Category Archives: Legoland

It’s real!!! Introducing Lego WORLDS — The Brickmaster’s Challenge to Minecraft

LEGO Fans and Mincrafters unite! Rejoice! Get ready to craft and create.

It’s here. LEGO meets Minecraft in a Sandbox create-you-own-world video game.

LEGO's answer to Mincraft --Introducing LEGO WORLDS, a limitless collection of procedurally generated worlds made entirely of LEGO Bricks, where players build unique environments and define their own experience.


Introducing LEGO WORLDS, a limitless collection of procedurally generated worlds made entirely of LEGO Bricks, where players build one-of-a-kind environments and create their own unique experience.


It's here!! LEGO WORLDS is the Brickmaster's Answer to Minecraft. Available for $14.99for download now (in developmental stage).


It’s REAL. If this rolled out on April 1st instead of June 1st, I’d think this was a bloody brilliant April Fool’s Day gimmick. Yesterday, LEGO and Warner Brothers launched the beta version of WORLDS (called the STEAM Early Access experience) for PC download. Currently priced at $14.99, it’s competitively set against the $26 Minecraft download. But will it have as much to offer young worldbuilders?

LEGO® Worlds embodies physical LEGO brick-building on a digital platform and lets players build and create unique environments one brick at a time. Entire worlds and creations are brought to life with characters and creatures that interact with each other as well as the player in unexpected ways.

Developed by TT Games, LEGO Worlds allows players to use LEGO building sets digitally so they can build and create wherever their skills and imagination roam.  The current format is single player only (so no friends can join in to help you create your masterpiece yet), but mulit-player and sharing features are in the works.  Developers promise players can modify terrain quickly and easily, roam in ready-made vehicles (including helicopters and dragons), and explore vast worlds. Oh, and there’s treasure.

 LEGO Fans and Mincrafters unite! Rejoice! Get ready to craft and create.  It's here and it's REAL. If this rolled out on April 1st instead of June 1st, I'd think this was a bloody brilliant April Fool's Day gimmick.  Yesterday, LEGO released the beta version of WORLDS (called the STEAM Early Access experience) for PC download. Currently priced at $14.99, it's competitively priced against the $26 Minecraft download. But will it have as much to offer young worldbuilders?

“LEGO Worlds embodies the physical, LEGO brick-building fun that consumers have enjoyed for decades, on a digital platform that delivers an entirely new type of experience with the beloved bricks,” said Tom Stone, Managing Director, TT Games. “From the brick-by-brick editor, to discovering an expansive range of items, characters and creatures to populate your worlds – the creative possibilities are endless.”

The idea of product tie-ins does make me a bit nervous—the potential for “to get this special diamond brick sword, enter the product code on your new $69 LEGO set” makes my wallet wince. But might it be a slightly safer environment than Minecraft for young builders? And what will this mean for the current LEGO MINECRAFT building sets?

No matter what, I’m betting it will be a heck of a lot of fun.

Will these price items be phased out?

Legoland Florida Review

 *Note: This is a completely unsponsored post and unbiased review. I paid in full for all Legoland admission tickets, food, parking, and souvenirs.  Free tickets would have been nice, but alas, no free rides here.

Legoland is Florida’s newest and most anticipated theme park addition. Located in Winter Haven (about 45 minutes south of Disney) on the grounds of the old Cypress Gardens, it is a brightly colored mecca for Lego lovers and fans. Be warned: it IS a park for kids. It is not like EPCOT or even Universal, which play to a definite adult audience as well.  Legoland claims its target audience is kids 2 to 12. I would say more specifically 5 to 11-year-old boys. For them, it is a wonderland.

We visited with my son, an 8-year-old who lives, eats, and breaths Legos: their ideal guest.

The park was everything he wanted and more.

We spent the day at Legoland on Monday, October 18th, the 3rd day the park was officially open. We were hoping to avoid the crazy opening weekend crowds. We did. The park was not busy at all. In fact, when we arrived at the empty parking lot we thought the park was closed. Lines for all rides (if there were any at all) were short. Now I understand why Legoland will be closed two days during the week (Tuesdays and Thursdays).

