Parents’ Guide to LEGOLAND | RTX Traveler Magazine

Legoland_1_webThere are few toys that can entertain adults just as much as their kids. Similarly, not every theme park excites parents as much as the children who persuaded them to visit. It may seem interesting then, that something as simple as a colorful little brick of plastic – or lots of colorful little bricks of plastic – can provide entertainment and excitement for the whole family as well as a generous serving of nostalgia for any adult who was a kid at some point in the last four decades.

LEGOLAND® California in Carlsbad manages to inspire and delight with massive towering structures built from hundreds of thousands of LEGO bricks. Throughout the park, these fun and often familiar structures might move, play music or shoot streams of water. The park map can be picked up just inside the entrance and while it may seem maze-like and overwhelming at first, it’s quite easy to navigate through the 10 differently themed sections and see everything without getting too exhausted.

Through the end of 2013, visitors to LEGOLAND California have even more of a treat in store. The world’s largest LEGO model made from more than 5 million LEGO bricks and weighing nearly 46,000 pounds will thrill adults and kids alike. It is a life-size replica of the Star Wars™ X-Wing. Guarded by life-size LEGO models of Darth Vader, C3PO and R2D2, the X-wing is on display in a hangar near the park’s entrance for all to enjoy.  A special Star Wars™ display at Miniland includes scenes from the six live-action Star Wars™ movies, as well as one from the animated series Star Wars: THE CLONE WARS™ all made out of more than 1.5 million LEGO bricks. In the highly likely occurrence that LEGO fans are also Star Wars™ fans, this display is about as good as it could get for anyone of just about any age.

The rides are specifically geared toward children ages 2 through 12; in other words, those who are either just discovering or have years of experience with LEGO creations, but are not yet “too cool” to jump in and play with them. Parents are allowed on some of the rides, which adds to the nostalgia and appreciation of the park for those of all ages.

In addition to the pure thrills of the rides, LEGOLAND challenges kids to use a little brain power and skill with interactive areas where park-goers can build their own LEGO creations, shoot targets with laser guns, look for clues to solve mysteries, dig for dinosaur “fossils,” and much more. Through live performances and fun, family-oriented interactive games and attractions, kids are taught about fire safety, driving and more.

Legoland_2_webA Coast Cruise through the lake that is in the center of LEGOLAND will give you an up close look at several large sculptures from the Eiffel Tower and the Taj Mahal to Mt. Rushmore and a giant octopus and his five-piece band. Miniland is sure to be a highlight for the whole family with LEGO-size recreations of well-known cities like Washington, D.C., New Orleans, Las Vegas, New York, San Francisco and Hollywood.

When it is time for a rest, shade, benches and restrooms are abundant. There are even a few areas where kids enjoy the attraction while their parents take a break. Dining options range from food carts featuring theme park favorites to healthy takeaway options to full-service restaurants with a view. The Sea Life Aquarium is adjacent to LEGOLAND and is another educational , interactive and fascinating attraction in the park.

If theme parks were ranked on a scale of one to 10 with one being “Not worth the trip or money” and 10 being “Why can’t we come here every day,” then LEGOLAND California would be breaking the high end of the scale. Be sure to check it out on your Carlsbad vacation with RTX!

Good to know:

  • Check out the LEGOLAND app for tips, maps, coupons and more.
  • Arrive as early as 9 a.m. to get the best parking and beat the crowds. Some vendors and restaurants may not open until 10 or 11, but the extra time will make a huge difference and be well worth it.
  • Parking is $15 for general parking and $25 for preferred lots closer to the entrance.  Take note of the lot number where you park.
  • Be sure you and the kids are equipped with a bathing suit towel and dry clothes. There is a water park as well as the Pirate Shores area with lots of splashing rides.
  • There is a Baby Care Center for parents with very little ones.

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LEGOLAND California
One LEGOLAND Drive
Carlsbad, CA 92008
(760) 918-5346
california.legoland.com
Hours of Operation
LEGOLAND California is open daily during spring break, summer and select holiday periods.
The Park is closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays during select seasons.
SEA LIFE Carlsbad Aquarium is open daily.
View the calendar at www.LEGOLAND.com/hours for complete details.
 Photos provided courtesy of LEGOLAND California.

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