By Dalia Colón
LEGOLAND® Florida Resort is one of Central Florida’s premier vacation destinations. With special emphasis on ages 2 to 12 and more than 150 acres to explore, the theme park offers fun for kids and grownups alike. Here’s some information to help you build your dream LEGOLAND vacation brick by brick.
LEGOLAND Florida Resort is located in Winter Haven, about a 45-minute drive from Orlando or Tampa.
The park specializes in LEGO-inspired rides like the interactive NINJAGO The Ride, Flying School roller coaster and the boat ride Quest for CHI. The Great LEGO Race, a virtual reality rollercoaster, puts you in the middle of an adventure that’s definitely not for squares.
Little kids don’t have to sit out, either. A handful of rides have low or no height requirements, including the Grand Carousel, DUPLO Train, DUPLO Tractor and more. DUPLO Valley’s play areas and splash pad are also ideal for toddlers.
Rides are just the beginning of the fun. LEGOLAND Florida features dozens of attractions, from hands-on play spaces to jaw-dropping LEGO sculptures. Spend plenty of time in Miniland USA, which recreates well-known landmarks using more than 32 million LEGO bricks. Even adults will marvel at the craftsmanship of the miniature White House, New York City skyline, Daytona International Speedway and even Star Wars scenes.
There’s plenty more to explore, from the kid-friendly climbing rock and indoor and outdoor toddler play areas, to LEGO NINJAGO World, where ninjas-in-training can hone their skills, meet NINJAGO characters Kai and Nya, purchase ninja swag at Wu’s Warehouse and more. It’s also worth the trek to the park’s botanical gardens, which are a nod to the historic Cypress Gardens amusement park that occupied this space for decades. The towering cypress tree started as a seedling in 1939 remains a tribute to the Old Florida relic.
LEGOLAND Water Park is open on select days from March to December. Cool off in the wave pool, plunge down the waterslides, build a race your own LEGO boat, and let loose in the interactive Joker Soaker play area. There’s also a gentler DUPLO Splash Safari for kids 6 and under. And when you need a break from all that fun in the sun, visit the Ice Cream Hut or kick back in a rented cabana. The water park also includes the outdoor Beach-n-Brick Grill.
Arrrrgh you ready for Pirates’ Cove Live Water Ski Show? Or perhaps you’d rather cool off in the 4-D theater, where The LEGO Movie and LEGO Nexo Knights come to life. After each film, stick around for a meet-and-greet with some of your favorite characters outside of the theater.
LEGOLAND Florida Resort includes a dozen eateries, from Burger Kitchen Fun Town Pizza & Pasta Buffet to Firehouse Ice Cream. There are also dining options at LEGOLAND Hotel and LEGOLAND Beach Retreat. Small coolers are allowed within the park’s guidelines and come in handy for keeping little ones content during ride waits or if you just favor healthier fare. Even if you opt to bring your own food, as many families do, you’ll want to splurge on Granny’s Apple Fries—a sweet treat that’s a LEGOLAND Florida favorite.
This is the place for LEGO-related retail therapy. First, the Big Shop is just what it sounds like: a gift shop loaded with hard-to-find building sets, LEGO logo clothing and other souvenirs. At the Driving School Store, kids can a personalized “driver’s license” for hitting the streets of LEGO City. And at the LEGO Studio Store, pop culture buffs can buy LEGO building sets inspired by the LEGO Movie, Star Wars and more. The theme park’s Heartlake Mall targets girls, with LEGO Friends building sets, jewelry, plush toys and the like.
When the weather cools down, the fun heats up during these seasonal events that are included with regular park admission.
● Brick or Treat: On select dates in October, the park presents this family-friendly Halloween bash. The festivities include trick-or-treating, meet-and-greets with spooky characters, special fireworks and more.
● Christmas Bricktacular: It’s the most wonderful time of the year to visit LEGOLAND Florida Resort, when the theme park is decked out with snow flurries, sparkling lights and a giant LEGO Christmas tree. On select nights in December, enjoy holiday-themed building activities, scavenger hunts, meet-and-greets with LEGO Santa and more.
● Kids’ New Year’s Eve: Can’t last ‘til midnight? No problem. Ring in the new year a few hours early on Dec. 31 during this kid-friendly bash that features a dance party, countdown to the giant brick drop and fireworks well before bedtime.
Where to stay
The fun doesn’t have to end when the park closes. Here’s where you can eat, sleep and breathe all things LEGO.
● LEGOLAND Hotel: Each of the fun 152 guest rooms is themed; choose from Pirate, Kingdom, Adventure or LEGO Friends. Parents will love perks like the free breakfast buffet and a separate children’s sleeping area in each room. The hotel is located at the main entrance of LEGOLAND Florida Resort.
● LEGOLAND Beach Retreat: You can’t visit Florida and not experience the beach. This village-style property features 83 LEGO-inspired bungalows with a beachy twist. There’s plenty for kids and grown-ups alike, from outdoor play areas to Bricks Beach Bar to beach-themed LEGO models in every room. The retreat is located ½ mile from LEGOLAND, with a free shuttle to the park.
8 insider tips
● Check the park’s schedule to make sure it’s open on your desired date.
● For shorter lines, visit just before Christmas or the start of the school year.
● Military discounts are available.
● Annual passholders get unlimited visits to both LEGOLAND® Florida Resort & LEGOLAND Water Park (no blackout dates), early park entry and other perks.
● Toll and ticket booths open approximately 30 minutes before the park opens, so arrive early to avoid waiting.
● For added fun, bring or purchase LEGO Minifigures to trade at the Big Shop, Imagination Zone, or Guest Services during your stay.
● Ask about VIP experiences.