Sam is the mother of two young boys, Juju and Blaze. Their family enjoys going on trips, crafting, learning, and exploring.
In December 2016, our family decided to take our first family vacation to Legoland in Orlando, Florida. My boys were three and five at the time. Between our stay at the resort hotel and our exploration of the theme park, we had an absolute blast. I hope that learning about our Legoland experience will be useful for anyone who is looking to take a family vacation of their own!
In this article, you will find detailed information about:
- booking your room.
- why the Legoland Resort is a great place for a family vacation.
- how to pay for your stay.
- the check-in and lobby experience.
- the various themed rooms at the resort.
- the resort's gorgeous outdoor areas.
- areas of the Legoland theme park (Heartlake City, Duplo Valley, World of CHIMA, Lego Kingdom, Miniland USA, Lego Technic, Imagination Zone, Lego City, and Land of Adventure).
I've also included an FAQ section along with our overall impression of the resort and theme park. Continue scrolling to learn more!
Note: This review does not include information on the waterpark, the beach resort, Cypress Gardens, or the Ninjago area.
Booking Your Stay at Legoland
All bookings can be made online through the Legoland website. Before booking, however, I would strongly recommend taking a look at the park hours and making sure it will be open during the dates you plan to take your vacation. It should be open for most of the summer, but if you're weirdos like us and like to travel during off-times, it would be in your best interest to make sure accommodations can be made.
Why should you choose the Legoland Resort?
When you book your stay, you will be given the option to choose a room at the Legoland Resort, the Legoland Beach Resort, or one of the surrounding hotels. If you have small children, I would highly recommend you book at the Legoland Resort. Here's why.
- It is literally right next to theme park. To go to the park all you have to do is walk out of the resort and go next door. No painful car rides. No "are we there yets?" You. Are. There. I believe the beach resort is still on the property but a short walk from the park. All other accommodations will require you either to drive or be shuttled to the park.
- It is like an extension of Legoland. The other perk of staying at the hotel is it feels like you are in Legoland for the entire duration of your stay. Our boys didn't mind at all when we had to leave the park, because they found the hotel just as fun. In my opinion, you really get your money's worth.
- The attention to detail is incredible. The bathrooms are solid proof of how dedicated the designers were to making this a resort for kids. Next to the standard adult-sized sinks, there are kid-sized sinks as well.
- The food at the resort restaurant was decent. As for adding meals to the package, the food at Bricks Restaurant wasn't too bad. I believe you can add this to your package later if you do not want to do it at booking. You can also pay as you would at a restaurant when you get there if you aren't certain you want to add it to your package at all.
- Breakfast is free. A free buffet-style breakfast is offered every morning. You'll get a card with your time slot on it at check-in.
- You can access the pool while you wait to check in. As long as you pay a visit to the front desk first, you will have full access to the resort's amenities even before being able to check into your room. This includes the pool! You can also leave your bags with the bellman until your room is ready.
- Tickets to the park may come with the room. Depending on your booking, you may get two-day children's tickets for the parks. Even if this deal isn't available for your stay, another one might be. Check the site for special offers.
Paying for Your Stay
We booked our trip several months in advance and paid it off over time. This was probably the most frustrating part about it because I had to call in to make payments. They did not have an online portal to track what I owed or make payments. I found this a bit irritating and hope that they have or will improve this system. That being said, the attendants were always very helpful and kind. They have great customer service.
When you check in at the hotel, anything that remains on your balance plus the usual resort fees and incidentals will need to be paid.
Note: There is currently a resort fee of $25 plus tax per night. This includes self-parking, Wi-Fi, a model builders workshop, local phone calls, pool access (and towels!), and nightly children's entertainment.
Check-In and Lobby Experience
Checking in at this resort was a blast! The atmosphere is fun, and your kids can play while you take care of the boring stuff. You will all receive badges from the front desk (new visitors get a special badge as a souvenir to commemorate their first visit!), and if you'd like, you can request to see the dragon blow off some steam. The reception desk is also your first opportunity to trade mini figures with model citizens (Legoland employees). My boys enjoyed trading minis with the model citizens and even some other kids as well. They didn't really care what the minis looked like, they just enjoyed the opportunity to trade and interact with others.
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What's there to do in the lobby?
- There are lots of Legos, including huge Lego pits your kids can play in (within your view) while you check in.