Rides and Attractions

Legoland has four roller coasters and all are great for kids. The height restrictions are minimal: 36″ to 44″ will get you on all the rides.

The Dragon is an easy coaster, full of knights, castles, and of course, dragons.

The Coastersaurus is an old wooden coaster refurbished from Cypress Garden days.  It’s bumpy and a bit different, but fun (once you get past the fact that you are trusting a very old wooden ride). My son actually looked a little nervous and asked the attendants if it was really safe.

Test Track is a short, swervy ride, but it was the steepest and fastest — a 45 foot drop before you hit the switchbacks — but still okay for most kids.

Flying School is a suspended coaster (meaning you hang from the top) where kids and adults can get the feel of flying without the fear like other suspended coasters (such as Sea World’s Manta).  It may look a little daunting, but it’s an easy thrill.

If you want to ride the coasters I would recommend hitting them first. If you turn right at the carousel (another holdout from the Cypress Gardens days), you can swing towards the Dragon first then follow the path along the back of the park to the others. We walked right on or waited only about 5 minutes for each on the day of our visit, but I have read reports of an hour wait — no fun with kids for such a short ride.

The Ford Driving School was a huge hit. Kids ages 6-13  sit through a short movie showing them how the life-sized Ford Explorer outside the ride was built and teaches them basic traffic laws and instructions. They are led out to the driving school track, a cute replica of some city streets complete with lanes, stop signs, and traffic lights.  They drive their own cars around (no parents allowed) following all the laws to get their license. It was adorable, and the kids all seemed to be beaming with pride that they were driving all by themselves. There is also aJr. Driving School for ages 3-5.

We didn’t get to try out the Boating School, also located in the Lego City area, due to some technical problems. Only one boat was running.

The Lost Kingdom Adventurewas just as fun for the adults as the kids. Guests ride four to a car through an ancient Egyptian tomb. It’s not scary. Each person has a laser gun to shoot at targets scattered through the day-glow painted ride and a scoreboard on their dash.

The Pharaoh’s Revenge is a glorified ball pit, but the kids loved it. Inside this small two-story netted area kids fire foam balls at each other (and parents if they don’t wait outside).


Only ride the Aquazone Wave Racers if you want to get wet. Spectators can set off water cannons as the 2-person wave racers spin by.  Fun for riders and spectators if you can manage to wait near one of the cannon buttons.


The Safari Trek is more for the littlest ones. While the Lego animals are amazing to behold — towering giraffes, water-squirting elephants, lions, zebras, even meerkats — the mini-jeep tour lasts maybe two minutes. I wanted to get close-up photos of the ‘animals’ so we waited in line for 15 minutes (longest wait of the day by far), then as we buckled into our vehicles, the ride broke. We sat for another five waiting to go somewhere. Walk the perimeter of the ride to see the cool animals, and don’t bother actually riding unless there is no wait.

Build and Test is a air-conditioned break-room for the adults while the kids have a blast building innovative race cars from dozens of bins of blocks. Kids fill several four car ramped race tracks with their creations, each vying to get their vehicle to the finish line first. Chairs line the walls for adults to chill out in the A/C while the kids are busy.  We had to drag our Kiddo out after a half hour.

Toddlers vs Big Kids: Speaking of little ones, Duplo Village is geared straight towards the smallest guests. The area features a mall-like play area, a Duplo block building area, and a few easy rides for toddlers 36″ and up. This area will not interest any kids over 5 though, so parents/groups may need to split up if they want to give toddlers their own time.

I have a photo tour of Miniland linked here, so just a few words: it’s cool. Even someone not really into Legos should appreciate these model cities. You could spend hours checking out all the amazing details the master builders included. It takes about 20 minutes just to stroll around the area, but plan on spending much more time there. It’s worth it. But save it for later in the day when you need a break from the rides. Bring some binoculars if you have room in your bag.

