by Wendy Irvine
Read between the bricks: LEGOLAND Florida Hotel is light years beyond your average theme park property.
At the property, which opened in May 2015, the real fun begins when you drive up and spot a smoke-breathing dragon atop the building (we’re talking 445,000 LEGO bricks in the dragon alone). Enter the bells-and-whistles lobby that boasts 2,000 LEGO models and succumb to the inevitable — the kids aren’t budging. As you check in, take a good look at the more than 8,000 mini-figures that line the wall behind the front desk. See the bike moving? Those wheels are huge magnifying glasses that give a better close-up of each mini-figure. Meanwhile, the kids will be drawn to the lobby’s huge pit brimming with LEGO bricks and a floor-to-ceiling LEGO castle.
Let your kids play to their heart’s content (this could take hours), then remind them that they haven’t seen their themed hotel suite! Point them toward the elevator (and startle them by jumping on the built-in whoopee cushion that hides in plain sight in front of the elevator doors), step inside the elevator and watch their faces as they behold an experience that only LEGOLAND would dream up. You won’t get a spoiler here, but know that Merlin Entertainment has taken elevators to a whole new level.
The 152 LEGOLAND guest suites deliver four exciting high-immersion themes: Pirate, Adventure, Kingdom and Friends. The standard suites are the most affordable and totally decked out in the room’s theme, while the premium rooms are even more blinged-out. The VIP room is — to put it bluntly — insanely amazing for kids and parents alike.
An overnight at the LEGOLAND hotel gives your kids a session with a Master Builder, an over-the-top complimentary breakfast buffet, early entrance into LEGOLAND Florida and an easy walk — symphony to a parent’s ears — to the theme park’s entrance.
Kids and adults will both delight at the sight of the LEGOLAND Hotel’s outdoor pool bobbing with colorful water bricks. And the small set will love the fabulous water fountains that sit under a kaleidoscope of butterflies (created from LEGO bricks). In the mornings and evenings, famed LEGO characters appear in the lobby, restaurant and play areas, and spend generous amounts of time with kids – the perfect time to capture memories on your camera.
Our Editor Loves
- 150 kid steps to entrance of LEGOLAND Florida
- Toytel packed with LEGO bricks and elaborate play spaces
- Model build sessions with a LEGO master builder
- Theme Park
- Water Parks
- Children Programs
- Connecting Rooms
- Family Room 5+
- Free Breakfast
- Free Wi-Fi
- Game Room
- Kids' Pool
- Kids' Theme Meals
- Onsite Dining
Rooms & Rates
Each guestroom is touted as a suite and does have two separate rooms, but does not have a door to separate the spaces. The kids' room is floor-to-ceiling decorated and has a bunk bed with a trundle allowing three kids in one bunk. The kids' room has a small flat-screen TV. Adults score the king bed in the main room that comes with a large, flat-screen TV and a premium cable package. All suites come with a mini-fridge, a Keurig coffeemaker (with coffee and hot chocolate pods) and a desk with free Wi-Fi. The bathrooms have modern sinks and tubs and, of course, more LEGO brick dÃ©cor enhances the walls.
Playards are available on a first-come, first-served basis. The LEGOLAND Hotel also has a small number of connecting rooms on each floor. Request a playard or connecting room when you make your reservation. Rollaway beds and cribs are not available.
Tip: If you'd love a view of Lake Eloise or the hotel pool, request a room on the fourth or fifth floor.
The Standard Suite offers the best bang for your buck -- your suite comes with all of the above and LEGO brick decorations galore. Every room has several pieces that are created entirely from LEGO bricks. Each room includes one bucket of LEGO bricks and kids may discover more LEGO pieces inside their treasure chest (which are theirs to keep.)
The Adventure Suite is based on an explorer concept with an ancient Egypt vibe. The kids' area is fully themed from the carpet to the walls with LEGO snakes, spiders and maps everywhere.
The Friends Suite is dripping in purples, greens, butterflies and the five LEGO Friends from Heartlake City -- Andrea, Emma, Mia, Olivia and Stephanie -- even their cute animals are pictured on pillows and walls. Winning ribbons festoon the wall.
The Kingdom Suite is brimming in knights, wizards, flying dragons and old world shields with a lion emblem.
The Pirate Suite has an amazing red and black spider with a skull on top made in LEGO brick.
