Calling all LEGO® Enthusiasts! This coming Friday, February 7th, the highly anticipated brick flick, “THE LEGO® MOVIE,” is coming to theaters near you, and having seen a sneak peek last weekend, I can tell you first hand, you will not want to miss it! It is clever, creative fun from beginning to end, with wit both kids and adults will appreciate. My kids walked out of the theater yelling, “I LOVE THAT MOVIE!”
And not only did I get to see an early screening of the film, but I also had the opportunity to explore a new attraction opening at LEGOLAND® California on February 20th called, THE LEGO MOVIE EXPERIENCE, as a “reel” life extension of the film. THE LEGO MOVIE EXPERIENCE will be just like an actual movie soundstage where you can see footage from the film and check out some of the LEGO models that inspired the movie.
If you think Miniland is cool, just wait ‘til you see this incredible display of LEGO models! It will be particularly cool if you’ve seen the movie, but either way, I promise that it’s a MUST see upon your next visit to the Park (I can’t tell details because it’s still top secret, you’ll just have to find out for yourself).
Also coming to life at LEGOLAND California, are the two lead characters from THE LEGO MOVIE, Emmett the construction worker, and his female companion “WyldStyle.” You’ll be able to get photos taken with them and shake their famous LEGO hands. It’s a photo op not to be missed.
Go check out the film AND the experience and come back to tell me what you think.
Model Mom Mary
A new year is upon us, which means that our friends at LEGOLAND® California are getting ready to throw the biggest party of the year. Their annual celebratory bash called Kids’ New Year’s Eve (KNYE), held every December 31st, is one of the most ridiculously awesome things you can do with your kids.
KNYE has all the makings of a perfect party, including great music (full line-up below, including my faves, Latin Grammy Winner Lucky Diaz and Grammy Nominee Justin Roberts), party favors (this year they’re handing out paper hats, fireworks viewing glasses and glow bracelets), and positive energy, which is abundant at this event. Not to mention the fact that you can also enjoy all the fun of their Holiday Snow Days, which includes: tubing and snowball target practice.
At 6:00pm, park guests get to ring in the New Year in LEGOLAND California’s special time zone for kids, complete with a “brick drop,” a countdown, and a spectacular fireworks show (once Auld Lang Syne plays you can bet I’ll have a lump in my throat).
I always say KNYE is the perfect way to party with your kids at a decent hour, and still have time to tuck them in to bed with a sitter and make it out to your own party, or to stay home and fall asleep while watching Ryan Seacrest. It’s also the perfect way to expose your kids to the fun of an outdoor concert, without the mosh pits and crowd surfing.
For planning purposes, here is the concert timeline (subject to change):
11:30 - 2:00pm: Fun Town Mini Sets
11:30am - 11:50pm: The Pop Ups
12:00pm - 12:20pm: Secret Agent 23 Skidoo
12:30pm - 12:50pm: Aaron Nigel Smith
1:00pm - 1:20pm: Lucky Diaz
1:30pm - 1:50pm: Justin Roberts
2:00pm - 6:00pm: Miniland Concert & Brick Drop
2:00pm - 2:40pm: The Pop Ups
2:45pm - 3:25pm: Secret Agent 23 Skidoo (plus the raising of the brick)
3:30pm - 4:10pm: Aaron Nigel Smith and the Fundamentals
4:15pm - 4:55pm: Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band
5:05pm - 5:55pm: Justin Roberts & NR4NP
6:00pm: Countdown with Tiffany Theissen + Brick Drop and Fireworks
On top of it all, you will be ringing in the New Year at a crazy-fun theme park, so you can be spending the day riding rides and building LEGO models—a win-win for the entire family! Hope to see you there!
Happy New Year & Brick Regards,
Model Mom Mary
For a limited time, kids stay and play FREE with a paying adult!
That's right, for every paid adult LEGOLAND/SEA LIFE Hopper ticket booked, LEGOLAND Hotel guests can book a free child LEGOLAND/SEA LIFE Hopper ticket! Plus, your tickets include a 2nd day FREE! Tickets must be selected at time of booking, and number of tickets may not exceed number of occupants.
You will also enjoy FREE Bricks Breakfast Buffet for each person in your room (up to 2 adults and 3 children).
Additional details available at www.LEGOLAND.com/kidsfree
Help us spread the word about our great "Kids Stay & Play FREE" offer by ENTERING TO WIN A FREE STAY & 4 LEGOLAND/SEA LIFE Hopper Tickets at http://splur.gy/r/kPKzh.