Part of the original Cypress Gardens is still on display.  Take the time to wander through the lush gardens of old Florida. Where costumed Southern Belles once greeted guests, Lego figures now stand — kinda kitsch, but a nice homage. Make sure to stroll under the immense banyan tree, planted in 1936. Many kids will be quickly bored with this area, but adults will appreciate the relative peace, beauty, and quiet. It’s also a great place to walk a tired little one in a stroller at nap time.


They also tried to preserve some more of the old Cypress Gardens by keeping a water ski show. The Lego version, Pirates’ Cove Live Water Ski show, is not a show stopper, but the kids seemed to like it.  You won’t see any of the old water ski pyramids or difficult stunts and tricks. Instead, bumbling Lego costumed soldiers try to save Isabella’s pirate ship from the bad pirate Captain Blackbeard. It’s a bit cheesy for the adults, but the  kids seemed to dig it.

The Island in the Sky is a rotating platform which rises over 100 feet above the park to give a 360 degree view of the area. It is not scary or fast, and the breeze from that height is quite lovely. If you are lucky you can catch part of the ski show from above and spot the Bok Tower in the distance — far more interesting that the Kmart and Bealls across the street.

As you stroll through the park, pay attention to the nearly life-size characters scattered around. The detail is amazing, and some have been created by Lego designers with an interesting sense of humor.

Food & Dining
The official policy says no outside food or drink except for baby formula or special medical needs.  However, at the time we went, no one was checking bags for contraband pb&js or chips.  No alcohol is sold in inside either (but it’s only open until 5 anyway, so you can hold out).

There are 11 spots to grab a bite throughout the park,  from funnel cakes to fried chicken.  The selection in each dining area is specific: for a burger you must go to Castle Burger or Cap’n Blackbeard’s Burger. Lakeside Sandwich Co. only has a small selection of premade sandwiches, wraps, and salads in a refrigerated case.

For more variety you can try FunTown Pizza Pasta Buffet ($10.99 adults, $6.99 kids) for all-you-can-eat  pizza, pastas, and salads (but how much can you really eat for lunch?).

We chose the Market Restaurant and were pleased with our choice. They feature several stations including fresh fruits & snacks, soups, basic salad (not a salad bar though), a few Asian dishes, mac & cheese, and rotisserie chicken.


For $8.99 I bought a 1/2 chicken meal with two sides (choice of veggies, rice, or roasted potatoes) that was more than enough to split with my son. The chicken was tasty and the veggies fresh. My husband bought the 1/4 chicken meal ($6.99) and was stuffed.

There is also a Lego building station inside the restaurant to keeps kids busy while parents catch their breath — a nice touch.

Legoland’s signature snack can be founds at Granny’s Apple Fries. I saw countless visitors snacking on the warm cinnamon and sugar coated Granny Smith apple fries served with a whipped cream dipping sauce.





Unlike some of Central Florida’s other theme parks, Legoland is not covered with souvenir shops and kiosks on every corner. It’s rather refreshing.  Most of the park’s 11 retail outlets are close to the main entrance (which means they are packed around closing time — shop early in the day and they are empty).

The Big Shop is supposed to be one of the largest Lego stores in existence. I certainly saw every Lego set I had ever seen in the catalogs lining the walls. And the prices ARE NOT MARKED UP. They are the same as online at or at your local superstore (Toy r Us is actually more expensive). You can buy a souvenir set without being fleeced, and they have many to choose from that you can’t find locally.  WIN.

Minifigure Market is touted as THE place to build your own custom figures, but there is not much to choose from. At the time of our visit there were about three different torsos and legs with a Halloween theme to mix with different hair and hat styles. There are no licensed figures to choose from (i.e. Star Wars, Harry Potter, etc.)  Kiddo was not impressed.  (3 mix & match Lego minifigures for $9.99) They also sold the minifigure “magnet” 3-packs ($14.99). They had a good selection (same as online) and this is the only real way to get many of the highly sought after licensed figures. (Beware: some of the figures cannot be detached from their magnets any longer.)