Premium rooms deepen the LEGO dÃ©cor by giving kids a more immersive experience in the LEGO-themed guestrooms. Premium suites' beds sport lavish canopies, and walls have floor-to-ceiling scenes, plus even more LEGO models throughout.
Four VIP Suites sleep a whopping nine guests and are available in the four themes. The VIP Suites offer the most luxurious stay at the LEGOLAND Florida Hotel. The wildly spacious (over 900 square feet) two-bedroom suite delivers a kid bedroom with ample space for two bunk beds, each with a trundle so three kids per bunk fit beautifully. The adult's bedroom has a king bed and an enormous screened-in balcony overlooking Lake Eloise and the hotel's colorful pool with a high-end wicker dining table and seating for the entire crew. Connecting the king bedroom and the kids' room is a living room with window treatments drenched in the suite's theme, two comfy couches and a large, flat-screen TV. Each bedroom also has a flat-screen TV as well.
Pool and Splash Pad
The LEGOLAND Hotel features a medium-sized outdoor pool with a beach entrance wreathed in colorful chaise lounges, umbrellas, kids' life vests and lifeguards. The pool is heated year-round. The splash pad area for the little guys sports exciting fountains with more chaise lounges so parents can loll while the kids play. Both the pool and splash pad sit near a realistic looking rock fountain that is both pretty and fenced off from curious climbers. The entire pool area overlooks Lake Eloise, a picturesque lake boardwalk and a large fire pit.
A colorful outdoor dining area sits next to the pool and splash pad areas making it very easy to nosh or enjoy a drink and keep an eye on the kids. The pool is open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
The LEGOLAND theme park experience is extended into the night at the LEGOLAND Hotel with evening entertainment including character interaction and LEGO building competitions.
Just outside of the LEGOLAND Hotel sits an enormous fire pit and a lovely boardwalk. The hotel has a S'more package so families can roast treats at the fire pit. Ask the staff at the Bricks Family Restaurant for a S'mores family package.
Inside the LEGOLAND Hotel lobby, an enormous LEGO castle with a moat (filled with LEGO bricks) towers over guests. A friendly ogre (more LEGO bricks) sits in front of the castle and makes a grunting noise when his club is pulled. Inside the castle, kids will find a large chalkboard and table to create more LEGO models with colorful chairs. All of the fun surrounds a huge play tree.
Famed LEGO characters saunter through the lobby, restaurants and play areas, spending long stretches of time with your kids. When we visited the hotel, we met Captain Brickbeard, but your kids may also run into a LEGO Knight, LEGO Adventurer and "face" characters including Friends, a princess, a jester and another knight. Characters appear at the opening of Bricks Family Restaurant for breakfast and again at dinner. After dinner, the characters stick around for evening entertainment.
This small playroom sits immediately next to the Skyline Lounge -- allowing parents to monitor the kids from their dining seats -- and lets kids build models and watch LEGO Club movies. Directly next to the LEGO Club is a Duplo building area in plain sight -- you can oversee the little guys with no problem.
Every LEGO guest suite boasts a treasure hunt complete with LEGO prizes. Kids fill out a sheet answering three questions that require them to explore their suite. Each answer is paired with a number. The kids enter the numbers into the suite's treasure chest's lock to crack the code and reveal the surprise inside. Gifts vary, but may include a small LEGO set, an activity pack on a LEGOLAND lanyard or a book.
Master Builder Sessions
The LEGOLAND Florida Hotel wanted to differentiate itself in a spectacular way from the other LEGOLAND hotels throughout the world and the Master Builder Session was born. Only 500 Master Builders roam our fair planet and LEGOLAND Florida's theme park and hotel staked their claim to four who not only work on LEGO models in the park, but also give your kids a front row seat to building LEGO models at the hotel.
When it comes to explaining the beauty of a Master Builder Session, it's preferable to get the scoop straight from a 12-year-old boy who considers LEGO his first language and English his second: "The Master Builder Sessions are truly amazing. You get to build with a master builder and he teaches step-by-step how to create a small model. And here's the best part -- you get to take the small model home! You won't miss anything because there's a camera above the Master Builder's head connected to a large screen so you can see everything the builder is doing. And don't worry about falling behind because the master builder is super patient and won't skip over a kid who is moving slowly. Let the builder know that you're stumped and he'll help you. It was very cool to be building with someone who really knows what he's doing."
Adults can sign their kids up for a Master Builder Session at check-in. Master Builder Sessions take place between 3 and 8 p.m. and each session runs approximately 20 minutes with the designated model changing quarterly. The sessions take place in a specially designed room around the corner from the Skyline Lounge.
