Disclosure: LEGOLAND provided us with tickets in exchange for promoting a giveaway they were hosting a couple months ago. We only work with brands we love and trust on this blog. We used those complimentary tickets to conduct this feature. All opinions expressed are my own.
Before you go:
Check random things for Kids Visit Free Tickets! (Like juice boxes, LEGO packages.)
Order tickets online for the best possible prices: I suggest splurging on the ticket that includes admission to the water park and aquarium as well.
Download the LEGOLAND app. (they will give you some great coupons and a pretty good map!)
Help your kids create a savings plan for souvenirs.
Optional: Find personalized shirts or cute outfits.
*Read LEGO books, build with LEGOs, and watch LEGO movies and/or shows!!
The night before:
Shower, lay out outfits, pack backpack. (water bottle, small snacks, camera, charged phone, wallet, tickets to LEGOLAND!)
Set an early alarm. I strongly encourage arriving when the open the turn stalls at 9:30 am. You can park at 9:00 am. We were the fourth car to park that morning and paid 20.00 for their regular parking.
Get a good night’s rest, because tomorrow will be FUN.
The morning of:
Wake up early.
Eat a filling breakfast
Aim to arrive at the park before 9 am. (the park doesn’t open until 10 on most days, but arriving early is super helpful!)
Park (regular parking was 20.00 and preferred parking was 30.00. If you arrive early enough, you don’t really need the preferred parking.)
Go through bag check.
Once you’ve entered the park, at this point snag your photo in front of the LEGOLAND sign. Otherwise, you’re going to be trying to do so with people all around you.
This is the time to get anything you need from Guest Services (I suggest getting a LEGOLAND pin for free. They have an option for birthday and “my first visit” )
Stand in line at the stall. INSIDER TIP: every morning, they choose a kid to help a character open the park. This was really cool, and honestly I was crushed Liam didn’t get picked to do it. They chose from the front of the lines for this, so if you can get up closer to the entry gate, I think you have a better shot. It was really cool, he got to climb up on a stool and press the button with the character and I believe he got a commemorative certificate.
Once the park opens at 9:30 (check the times online before your trip, this does change from time to time.) The rides will not be open, but I suggest you send one parent to grab coffee and another parent takes the child for a character photo with the character who opened the gates. From here, head straight to a ride line. I would suggest you go with the NINJAGO ride as that line will be busy quick.
From Ninjago, I’d go to the driving school. This is a fun area, and tends to get busy quickly.
Ride whatever you’d like, you can check wait times in the app to help you discern where you should go and when.
How about lunch?
If you plan to stay for dinner at LEGOLAND as well, I suggest you have lunch at the Smokehouse. A team member recommended it us, and it was divine. I got a kids meal for myself and my kids and that was more than enough food. If you don’t plan to stay for dinner, then I’d suggest going to lunch at the LEGOLAND hotel restaurant called Bricks.
Bricks is a buffet, and adults cost 27.50. The food at Bricks was insanely good. They have a full size kids buffet, drinks are included, and I had read that every day in the app you’ll get a coupon for kids eat free or 50% off. It happened! We were walking around the park and sure enough! A 50% off kids buffet meal coupon to use after 5:00 pm came through.
Personally, I recommend this schedule for the rest of your day.
Grab a quick lunch at the Smokehouse.
Ride more rides (like the dragon ride and the jousting ride, which are nearby)
Grab some Apple Fries (lawd have mercy!!!)
Let the kids play at the playground for a minute while you eat said fries.
After you’ve rode all the rides you’d like, head over to the water park area around 3:00 pm. (the Water Park generally closes at 5 pm so this will give you two hours.)
After the water park closes, get dried off and dressed.
End your LEGOLAND day with a stroll through the aquarium.
(or maybe a stop at the store!)
A couple extra suggestions/notes:
The LEGOLAND hotel is open to people not staying there. We weren’t able to stay there, but still took advantage of their restaurant: Bricks. Our kids were able participate in a building showcase, and we just enjoyed checking the place out. I would love to stay here on our next trip! Consider it when you’re planning your Carlsbad trip, because it is connected to LEGOLAND. There’s also going to be a new LEGOLAND Castle hotel opening up April 27th 2018. We could only see from the outside, but it looked absolutely incredible.
Printable guide is below, please share with your friends!