LegoLand, in my opinion, is one of the more overpriced amusement parks out there (maybe 2nd only to Disney, but at least Disney has more to do) In addition to this, several of the attractions consist of letting your kids play with Legos and Duplos, which they can do back at home. Not to mention all the Lego sets they sell here (which you can buy online, or at Target, for less) that your kids will tear open in the park and lose the pieces.
But they do have some awesome deals, like this coupon we were handed when we went in:
Yes, Moms & Dads: if you spend $35 on Lego Star Wars merchandise, you get a free sticker! Is that a smokin' deal or what?
The kids love a play area called Pharoah's Revenge, which is entered by a spiral staircase. For reasons unknown, the stairs have a handicapped sign under them (there's no lift nearby, either). I have no idea how they think anyone with crutches or a wheelchair can access these:
LegoLand has 2 rides that are (allegedly) kid-powered. In one kids yank ropes (heavily assisted by machinery) to pull their bench up a tower. You're kids will love it. And are you naive enough to believe they'll do the pulling? Of course they won't.
This is, in reality, ADULT powered (sort of like the credit card you used for admission). YOU end up pulling the damn ropes, because your lazy kid is too busy looking around as you hoist your bench in the air, waving at siblings, your spouse, and anyone else he can use as an excuse not to do some measly manual work.
Likewise, they have a 2-person vehicle you pedal on a track above the park. And you think your kids are going to help you pedal? SUCKER!
At lunch today all the visible tables were taken, so one special family decided to set up camp on a sidewalk RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE KITCHEN DOOR. So when some employee came up, pushing a cart full of buns and condiment jugs and other supplies, they REFUSED TO MOVE! So he couldn't get his cart into the kitchen (and no one could get out) while this family argued that since they couldn't find a table, the whole problem of how to get supplies into the kitchen is Legoland's, not theirs.
One of the best parts of Legoland is a HUGE wooden play area. It's 3 stories high, and is what anyone dreams of having in their yard when growing up. It's a great place to let your kids run amok while you rest your feet (although it really needs more benches for adults to sit down- you hear me, Legoland?).
Mrs. Grumpy found a seat on a fence near where the main slide ends at the bottom, while I went up into this thing with the kids and chased them around. After a while I decided to go sit next to Mrs. Grumpy, and thought the big slide would be a cool way to get back down. Kids were going down quickly and flying out at the bottom, so since she was sitting near it I figured I'd pop out right at her feet with a little (snaps fingers) razzle dazzle.
So I climbed into the slide, but didn't pick up speed like those kids did. And about 5 feet from the bottom, I came to a dead stop.
Here I am, stuck in a tube slide, lying on my back. I can't sit up. All I can do is repeatedly hunch my butt up and down to try and scoot out. This made a hell of a lot of noise, and when my distinctive "no one else would buy sneakers this hideous, even on sale" shoes began to inch out the bottom opening, I could hear Mrs. Grumpy start shrieking hysterically.
I was afraid she was going to have to drag me the last few feet out, but then some impatient kindergartner came down the slide after me, landed on my head, and pushed me out.
In some ways I prefer Legoland over Sea World. We can find a quiet corner, read books, and turn the kids (they're old enough) loose. I don't recommend the adjacent aquarium, though. It takes all of 15 minutes to walk through, and you find yourself saying "was that it?". Go to the Scripps Birch Aquarium if you want sea life.
Although most of the park is geared toward the age 5-10 crowd, one of LegoLand's coolest features for anyone is MiniLand, which has Lego replicas of several major cities and monuments.
(click to enlarge)
They also have a Star Wars section.
In the afternoon my kids went on a mini-boat ride, where you steer a little electric boat around a course. I watched a guy in his mid-30’s, covered in tattoos, and smoking a cigarette (the attendant asked him to put it out, and the guy ignored her) get in one of the little kiddie boats BY HIMSELF and thought, “sheesh, that’s the most pathetic thing I’ve seen today.”
It quickly became the 2nd most pathetic thing, as Marie then got into a boat. At the breakneck speed of 1 MPH she lost control of it, spinning it completely around and colliding with Craig’s behind her, then getting jammed against the side. This aquatic traffic jam was finally solved when an employee put on hip-waders (in her case they were neck-waders) and went out to drag Marie’s boat onto the right course and give her a lecture about such complex activities as working a steering wheel.
While watching this water ballet I got to listen to Captain Cranky. This is a life-size LEGO figure nearby, who slowly turns machinery attached to a ride, all the while groaning and straining like a badly constipated man in need of prunes.
Late afternoon a lady walking ahead of me suddenly bent forward over a LEGO buffalo and yelled to a friend to take her picture. To my horror, her shorts dropped precipitiously as she leaned over, showing 6 inches of crack and a strand of purple thong. She stood back up before I could get a picture of the abomination to share with you guys.
And that's the way it is.
P.S. Don't get a smug "I don't live near LegoLand, so my kids won't drag me there" look. I don't either, and here I am. And they're building one in Florida. So there.