Some places are kid friendly, but LEGOLAND Resort in Florida isn’t just kid friendly – it is kid focused. Everything about the resort invites kids to be kids. I knew it the minute I walked into the hotel lobby. In the center, columns stood partially clad in brightly colored LEGOS, between them a planter filled with LEGO bricks beckoned every kid who walked in to help build the wall. And that was just the beginning.
Disclosure: The writer was hosted.
A Surprise for the Grandkids
Since we are separated by over 1,000 miles, when I get the chance to spend a few days with my three grandkids in Orlando, I always strive to make our time special. On my most recent trip, I surprised them with atrip to LEGOLAND and an overnight stay at the LEGOLAND Resort.
Our family has a long history with LEGOs. When my son was young LEGOs were his favorite toys, he loved building bridges, pirate ships and buildings. It served him well because he now has a career in construction management. His love of LEGOSs wasn’t lost on his children. My granddaughter, Katherine, 8, loves to build sets in the LEGO Friends series and my grandson, Marshall, 6, is a LEGO fanatic with thousands of the little foot destroying bricks strewn all over his room. My daughter’s son, Benjamin, 5, has a hard time sitting still long enough to build anything but he loves the idea of LEGOS – so the surprise was a hit with all three.
A Day at LEGOLAND Park
Our visit was in October during the park’s annual Halloween party, Brick or Treat. This meant the kids could wear costumes which made things all the more exciting for Benjamin who has a costume for every occasion. Not wanting to debut their Halloween costumes early, the kids chose from Benjamin’s stocked closet. And so it was that I walked into the park with a fire chief, a police officer, and a construction worker – yes, I went to LEGOLAND with a miniature version of the Village People.
The LEGOLAND Park is impressive any day of the year with its detailed structures of recognizable cities and attractions. The Las Vegas display showcased the city’s famous resorts and casinos while Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood was alive with salsa dancers. New York City landmarks included Grand Central Station, the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, and Central Park. At the Kennedy Space Center a rocket counts down to blast off. And the Daytona 500 Speedway gave the kids a chance to race LEGO cars.
A favorite feature of the park for my group was the character trading. We stopped at the gift shop near the entrance of the park where I gave the kids the option to choose a small LEGO character. We then sat out on a bench and assembled the characters. Throughout the park, Model Citizens (employees) wear LEGO characters on their name tags. If you like one of their characters better than yours you can trade.
One of the hardest things about taking kids to any theme park is keeping them entertained while waiting in line for rides or while parents and grandparents finish eating. LEGOLAND has taken care of that problem by placing tables throughout the park and in restaurants with buckets of LEGO bricks so the kids can create while they wait.
Fun and Games at LEGOLAND Resort
After a full day at the park, we walked over to the LEGOLAND Resort for the next part of our adventure – a class with a LEGO Master Builder. Guests of the hotel are invited to sign up for the class where kids are taught how to build a special LEGO character that cannot be found anywhere else.
There are plenty of other things to entertain the kids – like the huge castle and pirate ship in the hotel lobby where kids run wild, build with LEGO bricks and generally just rule the world. At bedtime the lobby becomes a giant pajama party with LEGO characters leading dances, playing games and telling stories. Even the elevators turn into dance parties when the doors close with disco effects and rocking music.
Eating at LEGOLAND
Dinner time is fun here just like everything else. Bricks Family Restaurant is a buffet-style restaurant built for kids. Kid-approved foods like chicken fingers, salads, and pizza are served at kid level. Once a sufficient amount of protein was consumed, I let the little ones build their own ice cream sundaes for dessert.
Alternatively, the Skyline Lounge features a creative, custom menu that includes a variety of organic Florida produce and vegetables. Adults can imbibe in cocktails, wine and an array of Florida craft beers while the little ones enjoy a “mocktail” with their dinner.
Sleeping at LEGOLAND
The five-story, 152 room LEGOLAND resort hotel has more than two million LEGO bricks that make up over 2,000 LEGO models throughout the property. Choose a room from one of four themes, Pirate, Adventure, Kingdom and LEGO Friends. Our room was the Kingdom theme. A bunk bed, TV and signs telling “Ye Olde Adults” to keep out welcomed the kids to their section of the room. A treasure chest with a combination lock stood in the corner. A clue for each of the three combination numbers was given. After solving the clues, the treasure chest was opened to reveal more LEGO characters, a LEGOLAND newspaper, coloring books and crayons.
If you have little LEGO fans in your life, I highly recommend a night or two at LEGOLAND Resort Florida. But be warned, at LEGOLAND the kids are in control.