This post was created in partnership with Legoland Florida. I was given complimentary admission to the park; as always, opinions, insights and fun on the attractions are our own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make A Cupful possible!
Is LEGOLAND Florida worth the cost and the travel?
Being a Florida resident and former Disney World Cast Member, I get a lot of theme park questions. One very common question is “Is it worth going to LEGOLAND for just a day?”
When considering the location and cost of daily admission, there is no denying it is a splurge day trip. This week I finally had the opportunity to get the insider answer; yes it is worth it but you need to plan to visit when your kids are at the right age to truly enjoy it!
If you are looking for a fun day trip because you live within driving distance or you are considering adding on to your Orlando Disney or Universal vacation then it should be reassuring to know that you can see and do everything at LEGOLAND in one full day visit. Read on for my tips to getting the most out of a one-day visit to LEGOLAND Florida. Keep in mind that I have two young children (aged 5 and 3).
Here are my tips for making the most of a one-day trip to Legoland Florida.
1.Don’t Pay Full Price– Hopefully, this is not a “day of” decision to visit. So there is no need to wait to get your full price tickets at the gate. There are several easy ways to get discounted tickets. Want to know how? Join our FREE family travel tips email club and I’ll send you this exclusive post: Easy Ways to Save on Orlando theme park tickets.
Arrive Early – Get there 30 minutes – an hour prior to opening time. Arriving early ensures good parking. This also allows you to take your time making sure you have everything you need out of the carr. Then you can take a nice photo in front of the sign without tons of people and they open the gates a bit early to let the crowd start going in. This gives you time to finalize your plan of attack! Remember that LEGOLAND Florida is located approximately 45 minutes from Disney World or Tampa and 2 hours from Fort Myers (this is where I drove from). Though many people want to work it into a Disney Vacation it is not really an Orlando theme park and this needs to be something you consider when planning to make the most of your day. Another option would be to stay at the Legoland Hotel out of convenience and theme immersion, but I have not had the opportunity to stay there so I cannot speak from experience.
Consider your dining options. My kids are munchers, so we had a variety of food throughout the day. We brought snacks (yes Legoland is awesome and allows you to bring outside food and beverages inside their park), tried the apple fries, enjoyed some nachos and cheese, cooled off in with AC over some waffle fries, had some huge scoops of ice cream, and split a lego box kids meal sandwich. Funtown Slushies was a hot spot for us. Buying the Yard Slushy first thing paid off with the $3.50 refills all day. We stayed on a sugar high all day! The restaurants offer everything from locally sourced beef hamburgers to an all you can eat pizza-pasta-salad buffet and anything in between, the options are plenty.
Check the show schedule. Know ahead of time what shows interest you then confirm showtimes for the day as soon as you grab your park map when you enter. Watching a show is a great way to rest our legs and recharge for a new round. On this visit, Legoland Florida offered four shows – we watched two. The water ski show at Pirate’s Cove and Lego Friends Holiday Party Musical at Heartlake City Hall.
Minifigure Market – Bring your own lego figure to trade with the employees (they are not trading anything super special). It is all about the experience of trading so bring a cheapy from home to do that. Then go to the Minifigure Market in the afternoon to let the kids build their own Minifigure to take home as a souvenir. I treated the kids to a set of mini figures. Sold for $3.99 a piece of they can build a set of 3 for $9.99. So we went for the set that way we each got to build one!
Plan your day. We chose the best route through the theme park for our family based on what we wanted to see in order of priority. Use the tips above and you too can make the most of your one day at LEGOLAND Florida.
How to see and do everything in one day at LEGOLAND Florida:
Since I was taking both kids to a theme park by myself for the first time, I did a little strategic planning before we went. I am glad I did and highly recommend you do the same because it allowed us to do every build activity, enjoy each play area and go on every ride on our “to do” list. Here is the link for the LEGOLAND park map, so you can plan ahead easily.
Here is how we spent our one day at LEGOLAND Florida:
The park is not so large that you need to start on one side to work your way around like you do a place like say Epcot. So we I planned the day around activities and we just got in some extra walking.
- The Grand Carousel – Riding the double-decker carousel first thing at Legoland was a good decision because the line did get longer as the day went on. *But it was the only ride still happening after the fireworks so we ended the day the same way it started. Nice touch! The grand carousel is located near the entrance and was an easy spot to reset where I was throughout the day. The ride is fun for everyone.
- *Imagination Station – Not something we took part in since it was for 8 and up. But I read that signup sheets for the Mindstorm robotic challenge fill up fast, so I would recommend going there right after the carousel, that way your day can be worked around it.
- Duplo Valley – This area is for the really young ones like mine. The rides are perfect for their level of being comfortable moving and riding alone. Since the rides have limited capacity and move slow it could be a very long wait if you go midday. So we went straight here after the carousel. Rode everything then played in the Duplo Inside Play area. Since we went early in the day they had the play area to mostly themselves. When we went back mid afternoon it was packed as I imagine parents were seeking shaded play for their nap needing toddlers.
- MiniLand – Do this earlier in the day or late in the evening because when the sun is at peak you will burn up. There is no shade but lots to see.This was by far both kids favorite part of the theme park. Which as a parent I think is cool. In a world where they are constantly entertained with new technology, fast moving things and constant change they found such excitement to share in this quiet, still town of legos. It is impressive – so plan to spend more time there than you would assume. Also, if visiting during the Christmas Bricktacular check to see if they are continuing the hidden Santas like they did while we were there. This was fun and added at least an extra hour to this portion of the day.
- Land of Adventure – Pharoahs Revenge was the highlight for us in this area. I knew the kids would love this play area because of their love for the similar type playscape at Universal’s Curious George area.
- Cypress Gardens – While the mid-day show was taking place at Pirates Cove we took a nice peaceful stroll through Cypress Gardens. It is beautiful! This is a perfect time to explore the Gardens because it is beyond hot in the middle of the day in Florida and there is a ton of shade on this walk. Because of the midday heat, many people are watching the pirate show which leaves this area less crowded. Be prepared for walking. Our family loves to look at botanical gardens but if your kids are not impressed with nature this may not be a wise use of your time.
- Lego City – This seemed like a popular area each time we walked through it. So we kept pushing off our time here until the end. I am glad we did because the lines were dramatically shorter the last two hours of the day. The kids have their own “vehicles” at home so my son was not impressed with the speed of the For Driving School ride but they both loved the Boating School and Rescue Academy. There is also an AC play area here but we didn’t stay long. They thought it was for “babies.”
- Fireworks – We were at Legoland Florida for the annual Christmas Bricktacular event. So we closed our day of fun with an awesome fireworks show to holiday music. They gave us special viewing glasses which added a special lego touch!
Have you been to Legoland Florida or Legoland California? If so, what was your favorite part?
If you found that this post might be helpful to those planning a Florida Family Vacation please pin this post with the image below.
Disclosure: Opinions of hotels, attractions, or products on this blog are always my own. A big thank you to LEGOLAND Florida for hosting us by providing complimentary park admission during the fun Christmas Bricktacular celebration!