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jnsma
02-06-2012, 11:42 PM
We recently visited legoland on a trip to WDW and wanted to write my opinions. Apologies up front, this got pretty long….

We have 2 kids, twin 7 year olds. DD is the more adventurous one while DS loves legos.
We have been to Legoland CA on 2 different trips to CA. We loved Legoland CA and I knew once Legoland FL opened we’d be going. Be warned I probably can not help but compare the 2 of them in this write up.

First off the ticket prices for Legoland seem very high unless you have a promo code. We used the pepsi code where a child is free with a paying adult, so it was reasonable.

The day we went to Legoland, we just got off a DCL cruise, so we had a bit of a drive from Port Canaveral. Even with the drive, we got to the park about 10:30. The parking lot was very empty. We paid for parking, since it was so empty there was no reason to pay for the premium parking for an extra $8. We where there the Thursday before the MLK long weekend, I’ll bet it was busier over the weekend.

Here is a link to some pictures that we took:
http://s981.photobucket.com/albums/ae300/jnsma/legoland%202012/

We started off by going on the island in the sky. It is a big revolving platform on an arm that goes pretty high in the air and slowly turns so everyone gets a view of the park and surrounding area. It was a pretty cool view to get the day started.
Next we had to stop at the apple fries stand. We had them in CA and loved them. They are strips of apples cooked (deep fried, I assume) then coated with cinnamon and sugar with a whip cream dip. They were SWEET, I think they could have done with a bit less sugar.

From there we hung a right to go to the Kingdoms section. This is area has a castle/medieval theme. The kids rode a small Himalaya ride. It didn’t seem all that fast but they liked it.
Next DD and I rode the dragon roller coaster. This starts inside the castle and has a small section of scenes within the castle all made out of legos. It is kind of funny and very well done. There is a big lego dragon at the end and then the doors to the castle open up and the real coaster ride begins. DD was a little afraid of the scenes within the castle especially with the dragon but once we were outside on the thrilling part, she loved it.
Meanwhile DS when to the playground and we met up with them there. It is a really nice area for the kids to climb rope ladders and they have big slides to come down. It is pretty big play structure and you can easily lose track of your kids so the best thing to do is camp out by the entrance/exit so they don’t slip past and let them have fun. This area would be a great diversion in the afternoon after standing in lines for rides.

Next both my kids went on the royal joust. Here you ride a horse that moves slowly along a track. There is a pole fixed to the horse like you are going to joust. As you go around the track there are some lego people along the way. I think my kids were bored with this ride but wanted to do it as they remembered how much loved it in CA 2 years ago. I’ll bet that this line moves very slowly when it is crowded as kids are loaded one at a time on their own horse.

Next area we hit was the “land of adventure” . here there were a couple of rides/activities:
Safari trek – you ride in small cars that drive themselves on a track. As you go there are lego animals. It is cute, especially for smaller kids.
Beetle bounce – standard bounce machine, I know them as frog hoppers.
Pharaoh’s revenge – a small tent like structure that is fully enclosed. There are air guns and mounted on the 2nd floor and larger ball sprayers on the first. There are tons of foam balls that people use to shoot each other. Adults beware, you are the favorite target of most kids.
Lost kingdom adventure – this is a laser shooting ride sort of like buzz lightyear at MK where you shoot at targets and it keeps your score. Of course it is all lego centric. My kids were afraid to go initially so I went by myself to check it out, then told them it was fine (did I mention NO LINES, I walked right into a car both times). They loved it once they went.
Coastersaurus – a wooden roller coaster that (I believe) was here from cypress gardens. DD and I started get in line but then she decided she didn’t want to go. I think it intimidated here especially with the noise from the wooden coaster. I was disappointed because I only recently got into roller coasters thanks to her but really haven’t been on a wooden one.

Next up was the Lego city area. By this time a very large school group had shown up and there were actually lines for some rides. They seemed to travel as a group, so if we stayed clear of them the lines were still pretty short. This area had the following:
Rescue academy: a race between 4 teams where you pump your fire engine down a track, jump out and squirt water hoses at a pretend fire, then pump back. There are 4 people per fire engine so the whole family participates. It is a lot of fun and a bit of a workout.
Driving school: the kids get to drive small lego cars on a city road (picture below). There are lots of street lights and signs that they are supposed to pay attention to. It is pretty realistic, as they are actually driving on small roads, just doing it pretty slowly. This was one of my kids favorites because of how real it is. Everyone has to watch a short video beforehand on safety. There is also a Jr Driving school which is similar for the smaller kids.
Boating school: you get to drive a boat around a small course. This is fun although some people have a hard time controlling their boats which can cause tie-ups on the course.
Flying school: another roller coaster but this one you hang down from the track. We were not ready for that.
Big Test show: a live show. We didn’t go or see it so no information.

We walked through the Imagination zone area but this seemed geared more for the school groups. There was an area to build your own car out of legos and race them down a track, we didn’t stop as we were looking for lunch. There was 1 ride:
Kid power tower: You and a partner “pull” yourself to the top of a slowly spinning tower. You don’t really pull, you just have to pull down on the rope to engage the switch and your seat goes up. Release the rope and you slowly go down. It is a fun slow pace ride and of course the kids try to race each other to the top.

