While we are avid Disney fans and grew up going to Universal, we had never visited LegoLand Florida. This is it’s 10 year anniversary so by the time it opened Peter and I were in our mid 20s and really had no reason to go especially since it’s not a place we grew up visiting so there is no nostalgia attached like there is with Disney. Now that I am a parent though, I kept hearing more and more how wonderful it was for kids. My kids love legos, especially Peter so I knew it was a place I wanted to eventually take the kids to visit.
A couple of the kids in our group of friends had birthdays this past January and a trip was planned to go to LegoLand Florida to celebrate. This seemed like a great opportunity for us to finally visit!
This was the perfect trip to do in a big group! We were a group of about 40 including all the kids. We were about 9 families each with at least 2 kids (some more!). Fortunately, one of the families we traveled with had been to LegoLand in the past and did most of the planning. Legoland has several hotels. There is LegoLand Hotel which is adjacent to the LegoLand theme park. Next to this one is Pirate Island Hotel. The third hotel, Beach Retreat is not adjacent to the theme parks but it is just on the other side of the road. Our group stayed at the Beach Retreat and I have to say there could not have been a better option for a big group!
Beach Retreat is separated into areas which they call coves. In the middle of each cove is a playground. This is a great way to come in a big group if you can get all your rooms together in the same cove.
Since our friends had experience with LegoLand and it’s hotels, they also recommended that we bring scooters for the kids. At night the kids would play in the area while the adults hung out and it was a great time! The rooms are themed so it’s not the most beautiful hotel by adult standards but it is very cute for the kids and most importantly, it was clean!
Each rooms also comes with a set of Legos for the kids to play. I also liked that the kids had a separate area with bunk beds and a curtain. On vacation we do tend to let the kids watch TV while falling asleep so I did wish there was a little TV in there but nonetheless, it worked and the room was comfortable. It also includes breakfast. In the past it was a buffet breakfast but due to COVID now they bring trays with eggs, bacon, pancakes, French toast and breakfast potatoes to your table. You can request more of any item. They also offer bagels and cereal. It is not bad for being included in the price of your visit!
The package we purchased with the hotel came with 2 day passes to the theme parks. Legoland Florida has a theme park with rides and a water park. We came in January and experienced some cooler temperatures for Florida so the water park was not something we were able to try this visit. Maybe I’ll be able to share about it some other time!
Let’s establish that LegoLand is not going to be Disney or Universal. We knew this going in. It’s not going to be as clean and organized and personally, from an adult’s perspective, not as magical. However, kids absolutely LOVE this place!
I’d say it’s somewhere in between a county fair or carnival and Disney or Universal. I know those are on completely different spectrums but it’s the only way I can think to describe it! All the rides are geared towards kids in the age range of 3 or 4 to about 10 I would say. My kids are 6 and 8 and were able to ride absolutely everything. Some of the rides are more sophisticated like The Lego Movie Masters of Flight and the Lego NINJAGO the Ride while others are move like carnival rides such as the Grand Carousel and The Great Lego Race. They have several types of roller coasters. Again, they are not crazy thrill rides so do not come expecting the kinds of roller coasters you will find at Islands of Adventure in Universal but they are all appropriate for kids. Some of my favorites were Flying School where your feet hang and Coastersaurus which is a wooden roller coaster. The biggest pro is that you barely need to make lines! I think the longest we waited may have been for the NINJAGO ride and I do not think we even waited 30 minutes.
Like any theme park they also have shows throughout the day. We caught a boats and stunts show on the water with a pirate theme which was very cool! Everything is also of course Lego themed and they do have characters throughout the park.
In the middle of the park they have some of our nation’s big cities built out of Legos such as New York, Chicago, and of course the one we were most excited to find- MIAMI!
After the theme park, we walked over to the Pirate Island Hotel for happy hour. The set up here is great for both adults and kids because there is an area where the kids can play legos and entertain themselves while the adults can have a few drinks.
Since it was too cold for the water park, we used our two day pass to hit the theme park both days. We figured it was already paid for, the kids enjoyed it and we don’t know when or if we will be back so we might as well take advantage!
I do not usually take food into theme parks because it is more items to carry around, however in this case I think I may consider it. Everyone agreed the food at the park was not very good. In fact, one of my friends had brought plenty of sandwiches and I ended up taking some of hers. If we were to return, there is a Publix nearby and I would consider grabbing some sandwiches and snacks there to take to the park since you are allowed to bring outside food.
Overall I would say it was a wonderful experience, specifically for the kids! They claim to like it more than Disney or Universal, however, when they are at Disney that is their favorite and when they are at Universal that is their favorite so who knows! I feel there is a small window of time in which LegoLand is age appropriate. Our friends that had smaller children found there was not much for little ones to ride and I can’t see a teenager being too enthusiastic about visiting…especially with the thrill rides at Universal being so nearby!
If you have kids in the age window where they would enjoy this, I definitely recommend going before they outgrow it especially if you live within driving distance. It really is a good time for them and they will make great memories.
Thanks for visiting!