A big thank you to Legoland for providing us with complimentary tickets to Legoland so we could write about our experience.

In late March, my family and I planned to make the 90-mile drive down to Carlsbad from Los Angeles to attend an exclusive preview of Dino Valley at Legoland. But as luck would have it, my son woke up that morning with a high fever and a sore throat. Yep, he had strep throat, like many of his first grade classmates. We had planned  to spend the night in Legoland’s Castle Hotel, which we hadn’t done in a few years but here’s what it was like when we did stay there.

Family trip to Legoland!
Obviously, we canceled our trip and hoped we could find another time to go. Fortunately, we did, just a couple of weeks ago. This time, we stayed at the Cassara Carlsbad, which is next door to Legoland and is a Hilton Tapestry property. The Cassara Carlsbad and the Westin Carlsbad are both great properties if you’re planning a trip to Legoland because the theme park is walkable from both of them.

Legoland is really great for kids between the ages of three and 10. It’s fun for adults too because it’s not terribly crowded or ridiculously large. Although, as I was researching this piece, I learned that the park is on 128 acres, which is obviously enormous, but it doesn’t feel intimidating. By comparison, California’s Disneyland is set on 500 acres while Disney World in Florida is set on a shopping 27,520 acres.

Legoland’s 128 acres is still pretty massive and there’s plenty to do and since both my kids love dinosaurs, they were pretty excited to check out the newly opened Dino Valley.

Coastersaurus at Legoland.
Dino Valley at Legoland

Dino Valley is part of Legoland’s 25th birthday celebration. Legoland first opened in March, 1999 and in honor of their 25 years delighting kids of all ages, they have opened their first dinosaur-themed land. Dino Valley has three main rides. The main one is Coastersaurus but my kids (ages four and seven) were a bit too scared to give it a try. It used to be the Gerstlauer junior coaster. I hear it’s pretty much the same except that it now has some Lego dinosaurs surrounding it. Here’s how it’s described: “Swoop around the thousand-pound Brachiosuarus as it tramples through the trees, and whiz past a ten-foot-tall Parasaurolophus looking for its lunch!”

Dinosaur explorers at Legoland.
Next to the Coastersaurus is the Dino Outpost, which is a small sandy play area where little kids can uncover buried bones and “forgotten” fossils.

A colorful Lego dinosaur at Legoland.
The old Fairy Tale Brook, which was getting tired, is now Explorer River Quest. Passengers jump aboard a very slow moving four person boat (adults need to sit on opposite sides) that takes the kids into the jungle of Dino Valley, in search of the rarest Lego dinosaur of all. Colorful dinosaurs abound around every corner and our kids loved spotting them.

Duplo Little Dino Trail at Legoland.
You’ll also find DUPLO Little Dino Trail, which used to be the Safari Trek. It’s similar to the boat ride but it’s in a four person convertible safari jeep with two movable cameras in the front so kids can kids can click away to hit the hidden sensors.

Duplo Little Dino Trail at Legoland.
The clever, cute and little DUPLO dinosaur is hiding somewhere along the trail. This ride is perfect for preschool-aged children like our daughter. Overall, Dino Valley is a lot of fun for little ones and a great addition to an already great theme park experience.

Other fun events to look forward to at Legoland, as the park continues its 25th birthday celebration include:

Lego World Parade at Legoland.
Lego World Parade:
The parade features Lego-themed floats like a bright red Lego firetruck, a pirate ship and other floats inspired by Lego Ninjago, Lego City Deep Sea Adventure and Duplo. Kids and adults will all love the parade of Lego characters and other performers.

Legoland California’s Birthday Block Party: To celebrate, visitors can look for exciting performances and gravity-defying stunts by professional athletes, the slapstick comedy ‘Once Upon a Brick’ and an interactive martial arts style show.

Legoland Water Park: Now open for the season, park visitors can cool down and chill out at the Legoland Water Park, which features 7+ slides, sandy beaches and 10 acres of water fun.

Get your tickets at Legoland.com or at GetYourGuide.com.

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California Road Trip: Los Angeles to San Francisco and Must-Visit Stops Along the Way
Our First Family Trip To Legoland and The Castle Hotel

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