legoland hotel: everything is awesome

Legoland Florida is located about 45 minutes south of Orlando (and the rest of the theme parks), in a town called Winter Haven. Which, in and of itself, is a lovely little town, but is a bit out of the way, especially from all the hotels and areas with which we are familiar.

Over the past few years, several friends have made suggestions about the limited hotels available outside the Legoland park, but in May of 2015, a new possibility arose.

The Legoland Hotel.

Positioned about 100′ from the entrance of the theme park, the Legoland Hotel is… well, it’s pretty awesome. And pretty pricey (a commenter in my last post mentioned a rateย of $600 a night – we paid a little less than half of that, thank goodness, but it was still more than we would usually spend). However, after comparing to our options, and considering that this was pretty much a one-time, one-night splurge, we decided to go for it and booked a Pirate-themed room.

Little man had no clue.

After saying goodbye to our family, we started the trek up I4. Little man was very insistent on knowing where we were going because he didn’t really recognize the route. We managed to hold him off for the duration of the drive, and when we pulled into the Legoland grounds, he got very quiet.

And then he said he had caterpillars in his tummy.

Of course, I immediately panicked and asked him if they were good caterpillars or bad caterpillars. He said good caterpillars because he was so happy and so excited. Whew. Crisis averted.

The lobby of the hotel was fantastic. Everything, everywhere seemed to be made out of bricks. The wall behind the front desk was lined with minifigs

and there were retaining walls built around “pits” full of bricks where kids could just sit and build. And build. And build some more.

Past the elevators was a huge play structure, part castle and part pirate ship, surrounded by more pits of bricks.

Our room wasn’t quite ready, but we were permitted to store our bags with the concierge and make our way to the park. They would contact us when our room was available.

By this time, it was around 9:45, right before the official park opening, so we headed over to purchase our tickets. We ended up with annual passes because it was only a $10 difference between day tickets and the pass, and we would also get access to the water park, early admission and 10% discounts on all purchases, including food and drink.

We got the call as we were finishing lunch in the park and decided that we would head back to check things out. Mr PugRunner arrived ahead of us because little man wanted to hit one more ride on the way, and texted to say that it was amazing.

He met us in the lobby, and we hopped into the elevator for our trip to the second floor. I’m not going to give too many details, but the elevator is pretty damn special.

Little man was thrilled with our room. He loved the theming and he was enamored with his own private space (with a sign that said “no adults!”) with a bunk bed and TV.

There was also a nice king-sized bed for us with a lovely view of the pool and some of the park.

When we entered the room, there was a padlocked chest on the floor with instructions for a scavenger hunt in order to find the combination for the lock.

It took a few minutes for little man to crack and the code and we opened the chest to find a stash of Lego Mixels, juice boxes, activity packs and Lego Club magazines. He was thrilled.

The Legoland Hotel provided plenty of entertainment: in addition to the play areas mentioned earlier, there was a small store, a kids “club” (a small room near the bar with Lego bricks, building tables and family-friendly movies on loop), character appearances,

building classes and live interactive games (including a PJ dance party). The park may have closed at 7:00PM but there was still plenty to do.

Our afternoon at the water park was cut short due to nasty storms. We were drenched when we finally got back to the lobby and I was thrilled that some of the staff were waiting with a cart of fresh towels for the soaking guests. It was a minor glitch in the plans, but it was ok because little man got to build some cool things and play with other kids.

Legoland Hotel boasts one buffet restaurant, Bricks, serving breakfast (complimentary with your stay) and dinner.

There is also a lounge with a full bar, located not too far from the play structure. Guests can order appetizers and dinner from a menu and eat at tables with a view of their kids.

Dinner was very good. There was a fresh salad bar, a carving station with two meats, a pasts station and all manner of sides and desserts. The food was fresh and turned over quite frequently.

Breakfast was… edible. The omelet station was packed and I didn’t want to wait, but I wasn’t really in the mood for waffles or pancakes and so I picked at a french toast stick, yogurt with fruit and granola and some grits. The meal was included with our stay and there was plenty from which to choose – it just wasn’t my favorite meal.

At each seating, there were character appearances – both times we saw one of the Lego Friends (I have no idea which one), but they were cute and sweet and made lovely conversation.

All in all, I am so glad we made the choice to stay here. And I’m pretty sure this sums up little man’s feeling on the subject.

Do you ever splurge on a special hotelย when traveling?

What’s a special touch a hotel can offer that makes a difference to you?

