What do you want to know about the new Legoland Park in Fla.?

Dad Days of Summer host Andy Johnston, his lovely roving reporter wife Lori Johnston and their adorable kindergartener are investigating Legoland in Florida this weekend for the AJC.

They want to know your questions about the new Legoland Park so they can check them out while they are there. So please feel free to leave your questions on the blog about the park and Lori will take them with her!

I am very interested to read Lori and Andy’s report because we are only a few hours away from the San Diego Legoland and would love to know more about it. Walsh has been begging to go since we moved but we just haven’t had the money for it. And now I am worried my 10- and 8-year-olds are getting too big for it.

So here are my questions for Lori and Andy:

  1. Will my 8- and 10-year olds be bored? Are the rides big enough for big kids?
  2. Is it just a big ad for Lego and will your kids be begging for Lego sets the whole time?
  3. How does the cost compare with Disney or Universal? Which park gives you the most bang for your buck?
  4. The water park won’t be open until the summer but I am also curious if it’s worth the money to hit both parks while you’re there or is one particularly more fun than the other?

So please feel free to submit your questions about the park’s attractions, shops, restaurants, navigating it, best times to go, ways to find deals, etc … Lori and Andy will find out for us! The story is scheduled to run in February in the AJC’s Travel section. I will be sure to link to it when it runs.

27 comments Add your comment

JATL

December 29th, 2011
8:56 am

I’m very interested in the response! I want to know if a 3 year old and a five-six year old would enjoy it. Would they enjoy it so much that it should surpass the importance of Sea World or the Disney Animal park? We’re looking at a Disney trip in 2012, and Legoland has caught my eye, but I think for the ages of our kids and the time we want to allot to the trip, we’ll have to make some choices. Right now Disney World/Magic Kingdom, Universal’s Islands of Adventure (we have big superhero fans), and Sea World are on the must list. I’ve thought of the 4th being either Legoland, Animal Kingdom, a Disney water park or an extra day at either Universal or Magic Kingdom. Mine aren’t old enough yet to be into Harry Potter, so we won’t be spending a bunch of time there.

Sk8ing Momma

December 29th, 2011
9:13 am

I haven’t been to Legoland in Florida; however, I have been to the one in California. My question: How do the two compare? Similarities? Differences?

Theresa,

IF the rides are the same in both parks, your 8 & 10yo will not be too big. I went to the one in CA as an adult and could ride the rides. I enjoyed them. IMO, it is not a destination for older teens. I’d recommend it for tweens and younger.

I didn’t find it to be a big ad for Lego no more than Disneyland/Disneyworld is an ad for Disney. My kids weren’t begging for Lego sets. Even if they were, that wouldn’t bother me because I find “No” easy to say and effective. If I recall correctly we only purchased individual bricks that one can buy by the container/weight.

MomInATL

December 29th, 2011
9:27 am

I visited Legoland Florida in November with my husband and our 10-year-old daughter. She loved the park, and the rides are perfect for younger children and 10-year-olds who don’t like Space Mountain.

The park is nice, but WAY overpriced in comparison to bang for your buck at Disney. Operating hours are shorter, and admission tickets are only $10 less per person than a one-day pass at the Magic Kingdom. My advice: get a coupon from one of the Lego magazines — they frequently have one free child admission with one paid adult admission coupons.

BlondeHoney

December 29th, 2011
9:37 am

My 26 year old son, who lives in Merritt Island, went to Legoland right after it opened because his best friend wanted to go; much to his surprise, he actually enjoyed himself. Don’t have more info than that unfortunately.

catlady

December 29th, 2011
10:00 am

Places like this don’t hold a big attraction for me. I’ve been to Disney in California when I was 11 (on a family trip) and twice with the family to WDW (once for virtually free, the other time I was presenting at a conference on site so UGA picked up much of the tab). I’ve been to 6 Flags once, but never to those other “typical” places. They just don’t hold enough interest to pay the prices for a artificial “experience.” I’d rather be out doing things like rafting down a real river, hiking in a real forest, seeing a real volcano, etc. with my family.

jarvis

December 29th, 2011
10:17 am

Things are not either/or. I enjoy amusement parks and river rafting. The thrills are different, but liking one of them doesn’t mean I have to dislike the other.

