Have you ever been to LEGOLAND California? The Carlsbad amusement park for brick builders is just a half hour north of San Diego and an hour south of Disneyland, Anaheim.
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If you have children under the age of ten and you have not been to LEGOLAND I highly recommend a visit before your kids get much older. LEGOLAND is not just for brick builders, though those who love to build will inevitably enjoy the park more than others. Along with the impressive brick built architecture there are rides, playgrounds, a dance show and (of course) gift shops filled with LEGOs.
Things to Know Before You Go
to LEGOLAND California
WHEN TO VISIT
Like any other amusement park the least populated times are when kids are in school. And true to most Southern California days the weather is almost always perfect. January and February are prime months when it comes to short lines and open walkways.
The park does not open until 10:00a most days. Plan on arriving just before opening to ensure you will have plenty of time to hit all of the attractions before close (which is early evening). LEGOLAND can be accomplished in one full day. Of course, if you plan to add on the additional park tickets I recommend two days.
Periodically throughout the year there are LEGOLAND ticket discounts to be discovered. A simple google search will unveil some; as will the LEGOLAND website. If a trip to Southern California is on your agenda I also recommend watching for discounts on news websites and Facebook. There are even some fast food restaurants that have coupons.
You may also want to check out the Southern California CityPASS if your visit to the San Diego area includes extra play days.
3 ON SITE PARKS
LEGOLAND California consists of the amusement park made of LEGO bricks along with an aquarium and a waterpark. There are additional costs to visit the aquarium and waterpark. LEGOLAND offers a variety of ticket options including tickets to visit more than one park. Note: the waterpark is not open year round.
WHAT TO TAKE
Like most amusement parks, LEGOLAND only allows visitors to carry food into the park that is necessary for dietary restrictions. Sealed water bottles are also permitted.
A towel and change of clothes are items to consider taking if your visit includes time at the waterpark. There are lockers available to rent just inside the entrance to help take the load off if you do not plan on taking or renting a stroller.
Most importantly, take (and wear) sunscreen, even if you do visit in January! Of course, if you forget to take sunscreen with you there are souvenir shops throughout the park that carry it.
WHERE TO STAY
LEGOLAND California has a hotel onsite which is very convenient. Almost as convenient is the Grand Pacific Palisades Resort which is a short walk across the street. Personally, I recommend the latter. However, if you prefer a themed hotel room the five options at the LEGOLAND hotel are worth checking out!!
MORE TO KNOW
In my opinion, the Carlsbad, California amusement park is geared more towards children under the age of ten. Even with the smaller kids in mind there are height restrictions to some rides. Those specifications are noted on the LEGOLAND website if you would like to get familiar with those before you go. (There are four roller coasters but there are several slower rides for those LEGO lovers who do not love coasters.)
Throughout the park there are hand sanitizer stations. WHICH IS AWESOME. I highly recommend you take advantage of those. (More on the ‘clean’ topic below.)
Like any other amusement park there are several options for meal time at LEGOLAND. The Garden Restaurant is my pick for fresher foods. It is cafeteria style which means you can take a look before you get in line. If it is not mealtime and you are just looking for a snack you must try Granny’s Apple Fries.
LEGOLAND IS NOT DISNEYLAND
You already knew that. And while it is an obvious statement it is one that should be kept in mind upon a visit to LEGOLAND. I recommend that you do not compare the two parks. However, to prepare you for the comparisons you might notice I have a few of my own thoughts on the differences to share with you.
Even with the added Aquarium and waterpark LEGOLAND is much (MUCH) smaller than Disneyland. The operation hours differ from Disneyland, as well. However, even with the shorter hours you really can visit all the attractions in a day (open – close).
Finally, the most overwhelming opinion that I have heard is that brick filled park is not the most clean. I agree. There is built up grime on the rides though I would not let the dirt stop me from going. Afterall, there are all those hand sanitizer stations!! Before our most recent visit I warned both my sister and brother-in-law of the carnival like feeling. They appreciated the warning and agreed post visit that the park could use a good cleaning.
If you do not expect Disneyland cleanliness and customer service you will not be disappointed.
IF YOU HAVEN’T BEEN… GO!! GO BEFORE THEY GROW….