Planning Your Perfect LEGOLAND California Trip with Kids Aged 5-7

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Planning a trip to LEGOLAND California can be an exhilarating experience, especially for families with kids aged 2 to 12 (at least that’s what they say). It’s no coincidence that our kids are also 5 and 7, and we took them after spring break.

Want to know if LEGOLAND California is worth it? Keep reading our guide.

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The Bottom Line: Worth it for Kids 5 – 7

While we can’t recommend this for older kids, our kids were the perfect age to spend 2 days at LEGOLAND California.

The Basics of LEGOLAND Califonia

Nestled in Carlsbad, less than an hour from San Diego International Airport, LEGOLAND California is a haven for young explorers. It offers over 50 rides and attractions designed to captivate the imaginations of children from 2 to 12 years old.

The park is not only about fun and games; it’s also committed to being accessible and autism-friendly, providing sensory guides and accommodations for guests with special needs, and ensuring a stress-free adventure for all.

With the park’s cashless system, families can enjoy a seamless experience, focusing on creating unforgettable memories without the hassle of carrying cash.

When – and why – we went to LEGOLAND California

Just getting off the Disney Wonder and headed to LEGOLAND.

We went for our kid’s spring break (early March here in Colorado) over a Friday and Saturday. We actually just finished a Disney Cruise (or, as our kids call it, “The Mickey Boat”) and arrived in San Diego Harbor early Friday morning.

We gave our kids the option of the San Deigo Zoo or LEGOLAND… guess what they picked?

Our Accommodations and Plan

Outside the LEGOLAND Castle Hotel

We stayed at the LEGOLAND Castle Hotel, just steps beyond the entrance to LEGOLAND. See this photo from our room, looking at the entrance.

What we bought

We purchased one night in the LEGOLAND Castle Hotel, which sleeps 5. It included 5 Park Hopper Tickets (LEGOLAND, LEGOLAND Water Park, and their Aquarium) for 2 days. Breakfast on the second day (after our only night), was also included.

The total for all of that, plus taxes, was about $1,200. Considering park passes are about $100 each for the two-day hopper, we felt like this was a pretty good value.

Also, we hate waiting in line, so the ability to get the in the park early was an extra bonus.

Our Visit Plan

We just got off the Disney Wonder from a cruise (we’ll post more about that shortly), took an Uber from the Port, and headed straight to LEGOLAND Castle.

We were traveling with the whole We Tried It Family (except for no Dog, but our Mother-in-Law also joined us for a group of 5)

We arrived at about 9 am, and of course, our room wasn’t ready. However, they had bellhops ready and willing to take our stuff to a secure room while the room was prepared.

Our room was ready around 11 am, pretty early, but we were still able to get into the park 30 minutes before everyone else.

Top Attractions and Rides for Kids Ages 5-7

Inside the LEGOLAND Castle Hotel.

Embarking on a LEGOLAND California adventure with little ones aged 5-7? Here’s a roadmap to the must-visit attractions and rides tailored just for them.

Top Attractions For Our 7-Year-Old

The Dragon Coaster at LEGOLAND California.

Teddy, our 7-year-old, loves thrill rides like roller Coasters. Our little one, Scarlett does not. Here’s what was on Teddy’s approved list:

  1. LEGO Dragon Coaster. This attraction is set in a castle separate from our hotel. It kicks off with a mini dark ride. The mild coaster then ascends a hill, offering twists and turns without being overly intense.
  2. LEGO® TECHNIC Coaster. Get ready to embark on a wild ride through the TECHNIC World! Brace yourself for a roller coaster packed with twists, turns, and thrilling drops. It’s like a crash course in the incredible forces of gravity and acceleration – buckle up for an adventure unlike any other!
  3. UNIKITTY’S Disco Drop. This super cool drop tower ride will whisk you away on a rainbow-filled adventure inspired by Unikitty and her many moods. Soar to Cloud Cuckoo Land’s tiptop, then brace yourself for a thrilling drop, spin, and bounce back down to earth, all synchronized with Unikitty’s rollercoaster of emotions!
  4. Emmet’s Flying Adventure. Think Disneyworld’s Soaring’ meets THE LEGO® MOVIE WORLD! Team up with Master Builders on a Triple Decker Flying Couch, where top-notch tech whisks you all around The LEGO® Movie™ universe. Surrounded by a full-dome virtual screen, you’ll swear you’re soaring through a world built entirely from LEGO® bricks!
  5. NINJAGO: The Ride. Put on some 3D Glasses and get ready to practice some karate on this interactive 3D Ride. Think Toy Story Midway Mania at Disney meets NINJAGO.

