Friday, September 19, 2014

The LEGOLAND California Resort: Reducing the ROAR and Minimizing Meltdowns

The LEGOLAND Difference:
Reducing the ROAR

As I told you in part one of my LegoLand California Resort review, our experience was unlike any other vacation we have ever experienced.

Before I can explain what was so awesome about LEGOLAND California, I must first share a secret with you that no one knows: Everyone in my family, except me, loves our family vacations.  While I kinda like the idea of vacationing as a family, I typically anticipate these "vacations" the same way I look forward to having cavities filled at the dentist. I'm always more concerned if my children or my husband are having fun, keeping to our schedule, being the tour guide, than just sitting in the moment and taking in the fun that is happening around me.


And truly, I am usually more tired and worn out after vacation, and need a vacation to relax after my vacation.Why? Well, if you must ask then you have never been on vacation with young children.


Vacationing with young children can be a lot of work. Let's take a second out and just admit right here that most kiddos do not do manage their emotions properly with schedule changes, busy crowds, eating in restaurants, and their expectations vs. reality of what we're going to do.


For the first time, I feel as if my vacation fairy godmother cast a magic spell; because, we had such an awesome FAMILY vacation at LEGOLAND California Resort.  I actually enjoyed myself and did not feel as if I needed to attend therapy or be stranded alone on a deserted island to recover for three weeks!

The fact that my family was away from home for 4 days and 3 nights without major meltdowns, in and of itself, was AMAZING!



How did this happen? 

Did I build LEGO models of my children, programmed to only emit perfect behavior?
 
 Nope!
 
It was the LEGOLAND California Resort Difference
Kid-friendly details that go a long way to smoothing typical hurdles.

So, the big question: Did Buddy, my 5 year old son, and Sweetie, my 7 year old daughter, act like perfectly well behaved little beings?  Nope, but the play areas and creative line solutions let them be kids.

Which meant I didn't have to constantly search for volume controls on my children, worrying about who we were bothering. In fact, I didn't even get "the look" from those around.  No one stared at me as if I were the worse parent alive taking my children into public. In my book, that is AWESOME!
  At LEGOLAND California, we were surrounded by tons of parents having fun with their children and friendly, understanding staff.




Play Areas
LEGOLAND California features a variety of play areas throughout its resort. While there are many of these in DUPLO Village, play stations are also spread throughout the resort. In my book this is a HUGE PLUS! It is ideal for children and adults to have frequent breaks, otherwise everyone gets tired, fast... and cranky, faster.My children LOVED our "play stops" as we made our way through the resort. This not only let my kids be kids, but also created a change in pace. My husband and I enjoyed the break to sit down and watch our children have fun.

OK - I'll admit it - many times I was playing along with them and loving it!!!


Standing DUPLO Building Stations
The play areas are also great for parents who have older children who want to be on the "big kid rides" while the other parent is with a youngster.

Ah, I remember those dreaded, nightmarish days when Buddy was too small to ride the roller coasters. My husband would enjoy a ride with my dare devil daughter, while I dragged a screaming toddler across the theme park to the "little kid area" or tried to entertain him on a bench while we wait for Sweetie and Hubby to be done with their fun.

Why would this not be a problem at LEGOLAND California Resort? Because, there are little kid appropriate play areas throughout the entire park - not just in a small section.


You don't have to walk far to find a something fun for a toddler. Several of the play areas were shaded and some were even indoors. This is great for everyone to take a break from the sun while having fun!


Did I mention variety? Not only do they have great play zones, but at LEGOLAND California Resort there are so many different types of play options:
  • Playgrounds
  • Splashpads
  • DUPLO Building Stations (indoor and outdoors)
  • Build and Test a Car (enclosed indoors)
  • Video Games/Kinect
Dune Raiders

Play Time - What an AMAZING Concept!
The Hideaways, an awesome king sized play area located on Castle Hill, is perfect for your prince and princess to run and stretch their legs. Buddy and Sweetie had fun running, climbing and sliding with other children. This large enclosed castle themed play area is a great place for kiddos to play and be kids. No having to worry if your children are too loud or climbing the ropes. That is exactly what they are suppose to do at The Hideways.



The frequent breaks that we enjoyed at play areas like The Hideaways greatly helped our entire family have an enjoyable vacation with Happy Children.

It was also a great change of pace for HubbyD and me. We sat on a bench near the only exit and enjoyed watching our children play and have fun. It was wonderful to sit and talk while our kiddos enjoyed some physical activity.


*Mama Tip*
This playground is awesome, but if you only have toddlers and want to play here I recommend going in the morning when it is not as busy.Duplo Playtown is well designed for the younger crowd who are not yet ready for an action packed play area, but still need to stretch their legs.

Active Loud Playtime at Pharoh's Revenge

Explore Pharoh's Revenge - this covered area allows children to take a break from the sun while climbing, playing and taking in some target practice.This multilevel shaded play structure features stationary guns that shoot foam balls. 

For those not in the mood for shooting practice, there is a protected area, free from gun fire, for children to transverse a mini obstacle course.

*Sensory Warning*
This is great for children who need active, loud playtime. While there are protected areas for children to play without the fear of flying balls, this attraction does become loud and busy. As you can assume from the picture above, Pharoh's Revenge may not be best suited for children who are easily overstimulated or about to meltdown. Those with sensitivity to noise need to be aware that not only can the repeated firing of balls reach high decimals, but each shot is typically accompanied by screams and shouts from children and adults.


Move from Hands-on Play to a Ride of Adventure
I love that Pharoh's Revenge is the perfect warm-up for Lost Kingdom Adventure ride in which explorers journey to recover stolen treasure. Each "car" has 4 laser guns for blasting targets. Players can view their scores as they complete their expedition.

