LEGOLAND California

Written by’s Local Expert
Visitor standing in front of the Legoland California sign
Octopus boat rides at Legoland in Carlsbad, CA.
LegoLand California boat ride.
Entrance to the carousel ride at Legoland California.
Legoland character artist in Carlsbad, CA.
Lego dinosaur sculpture in Legoland California.
LegoLand lego dragon sculpture in California.
Exterior view of the Castle Hotel at Legoland
Tower entrance in LegoLand California.
Lego elephant water fountain sculpture in LegoLand California.
LegoLand California exhibit in Carlsbad.
Snack shop at LegoLand California.
LegoLand California games.
The mini village inside LegoLand California.
Mini village exhibit with pond at LegoLand in Carlsbad, CA.
LegoLand California mini village and bridge.
MGM mini village at LegoLand California.
Mini Village at LegoLand California with trees and lake.
LegoLand California skyscraper mini village.
Mom and baby lego monkey sculpture with bananas at LegoLand snack shop.
LegoLand California movie ride sign.
Raceway ride at LegoLand California.
Exterior gift shop at LegoLand California, Carlsbad.
LegoLand California gift shop interior.


LEGOLAND isn’t just for kids! Oddly enough it’s quite enjoyable for adults as well. The theme park IS geared towards 2–12-year-olds and offers a plethora of rides, play areas, and adventures with their enjoyment in mind, but don’t let that deter you from visiting if you are an adult. 

LEGOLAND has theme parks all over the world including the one I visited in Carlsbad, California. Within its 128 acres, this incredible adventure spot also has a Water Park and the Sea-Life Aquarium. 

I remember my brother taking my niece and nephew to LEGOLAND California probably about the time it opened years and years ago and me opting out of said adventure because I thought it was a theme park designed exclusively for kids and on top of that I was not a huge LEGO fan as a kid. 

As I learned on my recent visit, it’s actually a great adventure for all ages. 

I was very impressed with the beautifully vibrant sculptures, the design, and the attention to detail – absolutely amazing! Kids and adults can ride rides, play games, get a look at famous people, take part in adventures, and even walk through Washington D.C. and New York City!

LEGOLAND California, the Sea-Life Aquarium, and the Water Park are massive so be prepared to spend multiple days if you can as there is so much to see and do. 

I have to admit that I did not plan my LEGOLAND day trip ahead of time, but my sister-in-law did download the app once we were inside the park so that was very helpful as we only had so much daylight to hit the stuff we really wanted to see—and we didn’t even know what that really was until we got a good look at the map. 

The park is nicely divided into areas such as The Beginning, Explorer Island, The LEGO Movie World, Fun Town, Mini Land USA, Ferrari Build & Race, Land of Adventure, Imagination Zone, and Ninjago World just to name a few. The app and printed map have very detailed information so the immense park is easy to navigate with wide walkways and clearly defined areas, a very helpful and nice touch.

After we entered the park “The Beginning”, which is basically the entrance we decided to head to the left towards Explorer Island, and along the way, we ran into the Marching Band Parade… which was fun. 

After that show was over, we then headed toward the screams which ended up being one of the most popular rides, the Coastersaurus rollercoaster. Even though we were there on a pretty slow, off-season day, the wait time was still about 30 minutes so that’s where planning out your day ahead of time will come in handy. 

One thing I really liked was the signs indicating how long the wait time was for the ride depending upon your place in line. The Coastersaurus was a fun little coaster that made a few loops around the track with some nice twists and turns—worth the thirty-minute wait time.

LEGOLAND California in North County San Diego  is chock full of great adventure areas for kids whether they are die-hard LEGO fans or not. So, so much to do like take a journey through the Amazon Rain Forest, be a paleontologist in Dig those Dinos, become a firefighter, police officer, or pilot where they can fly a LEGO plane through all kinds of weather or head straight over to the Ferrari Build and Race area (definitely one of my favorites) hey, it’s never too late to act like a kid! 

The Junior Driving School for little tots was super fun to watch as was the LEGOLAND Express in Fun Town. And then there’s Safari Trek, Skipper School, and Junior Driving School where the kiddos can have a great experience all while gaining tons of knowledge. 

A lot of the rides (and areas) are also suitable for adults and/or for parents to ride along with their kids and they also serve as a well-deserved break in-between all of the activities. 

You can relax and take a wonderful boat ride through the Fairy Take Brook or take the Coast Cruise and move through the lazy waterway that takes you from Explorer Island to Mini Land USA—this is where you can see the Eifel Tower and Big Ben as well as many other hidden gems. 

There is also Captain’s Cranky Challenge, Bionicle Blaster, Cargo Ace, Dune Raiders the giant slide, Emmet’s Flying Adventure Ride, Kid Power Tower, Ninjago, and Technic Coaster just to name a few.

Not only is LEGOLAND super fun, but it’s super educational as well. 

Probably one of my favorite areas was Mini Land USA where the skyscapes of popular U.S. cities are on display. Stroll through Central Park in NYC and New York City itself as well as Las Vegas, Nevada, and Washington, D.C. just to name a few. The LEGO sculptures are spot-on and there are informative fact plaques explaining what you are looking at for those that have not been to these places.

In addition to interactive experiences, games, rides, and attractions there are also shows and activities such as character meet and greets, live shows, and 4D movie experiences. There are lots of wide-open spaces throughout the park as well as “rest” and play areas. 

The dining choices are many from sit-down dining to grab-and-go counters and kiosks. And don’t forget to shop for cool LEGO blocks, apparel, key chains, toys, and all kinds of fun stuff in one of the many gift shops located throughout the park.

Fun Facts  

LEGOLAND California theme park has more than 60 rides, shows, and attractions as well as a myriad of hidden gems like elephants bathing in the water, the Eifel Tower and Big Ben on your boat cruise, gorillas and tigers in the jungle, the troll under the bridge, the hippo in the river, the Big Bad Wolf blowing the house down and so many more. 

So many little nooks and crannies and hidden little gems – such fun! 

Some of the newer sculptures such as the Elephant and the Zebra are absolutely stunning with their super vibrant colors and attention to detail. I did notice that some of the sculptures were faded, and some were super bright like the elephant, so I asked one of the park attendants about the difference and he told me that they were in the process of replacing a lot of the pieces and that the sculptures typically last about 10 years.

Even the faded ones were wonderful, but the new ones were stunning. They made me want to buy some LEGOS!

Getting There

LEGOLAND is east of the I-5 Freeway, just 30 minutes north of San Diego and one hour south of Anaheim. You’ll take the Palomar Airport Road exit off the I-5 Freeway.


A few tips right off the bat to get your trip started off on the right foot.

  • Download the app as the park is very large and you’ll want to plan your adventure ahead of time and hit your favorite areas first with breaks for food and play in between.
  • Purchase discounted multi-day passes and/or bundle admission tickets if you are planning to visit the park for more than one day and/or if you are planning to visit the park, aquarium, and water park.
  • Visit a California Welcome Center (or look them up online) to score additional discounts above and beyond the multi-day or bundle pass. It’s always nice to save money!


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