Saturday, October 5, 2013

Lego Land

A few weeks ago we went to Orlando.  One of the theme parks we visited was a return trip to LEGOLAND.  It was tons of fun.  As you would expect, there are Legos everywhere you go.  The park used to be Cypress Gardens.  There is a beautiful gardens with some very cool trees & plants in the middle, but we skipped that section on this trip.

One of the girls' favorite parts of LEGOLAND is the driving section.  There is a toddler section and a child section of cars which the children can ride.  The track contains stop signs, stop lights (which actually change colors), marked lanes, etc.  The girls had to attend a "training session" at which they watched a video and learned the rules of the road.  They treated this very seriously.  Catherine making sure her car didn't run into the curb:

One of the monitors reminding Sabrina of which lane she should drive in:
 Afterwards, the girls sat in a duo-car:
 They were so proud of the LEGOLAND Driving Licenses they earned:
One thing I like so much about LEGOLAND is the small roller coasters which short children (my kids are 41" each) can ride.  Also, there are virtually no lines at any of the rides, so the kids can ride the roller coasters ten times in a row ... or as long as Mom & Dad will let them.
Sabrina is fairly reckless, so she likes to keep her arms up on roller coasters:
LEGOLAND has many sections, one of which is dinosaurs.  So, there are several gigantic dinosaur sculptures all over:
 Another section of the park is devoted to animals:
 We rode the "safari" ride several times:
 Here's a huge statue from the Eygptian section:
Part of the Egypt section contained this bouncy ride.  We were planning on taking the girls to Hollywood Studios later in the week, and were hoping to get them to ride on Tower of Terror (a ride which basically goes up and down, bouncing you).  So, we had the girls ride this ride several times, telling them it was practice for Tower of Terror.  They loved this ride.  Again, we have been to this park twice.  Both times it was almost completely empty.  So, the kids can ride the same rides over and over again ... until Mom & Dad tell them to move on.
 Many of the Lego sculptures are large enough to climb on:
 Part of the fantasy section of the park includes a wiggly horse ride, which replicated jousting:
We were there in September, but it was still very hot.  There are very few indoor rides and few chances to cool off.
 A statue from the fantasy section:
 Sabrina sitting on a pig:
 Sabrina demonstrating her "high-V" in front of a huge statue of clowns:
Part of the carousel (which is really cool because it is two levels!  You have to trust me on that, we forgot to get a picture of the two levels):
One cool section of LEGOLAND is Miniland, in which incredibly talented designers have built miniature copies of cities ...such as Daytona International Speedway:
 Or Cape Canaveral: 
 Or Las Vegas:
All throughout Miniland there are buttons you can push which cause something to happen in the miniature cities.  This button caused the volcano in front of the Mirage hotel to explode.  The girls loved the buttons, of course. 

We went to this theme park about a year ago, and the girls did not really appreciate it.  They are not familiar with most of the cities, so are not impressed with the accuracy.  But this time Catherine (who has since spent hours and hours building all kinds of things out of Legos) was impressed with the creations themselves.  She kept saying "Wow!  I can't believe they built that!"
 Part of New York City:
 The Statue of Liberty:
 The U.S. Capitol:
 San Francisco:
A completely new section of Miniland is the Star Wars section.  It is quite large and very detailed.  I am not familiar enough with the movies to recognize all these scenes, but was impressed nonetheless.

 Many of these models were animatronic also:

 This space ship rose and fell:

 Most of the scenes were small, but the characters were life sized:

 A tree house in the woods:

Throughout the rest of the park, we found lots of cute animals made out of Legos, such as this squirrel in a tree:
A huge (indoor & air conditioned!!) favorite section of the park is the build & race a car section.  Each child (or adult, for that matter) is given four tires when you enter.  You are tasked to building a vehicle:
 Then you can line all the cars up onto a race track, and push the button releasing the stopper:
Then you run (walking is not allowed) down to the end of the track to see if your car makes it to the bottom:
Catherine ran back and forth, jumping up and down so much that she had a serious wardrobe malfunction:
 Here are the girls waiting at the end of the track for their car to arrive:
Because the park is the former Cypress Gardens, there is a huge water ski stadium.  The show has been transformed into a Lego theme:
 The star of the show is "Miranda," who put a pirate hat on Sabrina:
Sabrina tried to squirt the Lego man with water, not realizing what the shield would do:
 Catherine helped Miranda set the dynamite off, supposedly causing an explosion in the show:
 Meeting Miranda after the show (we are wet, which was actually wonderful):
Sabrina in a treasure chest made from Legos:
 The girls wanted to practice their driving skills again:

 Sabrina in a shark mouth:
All over the park there are building centers with Legos.  So, every spare minute you have to wait you can use by doing something like putting blue blocks on a wall:
LEGOLAND is a unique park and quite fun for small kids (who will really appreciate the rides) and anyone who loves Legos.  There are opportunities to purchase Legos everywhere, obviously.  On Mondays in the fall, home schoolers can get in for a serious discount ($8/child and $25 per adult). 

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