Anyone who has ever constructed a Lego castle, car, or any other item using the world's most famous plastic building blocks, will recognize that same sense of wonder and creative potential at LEGOLAND, the ultimate experience of all things LEGO. LEGOLAND in North County's Carlsbad, 40 minutes from Downtown San Diego, is one of four such theme parks in the world, and the only in the U.S.
Imagination has run amok at LEGOLAND, which features not only life-size LEGO-constructed tigers, giraffes, and other animals, but scale models of international landmarks including the Eiffel Tower and the Sydney Opera House.
But the main attraction at LEGOLAND is Miniland USA, a replication of seven regions of the United States, constructed with 20 million LEGO bricks in 1:20 scale. The detail will swamp you, so be sure to get down on hands and knees and really take a look. Miniland "New Orleans" (originally built in Billund, Denmark), features an in-progress baseball game in Lafayette Park, the New Orleans cemetery complete with zombies if you're visiting at Halloween, and solar panels on top of the Mississippi River boats that power night-time lights.
But Miniland isn't the only thing going on at LEGOLAND. Other major attractions include The Beginning, Dino Island, Explore Village, Fun Town, Knight's Kingdom, Pirate Shores, Imagination Zone, and Land of Adventure. Each attraction features an array of rides or displays based on a particular theme.
Young children will enjoy Explore Village, featuring the interactive Playtown and the Fairy Tale Brook boat ride, as well as a family-oriented theater experience. Older kids and adults head for Imagination Zone, home of the LEGO TECHNIC Coaster. Pirate Shores, the park's latest expansion, features four water attractions, all of which are guaranteed to get you wet, so bring a swimsuit.
And LEGOLAND isn't just for kids. It's beautifully designed with 1,360 bonsai trees and other plants from around the world. There are more than 25 specialty shops and carts and open-air restaurants where you can get everything from a quick snack or salad to a sit down dinner.
More than 30 million LEGO blocks make up the models and displays here, with 20 million alone in Miniland.
- The park is open daily in July and August, and closed Tuesday and Wednesday during the rest of the year.
- Adult one day hopper: $87
- Child (3-12)/Senior one day hopper: $77
- Location: One LEGOLAND Drive, Carlsbad, CA
- Phone: 858-228-9283
- Website: www.legoland.com