Great Reasons to Stay at LEGOLAND Hotel
• FREE Breakfast Buffet at Bricks Restaurant
• Located inside LEGOLAND® California Resort
• All guest rooms LEGO® themed - Pirate, Kingdom or Adventure
• Fully themed hotel with interactive LEGO features throughout
• Nightly Children's Entertainment
• Exclusive early access to LEGOLAND California
LEGOLAND Hotel offers themed and premium themed rooms along with junior and family suites. Premium themed rooms have additional LEGO models and décor such as themed wall paper. Suites include an extra TV and doors that adjoin to the next room. Children have their own sleeping area in every room complete with bunk beds, a trundle bed and their own TV. Special amenities in each room are designed with children in mind, such as the lowered peephole and toilet training seats that can be used with every toilet.
Interactive features include a Castle Play area, a talking and water spraying dragon on the patio, a LEGO play pit in the reception area and a treasure hunt inside the rooms where younger guests search for clues to open a locked safe filled with LEGO treasure! The Castle Play area is the hub for imagination and fun at LEGOLAND Hotel. Based on the LEGO Kingdom, Pirate and Adventure lines, the area features a pirate ship attempting to dock in a LEGO brick filled moat next to an interactive castle. Young guests can pull on a handle as they enter the castle causing the LEGO ogre above them to roar. Nightly entertainment takes place on the castle stage as a pirate, princess, knight or adventurer interact with young guests to get them ready for bedtime.
Beginning the Friday after Thanksgiving and going through New Year’s Eve, LEGOLAND California is once again bringing SNOW and wintery fun to Southern California. Being a native San Diegan who did not experience snow until I was eighteen years old, I am so excited (and a little jealous) that my kids get to feel the joy of bundling up in mittens and scarves and tubing down a snow hill, right here in their proverbial back yard.
Every year, I am amazed at how much of a transformation occurs in Fun Town during these Holiday Snow Days. They think of every little detail to truly make guests feel like they’ve entered a new zip code, like festive décor including the world’s largest LEGO Christmas tree, photo ops with the LEGO Santa, holiday music by the Jingle Jammers and of course, warm, yummy treats like cider, hot cocoa and churro crisps being served by Santa’s Kitchen Elves in the Fun Town Holiday Food truck.
New this year is a more spacious snow area, one side for the little kiddos and the other side reserved for bigger-kid (36” and over) tubing. The snow play is always the highlight of our wintery experience. My favorite part is watching the kids trying to get their “snow legs” and inevitably cracking up every time they fall on their bums.
Other Snow Days highlights:
- Holiday themed brick-building opportunities in the LEGO Clubhouse.
- A special holiday themed version of The Big Test.
- A holiday themed dance party with LEGO Santa and a LEGO Toy Soldier.
- LEGOLAND Winter Nights, every Saturday from now until the new year (and other select days*) where the Park will stay open until 7:00pm, with all the same highlights as the Snow Days, plus even more twinkly lights and holiday entertainment.
- Don’t miss the holiday-themed Daily Dive Show and Puppet Show, a ‘green’ crafting event, and the Christmas Critter Animal Encounter all at SEA LIFE® Aquarium.
- Hotel Guests during this time will also be treated to special evening entertainment featuring Hero Training: Elf Edition and other fun holiday themed games with holiday themed characters like a toy solder, snow princess, toy maker and elf!
Holiday Snow Days and Winter Nights are the perfect way to get your family into the Holiday Spirit! See you there.
Model Mom Mary
Dates for Holiday Winter Nights include Nov 29, 30; Dec 7, 14, 21, 22, 23, 26 - 31
If you’re a parent with a kid somewhere between toddler and teen then you have undoubtedly heard of the LEGO Legends of Chima™, one of the top product lines brought to us by the LEGO Group. In the mystical land of Chima, animal tribes battle for control of the precious energy source called “CHI”, and beginning in Summer 2014, your kids will be able to splash about in CHI filled waters at the LEGOLAND Water Park.
LEGO Legends of Chima Water Park will be an expansion of the already existing LEGOLAND Water Park which has been bringing joy and pruning fingertips since 2010, and now, with the addition of 8 CHI-filled areas, the experience will be even more magical! Here are the first 4 areas to be announced:
CRAGGER’S SWAMP – This will be a hands-on water play area where guests can ride water slides, blast water cannons and slide through the head of a massive crocodile. This will be where my kids are hanging out. All. Day. Long.