Never been to Legoland, but I’ve heard good things about the one in San Diego.

Scotty

December 29th, 2011
10:59 am

I would be curious if a 3 year old could have fun there or if I would feel like I wasted my money by taking a 3 year old. My wife & I took our 3 year old son to Disney a few months ago and honestly I felt like I wasted a lot of money because there really weren’t many rides and things he could do and the ones he could go on didn’t interest him at all. I think part of that may just be that my son isn’t interested in amusement park rides, which is fine (it’ll save me a lot of Six Flags summers when he’s older) – so are there a lot of things to do besides the rides at LEGOland, or is that the big attraction?

GHSA Stripes

December 29th, 2011
11:42 am

JATL,
I have no idea about LegoLand as I have never been there. As far as Animal Kingdom, besides DinoLand, there is not really a lot for your three year old to do ride wise. It would also depend on how tall the 6 year old is. My oldest was tall enough to ride Expedition Everest and really enjoyed it when she was 6 but my youngest was only able to do some of the DinoLand rides and to watch the shows. They have some great shows there with Finding Nemo the Musical and the Lion King show. Though if they do like animals they will enjoy the safari trek where they will see giraffes, elephants, rhinos, hippos, and lions. I love the park but it is one that I only spend one day out of 7 at when I go to Disney. Magic Kingdom has far more rides for the 3 year old. Hollywood has a few things for the 3 year old but still not much and you will find yourself doing a ride swap.

Melissa

December 29th, 2011
12:07 pm

My husband and I took our 7 yo son in October to Legoland, Florida. He was a great age for it! He is also REALLY into legos so it was a blast for him! The hours are shorter than Disney. Parking needed to be sorted out at that time, because it took over 45 minutes to get into the parking lot which took away time from the park that we thought we had.The park decided to stay open an hour longer that day because of the issues/complaints they were receiving about the parking. I recommend buying your tickets and printing them online before you go so that you can just scan and go instead of waiting in long lines to buy them at the park. The rides are GREAT for young kids. Nothing to scary, although there are some rides (roller coasters) for kids/parents that want more thrill rides. They do have a live show or two. The lego village was so cool! Lego Las Vegas, Lego NYC, etc. They have a 4d movie theatre which was neat. It snowed inside of the theatre which was pretty cool. If your child is into building legos, you can go into a room and let your kids build and race lego cars with other children. That was a hit for alot of kids. Kids can go through a driving school and learn to drive lego cars. They have it for older and younger children so that they can safely do it and not at the same location. There are plenty of places to buy legos. I found the prices to be less than I have found them at other stores which isn’t the case at Disney. I also found that tobe the case for food as well. Much healthier and less expensive than at Disney. We went to Disney the next day and found it to be quite expensive. If it rains as it did for us…we drove over to Clearwater (an hour away) to the meet Winter from Dolphins tale. They filmed most of the movie there and the real Winter lives there. Great time!!

JCE

December 29th, 2011
12:46 pm

My husband and I were there this past Monday (12/26) with our 5 and 8 year old kids. The park itself was nice, but the rides were really geared to the younger set (even the 3 roller-coasters, which were tame by our “6 Flags” standards. Our 8 year old was bored with the rides… and he’s not exactly a dare-devil!). The Lego City area was really the show-stopper, at least for me. They’ve Lego-fied all the big USA & FL cities and it’s really impressive.
All that said, the lines for every ride were unbelievably long and moved extremely slowly. Most of the rides had only one staff-person working them when 2 would have been much more efficient. But the crowds, I’m sure, were because of when we went (smack in the middle of the holidays). Also, it took over an hour of waiting (11:00am to Noon) to even get into the parking lot to park. For $15 a car, you’d think they’d figure-out a way to expedite this.

