LEGOLAND California: A LEGO Fantasy Come True!

LEGOLAND California is a great place for LEGO lovers to visit.  Come hear what the adults and kids have to say about this wonderful place.

Jeff says...

              

Growing up I never considered myself a LEGO enthusiast. In fact, most of the time I spent with LEGOs was jumping over my brother?s creations sprawled all over the floor in our room.  Now I have an 8 year son who loves LEGOs, so I play with LEGOs more as a 37 year old than I did as a youngster!  LEGOLAND has shown me what incredible potential LEGOs have, not just to build structures, but to create sculptures!

              

As you enter LEGOLAND, TAKE NOTE and heed this Warning! LEGOLAND is bigger than it looks.  You?ll think you have an idea of the full scope of the park at the entrance (and may be tempted to think, ?This is IT??). Your kids may say ?I want to go on the roller coaster!?, and want to carry you away through the park in their excitement.  Don?t let this happen.  LEGOLAND sprawls over 128 acres so it is easy to miss some spectacular exhibits.  For your families total enjoyment, the first thing you should do is familiarize yourself with the park map and take 10 to 15 minutes to plan your trip through the park.  This will make your experience of the park much better, and decrease the likelihood of missing something you really want to see or do.  If you have very young children, be sure to pick up the handout titled ?What To Do When You Are Two? which is a very helpful summary of the myriad activities which 2 and under year olds can take advantage of.  Also, pick up the Show Guide so you don?t miss any theatrical events that might interest you (read on).

                             

Let?s take a brief tour.
There are 7 main areas of the park which I will list below with highlights of each.

1. The Beginning.  This area includes guest services, stroller/wheelchair rental, a souvenir shop, and a refreshment market.

2. Dino Island.  Coasteraurus roller coaster; Dig Those Dinos (sandbox).

3. Explore Village. Legoland Express train ride; Safari Trek train ride featuring nearly lifesize animals made of Legos; Water Works, a collection of fountain exhibits some of which you can actually go into and cool off.  Have a change of clothes avaialble; currently (through March 18, 2005) the Playtown Theater, features Comedy For Kids Starring Kevin Johnson.  Don?t let the title fool you?it?s a sheer delight for adults as well.  Kevin is a Master Ventriloquist and comedian who will amaze you with his talent and keep both adults and kids entracnced and entertained throughout the show.  Find out the times of his show and plan your visit around this show so you don?t miss it.  I recommend seeing his show midway through your stay since it is in an air-conditioned theatre and is good relief from the heat.  You may want to see him twice. 

              

4. Fun Town. Kid Power Towers, kids can sit in specially designed chairs attached to towers and pull themselves up with a rope and pulley system, then release the rope abd slide back down; Sky Cruiser roller coaster; Volvo Driving School, electric cars to drive; Lego Factory Tour; Life size Volvo. Has four different food locations for burgers, hot dogs and  refreshments.

5. Knights Kingdom. Features the Enchanted Walk; The Dragon roller coaster; The Royal Joust. Has four different food locations including burgers, ice cream, fries and barbecue.

6. Imagination Zone. This area includes Aquazone Wave Racers, a boat ride that will get you a bit wet and cool you off; Lego Mindstorms, a hands classroom experience that will teach about robotics; Food locations including a café ¡nd pizza.

              


7. Miniland USA.  About 20 million Lego pieces were used for this attraction and it will make your jaw  drop to the floor as you realize the amazing things you can create with Legos.  See the Statue Of Liberty, a Marina, Coast Guard scene, New England Harbor, A Farm and other great works. 

My wife and I loved the park?it?s a place we?d go even without the kids!  The LEGO creations throughout the park ? most notably Miniland USA ? are beyond imagination.   The rides are calm and relaxing, while being enjoyable and a feast for the eyes and the creative imagination.  The obvious exception are the roller coasters, but there are only three in the entire park, and are still relatively mild (but not in the least bit dissappointing!).  Throughout the park,  there is lots of green ? as in grass, shrubs, and trees -  adding to the scenic and aesthetic appeal of the park.

                             

As parents, we were really impressed by the unusual variety of options for activity.  We found it to be like a hands on/interactive museum, toy store, and amusement park all rolled into one.  We spent nearly 5 hours there (they?re open 10 am to 5pm, at least duiring the winter months), and still barely scratched the surface of Fun Town and Imagination Zone, and never even made it to Knights Kingdom, a major dissappointment for our 8 year old son in particular (that?s where we?re headed first on our next visit!).  But that which we did see and do was throroughly enjoyable.

Anyone visiting Southern California with children (and that includes the ?inner child? and the ?young at heart?!) must take the time to visit LEGOLAND California.  If you?re a AAA member, be sure to use your card to receive an admission discount.  

