Little Brick Schoolhouse

LEGOLAND CALIFORNIA

It's a LEGO® wonderland!

Our family has been going to LEGOLAND California every year since the theme park first opened in 1999. My husband is getting tired of it, but our three boys and I still enjoy it - what can I say, we're LEGOmaniacs! In general, the park is probably most popular with kids between the ages of 4 and 13. But LEGO fanatics of any age will love it! Parents, grandparents, and even teenagers will enjoy themselves and feel like kids again, too.

Main Entrance

While the park is geared toward younger children, many rides do have a minimum height requirement. My youngest started being able to go on more of the rides at age 3, but some will have to wait until they're 4. Thrill-seeking teenagers may find most of the rides a little ho-hum, but a few rides have been added for them like the robotic arm (in which you choose the intensity of your ride experience) and the Technicoaster (see photo).

Technic Coaster

LEGOLAND is unique in that they have a lot of interactive stuff that demands a refreshing level of actual participation from people. Visitors don't just go on rides — they actually do things like driving, pedaling, steering, pulling, pushing, climbing, spinning, and shooting blasts of water. There is something for everyone: zoo animals, fairy tales, cars, trains, planes, boats, pirates, castles, knights, dragons, imagination, action, adventure and fun!

At Explore Village, you will find several rides with no height requirement, a toddler-sized playground, plus fun activities for the littlest ones. Other than that, babies and toddlers won't have much to do at LEGOLAND except ride around in their stroller and look at things, which is why children 2 and under get in for free. But they will still be able to see something bright and colorful around every corner, including life-sized LEGO animals and imaginative characters!

Coast Cruise

LEGOLAND is not as large as other theme parks so you will be able to make it all the way around without getting too tired. Nevertheless, it's jam-packed with stuff so you need to be waiting at the gate when they open so you have time to see everything. (Keep in mind that winter hours are shorter than summer hours but the lines are a lot longer in summer.) The little kid rides start on the left when you go in, and the more exciting rides for older kids are on the right.

Pirate Shores

Just beware of the Hideaway playground near the Knight's Kingdom because once your children get in there you won't be able to get them back out! And don't let the kids linger too long in the water play area at Pirate Shores unless they have a swimsuit, towel, and change of clothes. They will get completely soaked!

Adventurers Club

Whatever you do, don't miss the Adventurer's Club which is hidden away in a corner of Fun Town (adjacent to a gift shop). It's a mysterious (and slightly scary) walk through a rainforest (with realistic sounds and lighting), ancient Egypt (with an earthquake) and the Arctic. All the while you will be in search for some lost keys to a treasure.

Model Builder

While you're in Fun Town you can also take a tour through a mini factory featuring real automated machinery demonstrating molding, decorating, assembling and packing of LEGO products. On the other side of the park you can take a peek in the window of the model shop and see Master Builders at work.

Miniland NY

Be sure to allow enough time to thoroughly explore the park's centerpiece, Miniland USA. It features scale models of New York City, Washington D.C., San Francisco, Southern California, a New England Harbor, New Orleans, and Las Vegas. Kids and adults of all ages will find it fascinating. It's great for model railroad buffs, too. The intricate lifelike detail of the LEGO models is awesome, even though they're starting to get a little weather-worn.

Miniland D.C.

The Miniland boat cruise ride is a relaxing tour for the whole family that takes you past famous landmarks such as Mount Rushmore, the Eiffel Tower, Taj Mahal, and Sydney Opera House. At the same time, it provides another vantage point from which you can view the New York skyline and the Statue of Liberty.

Mount Rushmore

A must-see exhibit adjacent to Miniland is an art gallery lined with classic works of art (including Rodin's The Thinker sculpture and Van Gogh's Starry Night painting) as well as busts of historical figures made entirely out of LEGO® bricks.

Starry Night

LEGOLAND California truly is a one-of-a-kind theme park. You can turn it into an educational field trip by downloading the age-appropriate curriculum guides at http://www.legoland.com/groups/education/resourceguides.htm. The printable worksheets are a fun way to learn some history and physics between rides! Please see http://www.legoland.com/california.htm for a map and additional details.


PRESS RELEASES & NEW ATTRACTIONS

A walk-through tour inside Lost Kingdom Adventure, by Brady MacDonald.

