Trips on a Tank - LEGOLAND Florida

If there’s one thing a family of seven is familiar with (especially when said family entails five boys!) it’s Legos. When we heard, a few years ago, that Legoland was coming to Florida, I am quite sure there were choirs of angels ringing in the ears of our children. It goes without saying, then, that when Legoland opened its doors this month, this family had to be there!

LEGOLAND® Florida
One LEGOLAND Way
Winter Haven, FL 33884
florida.legoland.com

Closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays through December 14. See website for hours and complete schedule.

With much fanfare, Legoland has created a combination builder’s dream/theme park/amusement park/kid paradise that will surely delight Lego lovers everywhere. It has the requisite areas to build and create; and on the day we visited, that was essential, as it rained for our first two hours! The build-and-play areas (our favorite is actually inside a food court!) are perfect spots for little ones to take a break and fuel the imagination at the same time; but the real excitement lies in the rides and the breathtaking Lego creations themselves!

A guide told us that the Lego models in Legoland took three hundred model builders from around the world, three years to build!

In the Duplo village, our youngest boy joined the rest of the kids in a farm play area. He loved “riding” on the Lego sheep and using the Lego “washing machine.” And the older boys were more than happy to take him down the slide and play chase among the farm animals. Across the way, an open play area offered a sunny opportunity to run! Throughout the park, friendly reminders are posted on how to safely enjoy the park’s amenities; and park employees offer a smile and a welcome, as well as a willing hand if you need it. Nearby, we passed a cool double-decker carousel that hinted at old-fashioned amusement park fun.

Hands down, our favorite part of Legoland was Miniland. It’s a walk-through sampling of some of the most well-known cities in America, with an expanded section of Florida. As NASCAR fans, our kids were enamored with the replica of Daytona International Speedway, complete with what seemed to be thousands of fans in the grandstands. We wandered through Kennedy Space Center and were in awe of the perfect Tampa replica, including the iconic Tampa Theatre and the new Glazer Children’s Museum. Through New York City and on to Las Vegas and Washington D.C., we ended up at a section that included the Fountain of Youth. It made the kids giggle, as “old” Lego people seemed to drink from the fountain and crawl away as babies!

Nearby, Lake Eloise sports Pirate’s Cove Live Water Ski Shows, where Lego costumed skiers perform antics and tricks on water skis. To get there, we passed a gorgeous waterfall where Lego deer and rabbits frolic alongside the water.

The Imagination Zone entrance is flanked by giant Lego giraffes and a huge model of Einstein’s face, where to simply stand near the Einstein is to be inspired. We imagine our kiddos growing smarter as they’re challenged by the opportunity to build and test Lego cars and robots. (We hope to have the chance to do that on a later visit!) The Imagination Zone is also home to the Power Towers, where you can climb a tower and then “free fall” down again! Our littlest was practically jumping for joy when he got to pose for pictures with a “real-life” Hero Factory figure!

Our kids had planned their ideal day online (you can see a preview of what’s to come at www.floridalegoland.com), so they knew they wanted to get their “driver’s license” at Lego City. The oldest kids attended the Ford Driving School, where they learned about how some of the awe-inspiring models were built, and it was fun to hear them describe what they’d learned! Our littlest was a “student” at the Ford Junior Driving School, and we giggled as we watched him maneuver his Lego car through the “streets,” after which he proudly showed off his new license to his older siblings. (Ah, some day that license will be a real one!) Along the way we passed a live show where “firefighters” performed a crazy series of antics, soaking themselves and teasing a few audience members as well! In the same section of Lego City, visitors could also try their hand at flying a Lego plane at the Flying School.

Although there’s plenty to do for little ones, there is also a great variety of activity for older kids. We rode four coasters and they definitely provided the thrill you long for in an amusement park! The grownups and big kids loved the thrill of Test Track, a coaster with life-size Lego Technic vehicles, full of drops and sharp turns. Nearby there was also the Technicycle and Aquazone Wave Racers -- the wet water carousel that would be PERFECT on a hot, sunny Florida day!

