Are you looking for the ULTIMATE Legoland California for toddlers guide? In this guide we will tell you all our top tips for visiting Legoland California with toddlers alongside the best Legoland rides for toddlers too!
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Now when I first started looking into visiting Legoland California with my toddler and six year old, I was worried that it wouldn’t be toddler friendly. However how wrong I was. Both my children had a fantastic time at Legoland California. However when you are visiting Legoland California or any theme park with toddlers it takes a bit more planning.
In the first section of this guide we will give you all our top tips for visiting the park with toddlers from where to stay and what to pack before we get onto the best Legoland California rides for toddlers with and without height restrictions to help you plan your itinerary through the park.
Legoland California For Toddlers Tips
Do I have to pay for toddlers at Legoland California?
The first thing you will want to know when planning to visit Legoland California with toddlers is whether or not you have to pay for them to enter the park.
The good news is that children under the age of 3 do no have to pay to enter Legoland California. Therefore if you are looking to visit Legoland California on a budget be sure to go before your toddler’s third birthday to reduce your costs.
Best Time to Visit Legoland California with toddlers
As with any theme park there are better and worse times to visit parks in relation to crowds and queues. If you are traveling with a toddler, and don’t have older kids whose school vacation you have to factor in, we recommend going mid week during term time.
The crowds are significantly less when visiting midweek during school time as opposed to during school vacations, especially Spring Break. By traveling at this off peak time means you will be able to get on more rides and not have to worry quite so much about queue time with a toddler.
Visiting off peak and midweek will also reduce your ticket costs.
It is worth mentioning too that Legoland California has an amazing water park for toddlers, so if you want to experience this you will need to go midweek during the summer or shoulder season months as opposed to Winter.
Where to stay for Legoland California for toddlers
One of the biggest decisions you have to make when visiting Legoland California is where to stay. The main choices that you have are the Legoland on-site hotels, hotels in the nearby town of Carlsbad and doing a day trip from San Diego.
We will look at each of these options more in-depth below:
Legoland On-site hotels
Legoland California has two on site hotels:
- Legoland Hotel and
- The Legoland Castle Hotel
The biggest draws of staying on site is that you are very close to the entrance for easy access to the parks and you get early access to the parks where you can prioritise getting on some of the rides that will get longer queues later in the day.
We also like the fact that you are fully encompassed in the Legoland bubble and the rooms on site have great theming and bunk beds which my kids love.
Click here for prices to stay on-site at Legoland.
However if you are visiting the Southern California area for longer and want to stay in one place both San Diego and Carlsbad are convenient places to stay for Legoland.
Best Carlsbad Hotels for Legoland
Carlsbad to Legoland California is only a short 10 minute drive away. There are also some Carlsbad hotels that have a back entrance to the park but don’t have the early access that the official Legoland Hotels have.
Some of the Carlsbad family friendly accommodation options include:
- Sheraton Carlsbad Resort – it has a great toddler pool and a back entrance into the park.
- Grand Pacific Palisades Resorts – This also has an entrance at the backside of the park and a toddler friendly pool. There are also a lot of other amenities within walking distance.
- Westin Carlsbad Resort – this is a bit further away from the back entrance to the above, as this is an 8 minute walk away. However it does have a great indoor play area for toddlers. Th hotel does not have its own pool but you can have access to the Sheraton pools.
Click on the hotel names above for current prices for your dates of travel.
Best San Diego Hotels for Legoland
You can also visit Legoland California as a day trip from San Diego. If you are a tourist visiting San Diego then the main areas to stay are:
- Hotel Circle
If you are staying on site then you should definitely get up early and make use of your early access. You can get a lot of the popular rides done during this time without the queues.
However even if you aren’t on site, you should plan to arrive early. By arriving early you will be able to get parking closer to the park entrance and the park tends to be quieter early in the morning.
Get an Identification Bracelet
We also recommend popping into the Guest Services when you arrive at the park and picking up an identification bracelet for your toddler.
Although a lost toddler is a rare and worst case scenario, it is always better to be safe than sorry.
Prep Your Phone
Before going to Legoland California you should prep your phone by downloading the Legoland app. This app is your park map but also tells you the current queue times as well as showing you directions to the rides.
Use Parent Swap
Although all of the rides we mention below are for toddlers, there are some rides that toddlers will not be able to go on. But the grown ups in your group may want to.
In this scenario be sure to make use of the parent swap / rider swap function. This is where one parent queues for the ride while the other waits with the baby or toddler in your group.
Once at the front of the queue tell the ride operator that you are using parent swap and they will give you instructions on what the other parent or adult needs to do to ride without queuing again.
Make use of the Baby Center
If you are traveling with a toddler who is not yet potty trained or who is in desperate need of a nap or just to get away from the crowds be sure to check out the Baby Center.
