Legoland Hotel: Is It Worth $500 per Night?
Yep, you read right - up to $500 per night to stay at the Legoland Florida resort. I knew it was gonna be expensive, but I didn’t think it would be half a grand. (As of 2016 it looks like the prices have dropped on standard rooms but the VIP is over $500 - so maybe the price was nosebleed high because 2015 was it's opening year?) But, obviously I went through with it to grant my son’s birthday wish for his 10th birthday. Is it worth $500 a night? Well, let me walk you through our experience and make a conclusion from there.
We went in October 2015 during the Brick or Treat event at Legoland – I had no idea how popular it was. It was the beginning of October I booked our room the weekend of my son’s by day which was the third weekend in October – the only day available was Friday night. But it is only one hotel with only so many rooms so I should’ve known better. The online reservation is easy, pick your days (or they’ll let you know what days are available), pick your suite theme (Pirate, Adventure, Kingdom, and Lego Friends), enter social information and submit payment.
We headed out that Friday morning and 5 hours later we (more so my son) was basking in Legoland Hotel glory lol I have to admit that it made me smile a little, the bright colors, the large Lego structures, and the fact that it was only footsteps from the park – that was the best part. The walk from the parking lot to the hotel wasn’t bad and check in wasn’t painful either. Oversize minifigures smile at you on the columns at the entrance along with the great dragon at the top.
The exterior of the hotel is themed after Lego bricks and the interior is decorated with Lego creations, minifigures, and Lego related pictures from top to bottom. Behind the front desk was a wall full of Lego minifigures that guests can trade with minifigures they brought from home. Be prepared for random kids coming up to the front desk just staring at the wall while you’re checking in. There’s also a large pit right in the middle of the lobby filled to the brim with Lego bricks which held my son’s attention the entire time during my check-in. From the lobby is the dining area, gift shop ($$$), castle play area, adult cafe area, special event rooms (parties, classes, etc.), and Club Lego. Smaller than what I expected but packed full of cool stuff so it made up for the size. There was a lot to do so I’ll break it down by mission:
Mission One: Off To The Room
Our first mission was to get to our room to put up our luggae – get ready for the fart noises while you wait on the elevator. Seriously! While I’m waiting on the elevator my son is stomping on the Whoopee Cushion carpet – the adjacent wall has a picture of minifigure asking ‘Hey! Was that you?’ The elevator arrives and once those doors close begins the dance party! The lights dim a little (not too much) and the disco ball gets the party started with music. The music abruptly stops at each stop and then picks up again when the door closes. So image playing freeze in an elevator with strangers – everyone’s dancing then everyone immediately stops, then dance again, then stops lol There’s also this kinda blue liquid pocketed into the floor that you could squish around with your foot.
Each floor has a oversized minifigure that greats you with a message – which meant that my son ‘needed’ to visit each floor to hear what each minifigure had to say. Each floor has a theme – Pirates, Friends, etc. So you can’t request to have a room on a certain floor, it all depends on the theme you selected. I have an issue with heights, so I always ask for the first floor when booking a room but of course, and luck would have it, my son selected the Adventure theme suite which was on the fifth floor. Ladies and gentlemen, the 5th floor is high to someone who can barely deal with a balcony on the second floor. Fortunately, there was no balcony in our suite.
We got the standard suite and it was decorated from top to bottom in Egyptian type theme. Our carpet had pictures of snakes, the walls were adorned with hieroglyphic art and bugs made of Legos, the bedding had images of pharaohs (I’m guessing they were pharaohs). You are literally in an Adventure when stepping into the suite – my son loved it! The suite has a bedding area for the adults and bunk bed area for the kids. Not a lot of space, but there’s so much to do you wouldn’t be spending much time in the suite anyway.
Mission Two: Let's Play!
Luggage away, we danced our way back to the first floor to check out the pool. The pool has a zero depth entry with a maximum depth of 3.5 feet – super-duper kid friendly. The highlight was the oversized floating Lego bricks in the pool – who wants to stay in the suite when you can swim and build at the same time? All the swimming and building built up an appetite so off to the diner we go.
I paid $500 for one night, I would expect to have free dinner – the Legoland Hotel thought otherwise. Yep, the only thing free was breakfast. $500 and you were still expected to pay for the dinner buffet . . . so we did – I wasn’t happy about it lol but I still gave them my money. The dinner buffet was nice, it was an actually buffet consisting of more than just pizza so I could appreciate that. The desserts were kinda eh, but the ‘real’ food made up for it. Also, in the middle is a buffet especially for kids that sits lower to allow the smaller ones to make their own plates. There’s huge paper table covers printed with word searches that occupy you while you eat as well.
