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Your LEGOLAND Vacation Planning Guide
July 12, 2023

UPDATED JULY 2023. LEGOLAND California Resort is the perfect destination for families heading to San Diego, Orange County or Los Angeles. Here at Get Away Today, we cover all aspects of Southern California vacations. Once you discover a bit about LEGOLAND, it’s no surprise that you’ll want to add this popular theme park to your trip or make it an experience all of its own.

Our LEGOLAND vacation planning guide will give you all of the best tips on how to start your day at the LEGOLAND California Resort. We'll share the best attractions, places to eat and even where to stay.

How Many Theme Parks are at LEGOLAND California Resort?

LEGOLAND® California Resort is the perfect place for families with children ages 2-12 to “build” family memories. Enjoy more than 60 rides, shows, and attractions spread throughout this 128 acre LEGO® themed resort. Head to Castle Hill and enter a world of knights and princesses to conquer the Dragon Coaster, get a Driver’s License in Fun Town and marvel at cities built entirely out of millions of LEGO® bricks in Miniland.

Dive underwater and search for LEGO® treasure on the LEGO® CITY: Deep Sea Adventure ride, showcase your best ninja moves on NINJAGO® The Ride, or enjoy the swift speed of the beginner coaster Coastersaurus. There are LEGO® experiences, a wide variety of retail products, and one-of-a-kind food and beverage options for the whole family to enjoy.

LEGOLAND® Resort is also home to SEA LIFE® aquarium, featuring the Sea at Night exhibit where you can learn more about bioluminescence.

LEGOLAND first opened on March 20, 1999 and is often added to various vacation packages because of its close proximity to other popular family destinations.

LEGOLAND California Resort Location

You’ll find LEGOLAND in the beautiful seaside town of Carlsbad with an exact address of One Legoland Dr, Carlsbad, CA 92008.

Where is LEGOLAND compared to other nearby attractions? While drive times can vary between the destinations, we love adding discount LEGOLAND tickets onto existing packages to extend the fun just a bit longer.

LEGOLAND California Resort Theme Parks and Layout

LEGOLAND California Resort is made up of three theme parks:
  1. LEGOLAND California Park includes themed areas like Fun Town, Pirate Shores, Castle Hill, MINILAND USA, Land of Adventure, LEGO Ninjago World, Imagination Zone, Explorer Island and THE LEGO® MOVIE™ World.
  2. LEGOLAND Water Park includes themed areas like CHIMA Water Park and Surfer's Cove. Open seasonally on select dates March – October.
  3. SEA LIFE Aquarium includes themed areas like Gold Rush River, Ray Lagoon, Shark Mission, Jellyfish Discovery, Sea Life Lab and more.

Each of the three theme parks are located in the same area with the same parking lot. Guests can also choose to book a night or two at one of the LEGOLAND Hotels and stay right in the action.

The best way to get acquainted with the layout of LEGOLAND California Resort is by downloading the free LEGOLAND California Resort app. The app also provides wait times, activities, shows, dining and more. Keep reading to learn more about each of those later on in this article.

How Can I Get Discount Tickets to LEGOLAND California Resort?

Choosing which tickets you'll want for your LEGOLAND vacation is easy with Get Away Today. There are different combinations depending on how many days you'd like to spend at the LEGOLAND California Resort and what other theme parks you'll be visiting.

If you are traveling when the Water Park is not open, those tickets will not be available for purchase for your dates.

Here are the links to Get Away Today's LEGOLAND tickets: If you decide on a 1-day ticket, your dated ticket only includes admission to LEGOLAND® Park. If you choose the 2nd Day Free ticket (our best value) you will have access to each of the three theme parks (water park seasonally) which is perfect for the spring and summer months!

Occasionally the LEGOLAND® California Resort offers seasonal ticket and hotel specials. The LEGOLAND® Water Park is open seasonally March – October, including daily during peak summer months. As always, we recommend checking the LEGOLAND® operations calendar when planning your Carlsbad vacation.