Newborns to toddlers aged 3 can use this space and there are private areas for breast feeding and even some toys for little ones to play with when in need of a break.
Be sure to check it out.
Don’t just stick to rides
While Legoland California has amazing rides and many that toddlers will enjoy, don’t just stick to rides. There are lots more attractions at Legoland than rides which we will walk about in more detail below.
What to Bring to Stay for visiting Legoland California with toddlers
For me the key to enjoying any day at a theme park with toddlers is packing your day bag correctly. For this reason we recommend bringing the below items to Legoland California when visiting with toddlers.
There is nothing worse than a hangry toddler. And although there are food outlets at Legoland, we found them a little disappointing and expensive.
For this reason we always pack plenty of snacks for our toddler whenever we are at an amusement park. Our favorite snacks to bring to theme parks include:
- Fruit Puree Pouches
- Fruit Leather
but for more information on the best theme park snacks check out this post.
Although Legoland is much smaller than Disneyland, the park still has a large footprint, that could tire toddlers who are walking around easily.
Therefore we recommend bringing a stroller with you even if your toddler doesn’t use one at home. They are useful for getting between rides quickly, nap times and grabbing a snack on the go.
If you forget the stroller and find you need one, you can rent one from Legoland. The prices to rent a Legoland stroller are:
- $15 for a single stroller for $15 or
- $17 for a double stroller.
Diapers / Wipes
If your toddler is not potty trained be sure to bring plenty of wipes, diapers and diaper sacks with you.
Legoland has a great water park that is perfect for toddlers. If you plan to use the water park then be sure to bring swimwear with you for your little one. Our preferred brand is Splashabout as it offers great UV Protection from the California sun.
Spare clothes are another essential for visiting Legoland. There are many places where a toddler can get dirty or wet in the water play areas so it is handy to have spare set of clothes with you.
The sun is strong in California so be sure to bring a wide brimmed hat for your toddler to help protect them from the sun.
It is hot in the park and drinks are expensive. Be sure to bring you and your toddler a water bottle into the park so you can refill it in the park and stay hydrated.
As I said above the sun can be strong in California. Be sure to apply sunscreen before you enter the parks but also bring the bottle with you into the park and reapply thoughout the day.
Legoland California Rides for Toddlers
So now you know all the tips for visiting Legoland California with toddlers, here are our favorite Legoland California rides for toddlers.
In this section we will split the rides into the Legoland California rides for toddlers without height restrictions and those that have low height restrictions which toddlers may meet.
Legoland California Rides with no height restrictions
Coast cruiser is one of the Legoland California rides without a height restriction which is perfect for babies and toddlers. This boat ride will take you on a tour of some of Miniland’s most famous sites such as the Taj Mahal, Mount Rushmore, the Statue of Liberty and more!
Fairy Tale Brook
Fairy Tale Brook is another boat ride without a height restriction. However this time instead of taking a tour around miniland, you take a ride around classic fairy tales that have been made out of lego.
For those familiar with Disneyland rides this one is very similar to Storybook Land Canal Boats. This was my toddlers favorite ride in the park.
LEGO® City Deep Sea Adventure
This ride without a height restriction was another of my toddler’s favorites. On LEGO® City Deep Sea Adventure you board a submarine as an explorer and see what you can spot.
Lego Ninjago is another ride that has no height restriction. However I would say that this was one of my toddler’s least favorite rides in the park.
That is because you need to wear 4D glasses to fully appreciate this ride and my toddler just would not keep these on.
This ride also gets one of the longest queues in the park, so for these reasons I would give this ride a miss on a busy day if you know your toddler won’t keeo the glasses on.
This is a ride my toddler loves. It is a train with no height restriction next to the Duplo playground.
My favorite thing about this ride is that toddlers can ride this by themselves.
Queen Watevra’s Carousel
I have never met a toddler who doesn’t love a carousel and the one at Legoland California was a huge hit with my toddler. Rather than the traditional horses you see on Carousels, this one is filled with Lego horses that any lego mad toddler will love.
There are over 60 horses on this carousel including some that are stationary and some benches for toddlers who are wary. However my little one loved the moving one.
Legoland California rides for toddlers with low height restrictions
Captain Cranky’s Challenger
This ride in Pirate shores has a 34 inch height restriction which many 3 year olds and above will meet. This is basically a mini pirate ship that rotates as it swings.
This ride has a higher height restriction at 36 inches. This ride sees your toddler pilot a plane on a track.
Lost Kingdom Adventure
The Lost Kingdom Adventure has a 30 inch height restriction which most toddlers will meet. However I will put a note on this one that some toddlers may be scared in this ride.
On this ride you have a laser blaster to blast mummies, skeletons and other spooky creatures that sensitive toddlers may find distressing.
My toddler was fine on this one, however if your have a little one with a sensitive disposition this is one to avoid.
