A little over an hours drive from Disney World or Busch Gardens, Tampa is another theme park with special appeal for the three to eight year old set and it won’t bust the family budget. Located on the grounds of the old and iconic Cypress Gardens this Legoland has a decidedly Florida flavor.
While it has a few nice thrill rides like an old fashioned roller coaster and a drop tower ride, the bulk of the entertainment is intended for a younger and more timid crowd. Lego cars and a Lego train ride. A mechanical Lego horse track (picture), bumper boats (below) and even a kiddie sized roller coaster.
We spent a day in Legoland with our six year old grandson and he had a fantastic time.
Everybody loves Legos and even the senior citizens in the group will be impressed with the Lego constructed model scenes. They included the monuments of Washington D.C., Key West Florida and the Kennedy Space Center. In addition there were pirate fleets and Star Wars scenes and all were amazing. As you travel thru the park there are Lego built full size animals and characters at every turn. Monkeys sit in trees, deer and otters stand in a woodland area with a lake and waterfalls. It really is a lot to take in for just one day.
Legoland Water Show
There is still a water show at the lake where water-skiers in the tradition of Cypress Gardens preform, but this time it is Lego characters on skies and in mini speed boats . It was a fast paced action story that will even keep the younger kids attention. It’s included with park admission. If you’re visiting with kids a good time should be had by all.
Legoland Water Park
There’s also a Legoland Water Park for a day of fun in the sun. From the Lego wave pool, Joker Soaker, an interactive water play area, lazy river, tube slides and body slides, kids will soak up the fun with lots of fun water activities. Find more information HERE.
Make It A Two Day Legoland Experience
Legoland also has three resorts attached to the park. A new Pirate Island Hotel, the LEGOLAND® Hotel and one focused on the thrifty family called the LEGOLAND Beach Retreat. We spent a night there just to see what the resort was all about and it more than gains the approval of its intended guest demographic – young children aged two to ten.
The rooms are cinderblock constructed duplexes, but with their bold painted block scheme, they look just as if they are made of giant Legos. Each accommodation features a king bed in the main room along with a smaller kids room featuring bunk beds. Decorations are all Lego with a beach theme. The duplexes are clustered around villages with each village featuring a playground in the center. At the clubhouse building there’s a kid friendly restaurant, a swimming pool and a large lighthouse feature. In the evening the restaurant features photo ops with meet the Lego characters. There’s also a swap desk for trading Lego character figures.
LEGOLAND Beach Retreat
Some adults have been critical of the discount character of the Lego Beach Resort but the small intended target customer will be thrilled with their time there. It’s like a really fun kindergarten recess, a sleep over and theme park all rolled into a family vacation!