LEGOLAND California: 10 Reasons Why It Really Is Incredibly Awesome

Three of my kids and I had a chance to explore LEGOLAND California this past June and I can tell you from experience that it’s all true. LEGOLAND California in Carlsbad, California (just north of San Diego) is incredibly awesome. Here’s why.

1. TWO LEGO Hotels. My mind is exploding just thinking about this. There’s the original LEGOLAND Hotel, which opened five years ago. Then there’s the brand new LEGOLAND Castle Hotel, which opened in April. Both are steps away from the park and both have awesome theme guest rooms, though those at the Castle Hotel are medieval-themed (e.g., knights, wizards, etc.).

2. Plus, Two More Walkable Hotels. If you’re keen to have a few minutes of LEGO-free time, there are two more hotels that are an easy walk from the park (as in, through the park’s back gate). One is the Westin Carlsbad Resort & Spa and the other is the Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa, which is where we stayed while in town. They’re actually connected to one another.

The Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa was fantastic and decidedly LEGO-free (if that’s what you want). We had a two-bedroom studio suite, which was ideal for the four of us. There was one room with a king bed, then a separate room with two twin beds. In between was a comfy area with a sofa and flat-screen TV.

In the lobby, there was a truly tasty restaurant called 7 Mile Kitchen (named for Carlsbad’s seven miles of coastline). It was very nice, but also very kid-friendly. A perfect mix of something for me, something for them. I had the Offshore Pizza (marinated shrimp, mozzarella, white ricotta, pesto). My three kids had the usual kids’ menu type stuff, but then, insanely good milkshakes. Yum.

3. Mindstorm Classes. Hands-on LEGO Mindstorm classes are available throughout the day for kids in third grade and higher. Sign up early because the free 45-minute LEGO robotics classes do fill up. My kids did a fun Indiana Jones-style class called “Adventure Bot” that required them to program a robot to perform certain tasks, like use a whip (like Indiana Jones).

4. Granny’s Apple Fries. I had heard about Granny’s Apple Fries before I went to LEGOLAND California, and yes, the rumors did hold true. They were awesome. We picked up three orders of the cinnamon-sugar apple fries that come with vanilla whipped cream. If my kids weren’t there, I would have eaten all three on my own. Get extra napkins. They can be a wee bit messy.

5. The Massive Playground. You can only spend so much time waiting in lines at a theme park. Not that the lines at LEGOLAND California were especially long, but at some point, kids have got to run around and burn off some pent-up energy. In the back of the park, there’s a fantastic playground called The Hideaways with cargo nets, ropes, slides, bridges, and tunnels. It was perfect.

6. SEA LIFE Aquarium is Included. I loved that the SEA LIFE Aquarium is included in the ticket price. You do have to get a “hopper” ticket, but interestingly, it’s just $5 more per person to get a two-day hopper ticket over a one-day (yes, one-day) park only ticket. We were only going to be there one day, but we opted for the hopper tickets just to see the marine life at the aquarium.

7. Recycling Efforts. LEGOLAND California has more than 150 recycled-made benches. Each one is made from 800 recycled milk jugs. The park also has 400 trash and recycling bins, each made from 330 recycled milk jugs. The park has map recycling stations, embraces composting, and utilizes sustainable packaging throughout the park’s food service stations. Fantastic.

8. Miniland. Miniland was my favorite part of LEGOLAND California. I could have wandered around for at least an hour checking out the scaled-down versions of Washington, DC, Las Vegas, New Orleans, and more, all made from LEGO bricks. Even better, many of the cities had buttons you could press to be sprayed with water from a fire hose or make the people in the city dance.

9. Driving School. Truly, the Driving School inside the park is super fun. Designed for kids ages 6 to 13, kids learn about driving rules, then are set out on a driving course where they abide by stoplights and yield signs. They can even earn an official LEGOLAND driver’s license at the end. There is also a Junior Driving School for kids ages 3 to 5.

10. Mobile App. I do love a good a mobile app to help us get around a theme park. The LEGOLAND app is great since it has ride wait times, show times for live shows and 4-D movies, and meet and greet times. All of this saves so much time wandering aimlessly around the park. You can also buy tickets, even book a stay at one of the on-property hotels right through the app. Cool.

Have you been to LEGOLAND California? I’d love to hear what’s tops for you at the park. Let me know in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: My family received free passes to LEGOLAND California. However, all opinions expressed here are my own. Seriously, LEGOLAND California is awesome.