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Legoland Rocks!

roller coaster
Today I wanted to share our experiences with Legoland (Carlsbad CA) from our trip over the December school break.

If you have a kid who likes Legos... wow, Legoland is great. Boys and girls can all enjoy, but this place has that extra level of appeal to boys 5-12 who may be Lego fanatics. We have ~100 lego sets plus big bins of free-for-all building in our house. Lego is a big part of our lives.

Ethan loves to build and play with the minifigs. I love the fine motor, spacial skills, following directions, attention to detail, etc. that comes with playing with Lego, not to mention the imaginative play.

We went in December so the Water Park portion was closed (it was only 55F so I don't think we missed it;), but the main park and Sea Life Aquarium were open. We stayed at the nearby Homewood Suites for 3 days and it was very comfortable.

The main park is a great mix of amusement park rides and interactive lego building along with the 'sight seeing' aspect of mini land (wow- impressive and cool). A lot of the rides the kids are in control of the action (cars or boat driving, or the up/down controls). There are some fun lego shows (3d video w/effects) that our kids loved. If you're child is above 9 and he is interested in Mind Storm, be sure to go there first immediately to reserve a spot. It's a reservation system for limited spots to do the building (9 and up w/adult)/robotics seminar. Ethan did it with the hubby and he thought it was cool.

The lines for rides were rather long (see Guest Assistance pass below), so w/out the assistance I'd recommend staying away the big vacation weeks or weekends and try to go a little off peak if possible. With GA, it's not an issue.

The Aquarium was also a lot of fun and geared toward younger kids. Lots of opportunity to be on top of or under the fish/sharks/underwater Lego builds.

For special needs: There is a 'guest assistance' pass much like Disney (go to guest services at the entrance). We had no problems using it. Also, there are a number of Gluten Free options at various restaurants in the park. Check out the Dietary Guide. Our youngest w/Celiac had no problems, plus there are a number of restaurant chains w/GF menus in Carlsbad as well. So yes, great for families w/Autism and Celiac :)

Thumbs up for Legoland!

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Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
Jan. 18th, 2011 03:26 am (UTC)
That looks terrific! Thanks for the info and the guest pass suggestion.

Maggie.
autismblog
Jan. 18th, 2011 04:22 am (UTC)
:) oh good.

That was at the Volvo driving school- the little cars have gas (well electric) & brake and they drive around a little mini city. Very cool!
leviathan101
Jun. 17th, 2011 11:30 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the info. It's great to hear that Legoland is autism-friendly. I really want to take my kids there this summer. My 10-year old has autism, and I just know both of my kids will love it. They haven't been since they were very young. Also I worked there about ten years ago so am dying to see how it has changed.

I doubt LL can top the disability pass of Disneyland but it's awesome to hear that they use a similar system.
autismblog
Jun. 18th, 2011 03:13 pm (UTC)
oh it was really fun. Legoland does their guest assistance pass slightly different than Disney (it's actually like Universal Studios in Florida -which we went to in Feb). You go in the disability entrance, and if it's just 2 people going on the ride, they let you on right away, if there's more than they write a time down to return and you can go any time after that (there's no window- and it's usually the line wait time) and you can get as many 'times' down on your card as you want. So it works out really well. Have Fun!
(Anonymous)
Apr. 18th, 2012 01:30 pm (UTC)
Legoland Florida Guest Asssistance Pass
Unfortunately I had a very different experience. At Legoland Florida last week, I requested and was given the pass as mentioned above (my son is autistic). Unlike Disney and Universal where they are well staffed and trained, I could rarely find a staff member for a ride without going through the exit to the ride. At this point the child is literally watching people load on the ride and I wait to get staff's attention. I should note that I was travelling with my daughter and parents as well, on some rides there were three of us wanting on and some all five. It seemed that each ride operator had their own interpretation of the pass and some rides we were given a time to return, and others I was told my son and one person could ride. This is of course impossible, as I could not leave one of my children alone to go on the ride, nor could I allow her to accompany my son on the ride. Each ride became an exercise in frustration as my son is brought right up to the ride and we were unable to tell him whether he would get on or have to come back. It was very disappointed and the pass system is designed to basically divide up your party so that on only one ride did all of us ride at once. Poor staffing was a big part of this. Anyone who has done Disney or Universal will find that there are multiple staff at the entrance and exit to every ride and well trained to assist many different needs. Thumbs down for Legoland Florida in this regard.
autismblog
Apr. 19th, 2012 03:17 am (UTC)
Re: Legoland Florida Guest Asssistance Pass
Ugh, that sounds horrible. Sorry to hear about your experience, but thanks for sharing. Hopefully it's just that they are brand new in Florida and need to get the system organized and the staff trained. For me, no one can compare with Disney. All other parks should really take a lesson from them in how they handle guests with disabilities, dietary allergies/constraints, and all around customer service.

(Anonymous)
Jul. 15th, 2013 05:15 pm (UTC)
Re: Legoland Florida Guest Asssistance Pass
Disneyland has an excellent guest assistance pass program. They are so awesome at how they handle it. Legoland does not usually have huge lines, but the pass may be helpful, we will see.

On a side note, my son Andrew is Autistic and wants to be selected for one of those stage shows where they bring the kids up, but is never selected, does anyone know if there is a way to arrange for him to be picked even once? It would really make my son's day!
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