LEGOLAND Florida Insider Tips
We are Lego fans. We love the creativity, the magical nature of the play and how much our son enjoys playing with his Legos. Even though he is only 3, he loves to create and build. After visiting LEGOLAND in Germany for his 3rd birthday, we knew LEGOLAND would be on our list during our visit to Orlando.
Lots of different ways to purchase tickets and get a discount. If you can plan ahead, order a free LEGO magazine. They feature buy one adult and get one free kids tickets inside. But plan ahead because they are only delivered twice yearly and technically only available for kids 5 and older (the magazine, not the tickets).
Military: the Active Duty member can get in free every day, just go up to the military ticket window when you arrive. You’ll see the signs for which ticket window. We returned for another ticket on the 2nd day visit, again for free.
We picked up tickets for the dependents from ITT. It was around $70 for a two-day ticket plus the waterpark. Less expensive than purchasing online or at the ticket window. But not as good of a deal as the coupon in the free magazine.
During the month of August, they offered free parking! Huge bonus for us. Or you could pay $10 to park in the preferred lot with shade from the solar panels. We didn’t upgrade since parking isn’t a long walk from the entrance and we like to arrive early.
Typical parking rates are $27 for preferred. You can save a bit by pre-purchasing online.
If you are staying in Orlando, you can book a shuttle for $5, make reservations online.
Parking opens 30 minutes before the park opens (10 am typically), so we arrive early, get a spot up front and leave plenty of time for photos, bathroom breaks and grabbing free tickets.
What to Bring?
For theme parks, we have started traveling with a foldable wagon. We like how easy it is to get in and out. We actually have an amazing one from Germany with a full rain cover and push/pull bar. Here is a comparable one on Amazon. Or if you want something less expensive, check out with one from Radio Flyer.
If you plan on visiting the waterpark, be sure to bring towels, swimsuits, and sunscreen. We like rash guards to protect against the sun on our little guy.
LEGOLAND is also one of the few parks where food and drinks are OKAY! So bring a cooler full of picnic supplies if you choose.
So fun! We learned about this tip before we left and we were so glad. Don’t bring the ones you love since you may or may not be trading “up”. We grabbed a couple different figurines with various looks and styles. We put them in a plastic baggie and our son was able to carry them around and trade them with various employees at LEGOLAND. It really added fun to the whole trip. The best part, the employee will never say no!
Planning for a day in the park:
I always recommend doing a bit of pre-planning. Print off a map and figure out which rides your kids can ride and what is a “must do”. For us, it’s always the big roller-coaster. There is nothing as fun as jumping on the rides multiple times back to back before the crowds come. We often don’t even have to queue!
Our son is 42”, so we picked The Dragon, Coastersauras (wooden coaster), and the Lego race (virtual reality for taller kids). Since we were visiting over two days, we hit these bigger coasters first and then moved on to the other rides. If your children are taller, check out Mia’s Riding Adventure and Flying School.
Other favorites included Rescue Academy (“drive” a fire truck and put out a fire), the Building Zone (more on that later), and Miniland USA.
I know driving school is popular and something to visit early in the day if you children want to drive. There are also tons of other smaller rides that are great for kids. We also like all the Tot spots located around the park if someone needs to stay back with little ones while the bigger kids ride.
We appreciate the lego building zones located in the lines while you wait. We noticed them on both Lego Race and Ninjago. Helps the kids when the wait times can exceed an hour on busy days.
Miniland is another fabulous area to explore. We love the fact that they’ve added buttons for the children to push in order to make people move, water to shoot or lights to light up. Helps the kids interact with the lego buildings.
There are also great places for kids to blow off some steam with climbing nets, wooden playgrounds, and tot Duplo zones.
It seems to always rain in Florida, so knowing the indoor attractions is beneficial.
Building Zone was frequently visited throughout the day. Indoor air conditioning, a Panini restaurant, and multiple building zones were perfect. This is also a great spot to trade for mini figures since the employees have entire Lego sheets of them to pick from. If you need a figure to trade, you can purchase one for $5 in the Panini restaurant.
