LEGOLAND Vacation Planning Guide
Don't plan your visit to LEGOLAND without reading our planning guide first. We break down everything you need to know. We'll start with the attractions, followed by must-eats, and then on to tips, the SEA LIFE Aquarium, LEGOLAND Water Park and where to stay.
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?.
As an overview, here are some of the top attractions, some you may even want to do first:
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
LEGOLAND - Where to Eat
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
The first thing you need to do to start your day at LEGOLAND is get there early. Although the attractions won't be open yet, you can enter the park 30-60 minutes prior to park opening. 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 entry if they're wearing special slap bracelets provided by the hotel.
Below are the attractions that are open during early entry for hotel guests only:
- Safari Trek
- Fairy Tale Brook
- Mia's Riding Camp
- 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
Fun Town (be sure to have your little kids do the Junior Driving School!)
LEGO Friends Heartlake City
Explorer Island for Fairy Tale Brook, Safari Trek and Coastersaurus
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)
Now that you've done most of the attractions, 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.
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 want to 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.
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.
Other LEGOLAND California Resort Theme Parks
There are two other theme parks in addition to LEGOLAND that make up the LEGOLAND California Resort: SEA LIFE Aquarium and the LEGOLAND Water Park.
The SEA LIFE Aquarium is open 365 days a year and can be entered with or without LEGOLAND admission. The LEGOLAND Water Park is open select days March - November, and is only open 7 days a week from June - August. You must have valid LEGOLAND and LEGOLAND Water Park tickets for admission into the Water Park. The LEGOLAND Water Park also includes the Chima Water Park.
In order to access the SEA LIFE Aquarium or LEGOLAND Water Park, we highly recommend purchasing a Hopper ticket. The ticket will specify which additional attractions your ticket is valid for.
Plan on getting a 2-day ticket. Even if you won't be spending two full days in the parks, you'll enjoy having the flexibility and being able 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.
LEGOLAND Vacation Planning Guide - Tickets
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 all of Get Away Today's LEGOLAND tickets:
- 1-Day LEGOLAND Tickets
- 2-Day LEGOLAND Hopper Tickets (options both with and without Water Park)
- Combo tickets that also include the Disneyland Resort
- Combo tickets that also include the Disneyland Resort and SeaWorld San Diego
LEGOLAND Vacation Planning Guide - Choosing a Hotel
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 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 entry with theme park admission. It is the best way to start your day.
- The hotels include a full breakfast buffet with every breakfast food imaginable... and then some.
- Both the LEGOLAND Hotel and the LEGOLAND Castle Hotel have giant LEGO play areas, nightly parties, daily activities and awesome LEGO themed pools.
- The guests 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. In addition to having a king bed in the main bedroom area, 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 have a few other top recommendations:
- La Quinta Inn & Suites Carlsbad (great value option)
- The Cassara Carlsbad, Tapestry Collection by HiltonGrand
- Hilton Garden Inn Carlsbad Beach
- Homewood Suites Carlsbad
- Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa
Booking your LEGOLAND vacation
We make booking your LEGOLAND vacation as easy as possible. All of our vacation 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 first-hand experience.