Stars Wars models at LEGOLAND California.
Stars Wars models at LEGOLAND California.

When I begin to wilt in the California sun, I’m finally able to drag him to some of the other areas of the park. And while LEGOLAND may be aimed at younger children, it has several rides that are not for the faint of heart. The wild Knights Tournament thrills the teenagers in our group, and with its spins and twirls is even hard for me to watch.

Fortunately, no one loses their lunch. In fact, we have worked up an appetite. LEGOLAND California has a good selection of eateries that go well beyond the usual boring theme park food. We stop at the Fun Town Market, and I’m pleased with the wide selection of fresh ingredients, including a huge salad bar, an Asian stir-fry section, fruits, sandwiches and baked goods. They have a gluten-free menu as well.

An adventure-themed room at LEGOLAND Hotel. Photo courtesy LEGOLAND Hotel
An adventure-themed room at LEGOLAND Hotel. Photo courtesy LEGOLAND Hotel


After a day in the park, we’re ready to head back to the adjacent LEGOLAND Hotel, which opened in 2013. The 250-room property continues its creative LEGO theme in detail, including a LEGO play area in the lobby. Guests can choose between three types of themed rooms: Pirate, Adventure or Kingdom. Ours looks right out of the Indiana Jones movie set, which suits my teenager just fine.

There are several restaurants in the hotel, including one that includes a child-sized buffet. Just like the restaurants in the park, there is plenty of healthy food options offered along with children’s favorites like pizza, hot dogs and chicken nuggets.

As we are checking out the next day, we meet the family with three small children again. The children look a little sad to leave as they pull their suitcases out of the room next to us. As they start to close the door, the littlest one runs back. “Can’t we look at our room just one more time, dad?” she asks.

Her father smiles and they head back inside. I’m sure this is one family vacation they will remember for years.


If you’re going to visit several California theme parks, consider the Southern California CityPASS. The CityPASS costs $329 for ages 10 and up and $286 for kids age 3 – 9 and it includes the following:

Southern California CityPASS
3-Day Disneyland Resort Park Hopper Ticket
1-Day SeaWorld San Diego ticket
1-Day LEGOLAND California ticket

We found the Southern California CityPASS saved us $120 each (ages 10+) and $140 for kids ages 3-9, which is a huge help when you’re traveling with a family.

LEGOLAND California Resort