EGLOR’S BUILD-A-BOAT – In this area, kids can do exactly what it says--build their own boat--and then they get to maneuver their craft, avoiding obstacles along the way, and even race other kids.
WOLVES CANTINA –This will most likely be my favorite area since all that water and sun always makes me hungry. The menu is still yet to be determined, so let me know if you have any suggestions and I’ll pass them on.
LION TEMPLE WAVE POOL – This will be home to the interactive wave pool designed for families with young children. When my girls were little, I used to love watching them splash about in little wave pools.
More information on the LEGO Legends of Chima Water Park will become available in the new year, but for now, just know that it’s going to wow your kids, and will be a perfect place to hang on a hot So Cal day next summer!
Model Mom Mary
While at a theme park, well-timed and at least somewhat healthy meals are crucial to the success of the day, especially if you or anyone in your family is like me and begins to get cranky the second I feel the slightest twinge of a hunger pain. Thankfully, at LEGOLAND California, getting good, healthy food options is easy, because they offer such a wide variety - even the pickiest of eaters will be satisfied.
Just recently two new restaurants opened to make sure you have lots of options and easy access to food throughout your day. In the Imagination Zone, the new Pizza Pasta Buffet has opened next to the LEGO® Technic™ Coaster (in the place of the Sports Cafe). The all-you-care-to-eat buffet offers six different types of Pizza including Pepperoni, Hawaiian, Veggie, Cheese, Meat Lovers and the Manager Special plus two different types of pasta, Marinara and Bolognese (my stomach is grumbling as I type this!). They make their own pastas and sauces from scratch so you know you will be eating freshly prepared food. The Pizza Pasta Buffet also offers and unlimited salad bar so you can make sure you get your dose of veggies for the day.
NOTE: KIDS EAT FREE after 4pm with the purchase of adult at Pizza & Pasta Buffet only. This promotion will run until through December 20th, with exception of the following dates: 10/5, 10/12, 10/19, 10/26, 11/29 and 11/30.
The second new restaurant is called Wok ‘n’ Bowl (formerly Brickolini) which offers Asian style cuisine, including fresh ramen noodles with choice of pork belly or chicken, traditional and miso broths, stir fry, and chicken with vegetables, plus orange and teriyaki chicken for kids. How is that for variety on theme park food?
Of course you can also get the old amusement park standards like a hot dog at Fun Town Hot Dog or a juicy burger at Castle Burgers or Burger Stop in Fun Town. My kids are always down for a good dog or burger.
Vegan and Gluten Free options are available at nearly all the dining venues, and no matter where you decide to dine, if you have a specific food restriction, you can mention it to the hostess or server and the kitchen staff will do their best to accommodate you. As I witnessed first hand when I worked as the Entertainment Supervisor years ago, the Food & Beverage department does everything it can to make sure the food you eat while at LEGOLAND California is fresh, healthy and of course, delicious.
Model Mom Mary
Oh friends, it’s that time of year again! Though the cool crisp weather of fall has not yet transcended upon Southern California, the sights and sounds of Halloween have, and they’ve landed right in the heart of Carlsbad as LEGOLAND California prepares for another spooktacular month of haunted festivities. Every Saturday night in the month of October, from 5:00pm - 9:00pm, LEGOLAND will be celebrating this ghoulish holiday with a dance party, a costume contest, a brick or treat trail, a ghost cruise scavenger hunt, fireworks and much, much more!
For the Brick or Treat newbies, here are a few things you do NOT want to miss:
The Costume Contest: If you have spent a lot of time, energy, and/or creativity on your kids’ costumes, you will definitely want to sign them up for this fun event. The kids get to show off their costume and parents get some mileage for their time & money spent on making/buying it. The costume contest takes place at the Miniland Lawn Stage and guests can enter in one of three categories Kingdom, at 5:15pm, LEGO® at 6:15pm and Creative at 7:15pm. See below for more details on the costume contest.
The Ultimate Dance Off: After dancing the night away with Frank Rock, Hubble Bubble and the Witchettes at the Castle Courtyard Theatre, a handful of the best dancers will be picked from the crowd for the chance to BOOgie down in front of the crowd and hopefully be picked Ultimate Dance Off Winner (ranking is based on the fail-proof methodology of audience applause). The Ultimate Dance Off is chased by end of night fireworks so don’t run off too soon.
