Legoland Florida has been a park that Lex and I have wanted to carve out time to visit since we moved to Central Florida. We finally took the opportunity to check out the former Cypress Gardens location:
We arrived at Legoland at around 10:30 AM and got in line to redeem our tickets. The park entrance still feels fresh and vibrant, even though Legoland opened a little over 5 years ago.
Although Legoland Florida has only been open for half of a decade, the site and the attractions have plenty of history. In an attempt to focus solely on Legoland, I will happily refer you to the two best reads I found on the history of Cypress Gardens. Yesterland has a phenomenal article that shows the contrast between what the park was and how the current park pays homage to it. Meanwhile, Lostparks.com has an article that takes a more historical approach to the assessment of Cypress Gardens (Lost Parks as a whole is a really, really cool site if you are looking for some good reading material).
Anyway, the first attraction we went on was the park’s Vekoma Junior Coaster, Dragon.
Dragon is a very solid family coaster, with some dark ride scenes at the beginning of the ride.
I’m glad we rode Dragon earlier in the day because the line was a bit longer when we made our way back to the attraction later in the day.
Soon after that, we went to Legoland’s newest area, Ninjago World.
There were plenty of really cool lego builds along with a few interactive experiences.
Right through the main entry you can see Zane’s Temple build.
Kai’s Spinners provide ninjas in training an opportunity to enhance their skills.
Cole’s Rock Climb was really popular among the kids.
You can also test your reflexes at Jay’s Lightning Drill for some friendly competition.
The one and only attraction in Ninjago World is what Lex and I were here for, Ninjago The Ride.
The entry facade for the attraction is pretty well done as well as the interior queue.
I am always a big fan of when queues have some sort of interactive element that allows restless kids to have something to occupy themselves.
Cool to see what lighting can do to a simple painted mural.
I first experienced the new hand-gesture technology featured on Ninago at IAAPA in 2015. I left Ninjago feeling the same way I left the Triotech booth, the concept is great but the execution is still not there. There is nothing more frustrating on interactive dark rides then feeling like your “shooter” is not working properly. I tried a variety of techniques to see if it was just me having issues, but Lex felt the same way. The consistency of where your fireballs end up seem to have an extremely high variance.
Is the ride fun? Absolutely, yes. It is a great addition to Legoland, but I am still not a huge fan of the ride technology. Ninjago World, as a whole, is a really great addition to the park. For such a small footprint, the land features a lot of cool interactive elements for the kids.
We then made our way to the back of the park to get some aerial training. On the way, there is a variety of great attractions for the kids. Boating School allows kids to steer their own mini-boat around a course.
Driving School follows the same logic as kids get the chance to control their own little vehicles.
Nothing but perfectly safe driving here.
All the way at the back of the park is Flying School.
Flying School is Legoland’s Vekoma Suspended Family Coaster.
It is fun enough to take a lap on, but it still featured some shuffling that we are all accustomed to on these type of coasters.
I do enjoy the light blue/dark blue color scheme on Flying School.
Behind Flying School you can see the entrance to Legoland’s Water Park. It was not open when Lex and I were there, but it seems like it is a nice addition to the existing theme park.
Heading back towards the front of the park, Lex and I stopped to observe what exactly Rescue Academy does.
While we did not partake, it looked like a great time. It is a series of actions with the objective of putting out a “fire.”
It is a great way of getting guests involved in the experience. As you can see in the picture above, one person “pumps” the water, while the other aims a water sprayer at the “fire” in the building.
We then entered the Imagination Zone, which is a compilation of different lego building zones.
As a kid, this would be an area I would explore for hours.
You can build your own vehicle and race them against other challengers.
Or you can build some type of flying contraption and test its mobility on a suspended zipline.
It really was awesome to observe the diversity of ages present in the Imagination Zone. Lego creations can be as complex or as simple as you want, so the age variation of builders is high.
We also happened to be there during a Lego Batman celebration, so there was plenty of master builders doing their thing.
One of the most important parts of this theme park’s history is their water-ski shows.
It is awesome that Legoland continued this tradition with Battle for Brickbeard’s Bounty: A Pirates’ Cove Ski Adventure.
I’m very happy we happened to walk by the theater during a performance. It was obviously very corny, but the water-ski aspect was great.
We only saw one or two wipe-outs, but no one was hurt. I suppose that is why most theme parks have done away with water-ski shows, but it was some quality entertainment.
We continued to meander towards the front of the park. There are some nice photo opportunities along the way.
A trip to any Legoland park is not complete unless you check out Miniland, which features a ton of different landmarks and cities.
Legoland boasts that Miniland USA required over 32 million lego bricks to build!
Key West, another destination that Lex and I have on our bucket list.
Fun Town Theater hosts 4D adventures throughout the day. We passed on this since the showtimes were spread out and we had pictures to take.
Double-decker carousels are always nice for the families.
We then looped back around to the Land of Adventure. Beetle Bounce was a hit among the kids, and it was fun to see how the two towers interacted.
Lost Kingdom Adventure, a Sally interactive dark ride, was a blast. The shooter aspect of the ride was accurate and responsive, which is the most important factor for me. (Lexie’s edit: I beat Kevin the first time around, so he needed to see who could win the most out of three. I beat him two more times after that!)
Coastersaurus is Legoland’s Martin & Vleminckx Junior Wooden Coaster.
It’s a fun little coaster, but no airtime to speak of.
Coastersaurus is pretty grown into the surrounding foliage, which always helps add to a coaster.
It was cool to see these Mini-llennium Flyer trains again, the last time I saw them they were in Sunbury, Pennsylvania during a GCI event some years ago.
Hidden in the back of the park, you can still access the old Cypress Gardens. You are greeted by a Lego Southern Belle, but I’d much rather the real thing.
I won’t bore you with tons of pictures of the gardens, but it is worth checking out.
Even if you are not into nature, you cannot help but be mesmerized by the Banyan tree. These trees grow aerial roots to help support their insanely huge branches. There is a 250-year-old Banyan tree that covers 1.5 hectares of land in India!
Up next was the Lego Technic zone, home to Legoland’s tallest coaster, a Mack Wild Mouse called Project X.
Project X was down for maintenance the day we were there. These are fun rides elsewhere so I’m sure Project X is as well.
Aquazone Wave Racers, a Zierer Jet Skis attraction, was also a very popular attraction. If it weren’t for the woeful capacity, this would be an attraction most parks could benefit from.
The zone also has a Zamperla Magic Bikes attraction, Technicycle.
Heading back towards the front of the park, the Lego World of Chima was closed during our visit. I am an unusually big fan of Mack Interactive Boat Rides (Tom & Huck’s Riverblast at Silver Dollar City is my favorite), so I was little disappointed this was not open.
We left Legoland after we spent about 6 hours in the park. This was more than enough time to experience everything that we wanted to, but we are also not the target demographic. If you have a kid who is big into Legos, this could easily be a 2-day experience with all the extra events offered. No matter, we really did enjoy ourselves. The park is well-done from every perspective and it gets bonus points for attempting to preserve the history of the old Cypress Gardens. Ninjago was a bit disappointing since I was hoping the tech had been smoothed out since I experienced it at IAAPA, but it still just does not feel like it’s there yet.
Thanks for reading! As always, feel free to follow us on social media. We have a week-long trip to Pigeon Forge coming up at the end of April, so prepare for plenty of pictures of Lightning Rod (operating hopefully).