Sheri

December 29th, 2011
1:38 pm

Are you able to make it through the park in one day or does it warrant a multi-day pass? Are there any “fastpass” optionsfor lines at particular rides?

Melissa

December 29th, 2011
3:26 pm

No fastpasses are available. It can be completed in one day. The park isn’t very large. I recommend arriving an hour before the park opens so that you can get through the long line to the parking lot. Also, buy your tickets on-line so that you can walk up and scan your ticket instead of waiting in a long line to buy them at the park.

Becky

December 29th, 2011
4:02 pm

@Melissa..I’m more interested in your trip to Clearwater..Are you able to go in and actually see Winter? We saw that movie and the boy wants to plan our next vacation to Clearwater just to see Winter…

Melissa

December 29th, 2011
5:54 pm

Becky….YES! You can see Winter with the trainers and after the session was over with the trainers we were able to go over to the pool where Winter was hanging out and came right up to everyone. I have great pictures with my son right in front of Winter. There are signs everywhere with scenes from the movie because it was shot there. The trainers also discuss the movie. The office is still there with windows so that you can look into it. The marine aquatic center is great! Still very small/personable. They will show you the tail that Winter wears. Really neat! Lots of souvenirs to purchase (that have Winter on them) which is helping fund the aquatic center (since it is helping injured dolphins/sharks, etc). Here is the website for all of the information. http://seewinter.com/
Worth the trip!! We had planned to drive over, but made it worth the trip when it rained one day. Most of the aquatic center is inside or atleast covered.

Sk8ing Momma

December 29th, 2011
6:30 pm

@ JCE – Tame is a good word. The Lego rollercoasters are far more tame than what you will see @ Six Flags. Nevertheless, they are fun for their respective class, IMO.

JATL

December 29th, 2011
7:05 pm

@GHSA Stripes -Thanks for the info! And to everyone -it actually sounds like Legoland would be great for our 3 and (by then) 6 year olds. I may swap out Animal Kingdom for it one day.

@jarvis -completely agree! I love to hike, raft, camp and do all sorts of things with my kids and on my own, but there’s a special fun and joy to me that you get taking kids to amusement parks. Natural experiences and amusement parks are two completely different things, but it doesn’t mean you can’t really enjoy both!

Becky

December 29th, 2011
8:36 pm

Thank you Melissa..I think we will plan a trip toward the end of spring..They will both enjoy it, so will be good for all..

Chris Giddens

December 29th, 2011
10:14 pm

I’m a lifelong LEGO fan (30+ years). My wife, son, and I went to LEGOLAND this week and really enjoyed it. My son is 6, and was in heaven. The park was REALLY crowded because of the holidays. It made lines for the big rides impossible to endure, but the side rides and shows were fun. Prices of food in the park are reasonable.

We were blessed with annual passes (one of which we upgraded for free parking). With this we were able to hop in and out of the park and eat even cheaper than we did in the park. There seemed to be no worry on having a backpack with snacks and stuff with you.

We also had a “3D” fireworks show. They have fireworks on special occasions, and the “3D” bit was that the glasses made the bright flashes look like LEGO bricks… and I hafta admit, this 40 year old was 10 again. Also, the ski show with skiing LEGO guys was really awesome.

Imagine taking Six Flags Atlanta, cutting it in half, removing the big rides, then pumping the place with amazing LEGO builds. LEGOLAND plans to open a water park in March. They still have the original Botanical Gardens open, and hopefully they’ll expand to handle more visitors. It’s a great place!

