As a Christmas gift, we took our four year old Lego-crazy nephew to Legoland in Winter Haven, Florida over the holiday break. Having never been there before, we weren't really sure what to expect. Turns out, it was MUCH bigger than we thought it would be, considering that the recommended age range is around 3-10 years old. We had an awesome time and thought we'd share a few secrets to our success by offering a handful of tips for your visit:
- Bring a stroller. We took the old standby light-weight, no frills stroller. Perfect for kids to just take a break and ride along.
- The park is deceptively big. Not overwhelming huge like a Disney park, but bigger than most people expect. There are eleven "lands" including such awesomeness as Mini-land and Pirate's Cove, plus an additional Water Park (which was closed during the winter, even in Florida). We strolled through them all and it took us a solid 4 hours even with virtually no lines.
- Bring snacks. It's not a problem to pack your own little bag of snacks. Food is available inside of course, but it's an obvious money-saver and you can be sure to have food on hand that your kids will eat.
- Take a breather. There are quite a few places to either let kids run off steam or calm down and rest, whichever may be needed. Pirates Cove theatrical show and the Cypress Gardens area are two great places to decompress. There are several play areas throughout the park where kids can run, climb and play til their heart's content. Duplo Valley is a big hit with the little ones.
- Mind the height and age notices. There are a few rides that were too scary for our group. In the four year old range, we enjoyed the Lost Kingdom Adventure (laser gun to shoot and score from a trolley), the Safari Trek (viewing various life-size Lego animals), and the Ford Jr. Driving School (really, really, really slow bumper cars). Beware the NFPA Rescue Academy, as it requires actual parent muscle and the aid of a park attendant to move the fire truck from one side to the other. It's a workout we weren't looking for on a sunny day in central Florida.
Our family had a blast at Legoland and we especially recommend it for kids around ages 3-9. It's a great alternative to the Disney Parks if you're looking for something different as well!
Disclaimer: As always, our reviews are our own honest opinions and may differ from yours.