The building zone has different zones. If you want to build a car to race or a flying machine, visit the desk to request the pieces needed. They are free with no deposit, just return when you are finished playing. There are also free building zones, Duplo earthquake zone and more.
The 4D Lego Theater is also a great indoor spot to hide from the rain. It is located towards the center of the park and can fit a large number of people. We say the LEGO movie and enjoyed it. There are usually 3-4 different shows to choose from, great for a repeat visit.
Indoor rides and attractions: Lego Ninjago the ride, build a minilander, Duplo farm, and Lost Kingdom Adventure (laser shooting ride).
The rides do get fairly busy when the rain starts, so plan ahead or grab something to eat.
Where to eat?
Our first lunch was at the Panini Restaurant. It was simple and perfect since our son could play after he finished eating back in the building zone.
Dinner was at the pasta/pizza buffet. It was a bit spendy ($60ish for a family of 3). There were multiple pizza types including a delicious dessert pizza! The pasta bar was penne with either Alfredo, Bolognese or traditional sauce. There was also a nice salad bar with a nice selection of toppings (ham, feta, multiple dressing options). Plus free refills on drinks.
Lunch day two was hamburgers and fries. It was probably the least Lego style restaurant, but we thought the burgers were good and the staff was nice. An employee came out to blow bubbles for the kids. We may or may not have enjoyed a funnel cake afterward. 🙂
Grandma’s apple fritters are frequently talked about, but it seems the reviews are declining, so we didn’t make an attempt. Something to try though!
Pirate’s Cove Live Water Ski Show: LEGOLAND actually purchased Cypress Gardens and opened in 2014. I lived in Tampa as a child in 1994 and I remember seeing the water ski show that was a feature of Cypress Gardens, so I was excited to see that it stuck around.
TIP: Get there early to sit in the front row. Hopefully, you can get one of the 3 water cannons. Kids enjoy helping to fight against the evil pirates a couple of time in the show. However, do prepare to get a bit wet.
We did pay extra to be able to access the waterpark. We enjoyed about an hour one day due to the frequent thunderstorms.
The waterpark is really nice. It is located in the back of the park, so prepare for a bit of a hike to get all the way to the back. Make sure you stay on the central path, you can’t enter through the gardens (ops!).
You’ll scan your tickets and then enter under a cover. Off to your left is changing rooms, showers, and bathrooms. To the right, you’ll see a fun little kids area complete with slides, water sprayers, and beach entry. To the left, you’ll see the entrance to the lazy river. You can collect a tube (either with a building zone or not) and float along the river.
Across the bridge, you’ll find a wave pool, huge spray ground with more slides and the larger tower slides. Make sure you check the height requirements.
We were really looking forward to visiting the waterpark, but the weather didn’t cooperate. If it’s a must for you, go early in the day and stay until the weather looks iffy.
Everyone was so friendly. The employees seemed happy and would clap and ask how a ride was after we finished riding. They were happy to trade minifigures and I saw them picking up trash frequently.
The park has an abundance of signs to help you find what you are looking for and there are many food and drink stands.
There are multiple shops to find the perfect purchase, including special Legoland edition buildings and figures. By August, they had the advent calendars and we saw the brand new Duplo STEM train set.
We ended up ordering a photo from our ride on The Dragon because you can get it printed on lego blocks for a unique souvenir. It is expensive (around $40), but fun. Something to consider.
LEGOLAND Castle Hotel:
Recently built the LEGOLAND Hotel provides a fun place to stay directly to the left of the LEGOLAND entrance. We’ve stayed at the LEGOLAND Hotel in Germany and this hotel is very similar. Although we didn’t stay there this time, we love the themed rooms with bunk area for the kids. We also love the free gift if you solve the clues in the room and the kid-friendly amenities.
They also opened a LEGOLAND Beach Retreat a few miles away from the resort.
LEGOLAND is great for kids up to age 12. There aren’t many huge thrills for older children since most of the roller coasters start at 42” or age 5/6 years. It is a great theme park, especially for LEGO fans.
If you’re looking at add to your LEGO collection, head to their store LEGO Shop at Home: The World’s Biggest LEGO Shop.
I hope the tips above help you make the most of your visit!
If you want to learn more about top things to do in nearby Tampa, check out this post!
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