
- Buy lego sets ahead of time — I knew all the kids would want a new lego set from Legoland. So, I found some really good deals on Amazon and the night before we went to Legoland, along with the minifigures, they each got a new lego set (these pull back lego cars have become a new favorite!) so they didn’t feel like they had to use their spending money on that in the park.
- Open early — The gates actually opened 1/2 hour before their published opening time. I don’t know if it’s that way all the time, but it wouldn’t hurt to get there early. We were also able to get right in to the ticket booth and the park without waiting in any lines by getting there early.
- Don’t wait on the right — I read a tip to start on the right side of the park because the left is busier in the morning, so we headed that way. The right side was closed off so we waited there thinking that it was because the park hadn’t officially opened yet. We got our sunscreen on and waited patiently but then the published opening time came and went and they still didn’t open up (they didn’t open the right side until 1/2 hour after the published opening time). So, if you start on the right and find it closed, do what we eventually did and head on over to the left side while you wait for that right side to open up!
- Lunch Rush/Pizza Buffet — We went to the pizza buffet for lunch. It was good food and very pricey but it was the only food we bought in the park. We got there just after 12:00 and it was busy but we managed to find a table that fit all of us. But it wasn’t too long after that that the place completely filled up and we wouldn’t have been able to find seats together. So, I’d suggest to stop for lunch (if you’re going to) by noon. Because we had the buffet, the kids were completely filled up with their food and drinks and we honestly didn’t hear a single “I’m hungry” the rest of the day.
- Ride lines/play area — I loved that the bigger rides, where you would have to wait in line for a while had a play area where kids could go in and play with legos while the parents waited in line, then they could join up with you again later on in the line. Our kids only did it a few times, but I honestly thought it was the smartest thing about the whole park!
- Lego Mindstorms — If you have older kids, 9 years and older at the time that we went, you might want to get them into lego mindstorms. It is on the right side of the park in the Imagination Zone. Stop and sign up first thing in the morning or all the spots will be gone! The kids will get to build a robot and use a computer to control it. Our two oldest did this while I took the younger kids on some of the kiddie rides that the older kids were “too old” for.
- Check out souvenirs during the day — We gave each of our kids some money to choose their own souvenirs on this trip. During the day, as we came off rides, they found some things they loved at little shops. But we knew there was the “Big Store” right at the front of the park and figured they’d be able to get much of the same stuff at that store on the way out rather can carrying stuff around with us all day. So, as the park was getting ready to close, we headed to the Big Store and found that they had a ton of stuff but not the cool things we had seen during the day. We split up, my husband taking one kid to one side of the park, and me on the other side of the park, hustling to the gift shops that had the things they had loved (luckily, we took care of it at just two different shops). So, don’t rely on that Big Store to have the souvenirs you might want. I much preferred the awesome things the kids found at the other shops.
I hope these tips help on your trip to Legoland! Have a blast! And if you’re staying in the area to do more than just Legoland, make sure you check out the Go San Diego Pass. We bought a 2 day pass and did Legoland, the San Diego Zoo, and the model train museum and science museum in Balboa Park — it saved us a lot of money over getting individual tickets which meant we were able to do more things!