Monday, July 22, 2013

LEGOLAND Florida Review

As I just mentioned in my previous post, my son turned 6 on Saturday. For those that do not know, my son is extra special. He has autism. Because of that, he used to get very overwhelmed in social situations. Places with lots of people or noise, or even just when he has too much fun. The severity of the overestimation brings him a great deal of stress.

It was terrible. He would be so happy that it made him sad. I hate that he had to deal with that. Because of this I tried my best to to put him in situations that would bring on such stimulation, and, as a result, he missed out on quite a bit.

Although he just turned 6, he had never really had a real birthday celebration( gifts and a cake at home is thee extent). I always wished I could do more for him, but did not want to upset him.

Over the past year though, he has made tremendous strides in both his intellectual and social development. He amazes me daily, and I am so proud of how far he has come.

Along with this progress, came better coping skills. He is able to deal with excitement more calmly. He also understands things much better, so he gets the concept of birthdays and parties now, and he has been asking for a party for months, and talking about his birthday non stop.

Since he has missed out on 5 years of birthday fun, I wanted to make this year extra special. So instead of 2 party, I decided on a a few big adventures. I wanted something that would be really exciting and fun for the whole family, but that would be especially suited to him.

There is a place that he had seen advertised and talked about a few times, and I knew it would be perfect for him. So I had to add LEGOLAND Florida to our birthday week itinerary.

It was an incredible day. Everyone had so much fun.

The first order of business when we arrived was feeding the hungry kiddos. There was a great selection of foods to choose from, all in one place even.

The kids enjoyed it(as did hubby and I). There is a stand that sells Granny Smith Apple Fries(with cinnamon sugar and whipped cream), they are the best thing I have ever eaten. SO delicious.

After our bellies were full, we went exploring the attractions. My son spotted the huge carrousel, and wanted to go on it.
My daughter seems to have a fear of the carrousel, so she and I watched Brother and Daddy go on it.
My son LOVED it. He had a huge smile the whole time. I love seeing him that happy. Little sis had fun just watching him.

Next we found a Splash area near the World of Chima. The kids had a blast there. There were spouting fountains and a water cannon. It was great. I wanted to get pictures, but I had to stay right with the kids(in the water), and that is certainly no place for a camera.

We then(all of us) went on the boat ride in the World of Chima. Thankfully, I again left the camera behind, because we got drenched. It was so much fun though. There were water cannons on the boat to "shoot" at people watching and the other boats. My daughter was a little nervous, but my son had a great time(as did hubby and I).

Then we explored some of the dry rides. The kids and I went on a ride on Big Rig Rally. The kids "drove" and I tagged along in the back. Little girl was a big scared, but by the end she was laughing.
Then we(the whole family) went for a ride in Granny's Jalopies.
After that Junior got to be a knight proudly trotting on his noble steed.
Then we played a few games. Well more like hubby on a prize and failed miserable at 2 different games. It was fun though, even though I humiliated myself.

After that we made a little pit stop to refuel with a snack and some cold drinks. While were were snacking, Jr saw one of the roller coasters. I insisted he go on it. It was not humungous or anything, but big enough. I thought it would be too scary for him(or even me[I'm a roller coaster chicken]), but he was adamant, so daddy took him. Daddy loves roller coasters anyway.

I was so surprised and extremely proud when not only did he stay calm, he actually had fun.
And as fabulous as all the rides, food and games are. There was something else that made LEGOLAND extra special. One thing that no other place could even try to replicate, the Lego buildings(and statues, etc).

In Miniland USA, there are miniature versions of some of the most amazing monuments and sights in the USA, and they are all made out of real Legos. It is astonishing. Everything from a local attraction like Daytona International Speedway, to The White House to Te Statue Of Liberty and more.
I cannot believe how much time, effort and skill must go into creating each and every piece. They are so realistic. It blew me and hubby away. The kids loved it too, but they are too young to appreciate how incredible it truly is.

And Miniland USA features more than just monuments and buildings. There is a whole section just for Star Wars. It's awesome.
Miniland USA is not the only part of the park that features these amazing Lego constructions either, not by a long shot. There are tons of them, all over the place, and each seems to be more impressive than the last.
There is so much to do and see. Just one day is not enough to take in everything, especially when we got a torrential downpour around 6pm, and ended up leaving a little early. That is the only thing about this trip I would change. Skipping the rain so we would have more time for rides and fun.

We still had a blast though. The food, games, rides and sights were all incredible, and of course we did some shopping on the  way out. Not even the rain could stop us.

LEGOLAND is magical place. It is everything I wanted in a park an more. I love that there are some rides, games and sights that adults will LOVE, but that it it totally kid friendly. This is a place for kids that is fun for adults. It seems that many other parks are more for adults or older kids in terms of the rides and such, and you have to walk all over the park for the few kids rides, or be confined to a tiny section that is just for kids.

I am not sure why that is, but I am so glad that LEGOLAND gets it. It's bout the kids, and the adults will have fun because their children are having fun(and because most adults are kids at heart anyway).

I am so glad that my family and I got to create such wonderful memories on one unforgettable day. If you ever have the chance to visit LEGOLAND, I cannot urge you strongly enough to take full advantage of it. I promise it will be one of the best days ever. I plan to have many more such days with my family. We can't wait to go back.

*I received 2 of the tickets at no cost to help facilitate a review. All opinions are entirely my own*

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