Summer vacation is looming on the horizon and with it, you might be considering a family trip to Legoland. Doing a little legwork and ahead of time and studying some Legoland tips from those that have blazed a trail before you will help you enjoy the trip just as much as your kids and save some money and your sanity. The good news is as far as amusement parks go Legoland is pretty low key. The rides are pretty gentle. The food is reasonably good and reasonably healthy. The souvenir shops are stocked with great, high-quality lego kits you won’t feel too guilty about buying.
Legoland Tips: Tip #1 Tickets
Buy tickets ahead of time. Spend some time on the Legoland site exploring your options. Prices start to go up seven days in advance. Check around for discount codes online. If you are a Lego Store VIP those discounts might just be waiting in your inbox! If you can’t quite commit in advance, don’t fret most of the hotels near the park offer discounted packages and will sell you tickets right in the lobby.
Legoland Tips: Tip #2 How Many Days?
If the weather looks good and your kids like the water you will probably want to go ahead and commit to time at the water park. Legoland itself is not overwhelmingly large, but it had more than enough activities to fill a day. Adding on a visit to the water park probably means you will be committing to an additional day. Wondering about adding in Sea Life Aquarium? It probably depends on if you have access to a good aquarium or are planning a trip to Sea World while you are in the San Diego area. We live in San Francisco which has two great aquariums. We also occasionally visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium. With that in mind, didn’t feel like we needed to allocate the time or money to another aquarium but if we lived elsewhere it might be worth it.
Legoland Tips: Tip #3 Where to Stay?
Of course, there is the Legoland Hotel. Your kids will love it. Just be prepared for the Lego-themed rooms. Staying there has the additional perk of early admission to the park. Since we were spending five days in the area and visiting the Safari Park and the San Diego Zoo, the grownups in our crew didn’t think we could handle all Legos all the time. The Carlsbad Sheraton also has its own entrance to Legoland. It’s a nice compromise giving you the convenience of proximity but with more of an escape from Legos. There are a whole range of hotels both high end and low end in the area though that are plenty convenient to Legoland visits. You may also want to consider using Aribnb or VRBO and getting a house or condo near the water in Solana, Del Mar or Carlsbad.
Legoland Tips: Tip #4 When to Arrive
If you are staying at the Legoland Hotel and get early admission, by all means take advantage of that perk. If you aren’t, don’t stress too much about getting there right when it opens. Enjoy an extra cup of coffee or walk along the beach and get there a half hour or hour after the park opens. A more relaxed schedule will help you avoid the crush of folks looking for parking and lining up to get in. When you arrive you’ll walk right in no problem.
Legoland Tips: Tip #5 Ride Strategies
When you arrive resist the urge to take a left. From the main entrance, most folks walk in and take a left approaching the park in a clockwise fashion. The wait times will seem ridiculous: 45-minute lines for a 3-minute rollercoaster?!? Go straight. Go right. Just not left. We took a look at the waits to the left and tried the other options. No wait times. Zero.
Legoland Tips: Tip #5 Rollercoaster strategies
Legoland’s rollercoasters are short and sweet and reasonably gentle. Unfortunately, they are pretty darn popular. The waits for these rides drop pretty sharply later in the day when many families hit a wall or need to get little kids down for a nap. We were able to work in multiple repeat rides by saving these for after 2pm. If you have members of your party who won’t be riding be sure to hand off all your bags, backpacks, cameras etc. If your personal items don’t fit snugly in your pockets you will be asked to put them un unsecured cubbies just before you get in the ride.
Legoland Tips: Tip #6 Food
The food at the park is pretty good. It is also possible to eat healthfully. If you want to bring in your own you’ll probably be able to put some sandwiches in a backpack without issue. Just don’t try to walk in with a giant cooler.
Legoland Tips: Tip #7 The Gift Shop
Allocate some time and funds at the end of the trip for a visit to the gift shop. You’ll find some Lego sets you can’t get your hands on elsewhere which make for some extra special Christmas or birthday gifts for nieces and nephews not joining you on the trip.
Legoland Tips: Tip #8 What to Wear
Comfortable walking shoes are a must. I would also recommend a fleece or sweatshirt. While it’s not as chilly as summer in San Francisco, Carlsbad can get some fog and cool breezes. Our day started out warm and sunny then a breeze and high clouds arrived from the ocean to cool things off significantly. What Legoland tips have I missed? Share your Legoland tips in the comments so we can all have the best trips possible!