Just in time for what is proving to be a hot, hot, hot Southern California summer, the LEGO Legends of Chima Water Park presented by Cartoon Network has opened its doors and is now one of the favorite spots of the LEGOLAND California Resort among Park guests. Built as an extension of the already fantastic LEGOLAND Water Park, the LEGO Legends of Chima Water Park brings even more frolicky fun and cool respite to your full theme park experience.

Continuing with the theme of LEGO interactive and imaginative play, there are plenty of opportunities for kids to use their creativity, like in Eglor’s Build-a-Boat, and of course, it’s also chock full of opportunities to splash, slide and swim. My kids hung out in the Lion Temple Wave Pool for over an hour straight, getting a kick out of every new swell. 

Oh, and if your kids are fans of the TV cartoon LEGO Legends of Chima they will be particularly excited to see all the attractions that represent various characters and locations from the show, like the ginormous Cragger crocodile replica that kids can slide through and the Lion Temple model that is the central focal point for the Water Park. The entire area is visually stunning, especially to mini-fans of the show and/or product line.

To make your day even more memorable and relaxing, I highly recommend renting a cabana for a day. We splurged on a cabana a few weeks ago when celebrating my 6-year-old’s birthday, and it is very much worth the extra cost. For the price of the cabana which ranges from $125-$175, you get 2 chaise lounge chairs, 2 sitting chairs, a mini fridge with a few complimentary beverages, 2 complimentary towels (that are super cute!), and, most importantly, SHADE (a highly coveted, hot commodity during the summer particularly).  You also have a hostess looking after you who will take your lunch order and make sure everything is up to your satisfaction.

Cabana or not, the new LEGO Legends of Chima Water Park is an absolute blast and a must visit on your next trip to Southern California. For more info on the Water Park, check out LEGOLAND.com.

Brick regards,
Model Mom Mary

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Alex earned a degree in Marine Biology from Roger Williams University and a Master’s in Oceanography from the University of South Hampton. Before relocating to Carlsbad, she worked in Displays Development at SEA LIFE® Weymouth, breeding Seahorses, Jellyfish, Clownfish and Bangaai Cardinalfish. Alex is currently in charge of Jellyfish Discovery at SEA LIFE Aquarium at LEGOLAND® California Resort.

How old were you when you realized you wanted to be a Marine Biologist?
When I was 8 years old, I chose to study Orcas for an endangered species project. It was that project which inspired me to become a Marine Biologist.

How long have you been a SCUBA diver and which dive has been your most memorable?
I’ve been a certified SCUBA diver for 5 years. My most memorable dive took place in Bermuda at Whalebone Bay; it was a night dive which allowed us to see a ton of octopus and squid!

It’s probably not an easy question for you, but what would you say is your favorite animal?
The Flamboyant Cuttlefish. Coincidently it is also the most dangerous animal I have ever worked with. This animal has the same venom as a Blue Spot Octopus. The Neurotoxin in the Cuttlefish is so venomous that one bite can shut down a person’s entire body.

Aside from the venomous Flamboyant Cuttlefish, which animal do you believe has been the most difficult for you to care for?

I would have to say Tropical Sunstars. It is incredibly difficult to get them to eat!

What would you say has been the best and most challenging part about working at SEA LIFE?
I love getting to work with different animals and teach children and families about the ocean and its inhabitants. I think
the most challenging aspect is learning how to care for unfamiliar animals as well as when an animal gets sick.

What advice would you give to kids who want to become Marine Biologists?

If animals and the ocean are your passion, do not give up.  Get out into the ocean, learn as much as you can and completely involve yourself in the subject. 

Let’s talk Jellies! Can you describe the Jellyfish life cycle?

Jellies release Gametes into the water, which mix together and form Planula larvae. This larva settle onto hard surfaces which then turn into polyps. Once the polyps are ready to reproduce, they form flower-like stalks. These “flowers” are released and settle into the water column as Ephyra; each polyp can release around 200 of these. Finally, the Ephyra turn into its final stage, the Medusa.

How successful is Jellyfish reproduction?
Jellies have a high success rate because they have few predators when they are in the larva stages. The main predators of jellies are seas turtles and even other jellies!

How do Jellies sting their prey?

Jellies have specialized stinging cells called “pnematocysts” which are used to harpoon prey. Depending on the species, curators must take extra precautions when working with jellies. The most venomous jellyfish is the Box Jelly from Australia. In San Diego, the most common jellyfish is the Moon Jelly, however, if you were stung, you probably wouldn’t even feel it! Their pnematocysts are not strong enough to cause pain.

In closing, what final notes can you share with us about Jellyfish?
Jellies are amazing because they have no brain or nervous system; they are essentially stomachs with arms, yet they have survived and evolved for thousands of years. Pollution is one of the biggest environmental predators against Jellies because their bodies are so delicate; they can become tangled and torn in floating debris and sharp objects.

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Here are the TOP 10 Things You MUST Do at LEGOLAND California, caccording to my 7 year old!