LEGOLAND Florida Theme Park
When a guest books a room at the LEGOLAND Hotel and simultaneously books theme park tickets, they may receive discounts or special offers. Being a guest at the LEGOLAND Hotel automatically gives you a 30-minute head start on the visitors into the LEGOLAND theme park. Plan to enter the park - which is just "150 kid steps" away from the hotel -- at 9:30 a.m. sharp and head for the coasters first.
Visit LEGOLAND Florida for more information.
At first glance, adults may not understand this incredibly unusual plan, but the LEGO brilliance will be revealed. Let's return to the native 12-year-old LEGO-speaking boy who explains, "This program is completely fantastic. A kid can trade mini-figures with LEGOLAND staff working in the hotel or the park. A kid can bring mini-figures from home or buy them at LEGOLAND and trade for 'better' mini-figures that they see on the employee's name tag. And there's no limit to how often you can trade -- you can trade all day long if you feel like it! It's a really cool idea on the park's part! Another cool thing is that LEGO sets aren't available forever, but with the trading system, you can trade for older parts, which is neat for kids! My brother and I loved the program!"
Cost to trade? Absolutely free, and incredibly fun for the kids.
Shuttle to I-Drive
The Merlin Entertainment Group not only owns the LEGOLAND Florida theme park and hotel, but also the Orlando Eye (Orlando's 400-foot-tall observation wheel that allows you to see Orlando for miles), Madame Tussauds wax museum and SEA LIFE Aquarium -- the three attractions at the I-Drive 360 entertainment complex on International Drive in Orlando. The LEGOLAND Hotel's shuttle will whisk guests to I-Drive 360 for the day. The price is just $5 per person each way.
From the hotel, pick the shuttle up at 9 a.m., but plan to arrive 30 minutes prior to departure. Late in the afternoon, the shuttle leaves International Drive to return to the LEGOLAND Hotel. All passengers must have a reservation to board and the hotel asks that you make reservations 24 hours in advance. The schedule is available at the front desk.
LEGOLAND Hotel Gift Shop
It's impressive how many items are available in this small version of The Big Shop, which is inside the LEGOLAND park. This little shop sells many pool items like LEGO themed towels, goggles, flip flops, water shoes, bathing suits for adults and kids, sunblock and so forth. But you'll also find a wide variety of LEGO items including LEGO model sets, mini-figures, T-shirts, stuffed animals, bags, purses and mugs. And no worries if you forgot to pack your tiara or sword -- both can be found in the shop.
Bricks Family Restaurant
A reservation at the LEGOLAND Hotel automatically gives your family entrance into Bricks Family Restaurant, which features a separate kids' station and complimentary breakfast. Booster seats, highchairs for toddlers and smaller highchairs made for infants are available.
Tip: Ask for the most gorgeous dining seat in the house (it overlooks both Lake Eloise and the hotel's pool). If the spot is full, ask to be seated at a table where you can see Lake Eloise or the LEGO model of a chef mixing cookie dough! In nice weather, you can also eat outside.
Both adults and kids will be stoked by the breakfast buffet offerings, which include scrambled eggs, smoked salmon, bacon, an omelet station, an oatmeal bar, bagels, pastries, juice, mini-smoothies, parfaits and great coffee. You'll also find pancakes, French toast and baked potatoes. A ham sits in the center of one counter, ready to be thickly sliced and delivered to your plate. The Just for Kids buffet sits in the center of the food presentation area brims with kid-approved favorites, such as cinnamon swirl French toast sticks, scrambled eggs and cereal.
The dinner buffet at Bricks Family Restaurant overflows with fresh, local offerings. The kid station offers dishes like mac and cheese, chicken bites and grilled cheese, and parents will be pleased to see cups of fresh veggies, fresh fruit, salad, a fajita bar, three types of wraps and meats, including pulled pork, rotisserie chicken, smoked chicken, and mahi-mahi. Parents and adventurous kids will light up at the various curry and steamed veggies dishes, too. Afterward, the entire family will go wild for the dessert offerings, which include a sundae bar, tiramisu, lemon bars, various cakes, cobblers, cookies and "little bites" of raspberry-cream cake.
