Calif. -- Ever
since I was a young child, I always wanted to visit Legoland California.
It took 26 years, but I finally had the opportunity to visit the
theme park in the San Diego county city of Carlsbad. Legoland
is much more than just a bunch of larger-than-life sculptures
made of Legos. In fact, it features more than 50 rides! There
are lots to do for the little ones and even enough activities
for adults to enjoy as well. During weekends in October, visitors
can take advantage of the theme park's special "Brick-or-Treat"
Legoland California on Saturday, Sept. 22. I noticed the construction
of the new Legoland Hotel as I approached the main gate. It is
set to open in the summer of 2013. I arrived at approximately
11 a.m. and the lines were fairly short. Lines started to get
long by noon.
I went on the Coastersaurus ride. It is one of two rides within
the Dino Island area of the theme park. Basically, it is a mini
steel roller coaster. Guests will curve and dip around giant models
of Lego dinosaurs. I enjoyed Coastersaurus, even though I am not
a big roller coaster fan. The sign said there was a 45-minute
wait, but it was much less. I got on the ride in less than 30
minutes. If you thought the ride was short, don't worry because
everyone gets to go around twice before getting off. Note: Guests
are required to remove their hats and cameras and place them on
a table before boarding this ride.
I decided to tour the Legoland Factory, which is located within
the Fun Town area of Legoland California. Guests have the opportunity
to go on a self-guided tour of a fake Lego factory. Visitors will
first watch a short video. Then, they can walk at their own pace
and watch as machines construct Lego blocks. It reminded me of
an automobile assembly line. The factory tour ends with a gift
shop where guests can purchase individual lego pieces in bins,
similar to bulk food in a grocery store.
I went on the Pirate Reef water ride. It is located within the
Pirate Shores area of the theme park. I would recommend you to
wear a bathing suit for this one as you will get soaked! Pirate
Reef opened in May 2012 and is described as a "shoot the
chutes" attraction. It features a splash bridge, a set of
water cannons and a brick building play area. There are two lines
for this attraction -- one for the main theme park and the other
for the water park. The sign said there would be a 20-minute wait,
but I only had to wait for about five minutes to get on. Note:
Guests are required to remove their hats and cameras and place
them in a bin before boarding this ride.
I checked out Miniland U.S.A. area of Legoland California. Basically,
it is a miniature park featuring famous landmarks from across
America and other parts of the world. It took three years to complete
with over 40 million Lego bricks in 1:20 scale. Some of the cities
featured include Los Angeles, San Francisco, New Orleans, New
York City, Washington D.C. and Ferndale, Calif. In addition, there
is a Star Wars section of Miniland U.S.A. I particularly enjoyed
the Hollywood section, which featured sculptures of the Hollywood
Bowl, Grauman's Chinese Theatre and the Griffith Observatory.
Note: The New York City skyline features the all-new Freedom Tower,
which is still under construction on the southern tip of Manhattan.
I went on the Aquazone Wave Racers ride. It is located within
the Imagination Zone area of the theme park. Guests will be able
to stand in two-person water carousels and then control a rudder
that makes you come closer or fly out through the waves. Meanwhile,
bystanders have the ability to push buttons, which will squirt
water at you! The sign said there would be a 15-minute wait and
it was pretty accurate. Note: Visitors will be required to leave
their cameras on the stage so it doesn't get wet.
I ended my visit with a ride on the Coast Cruise, which is located
within Miniland U.S.A. Basically, it is a calm, boat ride around
the small lake in the center of Legoland California. Guests will
enjoy the sights and sounds of the lakeshore and Miniland. Some
of the highlights include the Sydney Auditorium and the Eiffel
Tower. There was a 15-minute wait and that was pretty accurate.
California has created special activities for it's Halloween-themed
"Brick-or-Treat" during the month of October. On weekends,
treat stations will offer candy, healthy snacks and a few surprises.
There will be a costume contest on Saturday nights in Octobers.
Winners will receive four resort membership passes and a gift
basket. Registration begins at 4 p.m. in the Imagination Zone.
Fireworks will take place on Saturdays in October. You can help
build a giant Lego Lord Vampyre model on October 6 and 7. A special
admission price of $59 is being offered for a full-day of fun
or $30 for an evening admission of fun.
I was greatly impressed by the Legoland California park. If you
think it's just Lego sculptures, you are so wrong! There are more
than 50 rides, dozens of gift shops and restaurants. It is a great
place to take the little ones and the adults in your family as
well. Some tips: Wear your bathing suit and flip flops around
the entire park in case you decide to go on a water ride. It would
be horrible to walk around in squishy, wet shoes. Wait times are
exaggerated. If a ride has a long posted wait time, go on it anyways.
The actual wait time will be much less than the time posted.
thanks to the great folks at Disney who allowed me to visit their
theme park so I could write this review.