              

If you are fortunate to live close to LEGOLAND California, explore their many membership options.  And if you?re a close by  mom or caregiver with (a) child(ren) 4 years or younger, you have the amazing good fortune to be able to join the Model Mom Club, a yearly membership for only $44.95 which gives you entrance into the park each Thursday at 10:30a.m. with your charge(s), and access to all sorts of wonderful and special weekly activities.  What my wife wouldn?t do to have access to this in our hometown!!

Now let?s hear what the children say about LEGOLAND California.

              

Lisa Mifsud, with Ariana, Natanya, Raphael and Eliana say...

What do kids have to say about LEGOLAND California?  Here?s a sampling:


Eliana, just shy of age 3, had this to say after nearly every activity:  ?That was SO FUN!?


Raphael, an 8 year old LEGOmaniac, says ?I?m glad I came?I?ve never seen anything like it!?


Says Natanya, an 11 year old young lady, ?LEGOLAND is a GREAT place!  LEGOLAND is COOL.?


And Ariana, age 12, has this to say:  ?When I heard we were going to LEGOLAND, I was not even remotely excited?(but) when we got inside, I knew this would be awesome.  LEGOLAND is FUN!!!?

LEGOLAND California is a wonderful family park.  AAA?s  Tour Book describes it as a ?pre-teen? family park, a description I find to be very accurate.  It doesn?t have the frenetic pace and insane death defying rollercoasters many older teens seek in a typical amusement park (part of what we loved about it!!).

              

These are the highlights of our visit for the kids:

Life-size versions of Darth Vader and R2-D2 (built entirely with LEGO?s) greeted the amazed 8-12 year olds just inside ?The Beginning?. 

EVERYONE in our crew, ages almost 3 to 12, thoroughly enjoyed the following activities:

                             


In ?Explore Village?, everyone had fun identifying the fairy tales depicted by amazing LEGO built scenes along the ?shoreline? of the Fairy Tale Brook.  It was charming, amazing (the things they can do with LEGO?s?!!!), relaxing, and even had a sense of humor (try Sleeping Beauty?s Prince Charming on a cell phone!). 


Though DUPLO Playtown (Explore Village) is geared more to the under 5 set, and our nearly 3 year old could have played happily there all day long, our 8, 11 and 12 year olds managed to have fun there as well.  This certainly goes for the Water Works as well, where we had a hard time dragging the kids from to move to the next activity?the different activities in Water Works are clever, fun, creative, varied, and come complete with full body blow dryers!! 

              

The Playtown Theatre (also in Explore Village), lucky for us (and through March 18, 2005), currently features Master Ventriloquist Kevin Johnson and his ?sidekick? puppets, Maude and Clyde.  This show was just terrific?Kevin?s show amazed, awed, and thoroughlly entertained every last one of the kids with non-stop laughs. 

Still in Explore Village (can you tell where we spent most of our time?), everyone enjoyed the Sky Cruisers, which is a delightful above ground track ride featuring a lovely view of much of the park.  It moves at a nice relaxed pace, but has the option of a workout ? and a faster ride ? if you fully utilize the foot pedals provided!

              

While unfortunately we were unable to fully explore Fun Town, the 8-12 year olds got a kick out of watching the nearly 3 year old take her first ?driving lesson? on the Volvo Jr. Driving School (and she hung on to her ?drivers license? the rest of the day!).  Everyone was awed by the life size LEGO XC90 model ? a replica of Volvo?s XL90 SUV, built on an actual Volvo XC90 frame out of 201,076 bricks (requiring 5 builders and 2 ? months to build!), complete with real rubber tires.  This especially impressed our the 8 year old boy (the LEGOmaniac).  Noted the 11 year old, ?even the license plate was made of LEGOs!?

              

Miniland USA was beyond belief?again, it amazed and delighted all ages.  It features life-like sounds and animated LEGOs?moving vehicles (various automobiles, ferrys, RV?s, boats) and the various styles of of buildings amazed the older kids, while baa-ing sheep assorted bobbing farm animals really tickled the youngest.  All ages enjoyed the ?international? wonders via a relaxing and enjoyable ?Coast Cruise? (try a LEGO rendered Taj Mahal and Eifel Tower, to name a few). Unfortunately for us, New York was under construction, but is scheduled to reopen sometime in March, 2005.

The 8, 11, and 12 year olds rode Dino Island?s Coastersaurus three times straight, and enjoyed Fun Town?s Power Towers (while our unhappy almost 3 year old, just 4 inches too short to participate, looked on).  The older 3 also had this to say about the LEGO Show Place?s 12 minute 4-D feature, ?LEGO Racers 4-D?:  ?AWESOME!?  ?COOL!? ?AMAZING!?
(The youngest didn?t attend this show).

              

Regretably, we didn?t even set foot into Kinght?s Kingdom, as our LEGOLAND California adventure came to a close much too fast.  I feel confident every last one of the children, most especially the older 3, would have LOVED it. 

All 4 of the children are still raving, and can?t wait for our next visit out this way to go again!  LEGOLAND California comes highly recommended by these four children!

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