Top Attractions For Our 5-Year-Old

Our daughter, Scarlett, isn’t as adventurous when it comes to rides. She liked a couple of the rides Teddy liked, like NINJAGO, but hated waiting in anything that involved a line. With that in mind, her’s what she liked:

  1. The Playgrounds. There are several large and varied playgrounds spread throughout all of LEGOLAND California. This is great if you’ve got a kiddo who would rather play on the playground than wait in line for 1 minute of exhilaration.
  2. Junior Driving School. She loved the chance to drive for the first time ever! Watch out world.
  3. Kid’s Power Tower: This is a much milder UNIKITTY Disco Drop—and it’s partially powered by you!
  4. Playing with Legos. No surprise, but there are several places to play with legos spread throughout the park. She loved just playing with the different options.
  5. Churros. While technically not an attraction. our daughter could eat her weight in Churros. LEGOLAND didn’t let her down.

Tips for Maximizing Your Day

Maximizing your day at LEGOLAND California with little adventurers in tow means being smart and prepared. Here’s how we can make the most out of our visit:

  1. Early Bird Catches the Fun: Arriving early can make a world of difference. With shorter lines and cooler temperatures, we can hit those rides on our must-see list before the crowds swell. Plus, parking’s a breeze closer to the entrance.
    1. Bonus Tip: Stay at the LEGOLAND Castle Hotel or LEGOLAND Hotel to get early access to select attractions at the LEGOLAND Resort.
    2. We recommend hitting the NINJAGO Ride first, the TECHNIC Coaster. Both are available to hotel guests before the park opens.
    3. After the TECHNIC Coaster, you can hit the Dragon Coaster.
    4. After that, head straight to the LEGO® MOVIE WORLD for some Emmet’s Flying Adventure.
  2. Get Hands-On: LEGOLAND California offers plenty of “hands-on” activities, from building our own race cars and testing them on a ramp, visiting Sea Life Aquarium, or even pretending to be knights in training at Knight’s Kingdom. These options are great for kids who aren’t big fans of waiting in line for rides.
  3. Reserve ‘N’ Ride to the Rescue: On those days when the park is just bursting at the seams, the Reserve ‘N’ Ride system is our superhero. It lets us book ride times, slashing those wait times and giving us more giggles per hour. Remember, it’s especially recommended on ‘Yup, It’s Packed’ days.
    • Bonus Tip: At $55 each, these aren’t cheap. We bought the middle version (Deluxe) just for the two of us—Mr. We Tried It and Teddy. Additionally, we only did one day of it to hit the big rides. That’s all you need.
  4. Stay Hydrated and Happy: We’re on a quest, and every knight needs their provisions. Packing water and small snacks keep our little ones energized without needing to detour too often. And let’s not forget comfortable shoes for those tiny feet; after all, we’re exploring a kingdom here.

How many days should we stay at LEGOLAND California?

We found that staying two pretty full days was plenty. We hit all the major rides and used the Reserve and Ride system the first day. On the second day, we honestly took it super easy. We took our time, played at more of the playgrounds and spent more times building LEGOs at the different spots.

When our kids were done, we discovered our flight was delayed. No worries, however, we were able to grab our swimsuits from the bellhop and enjoy the pool for about an hour.

That’s how I’d recommend you tackle your LEGOLAND California visit: spend one day hitting the rides and another relaxing and taking it slow.

