Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Destination, LegoLand, San Diego, CA!

Approximately a half hour north of San Diego, on an outcropping overlooking Carlsbad, CA, sits an amusement park that offers parents a gentle reminder that simple "kid-powered" activities are often the most fun. Legoland, which opened in March, 1999, is full of fanciful creations, hands-on activities, and rides and attractions that engage kids’ minds and creativity! Legoland is designed primarily for kids ages 2 to 12, but visitors of all ages are captivated by the intricacy of the park’s amazing displays!

Legoland California offers several kinds of attractions within its compact confines: rides, stage shows, and play areas. A detailed map of what the park has to offer may be found here, but below is an overview of some of the park’s fabulous offerings by area!

Dino Island – A naturalistic setting of prehistoric-looking ferns and bamboo filled with “living” life-sized and scale model dinosaurs. Features include themed coasters, and an excavation sand pit with the “skeletal remains” of dinosaurs!

Explore Village – Kids of all ages enjoy this area themed with tons of Duplo® bricks. Among the sights not to be missed here are models of fairytale favorites and life-sized safari animals!

Fun Town – Here is Legoland California’s own kid-sized town square where creativity and imagination abound. Featuring a variety of aviation-themed rides, a Lego® factory tour, and a real-life driving school for kids of almost all ages, among other things – Fun Town truly lives up to its name!

Pirate Shores – Embark on a pirate adventure! Pirate Shores features rides and attractions all based on water play. This pirate-themed area features more than 150 Lego® models sure to delight guests of all ages.

Castle Hill – This area of Legoland takes kids back to medieval times where spells are cast and many knights, damsels and dragons are found.

Miniland USA – This eye-catching area is the heart of the Park! Miniland presents stunning reproductions of American landmarks built with remarkable detail from seven different areas of the country; Las Vegas, New England, Florida, Washington DC, New Orleans, New York, and the California coastline. Also featured are busts of famous luminaries, and Lego re-creations of famous pieces of art!

Imagination Zone – This zone emphasizes exploring and creation and features everything from water rides to video games and movies!

Legoland’s dedication to their visiting families goes beyond the fun though! There are large, family bathrooms with changing stations and short sinks for the kids. There are low food counters in the restaurants so your little ones can see. The park even rents lightweight strollers that offer your tiny traveler a little steering wheel. Legoland also limits the number of patrons admitted on a given day; once the turnstiles have ticked off 15,000 visitors, the gates are shut for the day! Finally, Legoland features the Model Mom Care Center/Lost Parents; where parents can feed their babies in a comfortable rocking chair, keep formula cold in a refrigerator and change the baby all in one cozy, comfortable nook right off the main street in Fun Town. Guests also can get all their questions answered here and be reunited with lost children or parents.

Legoland also has an informative, insightful, blog, written by Model Mom Mary (a former Park Entertainment Supervisor for Legoland)!  Take a moment to check out her posts on everything from safety measures for visiting theme parks to "not-to-be-missed" park features (Granny Apple Fries top her list!).

Legoland is centrally located (an hour south of Disneyland and a half hour north of SeaWorld in San Diego), so it’s a great park to include on a swing through Southern California, particularly for younger kids who often get the short end of the theme park stick! The only park of its kind in the country (at least until the new Florida Legoland opens in October 2011!), Legoland is a family favorite, and a “must-see” for families visiting Southern California! Happy travels!

- Destination Mom

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