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Legoland California: Strategies for a Great Day

Updated on January 4, 2014

Calling All Future Legoland California Fans!

I am going to offer priceless advice on how to optimize your Legoland experience. This wonderful park has big kid thrill rides, little kid rides, hands on activities, amazing Lego exhibits, a water park, playgrounds and yummy food. Where to start?

My son has been visiting Legoland for 10 years. His little sisters are also fans. Grandma lived nearby, so we were frequent visitors (members) of this amazing park.

Over the years, I've cooked up strategies on how to best use Legoland time regardless of weather or crowds.

Photo: twitter.com

lego.wikia.com
lego.wikia.com

Have you been to Legoland?

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The Map. - Quick Overview

california.legoland.com
california.legoland.com

First things first.

The entrance is at the bottom of the map. The membership office is right outside the turnstiles. After entering, a big gift shop is on the right. The best coffee shop is on the left. After entering the park, you can choose to turn right or left. (I'll recommend to turn left after entering to go straight to the Sky Cruiser. Read more below.)

Notice that the water park and water rides are at the opposite end, way at the top of the map. When the water park is closed during the winter season, just cross that part out. Admission to the Water Park is not included with all day passes.

Also notice that the Sea Life Life Aquarium is not in the park. Admission to the aquarium is extra too...unless you buy one of the premium memberships. Check out the Legoland ticket information below.

Legoland Sky Cruiser

The park gates open at 9 am on certain days, like Saturdays and some holidays. You may ask, why go into the park when the rides haven't opened? The answer: The Skycruiser.

The Sky Cruiser Ride is not really a roller coaster, but yet it is on a track like a roller coaster. Young toddlers are allowed to ride with an adult...but don't worry, it isn't a "little kid ride". Adults and teens love this ride too.

What's the appeal?

Pedal power. The view. The quiet and peaceful airy experience. The small car- it only holds 3 people so it feels intimate with your friends and family.

The Challenge?

There is a terrible wait for those tiny cars. This ride is so popular, that an hour wait is not unusual. The line doesn't look like it will take an hour, because Legoland has strategically placed a Lego play space in the middle of the "line up corral" to entertain all the little kids (who would normally be taking up lots of space in line.) Even on rainy days and non-holidays, there seems to be a wait for this ride. It just doesn't accommodate very many riders at a time.

Strategy:

Arrive at the park as it opens at 9am. Turn left at the entrance. Walk right past those first rides (Dino Island and Duplo City). Walk past those enticing squirt guns and past the charming Legoland band. Head up the hill until you reach The Sky Cruiser. Go ahead and get in the front of the line. By the time you walk to that part of the park, you will not have to wait long for the ride to open. Remember, kids can play with Legos in the adjacent play area while you wait.

Advantage:

After the Sky Cruiser, you will be next to the Driving Schools. There won't be a long line, because most people are still at the front of the park. The helicopter ride is also great fun- right around the corner. Finally, hit the show "The Big Test" before leaving that part of the park.

Legoland Driving School - Get a License before Age 13!

This is a great ride which kids just love. When there are no lines, my kids drove these cars again and again. Get your video camera ready, because it is like watching comedy central. You will laugh until you cry.

They have smaller cars for 3-5 year olds. Those kids just drive in a big circle, trying to stay on the road and pass their fellow drivers. Cute.

The big driving school for 6-13 year old kids has working traffic lights, intersections, and two way traffic.

After completing the driving course, every child gets a Legoland Driver's License, which they treasure for months after returning home.

If the Sky Cruiser doesn't sound appealing, walk directly to the Driver's School instead to avoid the lines. You'll be so glad you did.

Lego Cars

Kids of all ages love building cars.

LEGO DUPLO Creative Cars 10552
LEGO DUPLO Creative Cars 10552

Duplos for the younger crowd.

 
LEGO Creator Highway Speedster 31006
LEGO Creator Highway Speedster 31006

Lego model building, for your budding Lego creator.

 

Put the Wet Stuff on the Hot Stuff! - -A Firefighter Show that the Whole Family Will LOVE!

This show has rocked for the last 10 years that we have visited Legoland. Kids sing, dance, climb, and do flips while telling a cute story... even including a couple of fire safety tips. Yep, you will get wet in the first 6 rows as promised. And snacks are allowed...or lunch, if you need a break.

Notice that the 2008 show is pretty good.

