Sunday, October 21, 2012

legoland: day 1

Remember when I won this contest from Raising Arizona Kids magazine?  Well, we finally were able to go during Zach's Fall Break.  We got to stay two days at Legoland and two nights at the very nice Carlsbad Sheraton that had a private back entrance into the park.  We never actually went in the main entrance, but I felt like I needed to steal this picture to really set the stage:
The back entrance might be slightly anti-climatic, but was completely worth it.  Since it takes you into the back with a small group of other hotel guests, there are no lines for the rides back there.  Jimmy and Zach went immediately to "The Dragon" and were the first ones in line.  I wish I had good pictures of it because Jimmy thought it was awesome!  It is a roller coaster that looks like a dragon that goes through a castle filled with characters made of Legos including a dragon.  We like dragons, so it was pretty great. The second day we walked right on it, too.  I got to enjoy the ride that time.  Gus couldn't go on it, but he was a good sport.  I think he was just young enough to not realize he was missing out.
(Note to anyone going to Legoland: Wait until they are tall enough for most of the rides.  Kids under three are free, but if they are under 34" then there are only about three actual rides they can go on.  They are pretty strict about measuring as well.)
Next, we spent a long time at Star Wars Miniland.  
We probably should have been going on rides before the lines got long, but once the boys saw this stuff we couldn't have dragged them away.
The boys both posed with the characters they are going to be for Halloween:
Each set-up has a button you can press to make it move and make noise, which the boys pressed numerous times each.
My favorite was Endor:
Of course, we needed a photo op with Darth Vader.
Then we went to Skipper School, which is a boat ride where the kids can drive.  It was my first attempt at trying to get Gus to get onto a ride that he is not technically tall enough to ride.  I may have put stuff in his shoes and his hat to make him taller, but I am not actually saying that I did that.  However, he didn't want to wear the hat so when they measured him, he and Zach had to get out of line.  It was a short line and he didn't cry about it or anything, but I was sad.  
 Then my plan paid off.  He kept the hat on and was tall enough to go on the airplanes.  Not only was I happy because he was so excited, but there was a certain amount of joy in proving to my husband that my plan was not, in fact, stupid. This one ride made it all worth it.  He still talks about it.
Gus couldn't go on the cars that actually move, but he thought this was awesome!
Gus' other favorite ride was the Legoland Express in Duplo Village.
 Mom's favorite ride was the Fairy Tale Brook.  It seemed simple enough and not that special from the pictures I had seen online. It was actually very peaceful and cute.  What I really loved though was that my whole family could ride together. 
I got to take Jimmy on the Coaster-a-Saurus, which was another favorite for him.  He seems to be a fan of roller coasters despite the fact that his face looks terrified the whole time he rides them.
You get to go around twice on this one, which he also thought was cool.
Dad took Jimmy on the Technic Coaster, which was by far the scariest.  It has one big drop at the beginning that he wasn't too sure about.  Gus and I got to watch them  go down and I wish I could have filmed it.  Zach said Jimmy was squeezing his hand extremely tight.  After it was over he said it was his favorite, but it was scary enough that he didn't want to go on it again.
Gus and I found a ball pit and a few other things to do while we waited.  For the most part you can find things to entertain the little ones nearby the rides they can't do on.  It stinks a little that you can't always be together, but sometimes one-on-one time can be good, too.
It was funny watching Zach be the only adult on this ride that went up and down.  I filmed it, but you have to come over to my house if you want special video viewing. (I would post videos on the blog, but blogger never lets me.)
 We took a break back at the hotel and the boys changed into costumes for Brick-or-Treat Nights, which is Legoland's special Halloween celebration that goes on every weekend of October.  They walked down the Brick-or-Treat Trail which has little houses that give you treats and snacks (but no legos!).  Aunt Angie drove down to join us.
We didn't have very long lines for most of the day, but it got much more crowded once the Halloween stuff started at 5:00.  We waited in a decent line for this Royal Joust ride, but when we were very close to the front Jimmy had to go to the bathroom.  The guy who was running it very kindly let us out and told us we could come back to the front. Thank goodness because I was not going to wait in that line again.
There were lots of musical performances going on so we ate dinner near a stage and then enjoyed some dancing in this uncrowded area we found.
The visual spectacle was fun and we didn't really feel the need to go on too many rides. There was a giant ghost that changed colors and we had fun watching this juggler for a little while.
The last ride of the day was the Coast Cruise which takes you around a little lake that has monuments from around the world.
Some of it was cool to see lit up at night, but there were a lot of things not lit up.  I would recommend this ride during the day.  
Mini-land USA looks very cool at night though:
The main draw of going on Saturday (instead of a less crowded weekday) was that the park is open much later for the Brick-or-Treat and the night ended with Fireworks.  Gus had a power nap in the stroller around 6:00, but by the end of the night we were all pretty tired.
Okay, Jimmy isn't actually sleeping there, but it seemed to capture what we were all feeling.
However, nothing could have given Jimmy the adrenaline rush he needed to stay awake like buying an awesome lego set.  The decision was much agonized over, but he finally picked a rocket launch pad.  He kind of thinks it is the coolest thing ever.

Tired as he was, he insisted on starting to build it when we got back to the hotel.

1 comment:

  1. Holy Cow! That looks amazing! You could write the promotional materials for that place. We're so jealous!