"Is LEGOLAND right for me?" The answer, of course, is that only you can decide whether LEGOLAND is an appropriate destination during your Central Florida vacation. Lots of factors may play a role:
- Do you have children in their early teens or younger?
- Do you already plan to have a rental car, or if not, can you budget allow for it?
- How many days will you be in Florida?
- How often do you vacation to Central Florida? (Is this your first visit? Have you previously seen most of the attractions in the other parks that interest you?)
- Have you already visited LEGOLAND in San Diego or Denmark?
- Did you miss the opportunity to see Cypress Gardens (the former park on this location) and its famous water ski show?
LEGOLAND is a major theme park along the lines of Disney, Universal, and SeaWorld. If you go, plan on it taking up your entire day (it’s not a half-day park!) If you went on every ride and saw the major shows, it would take you no less than four hours with no rest breaks, meals, or waiting in line. In the real world, of course, there will be waiting in line (plus those restroom breaks and meals!) so you should plan to be there as much of the day as you can. It would be easy to spend eight hours in LEGOLAND.
There are 150 acres, and more than 50 attractions (rides and shows) in the park. LEGOLAND has four roller coasters and one dark ride "shooter" (you zap targets with a laser gun), as well as almost a dozen standout rides with a smaller footprint that are especially pleasing to children. There is a gentle boat ride or one full of spinning action and water jets from bystanders. Pretend to be a fireman by pumping a lever to move the fire truck, then more levers to operate a hose. Or ride a gently bucking LEGO® horse around a twisty track in a jousting simulation. Catch a 12-minute 3D animated film (of which there are three to choose from) featuring LEGO® characters. The FORD Driving School allows kids to take the wheel of vehicles without tracks and practice turns and intersections on a miniaturized city grid. A slow-moving safari ride ambles past LEGO® versions of animals on the African savannah. The highlight for many is Miniland, a collection of dozens of buildings and famous cities created in miniature, using only LEGO® bricks.
The park is about 35-40 miles from the other major parks in Orlando, and since some of the route is on surface streets with stoplights, it might take you up to an hour to make the drive.
The major attractions in LEGOLAND Florida are largely identical to those found at the San Diego LEGOLAND. The only differences are cosmetic or, in some cases, in the length of the ride (a few of Florida’s versions are shorter). One feature unique to Florida’s LEGOLAND is the presence of Cypress Gardens, a botanical garden and walking path that was the centerpiece of this area when it was an amusement/carnival park before LEGOLAND took over. The world-famous water ski show from the Cypress Gardens days also continues to run at LEGOLAND.
If crowds are manageable and you are able to spend a full day at LEGOLAND, you shouldn’t need to add a second day for just this park. It will open a nearby water park (with its own ticket needed for admission) in the future, but for now, LEGOLAND is a standalone park. Obviously, each family will have different opinions on the amount of time needed. If you move slowly, take long breaks, and in general wish to loiter at each experience, you may well find that a single day is insufficient to see everything at LEGOLAND. That may be true for all visitors, in fact, on days when the park is crowded. If you’re visiting in a peak season (such as summer or around Christmas), it may be wise to schedule a second day.
One-day tickets are $65 (or $55 for ages 3-12 or 60+). Annual passes are $129 (or $99 for ages 3-12 or 60+). A slightly more expensive version of the annual pass includes parking and 10% discounts on food and merchandise sales. There is even an "Ambassador Pass" for $2,500 that offers lifetime admission and numerous other perks and discounts.
You can upgrade a one-day ticket to a two-day ticket for $15. This upgrade must be completed while still inside the park for the first day. The second visit must occur within nine days.
You can buy vacation packages from the "Bed and Brick" preferred hotels that have partnered with LEGOLAND on the official site. You can also call 1-800-979-9983 to make reservations by phone.
LEGOLAND sits on the shores of Lake Eloise, a large body of water that generates additional humidity (as if Central Florida needed more of that in summer!) and may also attract more mosquitoes than other major theme parks in the area.
Don’t forget the sunscreen! Many areas of the park are shaded, but you may find yourself so fascinated by the Miniland buildings that you’ll end up spending more time in the sun than you’d bargained for.
From late spring until late autumn, Central Florida may be visited by thunderstorms (often in the afternoon). Bring ponchos or umbrellas (or buy either in the stores), and plan your day knowing that outdoor attractions–that’s most of them in the park–will close during the rain.