Lego kits are incredibly popular around the world. Yet, Legoland in Florida is something of a forgotten theme park with the likes of Disney World and Universal Studios as local competition. Both our kids love Lego. That’s lead us to Legoland a number of times when we’re down in the Orlando area.
Legoland is located in Winter Haven, about 45 minutes from Disney World. It’s sort of in a no man’s land between Orlando and Tampa. The site of the old Cypress Gardens amusement park was rebranded Legoland in 2011. The hotel joined the picture back in 2015. Hotel guests have the choice of purchasing a package that includes meals and theme park tickets or just purchasing a room. You’ll also save the $17 parking charge for park-goers.
We’ve generally been able to find half-priced theme park tickets separately. Lego store customers and Lego magazine subscribers are likely to come across these discounts. When booking your room, it’s worth comparing the price of the packages that include tickets versus just a room. The buffet breakfast and dinner options are a much better value. More on that in a bit.
Legoland Florida has 4 types of themed rooms:
- Lego Friends
Lego Friends is the theme most geared towards girls, though our daughter has enjoyed both the Pirate and Kingdom themes. The Pirate, Adventure and Kingdom rooms all have regular and “premium” themed rooms. They also generally go for less money than the Lego Friends rooms.
Upon arrival at Legoland you’ll be given a parking pass and directed to the hotel entrance. Even before you get out of your car the theming is obvious. The lobby is also heavily themed.
The check-in process is quick and painless. Continuing the “theme” of heavily theming, our kids had a ton of fun with the elevators.
We chose the Premium Themed Pirate room. It was only a few dollars more per night and we were only staying one night. For longer stays it might not be worth it. But, our kids loved the extra detail. And, it really is a lot of detail. Legoland put a lot of effort into the Lego sculptures in the room.
The Pirate room has a separate kids area with a set of bunk beds and a trundle bed. Kids also have their own TV set.
Parents get a King-sized bed that’s pretty darn comfortable, something of a rarity at themed hotels (looking at you, Great Wolf Lodge). There’s a desk plenty big to work on. And, a Keurig machine that even caters to the kiddos.
The bathroom separates the adult space from the kids’ space, with some storage for suitcases and clothing in between as well. A refrigerator rounds out the area.
Probably the best part of the room itself is the scavenger hunt. The kids get a worksheet that needs to be filled out. They find the answers around the room. Those answers give them the combination to a safe.
Inside the safe are snacks, Lego kits (to keep!) and other fun stuff. Our kids really had a ball with this.
A buffet breakfast is included in the price of your room. A buffet diner can be purchased as an add-0n. Additionally, food and drinks in the lounge are priced quite reasonably. Michelle and I definitely enjoyed a decent glass of wine while the kids played in the lobby. Between scheduled activities and the massive Lego castle, there’s plenty to do. There’s also a small theater room in the lobby where the hotel shows movies at night.
But, I’m wandering away from the buffet description. Breakfast has all the items you’d imagine, including eggs to order. It’s a breakfast buffet built with kids in mind. Simple, straightforward. As you can imagine, there’s plenty of theming in the restaurant.
Dinner has a much wider selection. There are usually a couple of themed buffet areas (tacos, for example) and a carving station or two. There’s one buffet line with the staples of most kids menus, chicken nuggets, mac & cheese, etc. And, there’s plenty of dessert. You’ll find soda machines, juice, milk and water as well.
For the price of about $60 for a family of 4, the variety and quality of food is hard to beat for a theme park hotel. You won’t find much else nearby other than chain restaurants. So, I’d give the Legoland hotel restaurant serious consideration for price and the fact your kids will love it.
There are a couple of large play areas in the lobby of the hotel that kept our kids occupied for hours. Included with all paid stays are master builder workshops. These are another “value add” that makes a stay at Legoland special for our kids. It’s a 30-minute free workshop where the kids learn Lego building strategies and get to take home their creations.
The kids also got to peek inside the master builders laboratory.
Lastly, the pool extends the Lego theme with plenty of bricks to build a water fort. I seem to have misplaced my photos of the pool at the main hotel, so here’s one of the Legoland Beach Retreat which is pretty similar. I’ll be reviewing Beach Retreat in a future post.
The Final Two Pennies
Legoland Hotel is not cheap. There aren’t a ton of rooms and the hotel is generally in high demand. I’ve seen rates as high as $600 a night for rates without park tickets. But, if you book early you can usually find a decent rate. We’ve paid less than $300 a night in the past. At those sorts of prices, I definitely think it’s worth it.
The hotel does a great job packing in activities for the kids. The activity areas are all located in a central area of the hotel with plenty of seating for parents around the bar and lounge. It’s easy to grab a drink or snack and read a book while your kids are entertained. As fun as the theme park was on its own, our kids couldn’t wait to spend time in the hotel on activities.
Legoland is off the beaten path but the hotel is popular enough given the prices they’re charging. A one-night stay (with a day or two at Legoland Park) is more than enough to satisfy even the most hardcore Lego fans.
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