Travel

Tips for Legoland in Carlsbad, California

I asked Joey if he would rather have a birthday party or go on a 5th birthday trip. He right away said a trip. I was smiling from ear to ear of his decision. He was really getting into Legos, so Legoland was the perfect place to celebrate his birthday.

Joe had also started a new job. They have an office down in Carlsbad that he will eventually need to make a visit. So we decided to make an extended trip to spend a few days in Carlsbad for Joe to make his work visit.

Carlsbad Beach
Addie loves watching the seagulls… and chasing them.

We spent two nights in Carlsbad Village and two nights at the Legoland hotel. I am so glad we spent time in Carlsbad Village. The kids and I had a fun day at the beach while Joe worked.

Playing in the sand at Carlsbad Beach
Not sure who enjoyed this more.
Carlsbad State Beach

Carlsbad Village is a great beach town with a layback vibe. There are tons of great restaurants to choose from and cute shops to explore. I highly recommend planning an extra day to spend in Carlsbad Village.

Carlsbad Village
So hard to get a photo of them standing still.

Legoland is an ideal family vacation with younger kids. It is not a large park like Disneyland, so it is much more convenient to navigate. But just like any other theme park trip with kids, you want to do some planning to maximize your experience. Here are some tips to make the best out of your Legoland trip.

Legoland Hotel front entrance
They were too excited about the Legoland Hotel to standstill.

Stay at the Legoland Hotels –

The Legoland California Hotel and Castle Hotel are both conveniently located right in front of the Legoland entrance. It was nice to get back to our hotel without loading and to unload two kids in a car each day.

Staying at the hotel gives you a full Legoland experience with a few extra perks, especially for the kiddos. They had a scavenger hunt around the hotel where you can get a code to unlock the treasure box in our room. We had early access to the park. Free buffet breakfast that is catered to kids and adults. A play area with comfortable seating and a bar/cafe for us to catch our breaths… and get a drink. The rooms are themed out and designed to give kids and adults their own area. My kids loved having their own space with bunk beds to play in.

Legoland Hotel room with bunkbed
They had their own little area on one side of the room.

Download the Legoland App before entering the park –

The app is helpful to plan out our day in the park. The map can give you an overview of the different areas and help you decide where to start. If you have younger kids, check the app for each ride’s height and age requirements before lining up.

Suppose you can’t take advantage of the early entrance to the park when staying at the hotel or be one of the first ones in the park. In that case, you definitely want to check the wait time on rides right when you get into the park on their app. The rides closest to the park’s entrance are usually the first rides to fill up and with a long wait. If that’s the case, head straight to the back of the park to start your day. You may find the wait time a bit less overwhelming.

Legoland Ninjago Ride
In line for the Ninjago Ride… it was one of our favorites.

Watch the movies –

Even if you have watched the Lego movies before, it is so much fun watching it in 4D. Another reason to have the Legoland app ready is to check the showtimes for the Lego movies to plan ahead.

Get the Granny Smith Apple Fries –

It is the park’s specialty, and it is so good! Who knew a tart apple stick fried in a delicious batter and dipped with a side of whipped cream can be so amazing. Joe can care less about sweets, but he was all over these fries.

Trade-in your Lego Minifigures –

If you have Lego Minifigures (must be complete with head and body) lying around the house that your kids no longer play with, bring it to the park to trade it. You can trade the Minifigures as many times as you want throughout the day at the park.

Don’t have any Lego Minifigures yet. You can purchase one or a set right when you get into the park. Joey and Addie had so much fun designing their own Minifigures at the Minifigure Market that they didn’t even care to trade it.

Go for Brick or Treat Night –

We were able to be there for the first Brick or Treat Night of the year. It is a separate event Legoland host on selected evenings for the month up till Halloween.

It is a Halloween celebration where you can wear your Halloween costume and trick or treat throughout the park. The majority of the rides are open, and lines are usually shorter compared to regular park hours. Definitely plan on a midday nap for the kids and yourself before the event.

Legoland Brick or Treat Night
The dinosaur and unicorn are ready to get their treats.

Joey had so much fun celebrating his birthday in Legoland that he didn’t even ask about his birthday cake (he has a sweet tooth like his mama). We did make The Big Shop (the biggest store in the park) as our final stop for him to pick out a new lego set as his birthday present. You want to plan to spend at least an hour there to browse and for decision making.

This birthday celebration was a success. Joey is thinking about the next place he wants to go for his next birthday.

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