This 2012 show is a tiny bit better. This year, 2013, they added the song "What Does the Fox Say?" and it was a hoot. Love it.

Lego Firetruck to the Rescue!

LEGO City Fire Emergency 60003
LEGO City Fire Emergency 60003

The fire truck arrives on the Lego scene to save the day.

 

Cool Waterpark!

Of course the Water Park is only open in the summer. And of course there are separate tickets. We loved the Water Park. When it was crowded, I didn't love it as much. I had a hard time keeping track of my kids. Even though my kids were swimmers, I had a "Mommy Moment" when I couldn't see them. They had life jackets to rent, which I recommend. The Water Park is large, so we only went if we planned a two day Legoland visit. We needed at least a couple of hours to really enjoy the slides and lazy river.

Apple Fries - A Legoland Specialty

I have never eaten Apple Fries anywhere else. Apple Fries are the best food in Legoland or any other theme park (in my humble opinion). Imagine the warm inside of an apple pie. Imagine whipped cream. Now take that thought and imagine something even yummier. Simply Incredible Food.

You can find the Apple Fries at Castle Hill, between the Putt Putt and the Castle Hill playground, across from the Lego witch at the wishing well.

The whole area around this booth smells like warm apples and cinnamon.

Amazing Miniland.

I think there is one Legoland attraction which appeals to everyone- Miniland. Toddlers, grandparents and everyone in between are wowed. Also, you can enjoy Minlland at any time of the year, in any weather, even when it is crowded.

Star Wars, Washington D.C, New York, Vegas, San Francisco....all in miniature with tiny moving parts. My thirteen year old son kept mumbling "This is amazing." Every year, the Legoland master builders add another brilliant Miniland destination.

I'm not sure which I liked best, the "Star Wars" exhibit, or the Washington D.C. city model.

Build and Test - Rain or shine, crowded or not- "Build and Test" is a hit!

This video was shot at the Legoland Florida venue, but the set is exactly the same in California. Kids are given a set of lego wheels when they walk in the door. The object is to build a fast car using the thousands of legobricks set out on the tables. The racetrack has room for five cars. They start with a release button and shoot down a hill. An electric timer displays the time of the winner. All ages (parents too) and genders love love love this hands on exhibit. It is a unique building experience to the Legoland parks.

If the park was crowded, we left this activity for the end of a long day.

Got wheels? - The Race Continues- At Home!

At Legoland, they only give kids 4 small wheels. Watch what happens when kids build with many wheels.

LEGO Education Wheels Set
LEGO Education Wheels Set

Every wheel a child could ever want.

 

Rollercoasters!

My 13 year old still loves this park for the coasters- and he is a roller coaster fanatic. Sure, they don't do loopy loops. They may not be as tall as other famous thrill rides, but they are big enough and fast enough to get "that feeling" in your belly. My son says the best Legoland rollercoaster is the Technic Lego Coaster. Get there fast by turning right at the entrance. Walk past the "Build and Test" and veer to the right after passing the movie theater. Pass the Lego imitation "Teacup" ride, and the coaster is straight ahead.

These coasters all have had lines every time we visited. If you have a coaster loving crowd in your family, make a bee line to the coaster of your choice immediately after entering the park.

Wow. It is So Crowded. What Do We Do First?

www.familyvacationcritic.com
www.familyvacationcritic.com

Sometimes, despite best intentions, the park is already packed when your family finally gets in. No worries. Legoland has a huge selection of activities which never require waiting. My family had that experience the Saturday after Thanksgiving. We still had a great time, because we knew what to do.

1. "The Big Test" firetruck show is an open amphitheater. Every seat is great. Get there 10 minutes early. Go ahead and get lunch at the hotdog shop or cafe around the corner. Bring lunch in, and eat while you watch.

2. "Miniland" is a huge open walking area. Even when crowded, it is easy to see the exhibits.

3. Castle Hill Playground- Right next to the famous Apple Fries Shop, there is a marvelous natural looking tree house type playground with ropes, slides, and ladders. Parents will want to accompany toddlers. The playground has one entrance, so I felt comfortable sitting on one of the many benches knowing that my kids couldn't leave without me noticing.

4. Duplo Village- if you have toddlers, plan to sit down and relax while watching the little ones giggle and play in small, safe structures with duplo steering wheels, small club houses, little slides, and kid sized Lego houses, shops, and barns. The toddler train ride sometimes has a short wait, but it is worth it. This area is gated, and it is easy to watch your kids from many seated positions.

