LEGOLAND California hotel is the best hotel you will ever stay in with kids, writes Natasha Keller.
LEGOLAND California Resort is at 1 Legoland Drive Carlsbad CA California. It’s a little more than an hour from Anaheim and 90 minutes from Los Angeles. The Castle Hotel is one of two hotels at the theme park.
Tumble out of the entrance and in less than 50 steps you’ll be standing beneath the sign that welcomes you to LEGOLAND California. If you love LEGO, and want to make the most out of the theme park experience, you will love this hotel. It opened in April 2018, and we couldn’t rate it highly enough.
Designed to keep the wonder and fun associated with LEGOLAND alive throughout your stay, the attention to detail at the hotel is second to none.
From the LEGO pit in the foyer to entertain the kids while you check in to the sculptures and themed decor as you walk the halls and corridors, there is endless LEGO fun to be had before you even set foot in your room.
Kids’ imaginations run wild and even us parents couldn’t help but get swept away in the fun of living like a mini figurine for the night!
This hotel really knows its audience. Each themed room is equipped with a king bed and kids’ quarters (a separate bunk area for the kids, perfectly spaced from the adults’ bed with the bathroom in between, with LEGO building tables and a scavenger hunt).
The kids’ area also features a nightlight that projects constellations onto the ceiling (perfect for kids who prefer a little ambience when they sleep), and the bathroom doesn’t disappoint either – it features a toilet fitted with a double seat; the toddler potty seat is perfect for the smaller visitors in the family, and the step stool means kids can reach the sink. The kids’ area also has a pull-out trundle available, so it can accommodate three kids in total.
The in-room mini-fridge was perfect for storing kids’ snacks ahead of a day exploring, and the coffee machine came in handy to get us parents energised for a big day of family fun at the park.
WHY WE STAYED HERE
When it came to planning our first family holiday to LA, it was a no-brainer to add a stop in Carlsbad to visit LEGOLAND California. With two kids who love LEGO, we couldn’t travel all this way and not experience the place so many have raved about.
While the price tag is steeper than you might otherwise expect, it is absolutely worth every cent. Park entry is included in the room price (with exclusive early access), as is breakfast and nightly entertainment.
LEGOLAND Castle Hotel features a wade-in pool area with water-based play features and a whirlpool spa that the kids loved to splash in when we got back from the park.
There’s also an entertainment courtyard that had zones for kids of all ages, including DUPLO for younger kids, slides, an outdoor stage and cinema with seating. They hold evening shows in this area that are perfect for kids who enjoy interactive experiences.
FOOD & BEVERAGE
LEGOLAND Castle Hotel has one restaurant, aptly named Dragon’s Den Restaurant & Bar. Breakfast is included in the cost of your stay, and no stone is left unturned in making sure there’s something for everyone. Make sure you bring your appetite – the all-you-can-eat buffet is absolutely delicious!
Assuming you have a car, you could venture out for dinner, however, the menu at Dragon’s Den has plenty of options to suit. When you also factor in that there’s a giant LEGO pit in the restaurant as well as live entertainment in the evening, it’s definitely a winner. The kids hoovered up their dinner within no time so they could go and play, leaving us to enjoy a drink and meal in peace. Now that’s a bonus!
Like Lucy and Emmet sing, on repeat, all movie long, everything really is awesome when it comes to life in LEGOLAND. If you’ve got kids aged anywhere up to 10 or 12, this place is heaven. With rides for all ages – from storybook boat rides to more adrenaline-pumping rollercoasters (including one that scared the heck out of this travelling mum!) – there’s plenty to satisfy all members of the family.
The rides available beat expectations. Having come direct from an intensely wonderful three-day Disneyland adventure, we were surprised with how fantastic the options are (and how manageable the lines – or lack thereof – are).
Divided into nine distinct worlds and featuring more than 60 rides, shows and attractions, the park is easily navigable using the park map or the handy app, which provides updates on showtimes as well as wait times where relevant. There are rides for the thrillseekers, experiences for the kids who are keen to learn to drive or go to skipper school, and creative displays of world monuments.
DID YOU KNOW?
LEGOLAND also has an aquarium and seasonal waterpark! With the two-day SEA LIFE Hopper pass, visitors can gain access to the neighbouring SEA LIFE Aquarium. It features all the elements you’d expect – a touchpool, a shark tunnel and 350-plus unique species of aquatic life on display (more than 6000 creatures in total!). The most unique feature of this aquarium is the underwater displays that feature LEGO sculptures – they add to the sense of fun.
With the two-day Resort Hopper pass, you can also visit the waterpark. While the waterpark was closed when we visited, reports are that it is definitely worth adding to your plans if you’re there in the warmer months. With a lazy river, waterslides, a wave pool, fountains and super-soaker splash zones, this waterpark has something for kids of all ages (including a dedicated area for kids aged 1 to 3).
I’m not a traditional traveller. While I like to ‘see the sights’, the part I love most is getting off the beaten track and meeting locals, learning about why they love their town, wherever that may be, and seeing it through their eyes.