Recently I was able to visit LEGOLAND Florida for a day on my recent trip down to the Orlando area. I haven’t been to a LEGOLAND in a while, so was looking forward to seeing what was new. My girls were sad they weren’t along for the trip. They would have loved exploring the lands and especially would have enjoyed the waterpark in the hot sunny day! Theme parks are always adding new attractions and events, so let’s look at why you should visit LEGOLAND in 2017, even if you’ve been before.
LEGO NINJAGO World
This is a new section of the LEGOLAND Florida theme park which contains some hands on activities as well as a signature action ride. The hands on activity sections seemed to have a lot of engaged kids and were just simple activity engaging stations.
Some of the great activities include Kai’s Spinners, Cole’s Rock Climb, and Jay’s Lightning Drill. If your kids are NINJAGO fans they’ll love the character inclusion. Even if you’re not into the NINJAGO characters, the activities all seemed to be engaging for the kids.
The last feature at the end of the world is the temple which features NINJAGO The Ride. We were short on time so couldn’t stay for the 30 minute wait. The theming of the ride queue looks fun and features some great hands on activities to help pass the time. The ride itself is an action themed 3D style ride where the riders use their hands to throw orbs at bad creatures. I’m sure it’s an awesome attraction for the whole family!
LEGOLAND Beach Retreat
If you’re dreaming of staying in a LEGO house, this is your chance!
The new LEGOLAND Beach Retreat is a colorful vacation resort featuring brightly colored bungalows grouped into 13 horseshoe-shaped “coves” named after popular LEGO Minifigures. Designed to look like larger-than-life LEGO sets, 83 bungalows offer 166 separate rooms that sleep up to five, including a cozy area just for kids with a bunk bed, trundle bed and privacy curtain.
There’s even a giant LEGO lighthouse featuring a real rotating beacon. Some of the highlights for the beach retreat are a giant swimming pool next to The Lighthouse, with an adjacent sandy area perfect for building sandcastles and the resort’s biggest outdoor play structure for kids, and Sandy’s Castle Restaurant, where a delicious breakfast buffet is included with each night’s stay. There’s also free wi-fi throughout the site, and perhaps one of the biggest perks, early access to the LEGOLAND Florida theme park.
It’s important to know that the Beach Retreat is not on site like the popular LEGOLAND Hotel. Instead it’s located just under a mile away, across a busy road. There is complimentary transportation to the theme park entrance from the Beach Retreat. As well as free parking if you decide to drive across on your own.
Quest to LEGOLAND Road Trip Tech Adventure
If you’re planning a road trip down to LEGOLAND, you need to download the Quest to LEGOLAND app. Input your starting destination, and of course your end at LEGOLAND, and along the way fun facts and trivia are shown. It’s a GPS adventure where kids can choose a pirate, adventure, kingdom or beach theme and follow a LEGO Minifigure to the resort. Leveraging the Google Maps API, each route is mapped in real-time and transformed into a LEGOLAND adventure.
Added Autism / Spectrum Care Services
For families who have a child with special needs, LEGOLAND Florida has recently increased their services to help autism families. In working with Autism Speaks, LEGOLAND has initiated these efforts to help LEGOLAND Florida be the place #BuiltForKids:
- To assist visitors who have difficulty waiting in line, a pass specifically for guests on the autism spectrum allows a group to bypass the standby line at popular attractions. The no-cost “Blue Hero Pass” is available at Guest Services inside the theme park.
- Specially equipped spaces in the resort’s Annual Pass, First Aid and Baby Care facilities now serve as designated “quiet rooms” where quests who are on the autism spectrum and their families can take a break. Noise-cancelling headphones, weighted blankets, squishy toys and LEGO® building tables are some of the complimentary resources available. A similar space also is available within Guest Services at LEGOLAND Water Park.
- The LEGOLAND Training & Development team has created “social stories” that offer an illustrated, step-by-step walkthrough of every ride and show, so guests won’t be surprised by periods of darkness, loud noises, bright lights or other elements that often can be frightening or overwhelming. They’re available for review at Guest Services.
- All newly hired resort employees (called “Model Citizens”) now receive specialized training to prepare them with skills and sensitivities to more effectively interact with guests on the autism spectrum, as well as their families or caregivers.
I have friends who have children with autism, so these changes really touch my heart. I love how LEGOLAND Florida has worked with experts to truly make the resort a destination for all families.
Coming in 2018: LEGO® Star Wars™ MINILAND
So many great new additions to LEGOLAND Florida. It’s easy to partner a visit with your Disney World vacation, it’s about a 45 minute drive between the two.