The coolest shop is the Pick A Brick area outside the Lego Factory. The Lego Factory itself is just a two-room “tour” of how the bricks are made, in kid-speak. At the end of the tour an official (and free) Legoland Florida souvenir brick pops out for each child before you walk through the Pick A Brick store.  Hundred of colorful bins featuring Legos sorted by size, shape, and color line the wall.  Bricks are bought by weight: you fill your bag with whatever you want and it is weighed at the register ($8.49 per 1/4 pound). Not too bad for some unusual pieces. Kiddo picked out some odds and ends he has never seen before for about $5.  WIN.

My boys loved the small Lego Studios store, filled with Star Wars, Harry Potter, and Spongebob toys. It didn’t hurt that they have a screen with the Lego Star Wars cartoon playing inside. I had to drag them both out.

There are a few other shops scattered around the park. The King’s Market featured knight and princess costumes and weapons (foam, of course). Outside the Driving School you can purchase an official Legoland Drivers License on a lanyard ($14.99, but you get a paper copy without a photo for free).

Discount Tickets

Regular price adult one-day admission is $75, child (3-12) $65. While this is competitive with other Orlando parks, it is a bit pricey when you consider Legoland is only open from 10 – 5 daily.  Annual passes are also available.

Currently, Legoland & Pepsi are a offering buy one adult ticket, get a child ticket free deal. Go to and enter promo code: 11090601.  You can only get one free ticket at a time, so if you have more than one adult/child pair you will need to do each transaction separately. The child tickets just went up to $65 bucks, so this is a decent deal. 

*(update 10/27/11) Publix Supermarkets are selling discounted tickets: Adult $60 and kids $50 (plus tax), a saving of $15 each from gate prices.

AAA Members can purchase discounted tickets at their local AAA branch, online, or by phone ($55.99 adults, $49.99 kids).

Central Florida Entertainment books have $5 discount coupons.

I’m going to stay on the lookout for discounts in the Lego Magazine. They run specials for all other parks, so hopefully soon some Florida deals will appear.

Parking is $12 per day.

Annual Pass Upgrade:
At the time of our visit, you could upgrade your one day ticket to a two-day ticket or annual pass while you are at the park.

The 2-day upgrade was $15 per ticket —not bad — but must be used within 10 days.

An upgrade to an Annual Pass was $50 (+ tax)  for adults and $30 for children. It is good one year from the date of purchase and does NOT include $12 parking.

We haggled over whether or not to upgrade to an annual pass. In the end, we did not, mostly because of the 1 1/2 hour drive through rush hour traffic each way and because it wouldn’t include the water park when it opens next spring/summer. We probably should have though.

Overall, we went on a good day. Granted, it was the Monday after grand opening, but the park (and parking lot) were pretty empty and we had virtually no waits all day.  If it had been sunny, crowded, and in the middle of summer, it would have been hard to see as much by the early closing time of 5 p.m. We did not get to see every attraction as it was.

The grounds were lush and nicely landscaped. The Lego characters scattered throughout the park were as much fun as the rides.  Keep your eyes open to spot “wildlife” around the rushing waterfall and study the details of the “people” around the park.


This park is perfect for elementary aged boys. I’m not trying to sound sexist, but I personally don’t know too many girls who prefer blocks to Barbies. Yes, certainly some girls will dig it (I would have when I was a kid), but if they are more into princesses and fairies take them to Disney instead.  If you only have children under age 5 and under 42″ I would wait to go. The rides are geared to kids but not toddlers.

In the end, my son could not decide upon his favorite part of the day. He loved each ride, store, figure, and show. His only disappointments: he couldn’t make a Captain Rex figure and Legoland wasn’t located next door to our house with $5 admission.  WIN.

**If you have any questions, please leave a comment and I’ll do my best to answer it for you.



Legoland Florida Miniland Tour

The Grand Tour via Miniland, Legoland Florida style…
Seven distinctive themed areas, and the “heart of Legoland.”

First stop South Beach. Note: it is the happening South Beach, full of models rollerblading, hunks working out, and hot cars. Twenty years ago it would have been full of 80-year-old snowbirds and walkers.

 Lego sunbathers. Now my son will know how to create Lego breasts — fabulous. Please note the chick on the right looks as if she has had work done (this IS South Beach, Miami). Also please note those are NOT water bottles or soda cans on the table (this IS South Beach).