Art Attack: This is a must watch! Artists create a work of art by simply splashing paint on a canvas to the rhythm of spooktacular music. You won’t know what the subject of the work is until the very last minute and it is sure to amaze any and all members of your family. Art Attack takes place at the Imagination Zone Stage, check your show guide for times when you enter the Park.
If you’re a Brick or Treat veteran, you’re in store for even more fun this year with the following:
The Ghost Cruise Scavenger Hunt: One of our favorite leisure rides at the Park, The Coast Cruise, will be transformed into a Ghost Cruise, hosted by the LEGO Monster Fighters where guests look for clues along the ride for a chance to win a fabulous prize.
Expanded Brick or Treat Trail: This year there the Brick or Treat Trail is bigger and more spread out. Look for TEN treat stations throughout the East Side of the Park, plus a bonus station at SEA LIFE.* Visit each treat station on the trail to collect items like candy, healthy snacks, LEGO Magazines, Stickers and other small giveaways.
NOTE: The Brick or Treat trail will be open from 12-9 on Saturdays and Sundays in October, in case you can’t stay for the evening festivities. * SEA LIFE Admission or Brick or Treat Party Night Event Ticket required for entry.
Re-Vamped Hubble Bubble Dance Party: Join Frank Rock and Hubble Bubble at the Castle Courtyard Theatre for a whole new dance party, and sing along to all the classic 80’s haunted tunes like Thriller, Ghostbusters and The Time Warp (you’ll be surprised—the lyrics will come right back to ya!).
Other fun Brick or Treat elements include themed food and treat stations, fun photo ops throughout the Park, and the roving “Boo Crew” entertainment that includes stilt & ball walkers, jugglers, Silly Scarecrows, and tap dancing skeletons.
So get your costumes on and I’ll see ya there!
Model Mom Mary
Costume Contest Details: Registration for costume contest begins at 4:00pm in Miniland and all entrants must be registered 15 minutes prior to their chosen category timeslot to compete. Winners in all categories will be announced directly following each contest at the BOT Mainstage in Miniland. First place winners in each of the three themed categories will receive a LEGOLAND themed prize package with a Family Four Pack of Resort Memberships! 2nd, 3rd winners will receive a LEGO Prize pack and tickets. Everyone who participates in the costume contests will receive a collectible Boo Crew participation ribbon.
The LEGOLAND Water Park is a perfect place to take the kids on a hot summer day, and as it turns out, it’s also a perfect place to take the kids when it’s cloudy and breezy. According to the never-accurate weather report, last Wednesday was supposed to be sunny and 80° so my girls and I headed to the Water Park for some good ol’ fashioned summer fun. Despite the fact that there was a cloud cover all day and the temperature was more like high 60°s, my girls and their friends had the time of their life.
After spending a fun-filled day there, here are my tips for any of you Water Park goers:
Rent a Cabana: The cabanas rental rates range between $99.00 and $189.00 depending on what time of year you visit. With the price of the rental you get a locker for your valuables, a host for food orders (food not included), ten complimentary drinks plus a mini-fridge, 2 chaise lounges, 2 seating chairs, 2 towels, and best of all, a home base where you can leave your stuff while you’re enjoying the slides, or where you can rest and relax in the shady, comfy place. Capacity for the cabanas is six people with a maximum of eight. It is WAY worth the money.
NOTE: Cabanas sell out fast during the summer months so be sure to book it in advance. You can also check in after 3:00pm to see if anyone has checked out and you can do a half-day rental for a more inexpensive rate.
Enjoy the Lazy River: That slow cruise around the water park was the most relaxed I’ve been in a long time. The kids can splash about while finding LEGO® bricks to add to their rafts, but as for the adults, you can just kick back and enjoy.
NOTE: If you get a cabana, you’ll get a wristband that will allow you endless float time.
Ride Pirate’s Reef: This water ride is a blast, (you need to be 36” to ride), but warning to you all, you WILL get wet. In fact, you might get soaked, but since you’re already at a water park that shouldn’t be a deterring factor, that’s all part of the fun, right?