Skyline Lounge features a full bar and kitchen paired with cozy couches, and faces three play areas so you can easily watch the kids while you relax. Kids are welcome in the Skyline Lounge, as well, and are provided with a separate kids' menu and mocktails, including a S'mores Sipper (milk, chocolate, marshmallow and graham cracker). The adults' drink list is extensive, with local drafts and other crafts, plus wines.
The Skyline Lounge is inordinately proud to offer only one fried dish on its menu -- French fries. Otherwise, the cuisine is comprised of fresh, steamed, smoked, and roasted items, and is as locally sourced as possible. The menu brims with starters, salads, sandwiches and dinner entrees. Skyline opens for lunch at 11 a.m. and dinner begins at 5 p.m.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
Excellent Wi-Fi, self-parking, local calls, an enormous buffet breakfast, pool towels, nightly children's entertainment and the Master Builder session are all covered by the resort fee, which is $20, plus tax, per night.
The LEGOLAND Hotel offers both valet parking for $20 per stay, or free self-parking (included in the resort fee).
Check-in is at 4 p.m. and check-out is at 11 a.m. Additional charges will be applied to your credit card if your room is occupied past 11 a.m. LEGOLAND makes ample storage space available for luggage before and after your stay.
Awesome VIP Experience
The Awesome VIP Experience gives your family a one-day Red Brick Carpet experience that includes single day admission into the LEGOLAND theme park after a hot buffet breakfast at Bricks Family Restaurant. A VIP host will escort you around the park for the day and a Model Builder will guide you on an exclusive tour of the LEGO secret Model Shop. You'll also get priority access to the LEGOLAND rides and attractions, the scoop on interesting and unknown park and LEGO model facts, locker usage, a VIP lanyard, LEGOLAND Florida Gift Bag, lunch and snacks, a complimentary photo, and a complimentary unlimited digital photograph package for the day.
The Awesome VIP Experience in the evening means a night in one of the fully decked out premium guestrooms giving you valet parking; an evening turndown service with a bedtime story; private check-in; a private Master Model Builder workshop experience; an evening meal in Bricks Family Restaurant (excluding adult drinks); a VIP pool bag; and assistance with your luggage by the bellhop back to your vehicle at the end of your stay.
The Awesome VIP Experience is offered year-round.
Ultimate VIP Experience
When you book the Ultimate VIP Experience, your family will receive single day admission into the LEGOLAND park that includes a personal VIP host to escort you around the park for the entire day; LEGO-themed iPad for use throughout your stay; exclusive tour of the LEGO secret Model Shop with a LEGO Model Builder; and priority access to the LEGOLAND rides and attractions. You'll also learn about interesting and unknown park and LEGO model facts, and you'll receive locker usage; a VIP lanyard; LEGOLAND Florida Gift Bag; lunch and snacks, complimentary photo and a complimentary unlimited digital photograph package for the day.
The Ultimate VIP Experience also delivers one night in the VIP Suite; in-room check-in; in-room character breakfast (the kids will hear a knock at the door and pirates appear to eat breakfast and play with the kids!); valet parking; dinner in Bricks Family Restaurant (excluding adult drinks); evening turndown with a bedtime story; private Master Model Builder workshop experience; a VIP pool bag; and bell hop assistance to your vehicle.
The Ultimate VIP Experience is offered year-round.
The Art of Smart Timing
The busiest season at the LEGOLAND Hotel is any time school lets out. Spring break, summer and the winter holidays will see a hotel brimming with kids, so plan accordingly. In the busy months, getting into the LEGOLAND park as early as possible is the best way to avoid the crowds. Busy days become thick with feet around noon and into the afternoon.
The LEGOLAND Hotel does not offer a shuttle to and from Orlando International Airport. Independent shuttle operators and taxis both operate out of the airport, but a rental car is your best bet in this bustling city. Orlando International Airport (MCO) is a little over an hour's drive to the LEGOLAND Florida Hotel.
Families staying at the LEGOLAND Hotel can easily walk to and from the rides and slides -- a car isn't needed since the entrance is just 150 "kid steps" away. For fun outside the hotel and theme park, hop on the shuttle to I-Drive 360 for the Orlando Eye, Madame Tussauds and SEA LIFE Aquarium. If interested in exploring the rest of Orlando area, rent a car.
For Mom and Dad
The Skyline Lounge was created with adults in mind. Feel free to take an adult beverage -- all drinks except champagne arrive in fancy plastic glasses -- to the Lake Eloise boardwalk. Later, sit next to the fire pit and relax while the kids play and eat S'mores. LEGO nailed it. Everything really is awesome.