Who would have thought that a simple toy, which was popular when I was a kid, would still be relevant in the 21st century? Legos, the colorful, snap-together building bricks that have been sparking kids’ imaginations for decades, has grown into a larger-than-life brand, reaching beyond the toy world into merchandise, apparel, movies and theme parks. LEGOLAND® parks are now located on several continents and the newest and largest in the world is in Winter Haven, Florida.
LEGOLAND® Florida is a 150-acre interactive theme park with more than 50 rides, shows and attractions, restaurants, shopping, a breathtaking botanical garden and the LEGOLAND Water Park, all geared to families with children ages 2 to 12. The
park was built on the shoulders of a classic Florida attraction, Cypress Gardens. The old Cypress Gardens has been blended in to the park and it’s still as jungle-like as ever. You can stroll through 39 acres of tended gardens and marvel at a magnificent banyan tree planted in 1933. But the real reason people come is the Legos.
The park is comprised of ten different “lands” including Fun Town, World of Chima, Land of Adventure, LEGO Kingdoms, Imagination Zone, Pirates’ Cove, DUPLO® Valley and Miniland USA, which showcases Lego re-creations of American landmarks and attractions. Everyone loves to see the LEGO White House and Washington, D.C., the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco, the Statue of Liberty and New York City, cars racing around the Daytona Speedway and even the space shuttle on the Cape Canaveral launch pad. Activities for children are creative and interactive: kids can get their own LEGOLAND driver’s license, they can douse a “blaze” at Fun Town Fire Academy, build a raft to float on the waterpark’s lazy river, ride a (not-too-scary) dragon coaster, or watch a pirate-themed water show on the shores of Lake Eloise.
Of course, there’s ample opportunity to buy new Lego building sets and other merchandise. Just like Lego building sets, the park is sized for different ages and abilities. There are smaller-scale rides for families with youngsters up to about age 12, while Lego maniacs find more advanced Technic-style coasters, cycles and water racers.
Tickets can be purchased online and that’s really the best way to do it. Discounts are usually available so check their website or do a search before you plunk down the full price. Whatever you pay, it’ll be worth it. You’re sure to have a great time and “build” some wonderful memories.