Legoland California – Local’s Guide To Make The Most of Your Day!

Legoland California entrance

Legoland California is located in Carlsbad, California. As Carlsbad locals with little kids, we have been to Legoland many times. We want to help you navigate Legoland so you can make the most of your day at Legoland. Gates open at 10:30 AM most days, lets get started!

Legoland Parking | Standard vs Premium

As you pull onto Legoland drive you will head down a serpentine road adorned with Lego characters off to the side. When you pull up to the parking kiosks you will have the option of standard parking at $25 or preferred parking at $35. We have tried both, and while the preferred parking does allow you to park closer to the theme park, it is not that big of a difference. Standard parking works just fine and it is what we recommend.

Getting Through Security Faster

When you walk up to the gates of Legoland, depending on the time of year, you may encounter a large crowd. The tip here is to stay as far right as possible. There are many security stations and the large lines typically form on the left and in the middle. The right lanes due to the curvature of the landscaping are always shorter, you just need to navigate to the right.

What are Legoland pop-up badges and how do I get one?

After you go through security visit Guest Services and ask if they have any pop-up badges. If it is someone’s birthday or it is your first visit they will give you a magnetic badge for the kids to wear. They also have an assortment of other badges they provide to kids if they ask.

Keep an eye out for any staff members wearing the Mr. Gold badge. 10 team members a day are given the Mr. Gold badge to wear. If you see a team member wearing this badge ask if they have Mr. Gold. They will then give you a special prize to redeem such as skip the line tickets, or prizes you can redeem at guest services.

They have also started hiding golden envelopes around Legoland. If are one of the lucky guests who finds one of the golden envelopes, you can redeem these for prizes as well!

Sea Life Aquarium or Legoland first?

Sea Life Aquarium
Inside Sea Life Aquarium

After you get through security you can head straight into Legoland, or head left and go check out Sea Life Aquarium. We highly recommend Sea Life Aquarium, as it is very impressive and a good way to start you trip! You can walk through the aquarium in under 30 minutes and then head into the park. You also no longer need a reservation to enter Sea Life Aquarium.

Time to enter Legoland – What about tickets?

Tickets can be purchased online and require a reservation for the day. If you enjoy Legoland and you think you will be coming back again in the year, when you leave go to customer service and you can use your ticket as credit to purchase a season pass.

Entering Legoland – Left or Right?

Legoland California Zebra
Legoland Zebra found at the entrance

When you go through the gates of Legoland you will walk up to a fork in the road. Here is a link to a map of Legoland to help you see the layout.

The majority of people go left. Depending on the time of day you arrive, if you head left the first few rides will be crowded. You can keep walking past those rides, or if you head right at the entrance you will typically find a less crowded area of the park. The newer Ninjago ride and the Ferrari build-and-race exhibit are right there.

What are the best rides at Legoland California for toddlers?

Legoland California Coast Cruise
Legoland California Coast Cruise

At the writing of this article our kids are 3 and 5, so here are the rides they most enjoy.

  • Duplo Playtown – This is a great place to let the kids run around, explore, and play.
  • The Hideaways – A gigantic tree house like structure is a another fun place for kids to run around and explore.
  • Unikitty’s Disco Drop – A vertical riser and drop that rotates.
  • Fairy Tale Brook – A slow boat ride that is good for all ages.
  • Queen Watevra’s Carousel – The carousel is located right next to Unikitty’s Disco Drop.
  • The Royal Joust – Kiddos love riding the mechanical horses like knights.
  • The Dragon rollercoaster – A very beginner level roller coaster for kids.
  • Ninjago the ride – A fun ride where you throw computer generated throwing stars to get points.
  • Dune Raiders – Grab a sack, head to the top and slide down to race friends and family.
  • Splash Battle – This seasonal ride is fun with a pirate ship and water cannons to shoot.

When is the best time of the year to go to Legoland California?

Many of the rides are seasonal as well as the Legoland Water Park. With that being said, we would recommend visiting Legoland California during the summer. The Water Park is a lot of fun for the family and seasonal rides such as Splash Battle are fun to ride and shoot the water cannons.

What is the best food to eat at Legoland California?

If you and your kiddos enjoy sweets, you have to try Granny’s Apple Fries. They taste like mini apple pies are a nice snack that you can find in the Castle Hill area of Legoland California.

We have had lunch at a few of the dining options and the best food we have had was at Fun Town’s Urban Kitchen. You will find kid grab-and-go lunch bags at all dining locations. Typically with chicken tenders. You can get PBJ sandwiches at the Beer Garden and Coffee Shop in the Pirate Shores Area. Back to the Urban Kitchen, they have a good Chicken Curry Thai dish for adults. Other options are a steak sandwich, salads, etc. For adults looking to have a beer, you can buy beers at most dining options throughout the park.

Where to stay when visiting Legoland California?

Haustay Vacation Rentals Shore Drive Oceanfront Home Carlsbad
Haustay Vacation Rentals Shore Drive

At Haustay Vacation Rentals we have seven vacation rentals in Carlsbad all between 5 to 15 minutes away from Legoland California. We have two, three-bedroom homes about five minutes away from Legoland and right next to the beach. Check out Hacienda Terramar and the oceanfront home known as Shore Drive.

If you are looking for something smaller, we have two two-bedroom condos known as La Costa Haus and Costa Balboa located in La Costa just south of Legoland California.

We also have three one-bedroom condos, one located in Carlsbad Village known as Coastal Casita and two one-bedroom condos located in La Costa known as La Costa Chateau and Casa De Costa.

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