After eating we walked over to Legoland (which was about a 2 to 3 minute walk – if that) to take some pics before the crowd showed up the next day when it reopened. Because we were staying at the hotel, we were allowed early entrance into the park. Our first trip to Legoland we were present for the opening, and got to see the powering on and all that so we opted to go in early this time around. So we checked in our luggage, swam with Lego bricks, ate with Lego minifigures, peeked at the Legoland park . . . what’s next on our list? The pajama party!
Mission Three: It's Time To Party!
Don’t think big time theatrics with the pajama party, but more of a ‘real’ pajama party – a bunch of friends getting together, in their pajamas, and having fun with what they have . . . which happens a bunch of Legos and an oversized Lego castle and pirate ship lol A pair of Star Wars themed Lego pajamas from the gift shop cost me close to $30 which ate me up inside because I knew those same pajamas went for under $15 at Wal-Mart but I kept that bitterness to myself as my son excitedly jumped up and down when the cashier handed him the bag. Back to the room for a quick wardrobe change and we were in the play area awaiting the pajama party. The pajama party was led by two characters (actual human beings – no costumed characters during this party), one representing the Adventure theme and one representing the Friends theme. I seriously had my doubts about the party because it was so simple, no Lego characters, no special effects, nothing but the two people in the play area engaging the kids with their personalities and imaginations. And believe it or not – it worked! The kids loved it! They acted out stories, played ‘pretend’ games, made up dance moves and turned up the music for a kiddie conga line that snaked from the play arena, into the lobby, into the café back into the play area. I think the highlight is a tie between the conga line and the Adventure guy pretending to be an escaped robot causing the kids to run and scream all over the place. At the same time, the hotel hosted a campfire on the boardwalk overlooking Lake Eloise, where you can use your s'more's kit (which could be purchased at the diner) to make yourself the yummy treat. I’m sure the campfire was fun but my son was happy with his decision with picking the pajama party instead. Right – so we got rid of luggage, combined pool with Legos, fed our bellies, stalked the Legoland park, had an awesome pajama party . . . . only one thing left to do – get some sleep! Yea right – it’s the scavenger hunt in the room.
Mission Four: Scavenger Hunt!
A perfect way to end the night is in your own room with one last activity. The scavenger consisted of three questions, ours were:
1) What’s the first number of your room number
2) How many peepholes are in the door (they had two, one for grownups and one for kids – too cute)
3) What’s the hidden message in the puzzle under the TV (this was in the kids bed are and required you to spin the puzzle under the TV to reveal the number)
The treasure box was right outside the kids area with a Lego monkey sitting on top. My son entered the numbers into the lock and pop – he was in. His treasures: two lanyards with activity pads attached, two apple juice pouches (those were my favorite), Lego magazines (fyi: Lego magazines have ‘Kids go free to Legoland park with adult purchase’ passes – sign up now for these free magazines to save on tickets if you decide to visit the park), and two Lego Mixel packets. What Lego crazed kid doesn’t like to be rewarded with Legos – scavenger hunt approved.
Mission Five: Tying Up Loose Ends
The following day was Legoland park day and the only two missions we haven’t completed at the hotel was the complimentary breakfast buffet and the session with the master builder. When checking in the hotel we were allowed to select a ‘time’ to eat breakfast, I guess this was a way to try to control the breakfast attendance. I’m not sure if it worked or not, because there was a lot of people waiting to be seated. I’ve learned from past experiences that the anticipation of the theme parks kills my son’s appetite so we opted to fill our plates up and eat in our room rather than wait to be seated. Just like in the past, after eating one a bite here and a bite there my son was ready to go.
Do you know how good it feels to walk straight into a park before it opens? Trust me, it feels BOSS lol After playing around at the park, it was time for the session with a master builder. I signed my son up with for the master builder class during the pajama party the previous night (I learned my lesson from the Disney Jedi training academy that ‘free anything’ fill fast and we were barely able to get my son in there to fight Darth Maul – but we made it in there!) . You were given different time slots and I decided the afternoon around 4ish, gave us time to break from the park. The class was small and held in a room a little past the hotel café. This particular session, the kids learned to make a koala bear (this will make his third Lego set from the hotel) which was led by a master builder that built figures for the Legoland Hotel and Park. The kids were able to ask questions about working at Lego, Lego building technics and etc. That ended our time with the Legoland Hotel since we could only get in Friday night. We went back to the Legoland Park and finished our day with the Brick or Treating and the 3D firework display.
So again, is it worth $500 a night? Well . . . it depends on who you ask:
Myself (single mom, one income): Ummmm . . . . nah. It was a fun hotel, mucho fun but I should be bringing home some free tickets for future visits to the park or something, we’re talking $500 man lol
My son (10 year old, Lego lover): Yessssssssss, yessssssssssssssssss, and one more yesssssssssssssssssssss!
So there’s your verdict, my money driven no to my son’s heart driven yes. FYI: We’ve already made plans to go back so we can hit up the water park – sometimes verdicts don’t win in the end lol