We started and finished our day in the Land of Adventure. While the big kids and parents took turns on the Coastersaurus, which weaves through prehistoric Lego creatures, little brother played in a maze and took a ride on the Safari Trek with his big brothers. The Safari Trek gave him the chance to “drive” through wild African Lego creatures and be his own safari guide! We especially loved the knights and Lego castle, whose grand entrance hinted at all the magic that imagination can create.

Of course, shopping for the newest, coolest Legos is available, and you’ll want to swing in (okay, let’s be honest -- you’ll be there for a while!) and check out some of the awesome offerings at one of the shops on the premises. From space sets to pirate sets, our kids had no problem creating their Christmas lists, birthday lists, and “just because” lists for the rest of the year! (Legos are the toys we keep for our grandkids; they just seem to be timeless and they appeal to little ones, older siblings, and grownups alike!)

In all, Legoland is a welcome addition to Florida’s amazing offerings in family entertainment, and it was our pleasure to be among its first happy visitors!


Inspired by the ubiquitous LEGO brick, dubbed “Toy of the Century” by Fortune Magazine, the new 150-acre theme park caters to kids ages 2 to 12 with more than 50 family-focused rides, shows and attractions, and a breathtaking botanical garden.

They’ve been used to create everything from sea serpents and soaring cathedrals to likenesses of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. But when more than 50 million LEGO® bricks are fully assembled in Central Florida this October, they’ll produce the most stunning creation yet – LEGOLAND® Florida.

Just 45 minutes from both Orlando and Tampa, the park celebrates the world’s love-affair with all things LEGO® by delivering a dream park built with more than 50 million bricks. Its rides, shows and “pink knuckle” attractions put kids in the center of the action by giving them the opportunity to drive, fly, build and climb their way through 150 acres of fun.

LEGOLAND Florida rests along the shores of Lake Eloise in the city of Winter Haven. Guests at LEGOLAND® Florida experience 10 easy-to-navigate and highly-themed zones.

A full day of high-energy, memory-making fun awaits families at LEGOLAND Florida, the ideal family vacation getaway with plenty of heart-pounding rides and exhilarating attractions in quite possibly the world’s most charming theme park setting.

Miniland USA

The heart of every LEGOLAND Park, Miniland USA is home to seven specially themed areas.

Land of Adventure

In Land of Adventure, visitors of all ages explore hidden tombs and hunt for treasure.

LEGO Kingdoms

LEGO Kingdoms takes kids back to medieval times with the LEGOLAND Castle where spells are cast and many knights, damsels and dragons are found.

“LEGOLAND Florida is the brilliant blend of two of the world’s most powerful family brands – and the Florida vacation,” said Chris Thompson, CEO of VISIT FLORIDA, the sunshine state’s tourism corporation. “Together they create the next generation of family entertainment and cement this region’s status as the Vacation Capital of the World.”

BOTANICAL GARDENS

LEGOLAND Florida has taken great care to preserve the soul of the park – the historic gardens established on the grounds of its Cypress Gardens predecessor more than 75 years ago. The setting has been restored to its pristine condition, and the collection of native plants, including azaleas and camellias, has been reclaimed and combined with a range of exotic species to create a horticultural masterpiece. And still standing sentinel in the garden is the vast Banyan tree that was planted as a seedling in a five-gallon bucket in 1939.

In addition to the kid-friendly attractions, LEGOLAND Florida also caters to young families’ most important needs with well-balanced, high-quality food options found in restaurants as well as nutritious snacks like string cheese, yogurts and juices available throughout the park.

The park also provides a comfortable and convenient baby care center stocked with rocking chairs for nursing mothers, high chairs and other conveniences of home. Families will find that LEGOLAND Florida tickets are priced with them in mind, easing the strain a family vacation can put on the wallet. One day tickets are $75 for adults and $65 for kids ages 3-12.

LEGO® TECHNIC™

Brave guests feel the power of acceleration, braking and maneuverability as they race a life-size LEGO TECHNIC vehicle along a wild roller coaster track.

DUPLO® Village

Duplo Village is ideal for toddlers and their imaginations. Youngsters can fly a plane, drive a car or explore a whole town – designed with their height in mind.

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