 

  • Bring and trade a minifigure with one of the MCs (if you see an employee with a cool LEGO figure on their badge, you can ask to trade with one of yours!)
  • Eat Granny Apple Fries in Castle Hill
  • Help to put the Wet Stuff on the Hot Stuff at The Big Test show in Fun Town
  • Ride The Dragon Coaster in Castle Hill
  • Ride the LEGO® TECHNIC™ Coaster, then ride it again
  • Check out LEGO® STAR WARS™ Miniland
  • Get your driver license at Driving School in Fun Town
  • Go behind the scenes at THE LEGO® MOVIE EXPERIENCE
  • Eat at the All-You-Care-To-Eat Pizza and Pasta Buffet in the Imagination Zone
  • Shop in Brick Brothers in Fun Town

Brick regards,
Model Mom Mary

 

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1. Sunscreen (if you forget, stop by Brick Brothers to pick up some Ocean Potion!)
2. Good walking shoes
3. Water shoes (There are a ton of splash pads and fun water activities for the kids all over the Park and water shoes are the best so your kiddos don’t slip).
4. A hat 
5. Bathing suit(s)
6. A change of clothes (for you AND your kiddos - you never know!)
7. A light sweater (no matter how hot it gets during the day, the evening is always a bit breezy in So Cal)
8. Wipes (there could be a whole post on ways in which one could use wipes at an amusement park, just pack ‘em)
9. A mini-figure so you can trade it in with one of the MCs (employees) who wear them on their name badges
10. The LEGOLAND California Official App (iPhone and Android)

Have a great time!
Model Mom Mary

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Calling All SoCal Performers!

LEGOLAND California is NOW CASTING for their Summer Entertainment. Speaking as a former employee of LEGOLAND, and in particular as the former Entertainment Supervisor, I can say that getting a job as a cast member at LEGOLAND for the summer is one of the most adventurous, fun and rewarding experiences a young, budding performer can have. The environment is energetic and supportive, plus, you get to make kids laugh and smile all day long, and get paid to do it!

Auditions are by appointment only. Check out www.LEGOLAND.com/auditions for details on times, dates, what to prepare, and how to make an appointment.

Below is a list of all the shows they are looking to cast, with specifics on ages and character breakdown. Even if you’re not going to audition, you might want to check out the list anyway in case you know someone who fits the bill OR to find out all the fun shows you’ll have to look forward to this summer.
  
LEGO Friends LIVE: A musical review style interactive street show featuring the characters from the popular LEGO Friends line. The LEGO Friends have travelled from Heartlake City to meet the guests of LEGOLAND California! Featuring popular music and hip dance moves! Casting Kids (Females) Ages 11 – 16 (to play 13).



CASTLE SHOW (Working Title): A medieval comedy featuring fast paced action, cartoon style characters and audience volunteers. Casting Male and Female actors/actresses ages 16 and up.  



CHARACTER DANCE PARTY:
Two of our lovable costume characters are joined by our troupe of singers and dancers to pump up the crowd. Casting Male and Female singers and dancers ages 16 & up. Singers: Females: Mezzo Soprano with a belt and a Pop sound. Males: Tenors with a Pop sound. Dancers should have experience with Hip – Hop and Jazz. 



GUEST EXPERIENCE HOST: The Guest Experience Hosts are performers with a focus on guest service. Guests tour LEGOLAND’s own “Studio L”, where they get to be on the actual set used to film The LEGO Movie. Hosts act as crew members of a live sound stage, providing fun facts about the film, scavenger hunt style games and more. Hosts are in charge of cleaning, opening and closing procedures and crowd control. Casting Male and Female hosts ages 16 and up.   



COSTUME CHARACTERS: We are casting highly energetic people to represent LEGOLAND’s most popular characters. Representing a wide variety of LEGO mini-figures, we have everything from our park mascot Buddy to Darth Vader® himself! Casting males and females ranging in height of  5’2” – 5’6”. Casting ages 16 & up. 



GYMNASTS: If you are an experienced gymnast, then audition to join our year round show, The Big Test! Qualified candidates will be able to perform a round off back tuck, round off back hand spring, dive roll, aerials and the ability to swing giants. Casting ages 18 & up.

Break a Leg!
Model Mom Mary

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A few weeks ago, my kids and I got a sneak peek at the new Jellyfish Discovery exhibit now open at SEA LIFE Aquarium at LEGOLAND California Resort, and if I had been half as attentive and excited about a subject in college as I was about the jellyfish, I might have become a Marine Biologist. Those fascinating creatures captured my attention and didn’t let go.

Did you know that jellyfish are made of 95% water and have no brain, no heart and no nervous system (which seems a little bit unfair that they can’t feel pain but can inflict so much of it)?
 
And did you know that vinegar is the best thing to put on a jellyfish sting, as opposed to urine (yes, I asked that question)?

Those are just an example of all the cool facts your and your kiddos can learn at the Jellyfish Discovery exhibit. Not only are informed guides there to answer your questions, but you can also get right up close and personal to these underwater delicate but dangerous gems, much closer than you’d ever want to get without a pane of glass separating you.

In the exhibit you can see up to six species of jellyfish, including the not so dangerous moon jellies, and the exquisite looking Lagoon jellies from Japan.

I highly recommend you pop into SEA LIFE Carlsbad Aquarium in the near future for this fascinating, unique experience. The Jellyfish Exhibit is open daily. Check http://www.visitsealife.com/california for operating hours.

Brick regards,
Model Mom Mary

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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.

Brick Regards,

Model Mom Mary

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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

 

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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.

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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.

Brick Regards,
Model Mom Mary

Dates for Holiday Winter Nights include Nov 29, 30; Dec 7, 14, 21, 22, 23, 26 - 31

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