So that’s how you make a Lego banana hammock (a.k.a. speedo).

The Little Havana section of Miami. Please notice the old man in the lower right corner is about to whack the old man in the wheelchair. They take their games seriously.

 I spotted Beyonce the Chicken posing on a corner of Little Havana.
(Yo, Blogess, I didn’t know you pimped your chicken down there!)

 Kids gathered around the space shuttle, counting down with the clock.
When it hit 00:00 steam came out of the engines. The adults thought it was cool. 
The kids were mad because they thought it would actually lift off.
Next head right up the coast to Daytona International Speedway for a NASCAR race.

The infield is where all the ‘real’ fun happens during a week-long party camp-out. The girls are drinking tropical beverages under the umbrella, and I’m sure if I look closely enough there are plenty of beers to be found.
Also note the Lego Port-A-Potties on the right.
A short drive up the Florida coast will  bring you to St. Augustine, 
alleged home to the Fountain of Youth.
See how the aged strip off their clothes and turn into infants. 
I don’t want to go back that far, thanks…
And we can’t forget Key West. Where else can you find cats jumping through fiery hoops (bottom center) and sword-swallowing tightrope walkers just across the street from everyone’s favorite bar. I was pleased to see Legoland flies the Rainbow Flag proudly (must be the European influence — they are far more open-minded and tolerant than us).

This shipwreck was pretty cool. Divers poked around treasure chests, coral reefs, and skeletons as a hammerhead shark prowled above.

I’m not sure where or what time period the pirate scene depicted, but several great sailing ships and a smoking volcano proved to be a big hit.

 Next you have to go to Vegas, right?
I dare someone to count how many wedding couples they can find. 
There are several by each hotel and many hidden as well, I’m sure.
 I like the Luxor because it makes me imagine I am in a desert region full of vast cultural and anthropological history, instead of the gambling capital of the world.
 With Elvis, of course. And the guy in the back looks like he is attacking the woman. 
Where is CSI when you need them?

 While there are many grand Vegas hotels depicted in Miniland,
I like the little wedding chapel.
I’m sure there is at least one Elvis inside.

Ahhh, Venice. Oh damn, we are still in Vegas. Never mind.
It is far too clean to be the real thing. And there are no pigeons. Or Japanese tour groups. 
Or authentic amazing food and culture.

On to New York City. This model city is quite large and detailed. 
Yes, the man in the orange is a full-sized adult. 
They aren’t called skyscrapers for nothing.

Quick stop in Central Park. I’ve always wanted to visit Strawberry Fields. 
And I’ve always wanted to see how to make Lego dreadlocks.  
I’ve already danced in a drum circle with hippies.
(I would have been the one with the curls and the bell bottoms in the center.)

Who doesn’t love a trip to the Central Park Zoo? 
With parrots and penguins and school girls…

The Sound of Plastic, live on Broadway…
and a mugging just outside? (See guy on bottom left with hands up.)

Times Square…wonder if they add in all the drunks and police on New Year’s Eve?

Now off to our stately nation’ s capitol. The Washington Monument.
I forgot to zoom in to see if it had any of the new cracks.

The presidential motorcade moved through the city.
I didn’t spot any Tea Party protesters as it toured our capital.
President Obama and the first family standing in front of the White House.

Now off to Los Angeles for some mega star sightings in front of the Chinese Theater.
(I couldn’t tell who the celeb was supposed to be…any ideas?)

A relaxing concert at the Hollywood Bowl…
A quick trip (just a few steps) to San Francisco’s Golden Gate.

And make sure to spot the crazy cat lady with curlers in her hair waiting to be rescued from her great fire.

And I shall end, with a Lego kiss…
If you have an eye for detail and a love of Legos, you could spend hours wandering through Miniland, carefully examining the remarkable details the Lego builders added into every scene.  Even if you are not a Lego aficionado, you will be amazed. Spend some time there.
Full Legoland Florida unbiased review coming up soon.

**This post is not sponsored by or affiliated with Legoland Florida. No compensation was received (meaning we paid for all our tickets, trinkets, parking, and food).