Lego Land Visitors

December 30th, 2011
7:25 am

Parking cost $15 and it took over an hour to turn into the entrance to be guided into a parking spot! The park opened at 10:00 and we got there at 10:15am. It took another 30 minutes to enter the admission line and exchange the discounted coupons we purchased at the Florida Welcome Center for actual tickets. The wait for rides averaged an hour, if not longer. By 2 pm we had gone on two rides. We had lunch at a restaurant near the entrance that billed healthy adult cuisine and a children’s menu with pizza. Inside was chaos and more long lines. The restaurant didn’t serve pizza as advertised and was out of rice in my line. The worker did not serve rice from the serving counter next to him that had a big pan of rice??? Such chaos we saw many people getting food in line and then sitting down to eat without paying. Unbelievable! The park crowd thinned out a bit around 4 pm Overall, Lego Land has some kinks to work out. Logistically, from the time you enter the park until you leave, it is understaffed and lacks an efficient and effective plan for moving crowds into the park and throughout the park. What a shame, we could have had so much fun!

Frank

December 30th, 2011
9:18 am

We went there this week and it was chaos. There were so many people, they closed the park to people entering at 12:30pm. Ride lines were 60 to 120 minutes long. Not good for antsy 8 year olds.

To me, it’s one big advertisement and they lack the processes to handle the big crowds. We had 2 day tickets, but the whole park can be done in one day. And if you plan to eat there, good luck, another 60 minute wait, mainly because the food lines were a free for all.

Maybe it was just poor planning/organization on their part that caused most of the issues, maybe growing pains, or it was the holiday break with everyone there, it was a quite painful experience.

Don’t get me wrong, the place is cool, but if you have teens or older, they will be bored and if wait times are consistently long, the young ones will get antsy.

Kathy

December 30th, 2011
9:22 am

Frank…..my parents were just at Disney World and said the place was packed. My dad read in the paper just the other day that all the parks in the Orlando area were experiencing record crowds.

Frank

December 30th, 2011
9:56 am

It was on the news, Universal and legoland had full closures, Disney had 2-3 hours delays. We did go to Epcot the day after legoland and although there were crowds, the rides moved much smoother; 30 years of experience vs 3 months is probably the reason.

FCM

December 30th, 2011
5:28 pm

@ JATL…Wiz World of HP has 3 rides in it…the rest is shops. They will probably like the Hippogriff one and it may be the only one they can ride b/c of height restricitions. That said IoA is a ton of fun for kids. However don’t discount Universal Studios…it has Nickoleoden and Shrek.

My 2 still talk about our trip this summer.

Kat

January 1st, 2012
4:42 pm

I will never go back to Sea World again. A HUGE waste of a whole lot of money!

Linda

January 1st, 2012
9:49 pm

We took our 9yo son to LEGOLand at the end of October and had a great time! It’s just the right size to do and see everything in one day. You don’t leave feeling like you missed out on anything. The rides are not as intense as Busch Gardens but they’re still fun. Folks tend to go to the first ride they see at the front of the park. We went straight to the back of the park when we arrived so the waits weren’t too long. Later in the day, the front of the park rides had manageable wait times.
You’ll spend over an hour in Mini-land. The Lego scenes they’ve created are phenomenal! Great vignettes of Vegas, New York, DC, California and Florida. We especially enjoyed the Fountain of Youth, South Miami Beach and New York’s Central Park.
The food is reasonably priced and everyone who works there is super-nice.
We went to LEGOLand on a Friday and the Magic Kingdom on Saturday. MK was packed and for the first time, WDW disappointed us. We will never go there on a Saturday again.

A

January 2nd, 2012
5:27 pm

Just got back from Legoland Florida. Spent 2 days there and had a really great time. Parking is now $12 (earlier posters said $15) and was efficiently run. We got there just before 10 a.m. both days and had no trouble parking or getting into the park. Bought 2-day passes through AAA which saved a bundle. Our 9-year-old loved every minute and wanted to go back a 3rd day. With 2 days, we were able to do everything we wanted and several popular attractions (Lost Adventure, driving school, boating school) more than once. So it sounds like experiences differ. We’ve also gone to Legoland California and had a similar great time.

Emily Crutcher

January 4th, 2012
1:22 pm

We hated lego land when we went right before Thanksgiving — unlike other theme parks they did not have a fast-past system and all the lines were at least 45 minutes long. My kids loved the Orlando Science Museum the most, just to show that sometimes what you pay and what you get are different…