I had this post written up last week, but due to some technical issues I accidentally deleted it, so here is the brand new(though probably not quite “improved”) version of my review. I apologize if the review seems to be lacking in some departments. I am re-writing this from pure memory of what I had before. I had every intention of getting the review up earlier, but last week I spent nearly every minute freaking out about what I was going to do with my nails for that Friday lol.
So the weekend before last my parents, brother and I decided to visit the new Legoland Park here in Florida. My brother had been wanting to go since it opened two years ago, and we were all excited to see what it was like. We started our morning bright and early, and stopped by Dunkin’ Donuts for a breakfast of donuts and coffee (and let me just take a moment here to say that the Coffee Coolatas at Dunkin’ Donuts are AMAZING). It was a good three to four hour long trip, and the closer we got to the park the more giddy my brother and I became due to our excitement. Finally we arrived…
It was only shortly after the park had opened, so the parking lot was fairly empty. We headed up to the entrance gates and….disappointment started to strike. Everyone, wether they bought their tickets online or elsewhere or where buying at the gates, had to stand and wait through the same line, waiting for one of the 5 open ticket booths(though there were 10 total, but for some reason they weren’t all open) to accept the next group in line. There was no will call like you’d find at Disney or other parks, so really the only difference between buying online or at Publix(which is where we bought ours the day before) and at the gate was that it was about $10 cheaper to do so. Eventually we made it through the ticket line and into the park, where we were greeted by a red and green lego dinosaur and lego painters riding a red, blue, and white lego paint wave. Our first stop, per my brothers directions, was the Big Shop. Needless to say that the only people it could possibly be considered “big” by was the spoiled, whining little kids running around and wreaking havoc on the store.
Still filled with high hopes, we left the “Big” Shop and went over the the Lego Factory, where (according to the show description on the maps) we would see Legos being made, and then visit the Pick-A-Brick Shop where we could pick and choose from a great assortment of different shaped and colored Legos. Let me just say this. The “factory” was nothing more than a tiny back room only slightly larger than a broom closet, in which the process was explained by an overly enthusiastic “lego professor” with use of fake equipment. Not a single Lego was made. When that torture was over we went through a set of double-doors into a tiny merchandise store with the smallest assortment of Lego pieces I had ever seen. The acclaimed “great assortment” of pieces was no more than 3 rows high, limited to 3 or 4 different colored pieces, and they were all average run-of-the-mill pieces. The Lego store at Downtown Disney has a better assortment of pieces to choose from.
Optimism sinking below ground level, we moved on to the Minifigure Market. Again, the name of the store was quite misleading, and would have better been named the Mini Figure Market, due to it’s remarkably small size, and equally small selection of Lego figure pieces to choose. I would again like to take this moment to say that even Downtown Disney has a bigger (and better) mini figure selection. At this point we were all becoming a bit grumpy, and so we moved on to Miniland, where real life buildings had been remade by Legos. This was by far the best part of the park, and walking around just looking at the cute, scaled down versions of everything was more fun that anything else we had come across there.
After that we decided to look for some lunch. Our first stop was the pizzeria, which was actually nothing more than a buffet. I have no idea what they serve there, because by the time we got there they were over capacity since they(like everything else at the park) seemed like it was just two sizes too small. We continued our trek through the park in search of nourishment, and once we had found the Panini place (it was nearly impossible to find, there aren’t any really clear directions to anything in the park) we left it as well shortly after due to it’s appearance of a run down take-out restaurant you’d find in the bad part of any town. That and we could clearly see that the staff working there were incredibly slow to do anything. We settled for paying $11 for two bottles of water and two Gatorades, and would eat after we had left the park. Not a big deal, since from the looks of things we would be leaving shortly anyways.
We had to go on at least one ride, so we chose a roller coaster…this must have been the midget of the coaster world, as it had only one drop, and the rest of it was swinging back and forth with harsh and frequent stops. Worst. Ride. Ever. Period. After leaving this new disappointment, we marched through the last tiny bits of the park where we found that there were indeed two good rides in the park. Both of which had an hour wait, simply because they were the only ones there worth riding. We didn’t wait for this, so instead left the park at 2 in the afternoon…to go to Downtown Disney, where my brother found 2 (hard to find) Lord of the Rings Lego sets(neither of which were at Legoland itself), and I adopted a cute stuffed baby zebra.
At the end of the day, I know it’s a kiddie park. And that it’s not directed at older people…but come on. It was a purely pathetic excuse for a theme park, and a mediocre attempt at competing the atmosphere that places like Disney or Busch Gardens have. Maybe in a few more years, when they (hopefully) have more rides for older people, we can go back and actually enjoy ourselves. But then again…my experience there really doesn’t leave me with any wishes of going back, no matter what promises they give out.