We decided to make a last minute trip to the Orlando, Florida, area during my son’s spring break. I had delayed planning anything because I knew I would be more than 6 months pregnant at the time, and I wasn’t sure how I would feel. We really wanted to do something fun with our son before he is stripped of his ‘only child’ title this summer, since any subsequent travels will involve scheduling around the needs of an infant. I was offered two complimentary media passes to check out LEGOLAND Florida, and my son (who’s 7 now) was more than excited to check out the park. None of us had been to any LEGOLAND Park previously, so it was a new experience for everyone. Today, I thought I would share 10 tips for visiting LEGOLAND Florida along with several of the photos from our day there.
10 Tips For Visiting LEGOLAND Florida:
- You can save a lot of money by planning ahead for your trip. I browsed the internet looking for deals on tickets and most of them required at least a two day advance purchase. The best deals are generally on 2 day passes. It’s possible to visit the entire LEGOLAND Florida Park in a day, but the extra day would allow you to check out their water park next door. From April 1 to May 31st LEGOLAND Florida partners with Autism Speaks and they offer a discounted one day general admission ticket for $45 (a portion of those proceeds go to the charitable organization). You can prepay for parking and save $2 off the gate parking fee of $17. We decided to splurge and get preferred parking which is covered and very close to the entrance of the park.
- Check the various estimated crowd calendars for LEGOLAND Florida that are available on the internet, but remember they aren’t always accurate. We had planned to visit LEGOLAND Florida during the first Sunday in May, but many of the crowd estimators said the park would probably be crowded. I almost decided not to go, but I couldn’t bear to disappoint my son. I was surprised at how short the lines were when we arrived. The longest we waited in line for any ride was 10-15 minutes, and that was at the Driving School. All riders there are children, and they have to watch a safety video before they are allowed to drive the cars. The kids receive a “driver license” when they complete the course, this could entice your kids in the future to be safer drivers and you may find you could enroll them in a Florida internet traffic class when they’re nearly of age to legally drive, bringing you peace of mind as a parent!
- Visit the park with the expectation that it isn’t your typical theme park. LEGOLAND Florida isn’t Disney World or Universal Studios, and they don’t try to be. The park was created for those that appreciate LEGOs. There are no thrilling roller coasters and the majority of the rides in the park are geared toward kids under the age of 10. My son (who turned 7 just a few months ago but is on the tall side) was easily able to ride any of the rides in the park. He enjoys rollercoasters and he was most amused by the Flying School ride.
- Don’t try to take a lot of food into the park. Some of the other theme parks in the area have been a bit more relaxed about allowing outside food and drink in, but LEGOLAND Florida seemed a little stricter. I noticed several people were being forced to discard food while they were going through security. I didn’t have any problems taking in two refillable water bottles and several small bags of prepackaged snacks. In all honesty, I wouldn’t plan having a large meal in the park. The food is mediocre and expensive. We ate just before we arrived at LEGOLAND and we tried to just eat a light lunch in the park. I believe that two adult panini meals and a kids grilled cheese meal was about $35, but the seats in an air conditioned space were almost worth that to me.
- Pack sunscreen, wear comfortable shoes and take a hat or sunglasses. While you can find shade in most of the park, Orlando sun gets hot. I forgot to reapply sunscreen while we were there and I got mild sunburn. I rarely wear hats, but halfway through the day I really wanted a hat to shade the sun off my face.
- Pick up a show schedule and plan your day around those. We saw the Pirates’ Cove Live Water Ski Show (everyone’s favorite) and the Friends to the Rescue Live Stage show, both of which had a limited number of performances each day. We missed the Wells Fargo 4D theater shows because we didn’t plan ahead. My son was disappointed that we missed the meet and greet with Kai and Nya from Ninjago World, which is his favorite LEGO show.
- Don’t forget your minifigures. My son has a huge LEGO collection and I didn’t know that you can trade minifigures with cast members in the park (kind of like trading pins at Disney). It’s a good way for them to get rid of characters that they don’t like, and pick up a few they would like to have.
- Save money for souvenirs and check out the LEGO Bargain Shop. Most of the families we saw in the park were carrying around at least one souvenir bag. My son loves to brag about his trip to LEGOLAND and a new building set or minifigure is a nice way to hold on to that memory
- Consider staying at the attached LEGOLAND Florida Resort Hotel. You’ll save on time and parking when visiting the park. The hotel isn’t very large, so last minute reservations can be hard to find and expensive. They were booked during our visit, but we got a nice view of the pool area and the hotel while on some of the rides. They recently opened Beach Retreat Bungalows in the water park area of the resort that look incredibly fun. Each bungalow is detached and entirely LEGO themed. I’m hoping that we can book a bungalow and visit the water park on our next visit to LEGOLAND Florida.
- Prioritize rides and attractions based upon the age or maturity level of the kids in your party. My son is in the older age bracket for park visitors so we geared our visit toward him. They have lots of rides and attractions for smaller children that weren’t appropriate for him.
A few of his favorite rides were:
- Boating School (he and his dad argued over who was going to steer the boat)
- Flying School
- Ford Driving School
- Island in the Sky
- LEGO NINJAGO The Ride (he asked to ride it again)
- Project X
- The Dragon
He also really enjoyed checking out all the LEGO creations around the park; when we got back home from our trip, he played with LEGOs for days.
Depending on the maturity level of your child, I would definitely recommend LEGOLAND Florida primarily for ages 5-8. In a few years my son would find most of the rides there to be too “small” for him, but he loves rollercoasters and thrill rides and that isn’t true for all kids. I think that 7 years old was the perfect age to take him and I would highly recommend the park for kids close to his age that love LEGOs. The attractions are spaced close enough together that you don’t have long walks between rides, and there is always an opportunity to find shade or seating.
Are you planning a visit to LEGOLAND Florida in the near future? I hope this post will help with planning your visit and you found these 10 tips for visiting LEGOLAND Florida useful. If you have a specific questions, feel free to shoot me an email or leave a comment on this post; I’ll try to answer them as soon as possible.
Happy Travels and Happy Building!