For families with young children – or adults seeking to recapture their childhood – a trip to LEGOLAND is likely on the must-do list. And with the rapid development of LEGOLAND® parks over the past decade or so, crossing that visit off the list has gotten much easier. In fact, with the recent opening of LEGOLAND Korea, there are now 10 LEGOLAND parks around the world welcoming more than 15 million guests annually.
That’s a lot of growth since LEGO® opened its first theme park in the late 1960s to meet the interest of 20,000-plus visitors seeking tours at the LEGO manufacturing headquarters in Billund, Denmark. These brick-heads (as LEGO devotees are sometimes called) were particularly eager to view the many tricked-out LEGO models on display at the factory, and that curiosity planted the seed for what would become LEGOLAND’s Miniland, now the most popular area and the heart of each of the 10 parks.
LEGOLAND parks are divided into a number of themed “lands” – some consistent throughout all the parks, including Miniland, and some tailored to the location. While a few of these lands will only appeal to the very young, there are also areas and attractions for older kids and adults to enjoy, from coasters to water parks.
LEGO-themed accommodations are also available near each of the parks worldwide. These hotels are intended to be an extension of the theme park experience, housing up to 3,000 LEGO models, a disco elevator and family-style rooms with a separate sleeping area for children.
Here’s a primer on what you can look forward to or expect at LEGOLAND parks and attractions around the world.
The main gate at LEGOLAND in Germany — Photo courtesy of LEGOLAND Deutschland
Heading to Bavaria with an aspiring ninja? If so, seek out the LEGOLAND Deutschland Resort where you can book a stay at the NINJAGO® Quarter accommodations in the LEGOLAND Holiday Village adjacent to the park.
One of the most popular amusement parks in Germany since it opened in 2002, LEGOLAND Deutschland is home to 10 lands and activities that range from a high ropes course to a bowling alley and a pirate golf course.
To celebrate its 20-year anniversary in 2022, the park also rolled out a weekend LEGOLAND parade – the first park to do so – that features seven wagons, LEGO mascots, dancers and artists parading to the LEGOLAND song. This park is also recognizing the 90th anniversary of the LEGO Group with a new creative center called “LEGO Building Fun.”
The newest park to be added to the LEGOLAND portfolio sits on the island of Jungdo in Chuncheon, Gangwon Province. This island getaway, about an hour east of Seoul, is said to be one of the most beautiful LEGOLAND parks yet.
Opened on the 100th anniversary of Children’s Day in May 2022, LEGOLAND Korea features 40 rides and attractions spread across seven themed lands. These include Brick Street, Bricktopia, LEGO Castle, Pirate Shores, LEGO City, LEGO NINJAGO® World and, of course, Miniland, which took about a year to design and showcases replicas of a mix of traditional and modern Korean palaces and skyscrapers.
Also on display are about 15,000 LEGO models made from a total of 30 million LEGO bricks and is the eighth park now featuring the popular NINJAGO The Ride where guests can meet the heroes of the NINJAGO universe and learn to master the four elements to defeat The Great Devourer.
The Dragon coaster in Dubai — Photo courtesy of LEGOLAND Dubai
The first LEGO outpost in the Middle East, this park opened in 2016 and boasts the largest LEGO model in all the parks (outside of Miniland) – that of the Icon Dragon, which was constructed with 395,251 bricks. Dubai’s Miniland is the first to be created indoors (heat management) and features impressive recreations of some of the region’s most well-known structures such as the Burj Khalifa, Taj Mahal, the Pyramids of Giza and the ancient ruins of Petra.
Other lands in Dubai include LEGO City, Kingdoms land and Adventure land – the latter being home to Submarine Adventure (with 60 different LEGO sea creatures) and the indoor Lost Kingdom Adventure ride where riders recover a pharaoh’s stolen treasure. In Imagination land, visitors can experience the LEGO short movies in 4D and older kids can spin about on the LEGO Technic Twister.
Finally, a visit to the Factory allows guests to join a factory tour and take home a limited-edition collector brick hot off the casting line. There’s also an adjacent LEGOLAND water park (separate entry fee required).
As mentioned, Billund is the real OG in the LEGOLAND universe as it was the first to open back in 1968. A must-see destination for LEGO and LEGOLAND super fans, this Danish park has 50 rides and attractions set amongst 10 different lands. Among the more unique are DUPLO® Land, Polar Land and LEGOREDO Town. This park continues to evolve, adding new rides and attractions that appeal to all ages, including roller coasters and LEGO Movie World with Scandinavia’s first flying theater.
It’s worth noting that not far from this LEGOLAND park is the LEGO House that’s also worth a visit. A complex of buildings with more than 25 million LEGO bricks, the complex features four interactive color-coded “Experience Zones,” each with a its own theme and activities. In the center sits the Tree of Creativity – a life-size LEGO tree with an array of LEGO-constructed dioramas nestled in its branches. For sustenance, dine at Mini Chef where guests use LEGO bricks to create their meal choices, which are then passed on to the chef to prepare before being served by robot waiters (which are also constructed from LEGO bricks).