Note: When we visited DINO Valley was not open yet. It opened the following week.

Packing List for a Day at LEGOLAND

Packing for a day at LEGOLAND California with the kiddos? We’ve got you covered! Here’s a LEGO-sized checklist to ensure we’re all set for an adventure-filled day:

Essentials for a Smoother Experience:

  • Water and Small Snacks: Keep hydrated and energized without constant detours for bites.
  • Extra Set of Clothes: Because adventures can get messy.
  • Sunglasses, Hat, or Sunscreen: Protect against the California sun.
  • Comfortable Shoes: There’s a lot of ground to cover, so let’s keep those little feet happy.
  • Phone Charger: With phone lockers available for rent, let’s keep those devices charged for capturing memories.

For the Ultimate LEGOLAND Experience:

  • Bring a Minifigure to Trade: Dive into the park’s unique trading culture.
  • Stroller Rental: Single strollers at $15 and double strollers at $17, available on a first-come, first-served basis at the park’s entrance.

Packing Like a Pro:

  • Clothing & Accessories: From T-shirts to swimwear, let’s pack for comfort and versatility. Don’t forget hats and hair ties!
  • Baby Items: All the essentials from diapers to sippy cups, ensuring the littlest adventurers are ready to go.
  • Toiletries & First Aid: From sunscreen to Band-Aids, let’s be prepared for anything.

With this list in hand, we’re ready to conquer LEGOLAND California, making sure our focus stays on fun, exploration, and creating unforgettable memories with our little ones.

Accommodation and Additional Experiences

When planning your LEGOLAND California adventure, choosing the right accommodation can significantly enhance your experience. Here’s a quick guide to help you decide:

  • On-Site vs. Nearby Hotels:
    • LEGOLAND Hotel & LEGOLAND Castle Hotel: Stay in themed rooms, enjoy early park entry, nightly entertainment, and embark on a hotel scavenger hunt. Perfect for immersing your family in the LEGOLAND experience from the moment you wake up to when you lay your heads down on LEGO-themed pillows. Rates start at $249 and $299 per night, respectively.
    • Nearby Options: For those looking for alternatives close to the park, The Sheraton Carlsbad Resort and Spa, The Cassara Carlsbad, and Grand Pacific Palisades Resort offer comfort and convenience, with room rates starting from $240 per night. These hotels provide amenities like kids’ pools, adult pools, and even private entrances to SEA LIFE Aquarium and LEGOLAND.
  • Vacation Packages: To maximize savings and streamline your trip planning, consider LEGOLAND’s vacation packages. Options include 25% off hotel and ticket packages, Stay & Play packages, and exclusive passholder savings. These packages often bundle accommodations, park entry, and sometimes even dining options, making it a one-stop-shop for planning your LEGOLAND visit.

Is the LEGOLAND Castle Hotel Worth it?

In short, for younger kids: 100%. The theme was a bit over the top and I would hate it during work trips, but or kids, it was almost perfect.

Besides the over-the-to-theming, the whole experience was well-designed.

The room came with one King-Size Bed and a bunk bed, with a pull-out twin bed that slept three in the separate bunk room.

The room with the King-Size Bed was separated from the kids’ bunk room by a large bathroom. The size and length of stay were perfect for our group.

There’s also a couple of things we loved:

  1. The treasure hunt: in each room there is a locked box that can only be unlocked by doing the treasure hunt. Inside the locked box are LEGOS for the kids.
  2. There’s a great playground and a nearby large-screen video board that plays LEGO Movies.
  3. A great pool complete with floating LEGO Blocks

The one thing we didn’t care for: the food

Granted, we were spoiled getting off the Disney Wonder that morning, but we weren’t super impressed with the food.

There wasn’t anything wrong with it at all, however, we did enjoy the fast buffet-style breakfast. Just make reservations when you arrive and get there early – the line can be long.

There also aren’t many other options in the LEGOLAND Castle Hotel. However, the LEGOLAND Hotel next door has a couple of additional dining options.