*Mama Tip*
For those of you with competitive children (or adults) be aware that we found it much easier to score higher in the front seat. HubbyD thought he was hot stuff when he blew everyone away while seated in the front seat until he tried a ride in the back. Hmmm.... I wonder who didn't win that time.

Laser Blasting FUN on the Lost Kingdom Adventure

Build - Race - Learn: WITH  Trial & Error - Hands on Learning!
The Build & Test in Imagination Zone puts children into the design seat as they build onto a car base and test their racer against other creations. Hands on learning is achieved through trial and error. Most of the children modify their car after each trial race until their car resembles a speeding bullet.

Once the designer quenched their "need for speed" it was on to the "official races." These were conducted by an employee who did a great job managing the group of enthusiastic racers.  The teacher in me was impressed by her skill of evoking smiles and a sense of accomplishment to each racer by providing appropriate, individualized praise. I expected Buddy's typical disappointment at losing each race; however, the staff's praise of his design kept him on cloud nine..


Sweetie experimented with the pull of gravity and weight. I overheard her tell HubbyD that she needed to change the distribution of weight for her car to go faster. (Maybe that doesn't sound that impressive - but I sure was proud of my 7 year old for figuring that out!) She experimented with her racer for almost an hour before she was satisfied with her results.

At first, Buddy stuck on as much "cool" looking stuff as he could find. A few test races later, after a couple of the items had fallen off on their own, he realized that lots of stuff sticking off in all directions did not increase speed. He quickly trimmed down his car and enjoyed racing it repeatedly.

Over dinner we talked about this experience of building and racing their cars. I was amazed at how much both of them had learned during this fun activity. The Build and Test area is a fabulous way for children to build, learn, and achieve while taking a break from the sun.


DUPLO - Need I say more?
The DUPLO Play Area is an indoor attraction perfect for young ones to get creative while taking a break from the sun. This brightly colored room is divided into several different zones at a variety of heights to accommodate sitting and standing toddlers. Located in the Imagination Zone, this play area is close to many "big kid" attractions.
Young builders can take a break from rides and build. This wonderful change in stimuli gives children a chance to play with the DUPLO LEGOS they love. Changing the pace to building time can help decrease tantrums from becoming overstimulated and overheated.
*Mama Tip*
Take a Break from the Sun to have more Fun!
Most children are not typically outside ALL day long - therefore frequent breaks inside can help decrease the chance of melt downs and keep everyone happy!


There are a variety Levels for Play, includes a standing area with tubs of LEGOS and benches for parents

In addition to this DUPLO Play Area located in the Imagination Zone, there are also several outdoor spots with DUPLO LEGO stations throughout the park.  Super awesome way for kiddos to  slow down their feet and let their creative juices flow, all while improving fine motor skills!

*Mama Tip*
Throughout the day while your children play snap some photos of your child's creations. During down time (waiting in line, in your hotel, etc.) show them a picture and have them tell you about what they created. This is a great opportunity to acknowledge them and a wonderful way to start a conversation.


Creative Line Activities
All parents know that standing in long lines and young children do not do well together. Some of the popular rides that appeal to the younger crowd have an ingenious solution for children waiting in line. The line weaves around a fenced in play area. I could view my children playing in the center while I waited in line around the fenced in play area.
How awesome is that? It was like an attraction while waiting for the attraction.



We watched our kiddos get their play on while waiting in line.

While I am not in love with lines, I can say that they are much more tolerable without having to deal with bored, exhausted, tired, uncontainable balls of energy (just in case you didn't get it, I'm referring to my kiddos). It was actually nice watching them have fun while we waited in line, standing quietly. Some couples were actually enjoying conversation with each other. I could have even carried on a conversation with HubbyD without being interrupted, but I must admit it was so nice just being quiet for a moment and not having to say a word.

 

Not only does LEGOLAND California Resort offer the perfect play areas, but they maximize the fun with their amazing interactive experiences that bring the entire family together. These play breaks were a perfect change in pace that aided in keeping everyone in a good mood. Stay tuned, it gets even better as I continue my in depth review, and I'll share about some of the ways your family could be immersed in LEGOLAND experiences.


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 1: Family Friendly Travel and Fun for Kids of All Ages
Part 2: Reducing the ROAR and Minimizing Meltdowns



Do your children have a hard time with transitions on vacations? How do you manage? 


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Disclosure: In exchange for review, complimentary giveaway tickets to the LEGOLAND California Resort and products were received for this posting. Ramblings of Mama will always provide honest opinions, or beliefs on experiences reviewed. We will only recommend products or services that we feel are of benefit to our readers. Above photos are provided from LEGOLAND PR and/or are of blogger's personal family, and fall within federal copyright regulations. Please request permission prior to utilizing our photos for your personal use or on your website. Ramblings of Mama is SOLELY responsible for prize fulfillment, prize will be mailed upon verification of winner's information. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or any other social media outlets and released of any liability as such. Links enclosed may contain affiliate links. If you have any questions, please contact RamblingsOfMama{at} gmail {dot} com

6 comments:

  1. They look like they had a blast. I can't wait to take my son. Thank you for sharing!

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  2. Sounds like an awesome vacation destination for families!

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  3. i try to keep things organized so they have easy transition but sometimes my oldest struggles but he gets anxiety over change

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  4. This seems like great fun for the entrire family. I have never met a kid that didn't go crazy for Lego toys.

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  5. Legoland sounds like the ideal place to take children. I've never seen anything like it. I would hate to be on the cleaning crew there!

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  6. Legoland looks awesome! They looked like they had the time of their lives.

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Thanks a bunch for your comment love!