My family and I travel while I run my company Purveyor of Geekery
Another beautiful day in Florida. My husband, frustrated with our current home improvement scheme of trying to stretch shrunk carpet gave me a choice: sit and watch him grow incrementally more angry at the carpet that wouldn’t budge or deal with it later and head to Legoland. Tough choice, right?
Getting There: Legoland can be reached by car (parking is additional), the Legoland shuttle from the Orlando Prime Outlets (call guest services to confirm) or some hotels in Winter Haven and Lake Wales offer free shuttle service (Noted in hotel titles here). Public transportation is dismal in most areas of Florida outside the major cities. The area is serviced by Route 30 of the Winter Haven Area Transit (W.H.A.T.) and the Citrus Connection as of this writing. Orlando Lynx’s 427 or 416 can bring you to the W.H.A.T. transfer hub. Additionally, there are loads of private transport services in Orlando that can take you to surrounding attractions, Legoland included.
Near There: The Central Florida Tourism Agency is a great place to browse all of the attractions in the area, like Bok Towers and Fantasy of Flight. The attractions of Orlando and Tampa are within driving distance
Language: The signage at Legoland is in English, but maps are available in various languages at the front gates. A sign language interpreter is available for the interactive shows with a two week reserved notice. You must email them 2 weeks in advance to secure at the email listed on their website.
Weather: If you are traveling to Florida during our Summer seasons (May-August), I guarantee you it will rain. Every afternoon, like clockwork the rainstorms sweep across the state west to east. And Legoland especially is notorious for closing rides at the even slightest hint of poor weather. They take lightning seriously. They unapologetically don’t even hint at the idea of a rain check for tickets, either (see “What happens if it rains?”).
It’s great if you live near by and have season passes, being able to walk around a nearly empty park in the rain. But if you are dropping almost $90 a ticket for the day, this can be a huge issue. To get the most of your day, schedule to arrive at the park when they open and hit the rides first, you’ll beat the showers and the rush. Things begin to heat up around 11:00am, so late morning would be a great time to visit the new Waterpark for a few hours until they close it down for the rain. The afternoon showers are the perfect time to spend looking around the shops, taking in the indoor attractions, grabbing a bite to eat and walking around MiniLand (assuming it isn’t lightning). And there you have it: how not to waste $90 on a ticket and only see half of the fun.
Legoland, Family Style: Legoland is built around the family experience for all ages. They hire people specifically to stand at the entry gates and great you with special information sheets specifically for families of toddlers or younger detailing age appropriate shows, attractions, etc. Most of them revolve around Duplo Village, where they have a special Baby Care Center located towards the back of their Duplo Farm building. Just enter the Farm play area and head towards the back wall to find it. From their website:
The Baby Care Center is located in DUPLO Village and is stocked with bottle warmers, high chairs, rockers for nursing moms, baby change facilities and a microwave. In addition, all restrooms (male and female) park-wide have diaper change tables and family restrooms available.
Strollers are available to rent, and although are a bit tricky to navigate through some of their shops aisles, are easy to use in the park. Check the website for current rental pricing which was $10 USD for single and $15 USD for doubles at the time of this article being written. We usually just bring our own.
There is no smoking or alcoholic drinks served in the parks. Tijuana Flats is right around the bend from the West entrance and has a good selection of beers plus is open on Sundays if needed. Ahem. If you don’t drink they still have an amazing atmosphere and really good food…not to mention music that will strike nostalgia into the heart of any 90’s chick.
Concessions: Legoland has a deal with their “official partner” Pepsi: they will only serve their products in the park which means that you have your choice: sodas, sports drinks, apple juice from concentrate or bottled water. You aren’t allowed to bring in outside food or drink but as of this writing, they don’t do an official bag search the way Disney does, so as long as you aren’t toting a giant cooler, it won’t be an issue. I walked in to the park with two to-go cups in my hands and wasn’t stopped, so a hidden reusable lunch bag and your own drinks in a backpack might fly under the radar if you like your days slightly less corn syrup fueled. Vegetarian options are available, but the veggie pad thai was a bit underwhelming and small for $9+ at the cafe at the front of the park. There are plenty of restaurants on the stretch of road before the entrance, which I would suggest instead. We usually stop at Tijuana Flats for lunch before we go in.
Traveling with Pets: Kennels are available outside the park at the West gate. Don’t leave your pets in your cars, one of two things will definitely happen to them: someone will break your window and remove them (if you are lucky) or… well, you do the math.
Unique Experience Concerns: Although it is not listed on their website, carer tickets may be available for those assisting other visitors for the day. There was a sign near the gate of the carousel that mentioned a carer waiting area, so for details call their guest services at 877-350-5346. According to the website at the time of this article, personal wheelchairs or motorized wheelchairs are allowed in the park, or you can rent theirs for $12 USD for standard and $37 USD for motorized chairs. Sign language interpreters are available, see “Language” above for details.
Autism Spectrum at Legoland: For those with Autism Spectrum concerns, there are two relatively quiet areas in the park: the Cypress Gardens botanical park and a quiet, unmarked garden. You can find it on the close up of the map between the white Magnolia Mansion and the Greenhouse off of Funtown. Visually the entrance is near the top of the flag on the Island in the Sky, even though geographically it is a bit further into the park than that ride’s entrance. The Baby Care Center mentioned above has tiny, changing room style stalls that could either help to remove all stimulus or replace it with claustrophobia, depending on your family’s triggers.