Safety First: Safety is key at any theme park and particularly a water park. Please be sure to review our theme park safety tips and to also go over basic water attraction rules with your children, like no running, no holding on to people under the water, and life-vest-wearing is a must for those children who are not proficient swimmers. There are lifeguards throughout the Park but talking about these rules ahead of time with your children will help prevent any accidents or injuries.
NOTE: The lifeguards close down the wading areas at the top of each hour to encourage potty breaks. Please take advantage of those breaks, for everyone’s sake.
Besides Kids’ New Years Eve, the very best day of the year at LEGOLAND California is the Fourth of July, for their massive family-friendly party called “Red, White, and BOOM!” Every year on July 4th, the energy and entertainment levels at LEGOLAND skyrocket with added elements like the spectacular fireworks, the All-American lawn games, and the famous musical acts like Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band and this year local faves The Boo Hoo Crew. And of course I can’t forget our dear Uncle Sam on stilts. There’s just really nowhere like it to celebrate this patriotic, family-centric holiday.
This years’ activities include a patriotic building event at Build and Test in the Imagination Zone, Lawn Games on the EasyTurf Miniland Lawn (who doesn’t love a little potato sack race action on the 4th?), a stroller parade with fab prizes for 1, 2 and 3 place, and a glorious fireworks display at 8:30pm.
INSIDER TIPS FOR A FUN FOURTH AT LEGOLAND California:
1) The Fireworks will be set off from a new location this year, so here are the spots for best viewing:
• The Beginning
• Fun Town
• And for Hotel Guests--guest rooms or Hotel Pool/Skyline Patio
2) For some great entertainment & a fun way to cool off in the middle of the day, don’t miss the Island style musical group, Nalukai, in the Water Park between 1:00-4:00pm.
3) If you’re a crafty, creative type, be sure to deck out your stroller and enter the parade. There are awesome prizes to be had. This almost makes me wish my kids still sat in strollers. Almost.
The celebration lasts from 10:00am – 9:00pm and fireworks at 8:30pm. As a special treat, all rides will remain open until 9:30pm on the 4th! All Red, White and BOOM! activities are included in the cost of admission to LEGOLAND California.
For a more information on Red, White and Boom, plus a full schedule of the day’s events check out the main LEGOLAND California events page.
Model Mom Mary
Once again, LEGOLAND California is warming up its vocal chords and dusting off its dancing shoes for a fun-filled summer of top-notch entertainment. New comers to the Park are typically very surprised by all the entertainment options that get fan-kicked into high gear every summer. My first job at LEGOLAND was, ironically, as the supervisor for the big summer show called Bionicle Jam (I had to become well versed in my Bionicle jargon, which I’m sure many of you parents already are!), and so yes, the in-Park entertainment options are near and dear to my heart. This summer, the Park is going to wow guests with all sorts of singing, dancing and zany antics.
Here is a list of all the entertainment this summer at LEGOLAND California:
• LEGO Friends LIVE – Wednesdays – Sundays June 22nd - September 1st. Performing at various locations throughout the park. My kids can hardly wait for summer to begin, mainly so they can go see the LEGO Friends: Stephanie, Andrea, Mia, Emma, and Olivia, up close and personal.
• The Big Test – Daily at the Fun Town Stage. As always, the resident firefighters of Fun Town will be in full swing this summer. Not only is this a crowd favorite, but it’s also a perfect place to cool down on hot summer days. Just be sure to sit in the first three rows!
• LEGO Legends of Chima 4-D Adventure & Clutch Powers 4-D Adventure – Daily at LEGO Show Place. These family favorite 4-D movies are a perfect way to get out of the sun for a bit and enjoy some thrills on the big screen. Your kids will love these films and so will your feet.
• Character Dance Party – Daily (May 25th – September 1st). Performing on the Miniland Stage and The Beginning. This is your chance for your little ones to boogie on down with some LEGO costume characters and some LEGOLAND dancers. If you miss them throughout the day, be sure to check out their show at Park closing in The Beginning.
• The Enchanted Treasure – Daily at the Courtyard Theater (May 25th - September 1st). Your budding little prince and pirates will love this royal romp. If your kids are hams, then be sure to secure them a spot in the front row; there just might be some audience participation in this one!
INSIDER TIP: The performers are always available after the shows for high fives and photos, so be sure to stick around to the end of each performance to catch a quick pic with the stars.
Oh, and since show times and dates are always subject to change, be sure to grab a show guide when you enter the Park!
Enjoy the shows! Brick regards,
Model Mom Mary