California’s new LEGO® Ferrari Build and Race — Photo courtesy of LEGOLAND California Resort
Racing into 2022, LEGOLAND California recently unveiled its latest attraction, the LEGO® Ferrari Build and Race, which features a life-size Ferrari F40 model made of 358,000 LEGO elements (yes, you can sit in it). The interactive experience allows guests to meet a LEGO pit crew member, learn Ferrari fun facts and build their own LEGO Ferrari model car to race for the fastest lap.
Also new this year is a model of Los Angeles’ SoFi Stadium – the first new model added to the park’s Miniland U.S.A. in more than two years, built using more than 500,000 LEGO bricks.
The first park in the U.S., LEGOLAND California has more than 60 interactive rides, shows and attractions, a SEA LIFE Aquarium, and two water parks: CHIMA Water Park and LEGOLAND Water Park, both popular on steamy southern California days.
California was also the first park to introduce Maestro hand gesture technology as part of NINJAGO The Ride. In 2021, it debuted LEGO Movie World – the largest expansion since the park opened in 1999 (based on the blockbuster films “The LEGO Movie” and “The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part”).
Windsor Castle is not the only castle worth visiting in this posh suburb on the outskirts of London. The Knights’ Kingdom at LEGOLAND Windsor – and many of their other rides and attractions – may be a little more entertaining for members of most not-so-royal families. The largest park in the LEGOLAND portfolio, Windsor is divvied up into 12 lands that allow families to adventurously explore the world without ever leaving England.
Lands located in Windsor include Heartlake City, where guests can witness the swashbuckling Pirates of Skeleton Bay stunt show, and Lego Mythica: World of Mythical Creatures, where visitors can soar into a mystical realm on the U.K.’s first flying theater ride (the Flight of the Sky Lion) or walk through a world of mythical creatures that dwell in the woodlands.
Don’t miss The Brick, where families can build LEGO masterpieces for all to see. Other park favorites include The Dragon rollercoaster – which is a staple at all of the LEGOLAND parks – and the Fire & Ice Freefall.
Entrance area to LEGOLAND Florida — Photo courtesy of LEGOLAND Florida
Needless to say, LEGOLAND Florida has a bit of competition throughout the state in the theme park category, so it’s no surprise that this park continues to up its game. Perhaps the most noteworthy and admirable news for 2022 is that it is the first theme park resort to be designated a Certified Autism Center™(CAC).
CAC certification indicates that 80 percent of the park’s staff have completed an autism training program instructing them on how to better understand and communicate with guests living with autism, ensuring that they have a positive experience. The CAC designation applies to Florida’s LEGOLAND theme park, LEGOLAND Water Park, LEGOLAND hotel, LEGOLAND Pirate Island hotel, LEGOLAND Beach Retreat and Peppa Pig Theme Park.
The Peppa Pig park (say that three times fast!) is geared towards preschoolers, but it was designed with enhanced ride and play accessibility features as well as a detailed sensory guide to make it easier for parents and families to plan activities safely and comfortably for those with autism.
Coming later this year, LEGOLAND Florida will also open the new Pirate River Quest that takes guests through the uncharted waters of the legendary Cypress Gardens to retrieve a lost treasure stolen by a troop of mischievous monkeys.
LEGOLAND New York
LEGOLAND New York is celebrating its first full season by debuting a number of exciting attractions and experiences throughout 2022, from new events and shows to new characters and LEGO models.
That includes the park’s first-ever Red, White & BOOM celebration with a fireworks display on July 4th, the first annual Holiday Bricktacular and an expanded Brick-or-Treat bash in October.
This newest U.S. location about 60 miles north of Manhattan is not quite as large as the Florida and California parks but still includes seven themed lands (Brick Street, Bricktopia, LEGO NINJAGO World, LEGO Castle, LEGO City, MINILAND and LEGO Pirates) with a LEGO City water playground.
Entrance to LEGOLAND Malaysia — Photo courtesy of LEGOLAND Malaysia
In 2022, LEGOLAND Malaysia launched their first AR digital experience that allows visitors to experience what it’s really like to be a ninja by completing challenges alongside favorite LEGO characters. The LEGO NINJAGO augmented reality experience is just one of many NINJAGO experiences that include a meet-and-greet with beloved characters and live entertainment and performances.
For a memorable meal, book an underwater dinner at LEGOLAND Malaysia’s Sea Life attraction, where guests can dine on a multi-course meal in an underwater grotto while sharks and other marine creatures glide through the surrounding water.
“This is the first of many new and unique experiences that we have planned for guests in 2022 and we hope that guests will find each one as extraordinary as the next,” said CS Lim, divisional director of LEGOLAND Malaysia Resort.
Ride the rails about 25 minutes south from Nagoya to get to LEGOLAND Japan, which opened five years ago in Kinjofuto. The park includes a summer water feature called Water Maze, with an expansive water play area and six pools spread among eight adventure zones. As an apprentice of the “Black Beer Pirates,” guests will seek out a treasure hidden within the waterfall.
Nearby LEGOLAND Sea Life Nagoya is also worth checking out. With about 150 sea creatures, including clownfish, sharks and rays, the underwater world is located on the first and second floors of the LEGOLAND Hotel.