We Recommend…

LEGOLAND 2-day tickets, even if you won't be spending two full days in the parks. With two days you'll enjoy having the flexibility to enjoy LEGOLAND at a more leisurely pace. If you're traveling during a busy season, you may not be able to do all of the attractions in one day, so you'll be glad you have two days.

What Hotels are Near LEGOLAND® California Resort?

Because LEGOLAND is located in Carlsbad, California, there are some really great hotels to choose from. In our professional and personal opinion, the very best places to stay are either the LEGOLAND HotelLEGOLAND Hotel or the LEGOLAND Castle Hotel. Here's why:
  • Both hotels are located right on property. You are just a few steps from the main LEGOLAND Park entrance. It makes getting into the park in the morning a breeze, and it's so easy to go back and forth for midday naps.
  • When you stay at one of the LEGOLAND on-site hotels, you get early access with theme park admission. It is the best way to start your day.
  • A full breakfast buffet with every breakfast food imaginable... and then some is included in your LEGOLAND vacation package.
  • Both the LEGOLAND Hotel and the LEGOLAND Castle Hotel have giant LEGO play areas, nightly parties, daily activities and awesome LEGO themed pools.
In addition, the guest rooms are unlike the guestrooms at any hotel you've ever seen. The rooms themselves are fully decked out in LEGO decor with different themes. There is a king bed in the main bedroom area and each standard guest room also has a mini kids' bedroom. The kid room features a set of bunk beds with a daybed, a flat screen TV and even a little LEGO play/game area.

If staying on-site isn't in the cards for you for your trip, we also recommend these two family hotels nearby:

What Rides are at LEGOLAND California Resort?

LEGOLAND California has over 60 attractions, some just for kids and some for the whole family. LEGOLAND was created with children ages 2-12 in mind, so many of the attractions are perfect for that age group. If you want to review our breakdown of which attractions are best for which ages, we suggest starting here: What is the best age for LEGOLAND?

Now let’s take a look at each of LEGOLAND’s most popular attractions. The LEGO MOVIE WORLD at LEGOLAND California is the newest area to join LEGOLAND and bring four new attractions. It takes the place of Heartlake City, and is the reason Duplo Village was relocated north to the hilltop.

Emmet’s Flying Adventure - If you’re a LEGO Movie fan, then you’re probably familiar with the mega couch Emmet creates. He’s not exactly a Master Builder, but that couch does end up being a big help on his journey!

Emmet’s Flying Adventure invites guests of LEGOLAND to grab a seat on a triple-decker couch for the ride of their lives. This virtual experience is experienced on a domed screen, which really makes you feel like part of the action.

Be prepared to encounter smells and even a little glitter on Emmet’s Flying Adventure. This new ride is designed for guests 40” and taller.

Unikitty’s Disco Drop - Move to the music with Unikitty on this 30-foot, hydraulic drop ride. It also spins, and at the top is a digital image of Unikitty herself, making faces that correspond with the ride movements. The minimum height for this new LEGOLAND ride is 40”.

Benny’s Play Ship - If under 48” or the age of 6, guests must be accompanied by an adult to play on this structure. Featuring space theming and Benny himself, LEGO-lovers can climb, slide and explore this playground with a rocket facade.

Queen Watevra’s Carousel - Spin along with the Queen - and 60 of her horses - on this huge carousel that's perfect for younger guests.

Emmet’s Super Suite - Cast Member meet and greets are hosted in Emmet’s Super Suite at LEGOLAND. You’ll be transported right to Bricksburg in a replica of Emmet’s very own living room.

More of LEGOLAND's Top Attractions
  • LEGO Technic Coaster - Minimum Height 42"
  • The Dragon - Minimum Height 40"
  • Safari Trek - Minimum Height 34"
  • Coastersaurus - Minimum Height 36"
  • Knight's Tournament - Minimum Height 40"
  • LEGO City: Deep Sea Adventure - No Height Requirement
  • Bionicle Blaster - Minimum Height 42"
  • Miniland USA - no height requirement - walk through area
  • NINJAGO - The Ride - Guests under 48" must ride with someone 14 years or older and 48" or taller

What Are the Best Places to Eat at LEGOLAND California Resort?

