We recently visited Legoland in Carlsbad, California (just north of San Diego), and the results were a bit mixed. Kind of like nuts.
The good: It is all about Legos, which are, obviously, awesome. The bad: the rides are awful. The majority of rides are geared towards children under the age of six, because personal experience has shown that Lego-obsessed kids around 8-years-old were barely able to hold back a yawn. Sure, it’s great that the younger kids have fun — it’s for them, I get it, but there should be something for kids of other ages, not to mention an occasional block thrown to the adults.
The good: The park itself is quite beautiful. Most of the walkways are wide and clean, and the landscaping is lush and pleasant. The bad: The lines are really long and do not have any sort of theme or interactive components that might keep kids occupied or entertained.
The good: The food served is pretty tasty by theme park standards. The bad: The food is expensive, which is to be expected, but the admission is really expensive — it’s not much cheaper than a day at Disneyland, and it offers about a tenth (if that) of the experience.
The good: It’s close to the ocean. The bad: You actually need to have something else to do, because there isn’t enough to do in the park to last a full day, and even if there was Legoland closes on most days before the sun sets (that includes stores and dining, when they say they’re closed they aren’t messing around).
The good: The Star Wars exhibit is really cool. The bad: It’s basically a museum of things to look at, which would be fine IN A MUSEUM. It’s a theme park about Legos featuring Star Wars things created with Legos, offer something for kids to do that combines the two. Peanut butter and chocolate, people.
We wanted to like Legoland. My wife and I love the San Diego area. Our whole family loves Legos — seriously, there are an embarrassing amount of Legos in our house. We had a fun time at Legoland, but that was despite the park, not because of it. We were on vacation and we made the most of it. Also, we wouldn’t talk bad about something that the kids were enjoying, however, even they noticed the park’s many shortcomings, and when we asked them if they were ready to leave they didn’t hesitate to say “yes.” That’s never a good sign.
Photo: W. Honea