Indistinct Mumblings of an Unsound Mind

We went to Legoland California over Spring Break, and it was AWESOME!

On arrival in Carlsbad, California, we went to the Sealife Aquarium. Mostly, this was because we were a few hours early and couldn’t check into our hotel yet. Seeing as it was next door to both our Hotel and Legoland (yes, I forked out the money for the Legoland hotel) and we had the two-day park hopper passes, it made perfect sense.

Before we get started, I have to admit it that there were some major issues with the photography. My brand new camera was awful. I had just bought a Sony Cybershot DSC-W830, and the image processing time after taking a photo was almost a full two seconds. If you’ve ever tried to take pictures of kids, you know it’s nearly impossible to get them to hold a shot. This is doubly true for kids running amok, having fun, and enjoying themselves. For that reason, relatively few of the pictures were taken with the camera (and it was promptly replaced with a Nikon CoolPix AW120 on returning to AZ).

Let’s start with the Aquarium. Sealife Aquarium was pretty good. It had a wide variety of aquatic life, numerous info-blurbs posted all over the wall, and even digital microscopes with samples of different animal cells for viewing. We had lunch in the Aquarium’s Cafe, and while it was expensive, it was not nearly as expensive as I thought it was going to be. All in all, it was a pleasant experience: pleasant, but short. It was fortunate that we had purchased the park hopper passes, because the whole tour took less than an hour. For me, $16 a head seems a bit expensive for something like this, but it beats the price back at the AZ Mills mall in Tempe.

After we checked into the hotel, there was no time wasted and we headed out for the Legoland Waterpark. Unfortunately, it was not made clear in the brochure that the Waterpark is a part of Legoland itself . An attraction within an attraction, if you will. It is not covered in the price of a regular Legoland ticket, with is $85.00 for an adult and $79.00 for a kid. Adding on Sealife is an additional $18, and the Waterpark section is an additional $21 dollars. However, it is worth it because when you buy admission to two or more attractions, you get a second day free. You will want that second day, because Legoland is a 1.5 day experience.

Being that I promised my ex-wife we would not do Legoland without her, the kids went blindfolded through Legoland proper with me until we reached the waterpark. Now that was an experience in itself. The waterpark has a couple of fun slides, a decent wavepool, and a large area for younger kids. If you’re familiar with Sunsplash/Bigsurf/Waterworld or any of the other major waterparks in Arizona, then you know the wonderful experience of hauling a tube up four flights of stairs and waiting in line for 20 minutes of careen down a 45 second slide and then repeat the process. THAT WON’T HAPPEN HERE! They have this amazing conveyor that takes a tube up for you. SWEET!

Everything closes at 5, so we headed back to the hotel around that time. The hotel was amazing. Lego’s everywhere. Portraits, Castles, Dragons, Pirates, mini-figs, and so much more. The elevator to our room was… …interesting. I’m not going to ruin that gem for you. Also, make sure to check out the whoopie cushion on the 1st floor.

Our floor was the adventure floor, and with the Balcony we had a great view of the city at night and the pool below us. The room had an mission for the kids to explore the hotel and find deciphering a secret code that would unlock a container in our room that yielded presents for the kids. It was neat. There were lego models in the room: monkey, scorpion, fedora, etc. The small sign stated that the models ran from $90 to $960 and they were glued and screwed to the wall/counter pretty solidly (yes, I tested). It’s pretty kidproof, so long as your kids know not to screw around with them. After unpacking, we headed downstairs for some food. Dinner for two kids and an adult was around $45.00 at the Legoland Restaurant, and it was a gigantic buffet with all sorts of food from around the word. There was also a buffet for the kids (separate from the Adults buffet, but in the same area) that was a little less spice and a little more nice for their still-developing palettes.

After dinner we headed upstairs to prep for the nighttime entertainment that the hotel provides, but on arrival it did not interest my kiddos. The jokes and the show itself seem more aimed at the 4-8 year old range, which isn’t bad – just not what they were interested in. That was ok, because they were tired anyway. We headed back upstairs and enjoyed the wonders of Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon for about a half hour while they showered, then they passed out like rocks.

The next morning, we woke up and headed downstairs for breakfast at 7 AM. Being forewarned that the lines for the included Breakfast would be much longer than for dinner was very nice of guest services, and I’m glad she let us know. We got in and had a huge breakfast. The expected things were there, like waffles, pancakes, and scrambled eggs; but they also had loads of other things as well. Crepes, Blintzes, Biscuits, Gravy, Sauteed Mushrooms, Fire-roasted Green Chile, French Toast, Ham, Peppers and Onions, and even a full-blown Egg Station where they cooked your eggs to order were but a few of the many options provided.

After breakfast, we headed back up to our room and changed for the day. We packed up our swimsuits again because I knew they’d want to go back into the waterpark, and headed out to be let into the park early. Now, this was a little disappointing. They say you get in an hour early when staying at the hotel, but you really get in about 20 minutes early. They let you into the park at 9:10, but hold you behind a waiting line until 9:30. After that, you are able to enjoy a few select rides, but the majority of them are corded off. It should be noted that, when we went, Coastersauraus was undergoing maintenance, so it may be better when that ride is open. That said, I don’t think staying at the hotel for the early entrance is worthwhile. Stay at the hotel to enjoy the hotel, the perk of entering early wasn’t really that much of a perk. We still did a few rides, like the Sky Coaster and did enjoy our time until their Mom arrived at 10ish.

The park itself was amazing. There is so much to do. We hit almost all the roller coasters (they didn’t want to wait in one particularly long line), and spent a good deal of time in the model-building/Technic area. It was a blast. There was a driving course where the kids got to experience the joys of driving and following the rules of the road. My son said that he liked it alot, but that other drivers need to learn to follow directions. I got a picture of my son looking like he had just seen the dead come to life as he rode a rollercoaster for the first time, and there’s a video of the family enjoying the water-coaster as it splashes them with water that is so frigid people come off shivering. Food was a bit expensive, but not Disneyland expensive. The items in the park are on par with pricing you’d see at any of the Lego stores or online, so that made souvenirs much less pricey than I thought they would be.

The next day (that’s day three, for those of you counting), the kids spent the night with their mother. I migrated to a La Quinta, and in the morning headed down to the beach. Rented a surfboard and had some fun catching great beginner waves – fortunate for my knees. Around 9:30ish I turned it back in and waited for their arrival. We played at the beach until noon, when I had to start my trip home.

Was it worth it? Every penny. I’d even do it again, it was that much fun. Below are the pictures, in no particular order. Enjoy!

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