If you have a lego fanatic (and doesn’t everyone have at least one in the family?) LEGOLAND Discovery Center at Phipps Plaza is going to be nirvana for them. Here’s what my uber-lego fans found. And here is a link to discount tickets to LEGOLAND Atlanta.
Atlanta LEGOLAND Discovery Center
LEGOLAND Discovery Center is a 30,000 square-foot interactive attraction with 11 distinct play centers. The recommended time limit is two hours, but I had to drag my children out after almost three. Our visit was during a media preview, so we did not have the crowds that I would expect – especially during the first few months. Tickets are timed and they only allow a limited number of people in each hour to help avoid over-crowding. That said, don’t plan on walking up to get tickets in the first few months. You’ll want to order online beforehand (bonus, it’s cheaper online). Tickets are less after 4 pm, which means they expect crowds to diminish during that time. Below is a mini-tour of the facility to get you prepared for a fun visit. For even more fun, get the LEGOLAND Discovery Center Activity Pack to play along the way. And just in case you are a bit confused by different LEGOLAND experiences, we’ve put a guide together for you.
A Tour of the LEGOLAND Discovery Center
LEGO Factory Tour: This is the first stop in your adventure and a nifty way to space out guests coming into the attraction. Interactive stations teach kids how their favorite building toy is mixed, molded, painted and generally produced. Weigh yourself in LEGO bricks and see how many bricks tall you are.
Kingdom Quest: There are two ‘rides’ at LEGOLAND Discovery Center. Kingdom Quest is my favorite. It’s similar to Buzz Lightyear at Walt Disney World, where you shoot laser guns at targets to garner points. In Kingdom Quest, join the Good King’s army and step into your chariot then ride off into battle against the evil skeletons and giant trolls.There are target symbols on real displays, but the targets within the mini-videos were a little harder to determine for me, my children however got the hang of it right away. There are several secret spots in Kingdom Quest that earn major points. Officials are mum on what they are, but here’s what I could torture out of the hosts at the attraction. Aim for the Ogre at the beginning of the ride and if anything in the mini-shows looks out of the ordinary – shoot it! Here are more clues to how to score BIG on Kingdom Quest.
LEGO MINILAND: See Atlanta in miniature. Adults will love this area and could spend quite a bit of time taking in all the details of Atlanta’s landmark’s depicted in nearly 1 million LEGO bricks. During the day, take in an Atlanta Brave’s game. As nightfall approaches, watch the fireworks against Stone Mountain. Similar to a miniature train exhibit, there are buttons on certain sites that allow you to interact with the scene. Look closely, there’s a lot to see in here. The window washers on the Westin Peachtree Plaza actually go up and down. Turner Field has the Chick-fil-A cow and Coca-Cola bottle in the outfield.
LEGO Cafe: No food or drinks are allowed into LEGOLAND Discovery Center, but there is a cafe for snacks, drinks and even pizza.
DUPLO Village: Right off the Cafe is DUPLO Village. This is for the youngest LEGO fan. It has a small slide and an area for little ones to crawl away from the bigger kids. There are even big DUPLO bricks to play with.
Merlin’s Apprentice: There are no licensed characters in LEGOLAND Discovery Center, but this ride is definitely a knock-off of the popular Harry Potter series. Peddle faster and you’ll be taken up toward the sky. There are only six cars for this ride, so a maximum of 12 people ride at a time. I anticipate this ride will have a long wait given the amount of time it takes to load, so if you don’t see a lot of folks waiting, head here.
LEGO Racers: Build & Test: This is where my boys spent most of their time. In fact, all the boy moms seemed to be hanging out in this area – apparently mine aren’t the only ones who like to build and race their own cars. Given the amount of dads in the area playing, I’d say this is a hit for any male, regardless of age.
There are three tracks. One test track where you can time your vehicle – very similar to a Pinewood Derby race and two large sloped roadways, which seemed to be more a test of whether or not your vehicle would stay together. Next door is a shaking earthquake table. Build your tower as tall as you like, then press a button and see if it can withstand the earthquake!
LEGO Studios: The 4D theatre shows one of three movies. We caught Clutch Powers. It was cute. I won’t ruin it for you, but will say, you might want to put your cameras and electronics away before the show starts. You don’t want them to get wet. The theatre is small, so judge the crowds to determine how early you need to go and wait for the doors to open.
LEGO CITY: Construction Site: This soft floor playground is several stories high with a multitude of different tubes, nets and climbing surfaces. You must wear socks in this area, so make sure to bring a pair during sandal season. A friend climbed in after her son and commented that the slide is very dark, something to keep in mind if you are wondering why your child won’t slide. I’m surprised my boys didn’t spend more time in here – but then, they’d have had to leave the LEGO Racer area for two minutes.
LEGO Friends: This is obviously the “girl area” as it is all pink and full of LEGO Friends bricks. There is a karaoke stage where you can build your own microphone and perform. I missed that, but perhaps it was because it looked too calm over there with the nice tables and little girls playing quietly and neatly with their LEGOS.
LEGO Master Builder Academy: Off to the side is a room where the Master LEGO builder will be on hand to teach special building techniques and help kids build their own LEGO model. This area was not up and running while we were there.
Party Rooms: LEGOLAND Discovery Center has two private party rooms. Even at $35 per child (+ tax), it’s recommended that you make reservations at least six month in advance.
Generally, I’d say LEGOLAND Discovery Center is ideal for children ages 3 – 12. However, I’d love to see them do some special tween and teen nights. As the parent of two middle schoolers, I know they’d have a blast with their friends, although it wouldn’t be quite as cool to go when the place is swarming with preschoolers. Adults are not allowed at LEGOLAND Discovery Center without a child accompanying them. However, beginning in May, adults will be invited on the second Thursday of every month.
What: LEGOLAND Discovery Center, Atlanta
Where: Phipps Plaza, 3500 Peachtree Rd., Atlanta, GA 30326, 404-848-9252
When: Mon. – Fri. 10 am – 7 pm, Sat. 10 am – 9 pm, Sun. 10 am – 6 pm (Last admission is two hours before closing
Save money by booking online
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If you’d like to read more opinions on LEGOLAND Discovery Center, visit these local area blogs