The food at LEGOLAND isn't your typical theme park food. LEGOLAND sources the freshest and local ingredients, and you can tell. Here are some of our favorite must-try foods at LEGOLAND:
  • Ninja Kitchen - delicious and fresh banh-mi sandwiches located right outside NINJAGO - The Ride.
  • Knights' Smokehouse BBQ - Texas barbecue slow-cooked in an all-wood smoker located in Castle Hill.
  • Granny's Apple Fries - cooked Granny Smith apples dusted with cinnamon and sugar and served with whipped vanilla cream located in Castle Hill. Don't miss this treat invented and then made famous by LEGOLAND!
  • Pizza & Pasta Buffet - build your own pasta, pizza, salads and soft drinks for one all-you-care-to-eat price located in the Imagination Zone.

Starting Your Day at LEGOLAND

Guests staying at either the LEGOLAND Hotel or the LEGOLAND Castle Hotel can get in early and have access to select attractions. Hotel guests are identified and only allowed to board during early access if they're wearing special slap bracelets provided by the hotel.

Below are the attractions that are open during early access for hotel guests only:
  • Coastersaurus
  • Safari Trek
  • Fairy Tale Brook
  • The LEGO Movie Experience
  • NINJAGO 4D at the LEGO Show Place

Whether you're staying at one of the on-property hotels or not, getting to LEGOLAND early is the best way to get a good start to your day. You can start by wandering through some of the incredible LEGO displays and get some awesome photos. Once the park is officially open, you can line up for your favorite attractions.

Below is a sample strategy that will take you backwards through the park:
  • Castle Hill to ride The Dragon
  • LEGO City: Deep Sea Adventure
  • Pirates Shores
  • Fun Town (be sure to have your little kids do the Junior Driving School!)
  • LEGO Movie World
  • Explorer Island for Fairy Tale Brook, Safari Trek and Coastersaurus
  • Lunch Break
  • NINJAGO The Ride
  • 4D Show in LEGO Theater
  • Imagination Zone for LEGO Technic Coaster, BIONICLE Blaster and AQUAZONE Wave Racers
  • Land of Adventure for Dune Raiders, Lost Kingdom Adventure and Beetle Bounce (for little ones)
  • Coast Cruise
At this point in the day you've done most of the attractions so you can take your time enjoying Miniland USA, the LEGO Star Wars area and the LEGO Movie 2 experience.

You can of course make your own strategy as well. Use our tips below to come up with the best plan of action for your vacation.

More LEGOLAND Vacation Tips

Before you even step foot in LEGOLAND, be sure to download the app and spend some time familiarizing with the layout of the park. Make a tentative plan and make sure you know where to go. If there's something you really want to do, do it first so that you don't run the risk of running out of time.

Check the LEGOLAND app throughout the day for special coupons and deals. The app will regularly have deals for restaurants and shops in the park.

Bring some MiniFigures! Each LEGOLAND Model Citizen (park employee) has a MiniFigure on them at all times and is willing and ready to trade. You can bring your own MiniFigure from home, or buy one in the park to get in on the fun. You can also trade MiniFigures at select chops throughout the Resort.

Check the calendar before you go. During non-peak times of the year, LEGOLAND Park is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. You'll want to make sure you don't unintentionally schedule a trip when the park is closed.

Booking your LEGOLAND vacation

We make booking your LEGOLAND California vacation as easy as possible. All of our TEXT HEREvacation packages can be booked online or over the phone at 855-GET-AWAY. Our agents have all visited LEGOLAND and are happy to give you their first-hand experience. We hope you now have all the building blocks to an amazing LEGOLAND vacation!

Your LEGOLAND Vacation Planning Guide

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