March 10, 2008 - LEGOLAND California celebrated the grand opening of their eagerly anticipated Indiana-Jones-style expansion called The Land of Adventure. The highlight of this new area is the “Lost Kingdom,” where guests can take a ride in a 1920’s off-road touring sedan through ancient temple ruins while shooting at animated targets with laser blasters. With terrific thematic scenery throughout and plenty of pop-up surprises, this dark ride looks like a winner!

Sea Life

August 11, 2008 - Opening adjacent to LEGOLAND California, the SEA LIFE Aquarium is a 175,000 gallon ocean gallery with more than 72 models made of LEGO bricks, including a submarine and diver. Featuring play zones, fun facts and quiz trails, SEA LIFE is designed to be a child’s guide to the life of the sea. The SEA LIFE voyage begins high in the fresh waters of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, continuing on to the San Francisco Harbor and finally journeying to the depths of the Pacific Ocean via the California shoreline. Visitors can walk through a 35-foot-long acrylic ocean tunnel, see a sunken shipwreck, and discover the Lost City of Atlantis! The exhibit also features over 20 species of sea creatures including seahorses, sharks, rays, fish, and invertebrates. In addition, a discovery zone offers young visitors the opportunity to interact with SEA LIFE experts, get hands-on with a touch pool, and participate in building their own coral reef out of LEGO bricks. (SEA LIFE Aquarium requires a separate admission fee - visit http://www.legoland.com/sealife.htm for prices and hours of operation.)


LEGOLAND HOMESCHOOL DAYS

Did you know that LEGOLAND in Carlsbad, CA offers Homeschool Days on Mondays throughout the school year? It's a tremendous savings if you have one or more LEGOmaniacs in your family. My kids are in the LEGO® Club and even the coupons they get with their membership couldn’t beat the homeschool price. The only catch is that to get the discount, you must sign up for their e-mail list at least two weeks in advance of when you want to go. They will send you an e-mail coupon specially coded for your family, so it is non-transferable. Print it out to redeem at the ticket window (you will have to show your valid photo ID). You can sign up, get complete details, and download their Home School Days Resource guide at www.LEGOLAND.com/eduinfo . Just so you know, LEGOLAND parking costs extra. And if you need any additional tickets for some reason, the Costco just around the corner on Palomar Airport Road sells LEGOLAND tickets for a few dollars off the regular retail price.

LEGOLAND also offers Preschool Days, School Field Trips, Teacher Appreciation Days, Robotics Workshops, Educator Resource Guides, Youth Group Discounts, Birthday Parties, and more. For additional information, go to http://www.legoland.com/groups/education/fieldtrips.htm .


LEGOLAND LINKS

http://www.legoland.com (LEGO® Theme Parks Official Website.)

http://www.legoland.com/park/parkoverview/parkvideo.htm (LEGOLAND California videos.)

http://www.legoland.com/business/press/presskit.htm (LEGOLAND California fact sheets.)

http://www.legoland.com/groups/education/resourceguides.htm (LEGOLAND California educational resource guides.)

http://www.legoland.com/groups/education/fieldtrips.htm (LEGOLAND California offers Preschool Days, Homeschool Days, School Field Trips, Teacher Appreciation Days, Robotics Workshops, Youth Group Discounts, Birthday Parties, Downloadable Resource Guides, and more!)

http://www.legoland.com/membership/buymembership/modelmommembership.htm (LEGOLAND California Model Mom Club and weekly activity group.)

http://www.family-vacation-getaways-at-los-angeles-theme-parks.com/Legoland-Activities.html (LEGOLAND California activities for toddlers and preschoolers.)

http://www.maintour.com/socal/legoland.htm (LEGOLAND California Vacation Adventure page with LEGOLAND vacation information and helpful tips for planning your trip.)


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The Little Brick Schoolhouse is not affiliated with The LEGO® Group of companies and LEGO® does not sponsor, authorize, or endorse this site or its content. LEGO® is a registered trademark of the LEGO® Group of companies. This means that the word LEGO® is a brand name and should technically be used as an adjective (e.g., LEGO® bricks, LEGO® toys, LEGO® models, LEGO® sets, etc. – not “Legos” as is so common in everyday speech). In addition, LEGO® is actually written in uppercase letters. LEGO® fans, let's stand behind this special brand by not diluting their trademark. Visit the official LEGO® website: www.LEGO.com.