By Sue Rodman
About 45 minutes from the gates of the Magic Kingdom in Florida is Orlando’s newest theme park LEGOLAND Florida. LEGOLAND brand has three different ways to experience LEGOS. The LEGOLAND Store, Discovery Center and Theme Park. There is one LEGOLAND theme park in California and the latest, LEGOLAND Florida. We have a LEGOLAND Discovery Center in Atlanta and as complete LEGO fans, were anxious to experience the theme park at LEGOLAND Florida. My youngest was so excited he grabbed a brochure from our hotel the night before to begin mapping out the day – boy after my own heart. Here are 10 plus tips to avoid the lines at LEGOLAND Florida and have a great day.
Tips to Avoid the Lines at LEGOLAND Florida
Get there early. As with most theme parks, to avoid lines, you want to get there early, even a half hour before the park opens. This gives you time to park, go to the bathroom, put on sunscreen and whatever last minute preparations you need, so you are completely ready to enter the park when it opens. Then, head to the back and work your way forward. Most people go to the right when they enter a theme park.
Register for Mindstorm robotic challenge. If your children are over eight years old, head to Imagination Station and register for the Mindstorm robotic challenge as soon as you enter the park. There are three different challenges to choose from and they fill up quickly. The last time we went, there was also a challenge for kids six and over, so ask at the gate what ages can sign up for the Mindstorm challenge.
For Younger Kids: Head to the Ford Driving School (which is right next door to Mindstorm registration). If this is something your kids want to do, head here immediately after registering for Mindstorm (or first if you don’t want to or can’t do Mindstorm). Loading for this ride is painfully slow, which means the line is continuous and gets longer as the day progresses. Most of the reviews I read of LEGOLAND said their kids LOVED the Ford Driving school. However, if your kids have the Power Wheels cars at home, don’t spend too much time waiting in this line. I quizzed a little guy of about five on whether this was more fun than his Power Wheels Gator. He said, “My Gator can go a lot faster.” My own kids said they’d do it once if the line wasn’t overly long, but once was enough.
For Older Kids: If your children aren’t excited about the Ford Driving School, head to the roller coasters first. Our favorite is Project X in the Technic section, but lines are consistent for the Coasterasaurus even in the slower winter months.
Don’t miss Flight School – Right behind the Ford Driving School is Flight School, a roller coaster where your feet dangle. This ride entrance is easy to miss. Perhaps it’s because we went on a slower day, or because we got there in the morning, but we rode this coaster twice without a wait.
If there are long lines at the coasters, come back closer to park closing. My friend Jennifer Hutchinson @mami2mommy recommended via Field Trips w/Sue facebook that if there was a long line at the Coasterasaurus, to wait until closer to park close and try again. We did this and the line went from 60 minutes to about five. Perfect!
Hit Build and Test in the Imagination Zone between 10 and 12 or after 3 pm. Most families are looking for a break after lunch and Build and Test is the perfect place, which means a line forms. To get the run of the place, come before noon. If that’s not possible, head here after 3 pm when most folks are leaving. Sunday is a less crowded day in the park overall, so if you must come on a weekend, choose Sunday.
More Tips for a Great Day at LEGOLAND Florida
Keep your friends close on the Aqua Wave Racers and Quest for CHI. Water cannons next to the Aqua Racers ride can soak the participant. They are controlled by stands along the water’s edge. Guests can fire at will and of course family and friends will be firing at you. In the Quest for CHI, onlookers can use water canons to spray those on the ride, but those on the ride can also spray the onlookers, so watch out on both sides.
Bring a poncho for Quest for CHI. You WILL get wet on the Quest for CHI ride. If the waterfall or sprayers miss you, the water canons manned by onlookers will get you. This is a fun ride that anyone can do, no matter how tall or short, so the line can get very long. Most folks will wait until the end of the day to get wet. Head here early for the shortest line. Also in this section is Craggy’s Swamp, which is a splash pad. Bring a towel and maybe a change of clothes or bathing suit. A must is a change of socks and/or shoes. Even if you don’t go in the water, you’ll likely end up splashing through some puddles and there is nothing worse than walking around in wet sneakers. In the summer, if the weather forecast calls for thunderstorms (mostly in the afternoon), the Quest of Chi might close; another reason to do this very fun ride sooner rather than later.
Don’t miss the Battle for Brickbeard’s Bounty Water Ski Show. The Battle for Brickbeard’s Bounty is a throwback to the days when this theme park was Cypress Gardens – which was known for their southern belles and water ski shows. To get the best view of the show, sit on the left side of the pirate ship. You want a good view of the ski ramps. If the theater fills up before you get there, sit on the lawn between the two stadiums. You won’t have as good a view of the pirate show, but you’ll have a great view of the water skiers. If you go on a slow day, sit on the front row next to the VIP section. If the VIP people don’t come, kids may be allowed to spray the pirates with the water cannon(which is normally reserved for VIPs). The show pavilion is also a great place for lunch. Not only will you get to sit in the shade, but you’ll have something to do while you wait for the show to begin.
Get the Apple Fries. Everyone I know raves about the apple fries. Granny’s Apples is located at the front of the park, so pick them up on the way in or out. If you miss these (or just love them so much) Field Trips with Sue reader Jean-Francois Roman sent this recipe for Apple Fries. If you make them, let me know what you think.
Eat Healthy (ier). I will say, LEGOLAND gets an A+ for theme park food. We ate at the I-Zone Panini in the Imagination Zone. It was the first meal my son had all weekend that didn’t include french fries or chicken fingers. It did include a ham sandwich he proclaimed, excellent! Plus apples and baked Lays potato chips. When I asked to substitute lemonade for milk or water, I was told they can’t do that – which totally got me off the hook. If you’d rather save some money, LEGOLAND allows guest to bring in food and drinks. There are lockers at the front of the park, so you don’t have to carry your picnic all day.
Bring Lego mini-figures to trade. But don’t bring character ones. Staff members swap the mini-figures on their nametags. We were excited to trade, but in the end only traded one person. We were expecting really cool figures, but most were generic mini’s, nothing special. In the end, the mini figures we brought to trade were better than the ones most staffers had. I was told there is one staff member who walks around the park with basically a board of mini-figures. He’d be the guy to find for some real trading. It would be fun if LEGOLAND were to set up Mini-figure trading booths like other places have for pin trading. If you don’t have mini-figures to bring, purchase them at any store for $2.99. If you purchase something larger, LEGOLAND has package pick up, which means you can send your purchases to the front of the park and pick them up on the way out instead of hauling it around the park with you.
Take a Shuttle from Orlando. If you are staying in Orlando and don’t have a car, or would prefer not to drive, there is a shuttle that provides roundtrip transportation from the Orlando Premium Outlets – Vineland Avenue to LEGOLAND. The day we checked out the LEGOLAND shuttle, roundtrip was only $5 per person.
For more information to help you plan a trip to LEGOLAND Florida, see our other posts:
- How to Save Big at LEGOLAND Florida
- Three Ways to Experience LEGOS
- LEGOLAND Florida from a 8-year-old perspective
- LEGOLAND Florida from a 13 year old perspective
- What’s the Right Age to Visit LEGOLAND Florida?
What: LEGOLAND Florida
Where: One LEGOLAND Way, WinterHaven, FL
When: LEGOLAND Florida is open 7 days a week, but may be closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays during specific periods.
LEGOLAND Water Park is open seasonally. Check the site for specific dates.
Visit Orlando’s Magic Card gives you a discount on admission to LEGOLAND and other Orlando dining and attractions.
Also check MouseSavers for discounts.
My family received media passes to LEGOLAND Florida. All opinions are our own.