As the mother of two intensely devoted Lego fans and a former annual pass holder, I admittedly consider myself to be a bit of an unofficial Legoland Florida Ambassador. Located in Winter Haven, Florida on the property that formerly featured Cypress Gardens, this 150-acre theme park is specifically designed for families with children from ages 2 to 12. This park is the largest Legoland in the world and with the addition of a water park and the World of Chima, it continues to grow and offer new areas to explore.
You can enjoy a jam packed day of fun rides, great food and Lego shopping, or to really experience everything Legoland Florida has to offer, there are two full days worth of activities and shows at the park. Having been there five times now, there are STILL areas that would be new to me that we just never get around to!
Our latest and most incredible trip to Legoland thus far was our recent VIP Experience. The description of the Legoland Florida VIP Experience on their website lists the following features:
• Personal VIP Host to escort you around the park for the entire day
• Exclusive tour of our secret Model Shop with a Model Builder
• Priority access to Rides & Attractions
• Interesting and Unknown Park and LEGO Model Facts
• Locker Usage
• VIP lanyard
• LEGOLAND Florida Gift Bag
• Lunch & Refreshments
• Single Day Admission & Parking
• Complimentary Souvenir Photograph
• Complimentary unlimited digital photograph package for the day
This was all the information I could find anywhere online to give us a clue what our day would be like. Sounds pretty good, but having now gone through it, I would have to describe the Legoland Florida VIP Experience like this:
“Feel like the most important guests at Legoland Florida for the day. Leave your wallet at home and let your friendly guide join your family so that you can experience the best of what the park has to offer without having to think twice about where to go, what to do, and when to get there. Don’t wait in lines, don’t worry about lunch, and when you leave, take home a gift bag full of souvenirs to remember your amazing day.”
Don’t believe me? Not sure it’s worth it? Let me give you the 101.
We were expected at the parking booth where our Preferred Parking pass was waiting for us. As we walked toward the park’s gates, we noticed our guide, Miss K, was waiting for us with the lanyards and a tote bag. From there on out everything was taken care of. Our boys were delighted from the first moment as they were presented with a special button and a mini figure to prepare them for trading. We made our introductions, Miss K got an idea of what we’d like to do, and we headed to the new World of Chima.
This is where we got a real taste of the VIP experience. The Quest for CHI is the number one ride my kids were looking forward to and Miss K led us to the secret back entrance where we were able to avoid the line. Before we even knew it, we were getting on our first ride. Miss K warned us that it’s a wet water ride, but she had us covered. Literally. Our guide had Lego ponchos for us in her bag and we were able to enjoy the ride without spending the rest of the morning soaking wet!
Miss K guided us through the park with my boys’ interests in mind, and we were able to hit all the rides they love. Even though the park was moderately full, it felt like we were the only guests in the park. It was great to not have to figure out where to go and the best order in which to hit the rides. As a mom, it was almost like getting to experience the park as a kid. You don’t have to do all the thinking and planning, you just get to have all the fun!
While there are plenty of rides and attractions to keep my 4 and 7 year old busy all day long, one of my favorite things about Legoland Florida is that it caters to the needs of families of all ages. They have a Duplo toddler area (which will be air conditioned in the near future), convenient bathrooms, and comfortable spacious nursing and changing area for moms with the littlest guests!
As part of the VIP program, lunch was taken care of, and there was a table set-aside just for us. I have to say that of all the theme parks, Legoland has by far the best food. Roast chicken and vegetables for me, and my kids love their chicken strips and macaroni and cheese. Believe me, my boys are experts in these two kids meal staples!
The #1 must-see show at Legoland Florida is the Battle for Brickbeard’s Bounty, a water-ski show in Pirates’ Cove. It’s a fun live-action show and my little VIPs got to help Miranda Valentina protect the cove and defeat the pirates by blasting them with TNT! This was an added, unexpected treat for us all!
As if our day wasn’t exciting enough already, we headed off to a secret area in the park for the most unique and memorable part of our day. I can guarantee that this is something my children will NEVER forget.
As part of the VIP experience, we were invited on a private visit to the Legoland Florida model shop where a professional Lego builder showed us around. The model shop can quite simply be described as heaven for Lego fans with rows and rows of bricks sorted by shape and size and color. It was indescribably fantastic to visit behind the scenes. A professional Lego builder was there to answer all of our questions and we got to see future park models in various stages of completion. I’m pretty sure my guys could have moved right in! I’m not going to divulge all the model shop secrets, but this tour alone could make the VIP Experience worth every penny!
While regular Legoland Florida admission is reasonably priced compared to many other theme parks ($59 for kids and $66 for adults), the VIP Experience is quite a bit more. Prices start from $445 per child and $495 per adult and everyone in your party must have the VIP ticket. This can add up quickly, but there are so many intangible items where the value can’t be calculated. Miss K, wasn’t just a guide, she was like having another mom along with us. She helped carry things, held hands with the little one, went on rides with the kids… I never realized how helpful just one more adult is when out with the kids. Only you can decide how much value this would add for your family.
Finally, there’s no other way to visit the Legoland model shop, and for my boys, this alone would have been enough to make the VIP Experience priceless. If the VIP Experience is too pricey for your family, I still highly recommend a visit to Legoland Florida for any Lego fans. It’s a beautiful family-friendly park with fun rides and experiences for children of all ages!
Many thanks to Legoland Florida, which hosted my family for the VIP Experience for the purpose of this review!