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The sad truth of traveling and vacations with young children is that parents are so much more tired after the "break" than before. We're focused on the fun of the family, focused on the next activity or show, and unfortunately, keeping with a schedule (of sorts)... Vacationing with Buddy, my 5 year old son, and Sweetie, my 7 year old daughter, is typically full of struggles and exhaustion. This was not the case at LEGOLAND California. We were constantly greeted by child-friendly details and helpful staff.
However, throughout this multi-part series, we're going to be taking an in-depth look at the actives and services provided at LEGOLAND, and how LEGOLAND strives to make this theme park a family-fun travel destination for kids of all ages.
The LEGOLAND Difference
Before experiencing LEGOLAND California I was simply expecting LEGO themed attractions and models built from LEGOs. While all of that is true - LEGOLAND California is different than any other "theme park/resort" that my family has experienced.
Here are a few of the ways that LEGOLAND Resort is awesome for families with young children:
While LEGOLAND California can be enjoyed by just about anyone, it was definitely designed with kids in mind. There are attractions geared for a variety of ages, ranging from toddlers to LEGO loving teens. However throughout the resort there is something for everyone.
During our visit in July, I observed that the guests at the resort mainly consist of families with children. A large portion of the families appear to have most of their children under the age of 13.However, I did see more teenagers at Chima Water Park and Sea Life Aquarium than I did throughout the rest of LEGOLAND.
Our experiences found LEGOLAND California Resort's layout, attractions, and staff to be very family friendly, especially for those with children ages 6 and under. The atmosphere allowed my children to be kids (amazing, huh). I didn't feel as if I had to hush them or worry about bothering others when they got excited - which happened a lot. They're supposed to be excited, and sometimes that's loud... And it's WELCOME!? What? Yes, every mom's dream when their kiddo hits extremely high octaves while celebrating and having a blast!
|Buddy "feeding" the Pizza Chef|
At restaurants the staff was accommodating and didn't blink an eye at odd food requests. The staff at Wok'N'Bowl Ramen didn't appear surprised when Sweetie wanted her Orange Chicken without sauce and with rice in a completely separate bowl.
Full of excitement, Buddy ate most of his meals while standing at the table, wiggling around, occasionally breaking into song (yep, while eating) - and no one cared. As a mom concerned with the occasional public mommy judgment when my sensory kiddo needs to get in some vestibular movement, this was a BREATH OF FRESH AIR. You just have NO idea.
Rides For the Smaller Crowd
DUPLO Village features play areas, splash pads and rides that are the perfect speed for young children. There are several rides that appeared to be greatly enjoyed by the toddler crowd. I enjoyed watching the excited faces of the toddlers riding the LEGOLAND Express. This ride was perfectly located away from "big kid attractions" inside DUPLO Playtown, a great semi-fenced in play area perfect for young feet needing to move.
Dino Island's attractions are Brontosaurus sized for young paleontologists. My children were so excited that they were big enough to sit together, without an adult, on the Coastersaurus. This coaster, speeding up to 21 mph, is called a "pink knuckle" coaster. The idea is that children don't get so scared that their knuckles turn white, but there will be just the right amount of excitement for the perfect shade of pink.
My daughter didn't want to leave Dig those Dinos. This large enclosed open "dig area" with one way in/out allowed children to "Dig for Dinos" or simply play in the sand with buckets, shovel type scoopers, and brushes.
The surrounding fence gave parents the ability to observe their young paleontologist at all times without being in the sand. Some children were relaxing in the sand, scooping it into buckets. My daughter instantly gained friends as a group of children worked together to uncover a large fossil. In addition to "whole fossils" buried in the sand, there were also various bones and a fossil check station with information on dinosaur fossils.
Dig Those Dinos is a HUGE sand box.While some children greatly enjoy the sensation of sand between the toes, consider if this will bother your child. You don't want to hit this early in the day if a grain of sand stuck in a sock could snowball into a catastrophe. For us, this was perfect near the end of our day. It mainly turned into Sweetie exploring the dig site while Buddy soared along the Coastersaurus.
|Junior Driving School (ages 3-5)|
Junior Driving School is not just a drive the car ride - this attraction is designed to let kids "earn" their drivers license. Buddy was so proud of his license that he has found a special spot for it in his room.
Driving School for ages 6-13 is located next to Junior Driving School. This "big kid" attraction is a less structured driving experience than the Jr. experience, with more open area to navigate.
Drivers License - a paper "drivers license" with a place to write your child's name is given to each child after their driving school experience. Be aware that there is a booth where drivers licenses complete with your child's picture and placed in a lanyard can be obtained for a fee.
|Sky Patrol puts You in Control|
There are lots of fun rides for the pint sized audience ranging from a boat ride through Storyland on Fairy Tale Brook to taking the controls in Sky Patrol. Before planning a trip to LEGOLAND California, I highly recommend looking at the minimum height requirement, so you are aware of what rides are available. Many of the rides require the child to be 34" or taller.
I truly believe that there is something for kids of all ages to enjoy at LEGOLAND California Resort. For our family, it was another truly memorable vacation that I actually was able to enjoy! Check next week for a continuation of our Awesome LEGOLAND Adventures, as I focus on one way that LEGOLAND California Resort helps keep those kiddo meltdowns to a minimum.
Wouldn't you love a chance to WIN a pair of tickets to LEGOLAND's California Resort?
(hint, hint- keep reading this series for YOUR chance to win!!!)
Keep Reading about our LEGOLAND California Resort vacation:
Part 2: Reducing the ROAR and Minimizing Meltdowns