Next we were headed for lunch and stopped a burger stand next to the ski show. We wanted to see the ski show afterwards, so stopped here more for connivance than quality. They only had burgers, chicken sandwiches and fries. Prices were high, but probably average for theme parks. There was a short wait for our food and the line got progressively longer as I’m guessing others were also grabbing food before the show. Sitting by the lake was a sign to not feed the alligators. Oh the kids loved that.
Next we went to the ski show. That was a lot of fun, but not to be taken seriously. There is some really silly pirate story behind the entire thing. But the funniest thing was seeing people dressed up as Lego Soldiers come riding in on water skis. There are some tricks on the waterskis over a couple of ramps. Also some jet ski tricks. The battle with the pirate comes on stage as an excuse to get the audience wet. The “actors” were obviously waterskiers first and just having fun with the acting part. This does not have the quality of a Disney show, but still is fun to watch. A couple of pics:

Next we hit the lego technic area. Here they have:
Aquazone wave racers: up to 2 people ride on a little boat that goes pretty fast around in a circle. You can control how big of a circle you go while people outside shoot water cannons up in the air and try to get you wet. There was a pretty long line here and I didn’t feel like getting wet, so we skipped it. I had done the same in CA and it was fun on a hot day to get cooled off (my DS wouldn’t go on, but loved getting others wet).
Technicycle: sort of like the dumbo ride but you ride on a bicycle and when you peddle you go up in the air. Alittle different and fun for the kids.
Test track: this is the 4th and last roller coaster. It has a couple of hills but isn’t overly fast. What it does have is a lot of hairpin turns. After the big hill it seemed like we were getting constantly thrown from side to side on the corners, but like I said at this point at a very slow speed. It is much like primeaval whirl at Animal kingdom if you are familiar.

From here we walked through the miniland USA. Here they have famous sites built out of legos. That have an area for NYC, DC, Florida, California, and Las Vegas. They are all pretty amazing. I particularly liked the detail at the Kennedy Space Center.

For one last ride we went on the carousel which had some nice details on some of the horses. It is also 2 stories high which was kind of neat. We also stopped at the lego factory where there is a video and small demonstration on how legos are built. Interesting the first time but we had seen it in CA.

Before leaving, we stopped in the Big Shop on the way out. Of course they put this here so you’ll stop after seeing all the cool things you can do with legos. I could have walked another 2 laps around the park but once I hit the store my legs were tired. They have a good selection here but I didn’t see any bargains. There were very few things on clearance but that’s it. Personally, I think you’d do better at Wallmart. We did pick up a few of the small 20 piece bag packs that give to the kids in restaurants to keep them busy.
It was about 3:30 when done shopping and we had done the entire park.

There is another section called Duplo village that we did not go to and I don’t even remember seeing. I think it is geared to even younger kids. Also there were still some of the gardens left over from Cypress Gardens that you could walk through, we did not go here either.

In general we thought it was a nice little park. It definitely helped that the crowds were very light. It is very clean. The themes were very good in the different areas and the things they build with legos and spread around the park are really amazing.
It is a day away from some of the craziness that is Disney, as Legoland is smaller and seemed much more relaxed, again the crowds might have played a big part in that.
Legoland is definitely geared towards younger kids. I think the 5-10 year olds are the perfect ages, I bet anyone over 13 would run out of things to do pretty quickly. They do have the 4 roller coasters but there isn’t much for the older kids after that.
The one thing lacking is the food choices. At legoland CA, there are a number of larger venues that had a greater variety for the whole family. Everything we saw had 1 or 2 items which if you have a couple of picky kids that don’t agree makes it hard. Maybe we missed the bigger places.

A few other comparisons between FL and CA
CA had a smaller roller coaster that was great for our kids. FL has 2 coasters that CA doesn’t have but is missing that smaller one.
CA seemed to have more diversions that aren’t associated with rides where the kids can burn off some extra energ. They have two small areas with fountains and water play area that FL is lacking.
FL is adding the waterpark which is scheduled to be open this summer. I assume it is similar to CA
The entire pirate area in CA is much larger than here. The one in CA has lots of water based rides and a water play area. The FL pirate area is just the waterski show.
CA had a miniature golf course inside the park, you had to pay extra for it.
There were a number of other rides that were in CA but not here: fairy tale brook, coast cruise, sky patrol, Knights’ Tournament, cargo ace, dune raiders, bonical balaster. Full disclosure: I had to look at a legoland CA map to come up with that list. I thought there were some rides that were not duplicated but really only came up with 1 or 2 from memory.
In general, it seemed that CA was more filled. There were still some “holes” in FL where they could put more rides if or when they wanted to. I guess this makes sense as they can add on as they go.

My kids loved the day we spent here. If we were back in FL within the next year, i'm not sure we'd go out of our way to go again so soon.

If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask....

MissDaisyofTexas
02-06-2012, 11:56 PM
Thanks for the review! We've been to the one in CA and my kids loved it! (they were 6 and 3). We'd like to go again in a few years before they get too old for it.

aussieGeorge68
02-07-2012, 05:08 AM
Thanks for the review, the pictures are great. DS saw the picture of the cars and now wants to go.

Wow there is so much to do in Orlando its amazing.

Regards
George.

JessNewbs
02-07-2012, 05:30 AM
Thanks for the review, thanks to you we have decided that ca legoland is definantly the way to go when we visit next year from Australia :)