I was lucky enough to recently pay my first visit to Florida, on America’s south coast. It was sensational and I’m already planning my next trip.
My visit to Florida was completely focused on the Art Deco splendour that is South Beach, Miami. I was holidaying without kids which allowed indulgent days on the beach, by the pool (at the amazing The Raleigh hotel) and enjoying walking tours of the Art Deco buildings. My next visit to Florida will be with kids in tow as there is so much there for families to enjoy, notably the newest attraction for their Sunshine State, Legoland Florida.
Opened in October this year, Legoland Florida is one hundred and fifty acres of family theme park fun. It’s important to emphasize ‘family’ because Legoland Florida is geared toward children aged two to twelve years old (which means you don’t have to have a cast iron stomach and nerves of steel to enjoy the rides!).
There are more than fifty rides ranging from the exhilarating Lego Technic ‘suspension’ coaster to the tame Lego cars at the Ford Driving School, where kids can earn their own driver’s licence. There are also numerous live shows, opportunities to create your own Lego masterpiece and of course Miniland, the Lego display at the heart of every Legoland.
Legoland Florida boasts a Miniland devoted to US cities including New York, Las Vegas and Washington as well as Florida attractions such as the Kennedy Space Center built from Lego bricks. Given my recent visit to Miami, I particularly like Lego South Beach (below).
To get a good sense of all that’s on offer, take a few minutes to watch the video clip below – there’s some behind the scenes footage as well as glimpses of the rides, shows and Miniland.
There’s a couple of things to note – Legoland Florida is the world’s largest Legoland so hardcore fans might need more than one day there. It also has the largest Lego retail shop in the world (how’s that wallet?) with pick-a-brick, Mini Figures and oodles of kits available to buy. I suspect it will be a challenge to leave without a ‘souvenir’ or six.
Tickets to Legoland Florida can be purchased online. Adult tickets are US$75 each and children aged three to twelve years are US$65 each. Legoland Florida is located in Winter Haven, approximately forty-five minutes drive from the city of Tampa and the Orlando theme parks. There are various ‘Bed & Brick’ accommodation packages available at hotels in Winter Haven, Orlando and Tampa. Flights to Tampa, Florida can be booked online through Flight Centre.