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Staying at Legoland, Florida? With the opening of its new Beach Retreat. the 150-acre theme park for kids ages 2-12 located in Winter Haven is the first Legoland site in North America to offer a second accommodation type for overnight and multi-day stays. Opening less than two years after the debut of the popular 152-room Legoland Hotel, park guests now have more options in terms of accommodations, but which location is right for your family – Legoland Hotel or the Beach Retreat?
Staying at Legoland, Florida?
Let me start off by saying that you can’t go wrong with either accommodation. After all, both Legoland Florida hotels are “built for kids” with awesome LEGO features around each turn. Both include a free buffet breakfast, have LEGO-tastic zero depth pools, provide early access to the theme park, and each has hands-on brick building areas. However, the experiences at each are quite different.
Below are pros and cons at staying at either property, so you can decide which experience is best for your family.
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Staying at Legoland Florida Hotel
The original five-story, 152-room hotel immerses guests into a creative LEGO world with more than two million LEGO bricks and over 2,000 LEGO models throughout the property for LEGO surprises around every corner.
Pros for staying at Legoland Florida Hotel:
- The closest hotel to the theme park, only footsteps away.
- Nightly activities in the lobby like a pajama party, parade and building contests.
- Fun treasure box activity in each room with included goodies for the kids.
- Disco party elevator (the doors close and the lights and music turn on, so fun!).
- Lots to do in the lobby and plenty of other kids running around to play with.
- A greater selection of food at Bricks Restaurant for breakfast and dinner.
- Large castle play area in the lobby.
- Fully themed rooms from pirates, adventure, kingdom and LEGO friends (girls).
Cons for staying at Legoland Florida Hotel:
- No outdoor playgrounds.
- The kids sleeping area doesn’t have a door or a privacy curtain to separate the two spaces. Thus, when lights are out at night, they are out for everyone.
- More expensive.
Staying at Legoland Florida Beach Retreat
Just opened, the village-style vacation resort features brightly colored bungalows grouped into 13 horseshoe-shaped “coves” named after popular LEGO Minifigures. My family of four were located in the Sea Captain’s cove. Designed to look like larger-than-life LEGO sets, 83 bungalows offer 166 separate rooms that sleep up to five, including the kids’ area. Nearly 600,000 LEGO pieces are on display throughout the 83 bungalows.
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Pros for staying at Legoland Florida Beach Retreat:
- Drive-thru check in process from your car! Halleluja! I didn’t have to re-park our car, take the kids out of their car seats or wait in line as my children run around the lobby like they were raised by wolves. No, we simply pulled up to the window, provided our ID and credit card and were given the keys to our room and directed to the best place to park closest to our bungalow. Seamless! Heck, I wait longer at the drive-thru at Taco Bell.
- Several outdoor play areas including a large one by the pool and one in each of the 13 coves, all within view of the bungalows’ shaded patios. You can watch children play outside right from your porch.
- Sandy play area for kids to play in.
- Lake views.
- No guests making noise overhead or in the hallways.
- Privacy curtain that separates the cozy kids’ area with a bunk bed and trundle bed.
- No waiting for the elevator to get up to your room.
- Stay in a colorful bungalow, which my boys call LEGO houses.
- Nightly lighthouse lighting celebration.
- Value resort, with nightly room rates starting at $135 (plus tax and resort fee), but varies by season, date and availability.
Cons for staying at Legoland Florida Beach Retreat:
- 3/4 a mile away from the entrance / across the street. Not far by any means, but requires using their free shuttle or re-parking your car, which is complimentary at least with your stay.
- Not all the pathways connect and the property is quite spread out, so not as easy for strollers.
- Bad if it rains since you’ll have to walk to your bungalow in the elements.
Overall Thoughts on Staying at Legoland Florida
As stated, both Legoland Florida properties are perfect for families. We liked the layout of the Beach Resort and outdoor amenities, but we did miss the convenience of walking to Legoland theme park. I feel like the hotel is great for older kids who are better about going up and down the elevator and participating in the nightly activities. While the Beach Retreat is ideal for younger kids content with the playgrounds, sandy areas and overall relaxed vibe.
Helpful Legoland Florida Tips:
- Tips for going to Legoland Florida with Toddlers and Preschoolers
- 7 Ways To Save Money At Legoland Florida
- Must Order Treat at Legoland Florida