Sunday, May 24

Legoland... We Loved It!

I'm posting this retrospectivly... I started this on Saturday night, but with being busy packing and getting ready to come back home, I didn't get a chance to finish writing it until today.

Yesterday we went to Legoland... and I think it was the highlight of our trip... We all loved it!

The day started early for us... Our shuttle bus picked us up at 7:40am... I woke up at 6:20am and got ready and then roused Beth an hour earlier than she normally gets up.

We didn't get to Legoland until 10:15am due picking up other passengers at hotels and then 7/8 of the bus got taken to the Wild Animal Park and then our small minority got taken to Legoland. We had one mini-disaster about 20 minutes away from Legoland when Beth threw up all over herself and me (she gets motion-sickness and the roads were pretty bumpy). Luckily it was mostly juice in her vomit and she hadn't had much breakfast and had refused her bottle of milk in the morning! What a way to start our trip... but from that point onwards the day just got better and better.

After a quick pitstop to clean ourselves up (thank god for bringing a change of clothes for Beth! And I wrote off the jacket I was wearing (it was warm anyway and I didn't need it) and got most of the vomit out of my jeans with hand soap from the restrooms!) we headed off on our Legoland adventure...

Legoland has really considered the needs of the kids so well... Especially younger kids. They had a little pamphlet on the best attractions for kids who are 2 years old (which was just perfect for Beth), so we decided to follow what that suggested...

We stopped and marvelled at the many amazing lego sculptures around the park (I took like a gazillion photos... I can't wait to share!) One of the first things that was suggested for 2 year olds was to visit the Fairy Tale Brook... We thought it was just going to be a place we could walk through, but it turned out to be a (very slow moving) boat ride... Now Beth has never taken well to rides of any kind... She doesn't even like sitting in those $2 coin operated rides at the shops... The queue to go on the ride was really short, so after a brief few minute wait, we got into one of the boat and Beth looooved the boat ride! We saw lots of characters made from lego from various fairytales - the 3 little pigs and the big bad wolf, sleeping beauty, little red riding hood, the troll and the 3 billy goats gruff (the troll, scared her though), a treasure cave and genie from Aladdin... it was all so amazing... they even animate lots of the characters so they move or pop out of the water and stuff.

Going on that boat ride right at the beginning of our day, really set the scene for Beth becoming adventurous enough to go on other rides. One of the really great things about Legoland is that a lot of the rides are designed for kids Beth age (and height) accompanied with an adult.

After our boat trip, we wandered on and saw a Chewbacca made of Lego (Ty, you would have loooooved it!) and then we discovered these water-based play activity things where you can shoot lego sculptures with water spouting guns or turn handles to make things go up and down (hard to explain, it makes sense when you see photos)... Beth had fun playing with that and then we discovered the coolest water fountain ever!

The water fountain had about several different instruments (double bass, clarinet, xylophone, harp, trombone and a few other things, all made of lego of course), which spouted water. In front of each instrument on the ground outside the fountain were touch sensitive circles, which if you walked/jumped on them, would make music come from that particular instrument and make water flow out of it. Beth adored jumping/dancing on the circles and making the instruments play music (her favourite was the clarinet)... Hell, I loved jumping on it too... :) Lots of kids (young and old) came along to play on it... it was hilarious because I reckon we were there for about 15-20 minutes and several different groups of kids came through and then left when they got bored, but Beth just stayed there and kept dancing. She could have stayed there all day!

We finally convinced her that there were more things out there for us to see, so off we pottered to Playtown, which was like a big kiddies playground with a house, slides, little duplo block building stations and generally lots of things to do for the toddler age bracket. Beth had fun playing here and while we were in the upstairs part of one of the houses, she caught a glimpse of a train ride... "Train! Red Train!", she exclaimed, so I asked her if she wanted to go on it and she got really excited and started walking down the steps out of the house. This ride could only accomodate, one adult and one child per "carriage", so Phan took Beth on this ride... After a little hissy fit about having to wait to go on the train (there was a very small queue and Beth's not that great at waiting... I don't know how to teach her about patience!), she finally got to go on the train with Phan and looooooved it! It was so great to see her finally becoming a little bit adventurous!

