Legoland Florida in Winter Haven, Florida, opened its gates in 2011 and is already a family favorite. Tens of thousands of photos of parents and their kids now appear on Instagram. We picked a few of our favorites to share along with some tips and info to help you enjoy your stay at Legoland Florida.
Legoland Florida is the second-largest Legoland park (after Legoland Windsor in the UK) and was built on the former site of Cypress Gardens, a garden-themed park that operated from 1936 to 2009. The park’s original botanical park has been preserved, and the rest of the property was redecorated with a water park and roller coasters – with a Lego theme of course.
“Miniland USA” is one of the coolest features of Legoland. In the New York City Miniland, Lego bricks are used to create miniature versions of Rockefeller Plaza, Times Square, the Statue of Liberty, Grand Central Station, the Empire State Building and even the Central Park Zoo. Other Minilands include re-creations of Washington, D.C., Las Vegas and Florida.
For families with toddlers, there is plenty for your little one to do on their own and with a grown-up. For the independent type your little one can ride the Duplo Train, be their own knight on Royal Joust, or drive their own car at the Ford Jr. Driving School and get their own drivers license! No adults allowed in this ride and no need to worry because they are securely buckled in and can’t drive too fast. If you want to join in on the fun, check out the Boating School, Lost Kingdom Adventure, Coastersaurus and The Dragon. For families who have older kids check out Flying School, Ford Driving School, Project X and the all-new Lego Ninjago The Ride.
If you want to take a break from the rides, be sure to check out the Pirates’ Cove Live Water Ski Show with live action on water skis, jet skis and boats. There are two seating areas, but get to the stadium early enough to sit in front of the main stage. If you need to cool off there are two indoor shows of ‘Friends to the Rescue’ Live Stage Show and several different 4D shows in the Wells Fargo 4D Theater. Also, the great thing about visiting Legoland is all the access to you guessed it Legos! There are many play and building areas throughout the park and you are encouraged to participate and put your building skills to the test.
If you are feeling a bit warm from that Florida heat check out the Waterpark. This does require a separate admission so be sure to get your combo ticket; it is open seasonally so check out the park hours before you go. Be sure to get there early to get your free seats because they are on a first-come, first-served basis. As a family you can build your own Lego raft to ride down the river, ride in tubes in Twin Chasers, and catch some waves in the Lego Wave Pool. For the toddler in your family they can get soaked at Joker Soaker and explore the Duplo Splash Safari. Feeling a bit more adventurous, those 48 inches and taller can slide down a 60-foot drop on Splash Out. If you are wondering about safety, the Legoland Waterpark has life jackets free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, check out the FAQs.
If you’ve been to Legoland, then you’ve probably sampled the famous Granny’s Apple Fries. The sliced green apples are fried and tossed in cinnamon sugar and served alongside whipped cream – and they have a cult-like following. If you want to try making them at home, there are a bunch of copycat recipes out there to choose from. We’re partial to this one from Food.com.
Unlike the Disney and Universal parks in nearby Orlando, hotels aren’t on every corner around Legoland. But the theme park will soon boast two resorts: the five-story, 152-room Legoland Hotel and the soon-to-open, 166-room. Legoland Beach Retreat. More than 2 million Lego bricks have been used to build the 2,000 Lego models throughout the Legoland Hotel. Even the pool features floating Lego bricks.