My family just returned from a trip to LEGOLAND Florida and three Disney parks. Along for the visit where grandparents, parents, and a very excited young fellow (the whole age range). As our visit fell in mid-August, the temperatures were pushing the 100 degree mark and the humidity was intense.
Before our trip, I searched the web for advice on how best to do LEGOLAND Florida. I found some helpful morsels from folks who had visited the park not long after it opened. Armed with those tips, our entourage headed to the park on a Friday morning. Based on our one day visit, I want to pass along some advice on how to get the most out of your visit.
- Arrive early so you are ready to enter the park as soon as it opens. In mid-August, we arrived 30 minutes before opening and we were the 6th car in the parking lot. We basically had front row parking which was great for helping to minimize the walking for grandparents. I would think during the school year, you may want to arrive even earlier as this park definitely caters to school groups.
- Purchase your tickets ahead of time. Before we made the trip, I had seen various warnings that the ticket lines at LEGOLAND Florida could be long and slow-moving, so we purchased our entry passes ahead of time. By doing so not only were we able to bypass the ticket line all together, but we saved money on all our tickets. We bought our tickets through the LEGOLAND website who at the time was offering a discount of up to $15 per ticket. Keep your eyes peeled for free kid ticket with full price adult offers. Also, note that you can save a couple of dollars off parking (charged seperately from park tickets by purchasing at LEGOLAND site ahead of time.
- Beeline for the back of the park or make a quick stop at the Island in the Sky and then head to the back of the park (LEGO City). The Island in the Sky is neat in that you climb aboard and the platform that you are sitting on rises 150 ft. in the air and slowly rotates around in a full circle. You get a good view of the park and the surrounding area (not for those scared of heights). For the older members of our group who had been to the Cypress Gardens Theme Park when it was located on the site, it was fun to check out the old and new footprint.
- In LEGO City, start with The Ford Driving School/Jr. Driving School or the Boating School. Both of these attractions are free-flowing (not on rails as similar rides would be at Disney). In other words, the driver has some leeway in where they steer the rides thereby the ride cycle takes a little longer. We did the Flying School Roller Coaster, as well, while we back in LEGO City. I will WARN you, this coaster is very rough. All the adults’ heads banged against the harness bars that were pulled down over our shoulders. Not pleasant and would not do again.
- From LEGO City, work your way forward in the park either to LEGO Technic or Land of Adventure, keeping in mind that the roller coasters in these parks of the park are very popular. So is the Dragon coaster in LEGO Kingdoms.
- Know that there is a good range of activities for children of various ages in the park. If you have a very young child and one that is mid-way through elementary school, different attractions will be appropriate and appeal to them. If you have several adults in your group, you may need to split up the accommodate the age differences and experiences as many attractions as possible.
- If you plan to sit down for lunch (which I advise with kids), then break for lunch by noon to beat the crowds. In warm weather, be aware that there are a lot fewer restaurants with air conditioners than there are outdoor dining facilities. Plan strategically as sitting in the AC for a few minutes can provide a great break and morale booster.
- Based on past visitor feedback, I believe that the spots with some shade available have improved since the park’s initial opening. We found spots to get out of the sun in most parts of the park except while touring Miniland. It did not help that temperatures where north of 95 degrees and sunny skies when we visited. Pick a month other than July or August to visit if you have a choice.
- Save the shopping for the end of the day. That way you are not stuck having to tote goodies around the park all day or having to arrange to have things placed in a locker. Be aware, that when looking to purchase items in the park, you will be unable to use LEGO gift cards.
We were able to cover lots of ground, but not everything in our day in the park. We stayed from park opening until about 4:00 p.m. We could have stayed longer and experienced a few more attractions, but we had to make the drive back to a Disney hotel. If you wish to experience all of LEGOLAND Florida including the Water Park, you will really need to plan for two days.
At great time was had by all of our group at LEGOLAND Florida and we would recommend it for any family that enjoys LEGOs and has kids about 11 or 12 years old and younger.
If you have LEGOLAND Florida tips to offer, would love to hear them.
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