January 13, 2024, 10:08 PM ·

A first theme park visit with the kids is a rite of passage for new parents. But you don’t have to go to visit Mickey or the Minions. Don’t sleep on what might be the best park for children – Legoland.

You can find 10 Legoland theme parks around the world, but today I would like to talk about my home Legoland park, Legoland California. Located about an hour south of Disneyland, in the seaside town of Carlsbad, Legoland offers eight great reasons why you should consider a trip there this year.It’s the best park for early elementary-aged kidsLots of parks build kiddie lands. But only Legoland is designed for children throughout. These are not all off-the-shelf kiddie rides, however. The Lego theme and spirit imbues everything in the park. You can settle down and focus by building the Lego race car of your dreams in Lego Ferrari Build & Race, or go wild are run and climb around a big playground like The Hideaways. A child can enjoy the independence of riding by themselves, perhaps for the first time, on the kid-sized Royal Joust. Or get behind the wheel of a car for the first time on Lego Driving School.

It’s a nostalgia trip for their parentsPeople don’t stop loving Lego when they grow up. Sure, you’re riding with your kids on the Coast Cruise, but I’ll bet that a lot of parents are low-key enjoying the chance to see all those impressive landmarks built in Lego form. And more than a few moms and dads have picked up some bricks to “help” their kids in the park’s abundant build opportunities. Ultimately, the park might be built for kids, but Legoland is filled with attractions that children and grown-ups can enjoy together, such as Fun Town Police and Fire Academy, where families compete together against other families.The best submarine ride in SoCalLego City Deep Sea Adventure delivers the real undersea adventure that other parks promise but only Legoland delivers. These aren’t pretend, cartoon characters, they’re more than 2,000 real sea creatures that you can watch from inside your comfy sub.Ninjago did it firstWhen Disney opened its Spider-Man ride in 2021, many Legoland California fans smirked because they’d been enjoying pretty much the same ride experience since 2016, when Lego Ninjago The Ride opened. It’s not Spidey, it’s “Spinjitzu” – but you’re waving your hands for points just the same.New Dino Valley landSummer vacation season will bring a rethemed land to Legoland California with the debut of Dino Valley. The park’s old Explorer Island land reopens in the spring and will include the Duplo Little Dino Trail track ride and Explorer River Quest boat ride, as well as the park’s Gerstlauer junior coaster, Coastersaurus.Legoland’s first parade is coming, tooThis year also will welcome Legoland California’s first parade, the Lego World Parade. If you love parades, obviously that’s a plus for you. And if you don’t, the show should attract plenty of fans to the parade route, clearing ride queues for everyone else. There’s no place like MinilandThe highlight of any Legoland park is its Miniland. It’s an experience you will not find at any other theme park – a masterclass in themed entertainment design with model after model of iconic sights, built from Legos. And do not overlook the details. Lego’s Master Model Builders fill the streets of its Miniland with abundant Easter eggs, including a few intended for the grown-ups instead of the kids.It’s also a great place to stayLegoland California offers two Lego-themed hotels within steps of the park entrance. A few other parks offer hotels at their entrance, but none are as well-themed for kids as Legoland’s. The Legoland Hotel offers Pirate, Adventure, Kingdom, Lego Friends, and Lego Ninjago-themed rooms, while the Castle Hotel has Knights & Dragons, Magic Wizard, and Royal Princess-themed rooms. All include immersive decoration as well as Lego building areas. You can check rates via our partner’s Legoland California Resort Hotels page.Those are just some of the reasons to consider a Legoland visit on your next theme park family vacation. If you’ve been to Legoland recently, please share your experiences with us, in the comments. Keep following Theme Park Insider for more reasons why you should visit other parks this year, too. A great way to keep in touch with us is by signing up for Theme Park Insider’s weekly newsletter.

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