- Eat at Bricks Restaurant, the buffet-style family restaurant. (Mini figure mascots and Lego Friends stop by and chat with the kids here.)
- Stop by the Skyline Lounge, where you can order food and drinks (mocktails and cocktails included).
- Check out the pirate ship/castle, complete with lots of Legos to play with. (At certain times of the day, characters stop by and put on shows that the kids have an opportunity to be a part of.)
- Join one of the master building competitions open to kids of all ages.
- Take part in the pajama dance party at the end of the day. (My boys loved the pajama dance party—and to be honest, my husband and I really enjoyed it too!)
- Visit the party rooms and mini theater just off the lobby. They played The Lego Movie on repeat while we were there, but now that there are a few other Lego movies, I'm sure there is a bit more variety in the showings.
The lobby leads out to the pool, fire pit, and boardwalk on Lake Eloise. It is also where you catch the disco elevator to get to your room.
The castle has a stage for daily story times and shows for the kids, all of which the children get to actively participate in. It has plenty of things for them to climb on and lots of "Lego pools" where the kids can build and play. There's also a huge chalkboard for drawing.
It is surrounded by the Skyline Lounge and Bricks Restaurant, so parents and guardians who are eating or relaxing can keep an eye on their kids.
We started and ended our days at Bricks. The selection was decent for picky eaters, adult and child alike. There are lots of kid favorites like mac and cheese, quesadillas, chicken nuggets, french fries, and pizza, but there are also some adult choices like steak, salmon, and a salad bar. The chefs may also be able to make semi-custom orders for you if you ask nicely.
Mini figures and friends often stop by to say hello to the kids and will actually take time to sit down and chat with you while you eat if you like. Everyone is so friendly! The service here is the best.
Amazing Themed Rooms
We opted for the pirate-themed room for our stay. Everything is decorated beautifully and is perfectly on theme. The amenities are pretty standard, but everything is clean and well maintained. My favorite feature of the room is the divided space between the grown-up area and kids area. It's basically two rooms in one.
The Kid Room (Adults Keep Out!)
The kids' space has a bunk bed with a rollout bed underneath. Beside each of the bunk beds is a personal night light the kids can control. The kids also have their own TV where they can watch a variety of kids programming, the Lego movie(s), and Lego Mini Figure Mascots running amok on the security cameras.
The Grown-Up Room
In the adult space, there is a king-sized bed, TV, dresser, outlets, and personal lighting. It is all very comfortable and clean. I have stayed at many hotels over the years, and this was one of the nicest rooms I've ever had.
Our Favorite Amenities:
- Kids' Scavenger Hunt: All rooms come with a scavenger hunt for the kids to unlock the special treasure chest. I won't spoil the surprises inside, but they make for entertaining souvenirs to take home.
- Free Beverages: There are complimentary juices and waters in the room (restocked daily). There's even a coffee maker!
- Legos (of course!): Each room has a Lego box to keep the kids occupied while in the room.
The rooms come in a variety of themes, such as Lego Friends, pirates, adventure (think Indiana Jones), and kingdom. There are also beach-themed rooms at the beach resort.
Take Advantage of the Resort's Outdoor Areas
As fun as the hotel interior is, don't miss the chance to explore the resort's outdoor amenities!
Enjoy the Pool and Make S'mores at the Fire Pit
The pool is located behind the hotel and is extremely kid-friendly. Along the side of the pool are stacks of life vests in every size you could possibly need for your little ones to swim safely and independently in the pool. There are also loads of huge floating Lego bricks that can be built into floaties, fortresses, or anything else your little master builder(s) can imagine. To the right of the pool is a sprinkler area, and on the left is the fire pit, where you can roast marshmallows at sunset and make s'mores.
Stroll the Boardwalk and Go Boating on Lake Eloise
Along the back and side of the pool, you can walk on the boardwalk set on Lake Eloise. It is beautiful! It makes for a nice little break for grown-ups who feel a bit Lego'd out. I'm sorry to say I lost most of my pictures of it because I dropped my phone in the swimming pool during the second day there and not all my photos were backed up. Fortunately, I did post some on Google Maps before then that I can still share.
The hotel offers boat rides on the lake for anyone who would like to sign up. We were so exhausted from running around during our stay there we never made it to the boat ride, but I think it is something we will make time for the next time we visit.
