Prior to this past year, we lived in southern California for about 3 years. On the daily, thanks to cable commercials, I was begged to go to LEGOLAND by my oldest daughter. Unfortunately it was just never in the budget.
There are a fantastic array of options here luckily, and I do hope to get a chance to tell you about many of them during our time here!
What we eventually decided on was LEGOLAND Deutschland! We gave my daughter the printed out tickets on her birthday, and it was an agonizing 21 days of counting down for her.
It was a pleasant two hour drive from our home, and we got there around 11am. With check in not until 3pm, we were unsure if we were to park at the entrance or the hotel. Amazingly, they let us check in early, get our room keys and park at the hotel – but we had to still stay out of the room until 3pm.
After we parked the car and loaded the stroller we were ready to get on the walking path to LEGOLAND! Luck of lucks, it then starts pouring rain!! Ugh, we were all so disappointed but no looking back now. The walking path was through tree coverage, so luckily we didn't get too wet and by the time we got there, less than ten minutes later, it had stopped raining.
Our first stop was a Panoramic Observation ride. We were actually surprised that from up there the park didn't actually look that big (but trust me, it is!). We loved starting our day with something even the two year old could participate in.
The second ride was something we now realize we should have saved for closer to last. My daughter talked a big game that month about how fearless she was going to be. While we were encouraging we definitely knew she was unlikely to walk the walk.
When she said she wanted to go on a coaster, we certainly weren't going to tell her no. This was the smallest elevated track coaster at the park, with a minimum of 4 years old cut-off. Suffice it to say my 7 year old was less than impressed.
From that point the next two hours became a very expensive Pokemon Go trip. She didn't want to get on anything, no matter how slow or kid friendly it was. It's a great thing that there is a lot of fun to be had without rides!
The amount of parks at Lego Land is incredible! Also, there is what they call “Mini Land” where complete towns and noteworthy landmarks are constructed using hundreds of thousands of Lego bricks.
Our favorites were Venice and Neuchwenstein Castle.
One of my husband's favorite parts was the Lego Factory where you got a comprehensive look at how the Legos are made. The whole place smelled like his 3D printer!
Luckily after lunch (yummy pizza!) she opened up a bit more.
We were really proud of many of the things she was willing to try. She did a Pirate Ship with Daddy and although she still screamed, she admittedly didn't hate it.
Hailey also was really looking forward to Technik TeaCups and I'm so glad that there was no line when we happened upon it, because if she had she seen it first, that'd be another experience that never would have happened. It went incredibly fast about half way through! I had to teach her my 'focal point' trick of looking directly at something, she chose my paint chipped thumbnail, and then it didn't seem as fast or nauseating.
The first day ended with an overpriced buffet back near the hotel. I think we paid something like $65 for the four of us, and it had very minimal choices. What it did have was quite tasty, however.
We were so tired and so sore and really questioning how we were going to possibly make it through a second day of fun at the park!
In fact, back at the hotel there is a HUGE ropes course for an additional cost that we were hoping to do with my daughter, but there was just no way we could handle anymore fun.
The hotel room was surprisingly anti-climatic. It was certainly more aesthically interesting than the average motel 6, but for what we paid and for what the online pictures portrayed, I don't think it was quite worth the money. I did, however, think it was super cute that instead of a mint, they left a Lego Brick on our pillows!
The walls were not boring, I'll give it that. But it was pretty cheap looking up close. The random Lego decor finds were fun for the kids, too.
I'd say the coolest part was the big box of Legos in the kids' room for them to play with – what a nifty touch! However, the bed was horribly stiff for our taste, especially on such tired bodies. Also, I will never understand how a room made for kids has a glass stand up shower and not a tub for bathing....
The next morning we cleared the room, left the keys inside (what an easy checkout!) and headed down to the complimentary breakfast. I was crossing my fingers for more than cold cereal and a few muffins.
Boy was I pleased! It was a full buffet complete with fresh meats, fruits, eggs, breads and beverages. It was fantastic and gave us the energy we needed to go at it a second day. This time, since we were checked out of hotel, we got to drive all the way down to front entrance.
The second day was much warmer, therefore much more packed. But even still, I'm happy to report that the vast majority of lines maintained a 20 minute max wait.
By the end of the day there was only a small handful of things we missed due to lines longer than we were willing to deal with.
My daughter was pretty sad about having to skip the peddle cars that drive high above but it had the longest line with an estimation of 60 minutes.
Another attraction my oldest had to miss was not due to line times. We researched the park ahead of time to hold us over for the weeks long wait, and she was so excited about the Hyundai driving school for 7-13 year olds. It was going to be a 45 minute excursion complete with lessons and 20 minutes behind the wheel of these mini cars.
However, what we didn't anticipate is that the instructions would all be in German. So instead we told her to pretend she was only 6 and do the younger kid version, that required no instruction and was just a oval track with much slower cars. Luckily that sated her.
There wasn't a TON that my youngest could do, but I think we still got her money's worth.
Easily her favorite part was the Aquarium! We went both days, but she fell asleep before we got in the first day and missed it all.
The train and safari ride was also a good time for all. Otherwise she really enjoyed laughing, and watching Sissy on the silly rides was more than sufficient for her.
I do think we will go again, but next time we will stay in one of their much more humble lodgings, I think.