LEGOLAND – A Complete Guide

Updated June 1, 2017

So, you’re straying from your Disney trip (it’s OK!) to head south for a bit to beautiful San Diego. About 70 miles away sits LEGOLAND, which is a unique park with lots to offer to young children. I recommend it for kids up to age 12, as many of the rides may seem ‘babyish’ to those any older.

The trip from Disneyland to LEGOLAND can be painless if you drive early to avoid traffic and take advantage of the carpool lanes. Once you drive through Camp Pendleton, you’ll travel to Oceanside and into Carlsbad, where LEGOLAND is. Camp Pendleton is a Marine base and is a beautiful route that will add interest to your trip. You’ll stay on I-5 and won’t stop at the actual base. If you don’t leave early, leave after 10:00am to ensure traffic has died down.

Here’s my brief summary of the park: It’s a special place filled with unique creations and is fun to enjoy once or twice. There are things at LL that you won’t see it DLR and there is a charm there unlike any other place.

While planning, use their interactive park map to see the attractions up close.

legoland_coast_cruise

Basic Info

  • Tickets – Many options to consider, depending on the time you’re allowing for your visit. You can really enjoy all LEGOLAND has to offer in a single day. If you decide to visit all three parts of LEGOLAND (main park, water park and aquarium) go for two days. Dedicate one to the main park and the other to the aquarium and water park. Get Away Today sells discounted tickets. Find those here.
  • Hours – Most days include hours from 10am-5pm. During off season, some mid-week days are closed. Hours are not always consistent for all three parks. Be sure to check before you go. More popular days have later hours.
  • Hotel – LEGOLAND Hotel is a whimsically designed property that children will love. Pirate, Kingdom or Adventure themed rooms are available. Hotel guests enjoy a 30 minute head-start to their day with early entrance into the park. Nightly entertainment is available on-site, too. Note: If you’re happy with your DLR area hotel, you can skip the LEGOLAND hotel. Drive down for the day and return to Anaheim in the evening.
  • Parking – $17/day

baa56eb69146441a870a7ea68ae69b60

The 3 Parts of LEGOLAND

  • LEGOLAND – The main park, the first idea and what you shouldn’t miss. Rides, shows, splash pads, and MiniLand are here. The park includes around 60 shows, attractions, rides and exhibits.
  • SEALIFE Aquarium – This is a creatively designed aquarium intending to pull childred into the world of sea life with inviting ways to learn.
  • LEGOLAND Water Park – Geared for kids ages 2-12. The LEGOLAND Water Park is creative and fun with large foam LEGOS floating through the lazy river, a huge water play structure made to look like it was built with LEGOS and more. The LEGOLAND Chima Water Park is included in the admission cost of the LEGOLAND Water Park.

Dining at LEGOLAND

  • Options are very limited in comparison to Disneyland, so know what to expect.
  • Fun Town Market is the best for a variety of options, hot and cold, with healthy selections.
  • Granny’s Apple Fries are the “churro” of this park and are delicious!
  • Because the options are limited, I recommend eating breakfast prior to entering, enjoying a lunch on-site and then leaving at close (5pm many days) to dine offsite. Later in this post, I give you two options for nearby dining in and around Carlsbad.

IMG_1998-550x366

Don’t miss these attractions at LEGOLAND

  • Fairy Tale Brook – A slow boat cruise through an ode to classic fairy tales. Good for all ages. My absolute favorite!
  • Coast Cruise – A slow boat cruise that sails through the main part of the park and allows you to see some LEGO structures less visible from other parts of the park.
  • Sky Cruiser – A unique ‘sky coaster’ that provides great views of the parks.
  • Driving School – Who could resist driving a life-size LEGO car? Two age options, so nearly everyone can enjoy this attraction. Don’t forget to get your license upon leaving! (cute, free souvenir!)
  • Hideaways – My children are big fans of this part. A huge play structure lets kids get lost and explore. Settle in by the exit and take a deep breath.
  • MiniLand – The premier attraction at the park and good for all ages. It includes LEGO creations taller than you of many large cities and Star Wars, too!

How to Tour

While those are my favorite atttacions to visit, I recommend starting at the right side of the park. The Dragon Coaster, Technic Coaster, Lost Kingdom Adventure and Ninjago are popular attractions that will include the longest lines later in the day. Tend to those first.

My kids also love the Robotic Arm, which is slow loading and includes only a few riders at a time. Include that in your morning.

I recommend starting right, then moving to the middle of the park to enjoy the Coast Cruise and other iconic LEGOLAND attractions, then over to drive the LEGO cars, and finally to fill in with walk through attractions (including MiniLand) and playscapes.

Consider water rides, too. Enjoy those early on hot days.

Reserve ‘N’ Ride is available for an additional cost. Check out what your options are before you visit.

LEGOLAND has a Photo Pass, too. See what that’s all about, too, before arriving.

 

2354873_orig

Additional tips

  • Consider putting children in swim suits under their clothes so they can take advantage of the splash pads and other water-filled rides.
  • Follow these suggestions for attractions appropriate for all ages and specifically young children.
  • Don’t forget the sunblock. There are less options for indoor activity at LL compared to DLR. You’ll need protection from the sun.
  • Food and beverages are technically not allowed in the park unless they’re needed for dietary restrictions. Bottled water is allowed. From my experience, bags are never checked.
  • The entrance to the LEGOLAND Water Park is only accessible through LEGOLAND, so you must walk through LEGOLAND to get to the water park. This isn’t a ton of fun if you’re carrying lots of gear, so consider that when packing.
  • Water Park admission and Aquarium admission is only available as an add-on to the LEGOLAND ticket. You may visit only the water park or aquarium, but you’ll pay for a LEGOLAND + Hopper ticket.
  • Parent Swap is available to avoid standing in line twice for rides.

coastliner

Traveling by train from Disneyland to LEGOLAND

Consider taking the train from Anaheim to LEGOLAND. The drive along the sea is breathtaking, you’ll avoid traffic and the ride itself is an adventure for kids! Board the Metrolink at the Anaheim Station, about a mile from Disneyland. The one way trip will take a little over an hour due to stops along the way. Get off at the Oceanside Station and take a cab to LEGOLAND, which will cost around $20.