Since the park is right behind the pool, you can also catch a glimpse of Legoland's Island in the Sky ride.
Entering the Park
When you first enter the park, you are greeted by a dinosaur who has a mischievous little mini figure on his head. If you aren't interested in getting wet, you may want to stay as close as you can to the dinosaur's feet!
We pretty much sidestepped everything except the holiday display until we reached the carousel. The carousel has two levels! Of course, my little guys needed to try the top and bottom levels to make sure they weren't missing out.
To the left of the carousel is the Lego Friends Heartlake City area. They were too small for Mia's Riding Adventure, but they had fun playing in the car and by the rock and roll fountain before we headed through Duplo Valley.
Duplo blocks are for the youngest Lego enthusiasts, so this entire area is dedicated to the little ones. There is an indoor play area where kids and parents can get out of the sun for a while (or alternatively, escape a sudden shower!). There is also a sprinkler attraction for kids to play in, a tractor ride, a train ride, and all sorts of adorable Lego figures all around for kids to play in and pose by.
World of CHIMA
After going through the Duplo Valley, we reached the World of CHIMA, our favorite area in the park (though when we first reached it, we were told that particular area was not open yet). We were making use of our extended brick time* and had arrived in the park as early as we could at 9 am. Since World of CHIMA is mostly a water play area, it strictly did not open until 10 am.
The area itself doesn't have too many attractions. There are some places to play with Legos, a few retail booths that were not open at the time we went, a giant sprinkler attraction, and—in our opinion—the best ride in the whole park: Quest for CHI.
*Apparently, Bonus Brick Time is no longer offered.
Quest for CHI
There is a chance that you will not get wet if you go on this ride on a day where there aren't many people and most of the people who are around are very polite. However, it's more likely that if you get on this ride, you will be drenched. There are waterfalls on the ride and various splashes and sprinklers, BUT most of the water in this ride comes from kids in other boats shooting you with their water guns and bystanders spraying you from the sidelines (rest assured your water guns reach them too).
If you get too wet, there are blow-drying machines near the exit of the ride to help you not feel so soggy afterward. These do cost extra, but they're pretty fun.
We are a troublesome crew, so we loved the chaos, but if you do not want to partake in such festivities, it may be best to head straight to the Lego Kingdom.
If you opted out of the dryer in the World of CHIMA, you can hop on Merlin's Challenge to dry off. This is one of those typical spinning rides that go around super fast. I knew it as the Himalaya growing up, but similar rides are found at carnivals and fairs with various other names.
The Kingdom had a few rides my boys were just too short for, including a jousting ride and the dragon roller coaster, but all four of us enjoyed playing together in the Forestman's Hideout. This is one of the many playground areas you can find in the park. It includes oversized Lego blocks to build with, slides, obstacle courses, and plenty of room to run around. We spent quite a lot of time playing here; it was actually pretty hard to convince the boys to move on.
From the Lego Kingdom, you can either head to the Land of Adventure or Miniland USA. We were drawn to all the miniature monuments, so we decided to go there first. We did not expect to spend as much time in this area as we ended up spending. Each monument has interactive features to engage the audience! My boys were particularly fond of the Nascar drag race.
In addition to the real monuments in Miniland, such as New York City and Vegas, Miniland also includes some fictional worlds such as various places found in Star Wars. The Star Wars section was particularly cool because it included life-sized Lego figures of Darth Vader, R2D2, and Darth Maul.
This area alone shows why Legoland is so unique. It would've been impressive enough just to have the sculptures themselves, but to add movement and interactive features shows that the theme park creators want to go above and beyond to engage their audience. Kids love it, but any adult who has tried to put together a complicated Lego set will appreciate the work and craftsmanship that has gone into creating all the various Lego sculptures found around the park—in this area, especially.
Lego Technic and Imagination Zone
These two areas sort of blended together in our experience (which isn't to say that they aren't awesome).
The Lego Technic area was pretty fun. We enjoyed all the rides there, especially the Kid Power Tower and Technicycle which are rides that are mostly controlled by the riders. The AQUAZONE racers were really fun to ride and just as fun to set off water bombs to splash other riders as we were passing by.
Right next to Lego Technic is the Imagination Zone, which features an oversized head of Albert Einstein. In the Imagination Zone, visitors can create Lego racers and Lego flyers, and complete various other ch