If the contents of your house are at least 10% Lego, then your Master Builders will love a family vacation to the Legoland hotel and theme park in Florida.
Located in Winter Haven, FL (a short drive from the Orlando and Tampa airports), Legoland is on the grounds of Cypress Gardens, one of the first amusement park resorts in the state. The Lego folks bought up the property, rebuilt it the Lego way, and now everything about it is designed to delight kids 3 to 9 who can’t get enough of the plastic-brick stuff.
The hotel states its intentions as clearly as possible: The entrance is a fantasia of giant Lego characters, the lobby has a castle play area surrounded by a moat filled with thousands of colored bricks, and the pool has large-scale floating Legos in it so kids don’t have to stop building even while they swim.
Each floor of the hotel has a different Lego theme (Adventure, Pirates, Friends, etc.), and there are insanely complicated Lego creations everywhere they could possibly be. When we got into our room, our son was immediately met with a set of puzzles that revealed the code for a small safe near his bed, and inside were Lego kits, juice boxes, and activity books.
Even the elevators are fun: once the doors close, disco lights switch on and snippets of songs like “Dancing Queen,” “YMCA,” and “The Hustle” keep you moving until you get to your floor.
The hotel also has a pretty good “Brick Restaurant” buffet and daily activities for kids to work on cool projects and show off what they’ve built. The resort isn’t fancy or luxurious, but it hits its target audience like a ton of brick fun.
Of course, the real attraction is just next door: Legoland amusement park. Like the hotel, it’s overstuffed with cool Lego fun, including rides, shows and attractions built around Ninjago, Lego City, Brickbeard the Pirate, and even Duplo areas for little kids. The park has lots of rollercoasters and other thrill rides, but none of them are too much for little kids (and in fact would bore older kids—we didn’t see a single teenager with any family in the park). For an extra fee, there’s a water-park section at the back with lots of splashes and slides and such to cool off in the Florida heat.
Even though it’s an amusement park, there’s still a strong focus on the bricks and the builds. The Imagination Zone has giant Duplo renditions of Albert Einstein and a giraffe outside, and all sorts of projects for kids who want to make cars, buildings, and other creations. And the large-scale Lego creations on view are pretty amazing: there’s a full-size Ford Mustang made of Lego, several detailed scenes from Star Wars movies (plus life-size Darth Vader and R2-D2), and Miniland USA, which features scaled-down re-creations of the Vegas Strip, Midtown Manhattan, the Kennedy Space Center, and more. It’s hard not to be amazed by the hundreds of thousands (or more?) of bricks that are painstakingly put together all over the park.
Yes, you’ll hear “Everything Is Awesome” too many times while you’re there. But Legoland is a fun and totally awesome Florida family vacation for Lego fans.
For more information about Legoland Florida, visit www.legoland.com/florida.