If you live in Florida, one of the first BIG adventures you want to accomplish with your kids is take them to Disney World or one of the other major theme parks in Orlando. As a mom of a now three year old little girl, I contemplated when this adventure would take place….what age should we take her? Is three too young to go? Will she remember it?
With my husband’s hectic schedule this year, we decided to take a mini vacation at the end of September. Vacationing in the fall and during the week meant there would be smaller crowds, because school was back in session, and cooler weather, which made walking around and standing in line more bearable.
Planning before you go.
Before we decided which park we would take our 3 year old to, I did some extensive research. Yes, I admit that I may have an A type personality (lol). First, I asked other moms who I know have taken their toddlers to theme parks what their experiences were like. Second, I looked at which parks had age and height requirements. Most parks don’t necessarily go by the child’s age for safety requirements on the rides, but rather by the child’s height. Third, as a military spouse, I had my husband check the Information, Tickets and Travel (ITT) office on base to see if their tickets were cheaper than online or the Florida resident discounts.
Where did we decide to go….drumroll please… Legoland Florida !!! Located about 45 minutes southwest of Orlando! Our 3 year old was tall enough to ride on about 90% of their rides as long as she was accompanied by an adult. Just make sure you look at the ride first before getting on. There were a few roller coasters with deep dips and turns, so we decided to pass on them, even though she met the height requirements.
On the military base, the ticket prices start at about $52 per adult. However, by purchasing ours on base we saved almost 50% off. Bonus: Military veterans get in FREE with valid ID! NOTE: Parking starts at $17. Before you go make sure you check the open dates for the water park (an additional fee)…it apparently has different hours from the rest of the park. Although the Waterpark was not open during our visit, the rest of the park had a few water rides.
What should you bring?
Moms of little ones know you have to pack “everything, but the kitchen sink”, when traveling. Even though 3 year olds aren’t babies anymore, they still need many of the basics. Especially items like water and snacks; these items can be very expensive inside the park. And if you have more kids….mo kids, mo money! I also suggest bringing cash for a frozen treat or souvenir. Below is a list of things we brought with us:
- Small backpack
- Non-perishable snacks
- Change of clothes
- Baby wipes
- Hand sanitizer
- Cool clothes/comfortable shoes
- Clorox wipes
I would rate our overall experience at Legoland Florida a 4-star. We arrived at the park around 1pm after lunch at Zaxby’s and left right at 5pm (Yes! We shut the park down!). Did I mention our 3 year had an EPIC melt-down because she didn’t want to get off of the Safari ride…did I mention it was an EPIC meltdown?! Who else is going through the toddler stage? Ya’ll know the struggle is real!! Unfortunately, no matter how much you plan, there’s always the unexpected. (This is the reason for 4-stars)
We were able to walk to entire park, ride about 6 rides, see a show in Heart Lake City, play a few basketball games (my husband won our daughter a stuffed Minion), tour the AMAZING city displays – all made of Legos and have a yummy frozen treat.
All in all, I have to say it was a Good Day! (In my Ice Cube voice)