Photo: www.familyvacationcritic.com

www.feng-shui-tips-for-wealth.com
www.feng-shui-tips-for-wealth.com

The Cleanest Bathrooms Ever.

(even when the park is crowded)

Whether changing baby diapers, escorting newly potty trained toddlers, or suffering from "too much coffee syndrome"- clean bathrooms just make everyone happy. The restrooms are big, strategically located, and have mini sinks for great hygiene practice. Did I mention, they are REALLY clean? Gotta love it.

california.legoland.com
california.legoland.com

Our Membership Paid for Itself in Two Days!

Don't pay full price.

This park always has some kind of deal. Just Google "Legoland Discounts". We have always found some kind of "Buy One Get One Free" deal.

photo: california.legoland.com

Ticket and Membership Information

Go ahead and read the small print. You'll save big bucks.

What is your favorite theme park?

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    • Charito1962 profile image

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 3 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      When my family and I travelled to California in 1987 for our summer vacation, we visited Disneyland, Magic Mountain and Knott's Berry Farm. We have yet to see Legoland.

    • Zeross4 profile image

      Renee Dixon 3 years ago from Kentucky

      I love St. Flags, but I'd really like to take my sons to Legoland someday!

    • Max Globe profile image

      Max Globe 3 years ago

      I wish I knew there was Legoland Park there when I was still in California! Thanks you for a useful lens)

    • Mellithorpe profile image

      Mellithorpe 3 years ago

      Great ideas to make the most of your day. I've never been to Legoland but does look fun.

    • Michelllle profile image
      Author

      Michelllle 3 years ago

      @TreasuresBrenda: Oh you are right- funny how I just assumed everyone goes a couple of times... ; )

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 3 years ago from Canada

      We have been to Legoland once and we loved it!

      (By the way, there is no option for us in your poll at the top of the page.)

    • mohinipuranik profile image

      mohinipuranik 3 years ago

      Great info thank you for sharing.

    • profile image

      Mr-Squidoo-Review 3 years ago

      Am Up For A Bit Of Lego Land lol Such A Buzz, Great Lense!

    • shadowfast7 profile image

      Sure Temp 3 years ago

      was fun to read this! i love lego! brings back old memories haha

    • katiecolette profile image

      katiecolette 3 years ago

      We went to Legoland in Florida a couple years ago and loved every minute of our visit. Would go again in a heartbeat!

    • profile image

      The_Kelster 3 years ago

      I have never been, but after reading your lens, I realize it is a lot more than I thought it was. Thanks for the information, I will be making this a priority this year to go! :)

    • maryseena profile image

      maryseena 3 years ago

      Now i'm sorry we skipped Legoland on our last holiday in California.

    • nicks44 profile image

      nicks44 3 years ago

      A very beautiful lens of a totally gorgeous place, thank you for putting it together it was a lot of fun to read!

    • ArtByLinda profile image

      Linda Hoxie 3 years ago from Idaho

      Looks like a lot of fun!

    • profile image

      TanoCalvenoa 3 years ago

      I've never been there, even though I live within easy driving distance in So Cal. Will have to look into it.

    • Zdiddle profile image

      Zdiddle 3 years ago

      I'm an adult and still want to go to Legoland. This is the perfect guide!

    • lewisgirl profile image

      lewisgirl 3 years ago

      I took my son several years ago and we had a great time.

    • junkcat profile image

      junkcat 3 years ago

      We went for our Honeymoon. It was great!

    • tmadeira lm profile image

      tmadeira lm 3 years ago

      Those Apple Fries sound pretty tasty!

    • Michelllle profile image
      Author

      Michelllle 3 years ago

      @anonymous: I think the most amazing attraction which appeals to absolutely everyone is Miniland. Toddlers, grandparents and everyone in between are amazed. Also, you can enjoy Minlland at any time of the year, in any weather, even when it is crowded. (I should probably add that to the body of the lens- huh?...great question.)

    • Michelllle profile image
      Author

      Michelllle 3 years ago

      @Merrci: Oh I agree. The adults were amazed at the details and beauty of the exhibits too- especially in Miniland.

    • Michelllle profile image
      Author

      Michelllle 3 years ago

      @glowchick: Legoland is just different than the Disney Parks because of the interactive building activities. Also, the park is greener and more of an open space. We like them both...

