Thursday, March 29, 2012

Legoland's Top 10 Attractions

Legos are a big part of my family--they appear on Christmas wish lists, completed kits decorate the mantle, the kitchen table is covered in them every Saturday morning.  I have often joked that we could build our own mini-land in the backyard and charge admission.

So when our family was planning a trip to California, a stop at Legoland was high on the must-do list.  At a fraction of the cost of Disneyland (discounts are always available and occasionally are as good as 5 days for the price of 1), our family had an amazing time.  And like all good amusement parks, our favorites include both rides and other types of attractions.  Here is our top 10:

#1--Dragon Coaster--this ride has a few opening scenes made entirely out of legos.  You will want to ride it twice to catch all of the incredible detail.  After that, hang on as the coaster shoots out of the castle and twists along a track.  This intermediate size coaster only requires you to be 40" to ride.

#2--Knight's Tournament (Claw ride)--this one-of-a-kind ride allows you to set your own intensity.  I rode it with my son on the second lowest setting and thought it was powerful and still fun.  My oldest tried to wildest setting and it was her favorite ride (you can't pay me to go on that setting).  Loading is incredibly slow, but younger ones can build in the nearby duplo gazebo.

#3--Hideaways Playground--my children love playgrounds and enjoy exploring at their own pace.  With lots of hidden lego displays, winding tunnels, and slides, this playground is a perfect break in the day.  Staffers also can turn park maps into crowns delighting younger guests.  This playground is much larger than the duplo version so it is more enjoyable to school aged children.

#4--Miniland and Coast Cruise--the best way to begin miniland is with the family boat cruise where the pilot provides information about these creations as you travel incredibly close (the dinosaurs are built from hundreds of thousands of lego bricks).  And don't forget the sense of humor as little lego men clean the ears on Mt. Rushmore.  After the ride, slowly walk through miniland (it takes at least an hour).  The cars move through the city streets, jokes abound on the buildings (we saw plenty of Santas crashed in unusual places), and Star Wars had incredible detail (be sure to peek in the trees for hidden Ewoks).

#5--Mindstorms--first stop of the day should be to sign your older kids up for a Mindstorms class.  Here they will put their programming skills to the test as they program their robot to do a series of tasks.  Teachers carefully instruct but allow plenty of exploration.  The class is free but be careful, at $300, the temptation to buy a kit at the end could make this an expensive experience (the kit is cheaper at amazon

#6--Duplo play stations-throughout the park and in some ride lines, there are duplo play areas with plenty of bricks to keep young hands building.  Combined with the traditional building area, a lot of the fun is in building with practically unlimited pieces.  My motto about Legoland is it is more about experiences and less about rides.
#7--Kid Powered Sky Cruiser--this unique ride is powered by you--put those feet on the pedals (or hands on the crank as there are a few versions of this ride).  Like old fashioned paddle boats, kids light up as they make it go.

#8--Volvo Driving School--these cars are not on tracks which is why kids go wild to drive, making turns, stopping at lights, and avoiding running into each other.  They are really just power wheels in a mini city, but my kids talked about it for weeks.

#9--Adventurer's Club--this easy-to-miss exhibit takes you on an indoor walk where you have to find the hidden key in each scene.  Lego kids love puzzles and find this activity irresistible as they search each scene trying to collect all 7 keys.  A nice indoor break.

#10--Lost Kingdom Adventure--Mixing video games with rides, your goal is to shoot as many targets as possible.  Of course, everyone is vying for top score.

Please note, we went on a very COLD day and did not participate in any activities that would get us wet. I would assume that some of our favorite activities would have been in the Pirate Shores area if we had vacationed in the heat.  Also, this list is for Legoland only and does not include attractions from the water park or aquarium.

If you have lego builders in your family, this affordable destination has plenty to offer.  What will you build today?


  1. Thanks for sharing this. I, too won't try that ride with that setting. It's a good thing they have that duplo gazebo. Back home, patios perth are the best place to stay when children are running around. It's also the best place to keep them together when playing with Lego.

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