Choosing the right accommodation can make all the difference in your LEGOLAND California trip, ensuring comfort, convenience, and a bit of magic for the whole family.


Check out the LEGOLAND Mobile App for supposedly real-time updates on ride wait times and park maps. We actually didn’t find the wait times to be very accurate at all. But it’s easy enough to go walk to an attraction and find another if it’s too busy.

While the Reserve and Ride was accurate and easy to use, other ride times were either much shorter or much longer than advertised.

The other major bummer is that the LEGOLAND App only shows wait times when you are already in the park – not the days and weeks beforehand. This is probably because it’s not super accurate.

I like to scope out the different wait times when I go to Disney for a more complete experience and know what to expect.

What are the best ages for LEGOLAND?

Hoenstly, I felt like our kids were the absolute perfect ages for LEGOLAND: 5 and 7 years old.

They are just old enough to enjoy the park, see most of it, and ride almost everything (the 5-year-old was a little short for a couple of rides).

At ages 5 and 7, they also aren’t “too cool” for it. They appreciate the LEGOs but don’t ask for a lot more. That’s what makes this the perfect age.

Conclusion: Is LEGOLAND Worth it?

In conclusion, LEGOLAND California is a whimsical vortex of fun, chaos, and LEGO bricks that can capture the heart of any child and even thaw the frosty hearts of us grown-ups. From the Lego-licious décor of the LEGOLAND Castle Hotel to the slightly offbeat but utterly charming LEGOLAND aestetic, it’s a trip that’s bound to leave you with more memories than your phone’s storage space can handle.

A great vacation spot!
LEGOLAND Califonia

A great place for kids, ages 2 - 8.

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Sure, the food might not win a Michelin star anytime soon, and the app’s ride times might be as unpredictable as a two-year-old in a candy store, but hey, that’s all part of the adventure, right? Pack your sense of humor along with your sunscreen, and you’re all set for a trip that’s as unforgettable as finding a rare LEGO piece in the attic. Keep those expectations flexible, and who knows?

You might just find yourself enjoying the treasure hunt as much as the kiddos. After all, at LEGOLAND California, there’s a little something for everyone – if you’re willing to ride the rollercoaster of surprises that comes with it.

While you’re at it, don’t miss out best tips for traveling to Disneyland with a Toddler or our NINJA Creami Review – also perfect for kids!

FAQs about LEGOLAND California

What is the appropriate age range for children to enjoy LEGOLAND?

LEGOLAND caters to children between the ages of 2 and 12. The park’s attractions are specifically designed for this age group, offering a mix of rides, shows, and attractions that are perfect for young LEGO enthusiasts. We recommend ages 2-8, at the maximum.

Would a 7-year-old enjoy LEGOLAND, or are they too old?

YES! We think 5-7 is the perfect age to visit LEGOLAND for most kids. If the child prefers more intense thrill rides, LEGOLAND might not meet their expectations, as the park’s focus is on LEGO-themed attractions suitable for younger children.

Is LEGOLAND suitable for a 5-year-old child?

Absolutely! LEGOLAND California is an ideal destination for 5-year-olds. The park features over 60 rides and attractions that are powered by kids and designed for maximum fun. These attractions are tailored to families with children aged 2 to 12, ensuring that a 5-year-old will have a memorable and engaging experience.

How many days should you plan to spend at LEGOLAND California for the best experience?

A two-day visit is generally recommended for a fulfilling experience at LEGOLAND California. This allows enough time to explore the park’s offerings without feeling rushed. LEGOLAND often runs specials where the second day’s admission is free, making a two-day visit even more appealing and cost-effective.

At what age will children get the most out of a visit to LEGOLAND?

Children between the ages of 3 and 7 are likely to have the best time at LEGOLAND, as the park’s 55+ rides, shows, and attractions are designed with this age group in mind. This allows kids to take the lead and enjoy a variety of experiences tailored to their interests and abilities. For details on seasonal events and specific attractions, it’s a good idea to check the LEGOLAND website before your visit.

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