Set up at Cypress on Thanksgiving Daybare trees amid the marshcrane in the waterLook at this amazing cactus that my Mother and I spotted near Cypress Gardens on our recent tripand another marshand last shot of the daygrand ol' treelooking at the lake from the trail

Families will love:

  • Theme park based on LEGOs
  • Perfect for younger kids
  • Close proximity to Orlando and Disney

We'll call it LEGOLAND 2.0. The first LEGOLAND in the U.S. began rocking the West Coast back in '99 with it's wildly popular park located outside of San Diego -- creating an avalanche cry of "no fair!" from LEGO fans in the East and South. LEGOLAND Florida is the long awaited response. Purchasing the property of ... more
We'll call it LEGOLAND 2.0. The first LEGOLAND in the U.S. began rocking the West Coast back in '99 with it's wildly popular park located outside of San Diego -- creating an avalanche cry of "no fair!" from LEGO fans in the East and South. LEGOLAND Florida is the long awaited response. Purchasing the property of Cypress Gardens -- Florida's original theme park -- the LEGO company wisely retained the graceful botanical gardens... and moved in a few million bricks.

Located about an hour from Orlando and the beaches of Tampa the 150-acre park delivers fifty "pink knuckle" rides and attractions, a captivating pirate water ski show, sophisticated 4D LEGO movies and, of course, an opportunity to build for oneself. But the engineering marvel that took 300 people three years to build is Miniland USA, featuring New York City, the Kennedy Space Center, Miami South Beach, Washington DC monuments and more -- all created in staggering LEGO detail.

Coolest of all? LEGOLAND Florida was built specifically for our world's sweet set: kids ages 2 to 12. Sadly not everyone agrees. LEGOLAND Florida endures jeers for offering only family-friendly rides and no "scream machines." If you're hoping to find corkscrew loops and 300 foot drops -- sorry, wrong park. To all you naysayers, I say: why can't the kids have one park to themselves? It's like popping in a Wizard of Oz DVD or watching the kids build a sandcastle on the shore. Good, clean fun. A perfect description of LEGOLAND Florida.

Besides no truly terrifying rides to be found, the park also takes criticism for its height requirements. Anyone under 34 inches tall can't ride most of the rides in the park -- leaving plenty of kids 4-years-old and under on the sidelines. A few of the rides smaller kids can try include the Grand Carousel, Island and the Sky & Junior driving school for ages 3 to 5.

All ages and heights who visit LEGOLAND Florida love the elaborate water park, which joined the "dry" rides in 2012. It includes something for all ages, from thrilling water slides for the older set to spray grounds for little ones. There's also a wave pool and area where youngsters can play with giant LEGO bricks in the water.

And, in 2015, the area will welcome its own LEGOLAND Hotel, with 152 rooms and unique features not seen at other LEGOLAND hotels. Until then, it's important to think about where you really want to stay and understand your options for hotel accommodations. If you're committed to staying in the area immediately surrounding the park called Winter Haven I have two great hotel recommendations for you. That said, it's likely a wiser choice to stay in Orlando or Tampa and drive the easy hour to LEGOLAND Florida. If you're expecting to find the fancy hotels that Orlando is world famous for anywhere near LEGOLAND Florida you'll have a quick look.

Winter Haven, a quiet bedroom community slash industrial area, is not vacation-ready. And of course the Orlando resorts are. In spades. You see, the powers-that-be overbuilt gorgeous resorts with sprawling pool systems in Orlando leaving you many options. Depending on the season, you can find a two-bedroom, two-bath villa with full kitchen and laundry for a song. Also, check out LEGOLAND Florida's Bed & Brick program that will direct you to hotels that give one park ticket as part of your stay and may include a free toy!

Written by Wendy Irvine less

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Most Awesome Vacation Ever
by krafty54
We had the opportunity to visit the Legoland Florida park in August of 2012. My grand children are absolutely mesmorized with Lego's and this trip ... read more
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