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29 Responses to legoland hotel: everything is awesome

  1. Marcia says:

    That hotel is beyond awesome! You have one very lucky and happy little man there!
    Marcia recently posted…Excuse-Proof Your WorkoutsMy Profile

  2. That looks so fun! I bet little man had the best time! How was the park?
    I hope my niece wants to go when she’s bigger… and that she wants Aunty to come too! I don’t mind sharing the bunk bed ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Stacie Seidman recently posted…Thursday’s ThreadsMy Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      I’m working on my park review/recap. It was very small, very low-key and absolutely wonderful and manageable.

      The bunk beds were pretty comfy. I’m sure your niece would love it!

  3. How fun! I can why young kids would like this. It’s always nice to stay at a themed hotel even if it is a bit pricier just for the experience. recently posted…A response to the “commitment” bloggersMy Profile

  4. Wow! Now this looks like fun! Your little man looks like he had a blast! Thank you for sharing, because this is my first time hearing of this hotel.
    Artney @ My Pretty Brown recently posted…30 Things I Love Right NowMy Profile

  5. That looks like a place that makes kids dreams come true. Too bad it’s so pricey though. They totally take advantage of families.
    Jen @ Pretty Little Grub recently posted…Thinking Out Loud #40My Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      I do think you get your money’s worth, in a lot of ways: one room sleeps 5-6 people (with the bunks and a trundle bed), free breakfast buffet for everyone every day of your stay, lego gifts, walking distance to the park and the admission perk of early entrance. The other hotels that are nearby are pretty limited and nowhere near as nice. I imagine prices will drop as we fall out of summer and high tourist season.

  6. This sounds like so much fun! I love the little chest in the room. I think fun themed hotels like this deserve a little splurge.
    Nicole @ Fitful Focus recently posted…What I Do When I Have the Place to MyselfMy Profile

  7. This makes my heart so happy! What an awesome trip!! I splurge on hotels depending on the location and reason for going. Most of my running adventures I just need a place to lay my head and allows late checkout ๐Ÿ˜‰ glad he enjoyed himself!
    Mar @ Mar on the Run recently posted…2015 TD Beach to Beacon 10K Race RecapMy Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      Usually we go for something basic as well. I want a clean room with decent bed and a hot shower. That’s about all I care about unless there is some reason to really do it up. Mr PugRunner tends to go for a little fancier than I normally would, but if we’re at a theme park or a race, we are never in the room, so what’s the point?

  8. Elle says:

    How fun! I love themed rooms and this Pirate Theme looks like a great choice. Glad you all had such a good time!
    Elle recently posted…Here is How My Summer is Shaping UpMy Profile

  9. OMG, so glad you posted this! It looks AMAZING. My boys would seriously die!! So fun!
    Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes recently posted…10 Minute Core Workout for RunnersMy Profile

  10. You are right, it is a bit pricey but if you are gonna splurge this could very well be the place. I ‘d be diving straight into those pits you mentioned. Plus, it includes breakfast (which can get very pricey when on vacation) and when you add everything there is a lot of value there. Then again I might just be trying to justify going there just for me. LOL My girls are girly girls. Not really into Legos. Me on the other hand…
    Frank@The Fat Runner recently posted…Galloway Tips: Dealing with the HeatMy Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      You’re right: a breakfast buffet like that would go for about $20-30pp around here. And the food was fine – I’m just not a huge breakfast person, nor are buffets my first choice. It was fresh and there was a lot of variety, and so definitely a good value on that end.

      I live for Legos. I think they are one of the greatest inventions of all time. Our playroom is absolutely covered in them and I am always happy to buy more.

  11. Ariana says:

    So fun!! I would love to stay in a pirate-themed hotel ๐Ÿ˜€

    Having worked in hotels for many years, I just really appreciate when the small things are done properly! I know how tough it can be to orchestrate a great stay between all the different departments, and when everything from the clean room to great food to service is flawless, I’m a happy traveller ๐Ÿ™‚
    Ariana recently posted…Tortilla-Crusted SalmonMy Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      The hospitality industry is definitely tough. And Orlando is home to so many hotels, so travelers have no shortage of options. I will absolutely pay more for a great experience, though.

  12. I am glad you enjoyed your stay- I will share your post with my hubby. We live 1.5 miles from the Legoland entrance and I attended the pre-opening festivities. The place is awesome! This is a big improvement for little old Winter Haven ๐Ÿ™‚
    Mary Beth Jackson recently posted…Airbrush legs to the rescue!My Profile

  13. Awesome. My nephew is just getting into Legos. We made 2 trips to the store while I was there!
    Abby @ BackAtSquareZero recently posted…Indianapolis Vacation โ€“ 2015My Profile

  14. jan says:

    Okay that might be the most awesome hotel I’ve ever seen!! And LOL about the “caterpillars in his tummy”.
    jan recently posted…8 MilesMy Profile

  15. Pingback: legoland: everything is awesome part 2 | Runs With Pugs

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