Food and drinks are allowed on the double decker train. Sit on the second level for the best views. Ticket prices vary per age. An adult one-way ticket costs $13. Three children (ages 5 and under) ride free with a paid adult. Children age 6 and older are considered “Youth” and pay the same as an adult fare. Use the price finder to calculate your costs. Amtrak has travel options, too, but those tickets are more expensive.

Visit Carlsbad Pictures 010

While you’re in San Diego County

  • The Flower Fields – Typically open from March 1 through mid-May, these fields are a sight to see. Ride a tractor through, take pictures and enjoy the views. The Flower Fields are located in Carlsbad, just a few moments from LEGOLAND.
  • Carlsbad Village – Eat dinner here and walk the quaint downtown shops before strolling to the beach prior to sunset. This area is just a few miles from LEGOLAND.
  • Oceanside Harbor – Drive north out of Carlsbad and into Oceanside on your way back to Anaheim. The Oceanside Harbor is filled with dining, shops and ships. Sea lions live there, too! The beach is steps away from the harbor, as well, if you want to add that to your trip, too. Our favorite local place to dine is Harbor Fish and Chips.
  • San Diego Zoo – Drive 45 minutes south of LEGOLAND to enjoy the world famous San Diego Zoo. It’s as amazing as everyone tells you and is worth the trip if you have the time.

Final thoughts: I do love this park for several reasons and I think it’s unique in many ways. Disneyland fans tend to not like the limited park hours when considering the cost of admission. 

If you have young children in your group, I recommend trying it out for a day. I’ve never seen a young child not totally fall in love with it. We were passholders for a year, so I know more than can be contained in a single post. Enjoy!

Take a look at how Get Away Today can help with your vacation

16 COMMENTS

  1. Casey, Is GetAwayToday no longer selling individual Legoland Tickets? All I can get to are the city pass tickets. We just want a single day.

    Thanks!

    • Hi, Shannon. If you don’t see what you’re looking for and think it should be there, don’t hesitate to call.

      If I knew, I would absolutely help you. Wish I could! Their number is 555-GET-AWAY. Please let me know if there’s anything else I can do!

  2. Thank you for all your knowledge! We have a 6 & a 3 year old & have decided to go to DL mid/Nov for a 4-night visit (Wed-Fri in park) & then head down to Legoland Sat-Sun with 2-day park tickets and staying at the legoland hotel. Still trying to decide if flights should be round trip from John Wayne…coming from MN. I love the idea of taking the train down! Any recommends or advise you might have for anything? Thank you in advance!

    • Hi, Michelle.

      The train is a lovely way to travel. You would need to take the Amtrak from the ARTIC station in Anaheim to the Carlsbad Pointsettia station. To and from each train station would require an uber ride. The one way trip on Amtrak from Anaheim to Carlsbad is $20 per person. Your kids would be half price according to this page:

      https://www.amtrak.com/children-discounts

      I would fly into and out of John Wayne if you want to avoid renting a car. Hire Lansky to take you from the airport to your hotel. They provide car seats and boosters and stop en route at the grocery store so you can grab some groceries for the hotel. Then, take the train to Carlsbad for Legoland.

      More on Lansky here:

      https://www.golansky.com/services.html

      I live near LEGOLAND. Let me know if you have any other questions!

  3. Hi, Casey,
    We’re taking our son to San Diego in June (his first visit). We’ll also visit LegoLand (first time for all of us). We plan on the zoo and the Midway, a day on Coronado, and then I’m undecided on the remaining day or two. What would you prioritize for a seven-year old? Thank you, as always!

  4. Hi Casey! This is the 2nd year in a row for my son and I using your blog to navigate DLR and SoCal. This year we want to spend less time at Disney and go to Legoland. Do you think 4-days is simply too long at LL and we will start to feel bored? I want to be conservative as we are slackers when it comes to vacay and I dont know how the nap situation will look given LL short days. I also wondered if you had any info on traveling from Carlsbad to San Diego airport. All the best to the Starnes family!

  5. Hi Casey
    Your site is absolutely amazing. Thank you for sharing your wisdom!!
    Does the train from Disneylan drop you right at LEGOLAND? If so can you do a day trip- take the train in the morning and come back in the evening? Do you know how much the train tickets are ?
    Thanks!

  6. One of my favorite things about LL is the play area offered at many of the bigger rides. The kids get to play with Legos while the parents wait peacefully in line. DLR could really use this feature! We spent 3 days at Disney over summer and my kids asked at almost every ride where the play area was! We’re pretty local and are heading back to LL in a couple of weeks for the winter festivities.

  7. We love Legoland! One thing we sometimes do is get their one hour pass, which if free. You can be in the park for one hour, as long as you buy something. We go in, ride our favorite couple of rides, and then buy a keychain on our way out. It’s a great way to get a taste of the park, but still have the day left to go to the beach!

LEAVE A REPLY