    • Michelllle profile image
      Author

      Michelllle 3 years ago

      @SusanDeppner: Thanks Susan- great hearing from you.

    • Michelllle profile image
      Author

      Michelllle 3 years ago

      @writerkath: Thanks so much. I love this park too!

    • kehsiberry profile image

      kehsiberry 3 years ago

      never had a talent for building things.. Great lens.Congratulations!

    • Michelllle profile image
      Author

      Michelllle 3 years ago

      @DebW07: Thank you! You know I been off line for a couple of days because of work- super surprise. Thanks again!

    • profile image

      PriyabrataSingh 3 years ago

      "Legoland California" sounds great. I have been to a number of theme parks and my personal favourite is Ocean world. I enjoyed every movements of it. Congratulation on Lens Of The Day. I think a great new thrilling experience with Legoland Sky Cruiser, Rollercoasters, and my personal favourite Cool Waterpark and of course the Cleanest Bathrooms.....

    • RoadMonkey profile image

      RoadMonkey 3 years ago

      I have never been to a theme park, they didn't have them when I was young, but I used to love the water chute and the roller coaster at the seaside fairground and those videos gave me that same familiar feeling! :)

    • Klaartje Loose profile image

      Klaartje Loose 3 years ago

      The 'Efteling' in The Netherlands... But I would love to visit Legoland with my bonuschild too! I guess it will be in Denmark ;-)

    • mommyplus3kids profile image

      mommyplus3kids 3 years ago

      I just came back from a 10 day holiday vacation and we visited Legoland in Florida. The whole family loved it. Great lens!

    • profile image

      getmoreinfo 3 years ago

      Looks like lots of fun, thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      DebW07 3 years ago

      We've been going to LEGOLAND for several years now, since my teens were toddlers. We love everything about it. Great lens! Congrats on LotD!!

    • calconcrete profile image

      calconcrete 3 years ago

      I live less than an hour away from the CA park in south Orange County. I've always driven past it thinking it was a kiddie park. You've inspired me. I'll stop in when I have time.

    • profile image

      anonymous 3 years ago

      I'm not a big theme park guy but this is a really cool lens. Congratulations on getting LotD!

    • Art Inspired profile image

      Art Inspired 3 years ago

      Congrats on your lens of the day. Thanks for providing some fantastic tips about visiting Lego Land. Keep on building!

    • writerkath profile image

      writerkath 3 years ago

      Wow, this would be my kind of theme park. I love Legos. I love toys. This is win-win! Great lens! Congratulations on LOTD!

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 3 years ago

      I really enjoyed toys that let me build things.

    • Bercton1 profile image

      Bercton1 3 years ago

      Very interesting and Congratulation on LOTD!

    • profile image

      RinchenChodron 3 years ago

      I don't have kids or grandkids, but still enjoyed your lens. Congrats on your LOTD

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 3 years ago from Arkansas USA

      We would have loved this when my boys were little! Great to have a guide from someone who's been there and done that. Congrats on your Lens of the Day!

    • profile image

      glowchick 3 years ago

      We went to Disney World and loved it but after reading this I think this would make a great vacation!

    • sousababy profile image

      sousababy 3 years ago

      We have Canada's Wonderland - but Legoland (with the cleanest bathrooms ever) sure sounds good to me. Thanks for the virtual tour and information.

    • Dressage Husband profile image

      Stephen J Parkin 3 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

      Oulton Park in the United Kingdom, but it is not really designed for smaller kids!

    • Merrci profile image

      Merry Citarella 3 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

      Great lens! Congratulations. It's amazing even for an adult to see what they've built with legos! Everyone should visit at least once!

    • esmonaco profile image

      Eugene Samuel Monaco 3 years ago from Lakewood New York

      Thanks for the the tour of the nice Park, A wonderful lens, and Congratulations on LOTD!

    • Baddew Fibes profile image

      Baddew Fibes 3 years ago

      A great, well-thought-out lens. Congratulations on a well-deserved LOTD!

    • profile image

      anonymous 3 years ago

      Congrats on LOTD.. what is the best attraction in legoland?

    • LoriBeninger profile image

      LoriBeninger 3 years ago

      Congratulations on your LotD win...this was a well-done lens highlighting the best of the place. My granddaughters love the place.