After the train ride, we pottered over to Funtown and Beth and Phan went on a helicopter ride! Yep, she was becoming a daredevil. I didn't get any video footage of this, which I'm regretting, but I did get photos... It's basically a whole bunch helicopters on poles which go up and down and spin around, but the person in it gets to control what the helicopter does... which is good for our Beth who likes to be in control of what's going on... She went on this ride with Phan again... and when she got off she kept telling me about the "Red Helicopter!" Right after this ride, we went on a plane ride... again similar concept... planes are in a circle and you can control them going up and down... I went on this ride with Beth and whilst she enjoyed it, I think I made it go up and down too much and she got nervous towards the end... :p

After that, a bite of lunch ... and this is another thing that Legoland does well... there are great food options... They have all the regular junk (hamburgers, hotdogs, chips etc), but they also actually have healthy food options (steak sandwiches, chicken stirfry with rice, pre-cut fruit cups, juice (trust me, it was impossible to find juice as a drink option at the zoo and SeaWorld!)) which are reasonably priced for a theme park too... After lunch, Beth was tired and wanted to have a sleep, so we reclined the stroller and let her have her dummy and we thought that we would go and browse Miniland USA whilst she was sleeping.

Miniland USA is basically a miniature lego replica of famous cities in the US... San Francisco, Las Vegas, Washington DC, New York just to name a few... and honestly, these were amazing to see! The detail, the little scenes created... Wait til you see the photos... it will amaze you! There was a Daytona racetrack recreation, with details down to the people in the grandstands. It also had 2 interactive racetracks where you could race cars... and although Beth was really, really tired, she got so excited when she saw the cars, she asked to hop out of the stroller and walk around and look at it all! We thought, she would find it boring, but she really enjoyed walking around Miniland USA. It was all amazing, but one of the highlights for me was the scene recreation of the inauguration of Obama at the Capitol in Washington... so very clever and really done very well.

Then we walked over to the Imagination Zone, which is an indoor area with more lego and duplo blocks you could ever imagine and we played with that for a short while before moving on to Castle Hill (which had the most awesome red dragon made from lego!)... not much for Beth to do here... although we did stop to have the famous "Granny's Apple Fries" here... which sounds bizarre... but it is literally apples cut/shaped into chips and fried and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar and served with cream. I know, why would anyone want to do that... only an American would think "Hmmm... how can we make this apple taste better... I know lets fry it up, and serve it with cream!" The only reason we tried it was because Phan had read reviews on Legoland and everyone raved about them... even people who didn't like Legoland said the apple fries were worth trying. And our verdict... they actually are really good and very moreish! Beth was not too keen on the fries, but she did enjoy licking cream off them.

You're probably thinking, what more could we possibly fit into this day... but yes, there is more... our last area to visit was the Pirate Shores, which is a HUGE water play area! They have this ride where 2 people ride in a boat and they have a water cannon that works by turning a handle and you squirt water at other people passing by in other boats and at people on the sidelines who also have water cannons squirty things... it looks like so much fun (esp on a hot day)... Beth was too young for the ride, but it was a lot of fun to watch and we did have a go at using the water cannons on the sidelines.

We let Beth have a little run around in the water playarea (in just her nappy and tshirt)... it was just complete and total chaos here... kids running around and having so much fun... it made me want to be a kid just to play in here!

After our water play, we went on one last ride which was a car (on rails) that goes through a safari area with lego african animals... Beth loved this and was happy to wait in line for 15 minutes to go on it!

And our last stop for the day was of course the lego souvenir shop via a little tour showing the machine process they use to make lego. We couldn't leave without getting something to remember our visit. (We don't normally do sourvenir shopping - we didn't buy any souvenirs at the zoo or SeaWorld, just our photos and memories). We got Beth a duplo block set and for ourselves we got a chess set made from lego that looks so cool!

Beth hadn't napped at all during the day... she had tried several times, but just as was about to, she would see something and want to get out and have a closer look... there was just so much for her to see and she just didn't want to miss out! As soon as we got on the bus though, Beth crashed out... which was good, because it meant she couldn't get motion sick again and throw up. It was only a 1 hour trip back to San Diego (we didn't have to go via Wild Animal park) .

So ... if you couldn't tell from the detail of this post... I loved Legoland... so much to see and do and so much fun... I think I enjoyed it so much because Beth loved it so much and they really have geared this theme park to be suitable for younger kids, although there is plenty for bigger kids (and big kids at heart with a sentimental love of Lego) to do too.

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