We just returned home from a fun trip all over Florida. We were in Pensacola, Zephyrhills, Orlando, and the Space Coast. One of our stops along the way was Legoland.
Before our trip, I searched and searched for information on Legoland. I found very little. There were some YouTube videos and each travel book about central Florida from the library had a paragraph or so about the theme park. Very few blogs had any information and the big Disney bloggers all answered my questions with, “It’s a small park, you’ll be fine.” Thanks. Sigh.
Now that I’ve experienced Legoland, I have plenty of advice to offer and I hope that it is helpful to many people who are planning to go!
- Buy at least one refillable mug. They are $15 each and we thought there seemed to be plenty of locations for refilling them. The refill stations were separated from the busy restaurants and we never encountered a line–and we were there on the weekend of a holiday week. Separate drinks are about $5 each so if you fill it more than three times in a day, you are ahead of the game. And it’s a Coca-Cola freestyle machine so you have lots of options for filling it– including caffeine-free, diet, Powerade, etc. We bought three of the mugs for five people and felt like it was a good value.
- Pack your own snacks. You are allowed to bring in a soft sided cooler of food and I strongly recommend that you bring some bottled water and other snacks with you. It’s nice to be able to just hand your kids a granola bar that you know they will eat and not have to shell out six bucks for a snack they may decide they don’t like. Take advantage of the fact that this is allowed and save yourself some money!
- Skip the Digipass for photos. I thought it seemed like a great value, at $45 for a single day photo pass. You get all of your ride photos and any character meet and greet photos as well. But honestly, we ended up with only four photos from the entire day and the process is a huge pain in the butt. First, I prepaid online but I still had to go check in and get a physical pass when the park opened. Which meant waiting in line and missing the opportunity to run to the first ride of our choice. Why bother pre-paying when the in park process is the same? Also, all you get is a piece of thick paper that says you purchased the photo pass. All day long you have to stop at each photo kiosk after each ride and ask for the photos to be added to your account. And how do they do that? They print you a receipt and staple it to your paper that says you purchased it. And I had two separate times where they gave me a hard time about getting two ride photos because my whole family didn’t show up in the same photo. “One receipt per ride!” and I had to really put my foot down and insist on getting all of our photos. By the end of the day you end up with a ton of receipts stapled to your original paper. And THEN, each receipt has a long code on it and you have to go home and enter each individual one on the website. It takes forever and it’s a headache and completely inefficient in every possible way. Also, we never came across photographers taking group photos with characters or just nice backgrounds–and we were there from open until close. This is not anything like Disney’s PhotoPass service and is not even remotely worth the money. Skip it.
- Arrive about an hour before the park opens to get a close parking spot and get through security quickly. They do a cute little opening show and then you will have a head start on getting into the park ahead of the crowd.
- No matter how tempted you are to stop and look around, head straight to the back of the park first. DO NOT STOP. Just go to the back of the park. Why? Two reasons. First of all, no one else does. We rode Flying School twice in a row with no one else on it but our family and then moved on to other rides that also had no line. Second, if you start at the back and work your way forward, when the park closes for the day, you will find yourself at the front of the park and ready to head back to your car. If you start at the front and work backwards, not only will you have crowds around you all day, you will be at the back of the park at the end of the day when you are exhausted and ready to go home. Then you will have to walk all the way back to the front of the park and it’s just not fun at that point in the day.
- Be aware of where the bathrooms are as you tour the Legoland Florida. We had the most difficult time finding them throughout the day. When we were all the way back at Flying School, we were told the nearest bathroom was all the way up at the Imagination Zone. And then we got confused trying to follow the signs and got separated and ended up having to do a lost child announcement. Good grief! Bathrooms are not EVERYWHERE. Just be aware and pay attention to your surroundings.
- Eat the Apple Fries. Oh my word! They were so delicious. They are slices of apple cut to be the shape of french fries, rolled in cinnamon and sugar and deep fried. And then you are given whipped cream to dip them in. They were such a nice and pleasant change from the typical fast food snack options at a theme park.
- Spend time in the Imagination Zone. It’s air conditioned, there are places for adults to sit quietly, and the kids will have a blast. Honestly, I felt like we were wasting time not being on rides but looking back on it, we were getting some rest in the middle of the day and that was probably needed. There were all kinds of lego building projects to do in the Imagination Zone and I think my kids could very well have stayed there all day and been happy.
- Ride the smaller rides. One pleasant surprise to us at Legoland Florida was the unique twist they had on all of the smaller rides. Instead of a Dumbo Style ride that just lifts you up and goes in a circle, you have to physically pedal to stay up. Instead of a ride that raises you up high and then drops you, you have to pull on the ropes yourself to get up there and then let go when you are ready to drop back down (don’t worry, it’s kid-sized and not scary). The “it’s a small world” style boat ride is not on a track–you actually control your boat and drive it through the water. My five year old was just terrible at this and we spun in circles. But it was FUN because it wasn’t a cookie cutter, every experience is the same kind of ride.
- Read up on ride restrictions before you arrive at Legoland Florida. This goes for all theme parks but Legoland in particular had some weird rules that you should consider before you attend. The Lego Racers ride, which is their newest and coolest, will let kids ride if they are 42″ but they can’t have VR glasses unless they are 48″ OR six years old. And without the VR glasses, there is literally no point in riding it. And if your child can’t have VR glasses, guess what? YOU CAN’T EITHER. Surprise! We were none too pleased to learn this AFTER waiting in line for over an hour. They also made a big stink about my son’s heart monitor not being allowed on rides (Disney let him ride EVERYTHING with it). Also at Driving School, you have to be six to participate regardless of your height but they sometimes tell five year olds it’s fine. But sometimes they don’t. So you never know what to expect. There was no consistency whatsoever and it made our day a terrible headache.
- Don’t expect to ride everything, even on a low crowd day. It wasn’t super busy when we were there (despite being a holiday week), but we still couldn’t do everything. We stayed from open until close and still didn’t get to two whole areas of the park and barely got to enjoy the lego creations section of the park. I was told “it’s a small park, you’ll be fine” so many times that I really didn’t see it coming that we wouldn’t be able to do every single thing we wanted to do. We missed a couple big rides, all of the shows, and quite a few of the smaller things.
We don’t regret visiting Legoland Florida although it was not quite what we expected it to be. There were some bumps in the road that disappointed us but overall it is a cute park with a lot to offer and it doesn’t appear to ever be uncomfortably crowded. These eleven tips will help you make the most of your time at the park!