February 19, 2013

LEGOLAND California Review

During our trip to San Diego, we knew a visit to LEGOLAND California in Carlsbad was a must, and everyone in our family was excited for our very first visit! 

Highlights of Our Visit:
As expected, LEGOLAND was full of fun rides and super cool LEGO creations.

Just about everywhere we looked there were animals, plants, vehicles, buildings, instruments, and even people - all made out of LEGO bricks (click on all photos to enlarge; photos taken from my other blog Island Views, Island News)!
 
Every single one of my kids thought the Musical Fountain in Water Works was the coolest thing.  They'd jump from circle to circle to activate various instruments which would start playing music while shooting water.  They had so much fun making music that we made numerous stops at the Musical Fountain during our visit.
 
My middle and oldest son both loved the Volvo Driving Schools.  There's a Junior Driving School for kids ages 3-5 in which kids drive around a track, and then there's the "regular" Driving School for kids ages 6-13 in which kids drive throughout a bigger area with more turns and even working stoplights.
My kids also loved DUPLO Playtown, and many of the rides, specifically Splash Battle, and Royal Joust.
My oldest also loved The Dragon and Coastersaurus coasters.

I personally loved the amazing LEGO masterpieces, especially those in Miniland USA.
The buildings, the scenes, and even the STAR WARS models were just incredible.

It's amazing what can be done with LEGO bricks!

Food:
For lunch we ate at Fun Town Market.

The boys ordered Kids Meals with either Chicken Strips or a Hot dog.  The meals came with a drink and a snack.  I ordered the Oriental Chicken Stir-Fry.  After seeing how huge the serving was, DH and I ended up sharing the stir-fry.  It was quite good and loaded with veggies and chicken!
Also, towards the end of our visit I couldn't resist getting some of Granny's Apple Fries.  They were quite delicious, but next time I'd try and get them earlier in the day, because when I bought them it was within a 1/2 hour of closing and they were a bit soggy (but still yummy!).

Visiting a Child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD):
I know every child with an ASD is different, but whenever we venture out, we always try to prepare as best as we can to minimize challenges.

As with any attraction we plan to visit, I researched any autism-related information, and I was very pleased to find this post on LEGOLAND's Model Mom Mary's blog regarding autism awareness, and how they provide exit passes to families of children with autism.

So upon arrival at LEGOLAND I was able to obtain an exit pass for my son (I loved that a Guest Services window was open before the actual park opened, which meant as soon as we entered the park we could go straight to a ride!).

Upon receiving the pass, I was advised to simply show the pass to an employee at the exit of any ride (with the exclusion of Fairy Tale Brook, which the pass is not valid on).  The employee would then proceed to let us know when we could go on.  Also, we were told the pass can only be used once an hour per ride.

Because the day we visited was a "slow" day, we only ended up using the pass twice (on the Safari Trek - since it was one of the rides closest to the entrance the line got long rather quickly, and Treasure Falls, because that ride had a pretty long line), and any other rides my son wanted to go on was either very short or non-existent and he was able to wait in line without any major issues.

Throughout our visit the only meltdowns he had was whenever he finished with Driving School.  Whenever it was over, he cried and screamed because he wanted to go again and again, but once we specifically told him how many more times he could drive again before we had to leave, he was able to self-calm and we were able to leave the ride.

Also, for those who have kids on a GFCF diet or any other special diet, LEGOLAND has a very handy Dietary Guide on its website with allergy information of various dining venues.

Final Thoughts:
Overall we had a fantastic time at LEGOLAND.

I love that LEGOLAND is an autism-friendly attraction, and that there was so much to see and do.  I also loved that there were so many LEGO creations all throughout the park, and even several places where kids could get creative and build their own creations.

Although there were a few employees that we encountered that were not too friendly, just about everyone else on staff were super friendly and helpful.

My kids had an amazing time, and they keep asking to go back (and hopefully when we do we'll get to stay in the new LEGOLAND hotel, which opens on April 5!).

Below are more photos from our visit. Enjoy!

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow

LEGOLAND California: 1 Legoland Dr  Carlsbad, CA 92008; (760) 918-5346
 
Admission: 1-Day LEGOLAND: $78 Adults (ages 13+); $68 Kids (ages 3-12); Visit the LEGOLAND website for more ticket promotion options.

Parking: $12 for Cars

Thank you to LEGOLAND for providing complimentary passes for review purposes.  All opinions are my own.  I received no monetary compensation for this post.


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