This is another Legoland California ride with a 34 inch height restriction meaning that most toddlers can go on this one.
On this ride you “drive” a jeep around a safari of lego animals. My little one loved this one.
This is another 34 inch ride, but it will definitely need some adult intervention for toddlers to enjoy. On this ride you basically become the skipper of your own vessel including the power and steering. It is a good idea for the grown up to be in charge of the pedals – little legs may struggle to reach and maintain pressure, while your toddler can happily steer their way around the course.
Another ride my toddler loved with a 34 inch height restriction. On this ride you board a helicopter and you can use a joystick to go up, down and around.
It was one of the first rides my little boy went on and he absolutely adored it.
Things to do at Legoland California for Toddlers
One of the things I love about Legoland California is that it has more to offer toddlers than just rides. Our other favorite things to do at Legoland California for toddlers are:
Build Waterva you wanna build
This is a covered area with mounds of lego that, providing you don’t have toddler who will put bricks in their mouth, they can sit and build until their hearts are content.
It is also one of the few places to get some shade in the Lego World area so if you are visiting Legoland California in summer this is place you will want to know about.
Character Meet and Greets
Depending on how familiar your toddler is with the Lego films they may or may not enjoy the lego meet and greets. I’ll be honest, my toddler was a bit scared of the characters but my older daughter and plenty of other toddlers were going crazy for the meet and greets.
A favorite was also the Benny the astronaut dance party.
This is a large interactive play area that is specifically designed for toddlers. There are lots of slides and climbing areas and it is a really great place for toddlers to run around after a long queue.
We recommend leaving this for the afternoon, as you will be able to do more rides in the morning.
Dig Those Dinos
If your toddler is dinosaur made like mine then the dig those dinos play area is the place to head. In this area children pretend play at being palaeontologists and dig for dinosaur fossils.
This is another playground that toddlers will love. This playground has more climbing that other Legoland California playgrounds so if your toddler isn’t confident with climbing this playground might not be the best one for them.
Lego Movie World Fountain
This was one of my toddler’s favorite areas in the whole park. In the middle of the Lego Movie world land there is a great splash park – just be sure you have a change of clothes for after your toddler has been here or change them into their swimwear before entering.
My toddler was quite happy to play in this area while we waited for his sister to go on some of teh larger rides in this area, that he couldn’t join her on.
And of course no visit to any Legoland around the world, from Florida and California to Legoland Windsor is complete without a visit to the Miniland.
The Miniland is where you can see some of the world’s most famous landmarks recreated in Lego. Even toddlers love wandering around the area and looking at the exhibits. My toddler particularly loves trying to spot moving items like trains, cars and boats as we walk around Miniland.
Pharoah’s Revenge Playground
Another Legoland California playground that comes with a word of warning. Toddlers under 5 years old are required to have an adult with them in this playground, and there are shooters which blast foam balls around this playground.
My little one found this place to loud and too intense so it is one I would personally give a miss with younger and more sensitive toddlers.
Now as we only had one day at Legoland we didn’t have time to do all of the rides and other Legoland attractions as well as Sealife Aquarium. However I know my wildlife loving kids would have loved this if we had had more time.
In order to enter the aquarium you need a combo ticket for both the park and aquarium. And we recommend leaving a visit to the aquarium till the end of the day as this tends to be open later than the park itself. It is also located next to the car park which is convenient.
It is also one of the few indoor things to at Legoland California so is a great place to escape the heat if you are in need of air conditioning or need to escape a rain storm.
Yet another water play area for toddlers, this time located in Pirate’s Cove. Again be sure to have a spare change of clothes or your toddler’s swimsuit ready for this area.
FAQS About Legoland California with Toddlers
Should I visit LEGOLAND Water Park with toddlers?
The Legoland Waterpark is not included in the standard Legoland admission, however there is add on ticket that you can get to enter.
We decided against visiting the Water park with our toddler as he was more than happy with the water play areas within the park and because there were limited areas we thought he would enjoy.
If you do decide to head to the Water park be sure to head to the Duplo Splash Safari. The whole area is designed for toddlers and children under 6 years old, so isn’t too intense a water play experience.
Please note: the legoland water park is seasonal and will not be open during winter.
Is LEGOLAND for a 2 Year Old Worth it?
When we went to Legoland my toddler was 2 years old and it was definitely worth it for him. He loved the rides with no height restrictions and also really loved all the water play areas.
We spent the whole day in the park with him and he was never bored or overwhelmed. I would have no hesitation recommending Legoland for families with 2 years.
What Else is there to do nearby?
If you are looking for recommendations on what else to do near Legoland California be sure to check out our related San Diego Toddler friendly guides:
- San Diego with Toddlers
- San Diego Zoo with toddlers
- Disneyland with Toddlers
- California Adventure with Toddlers
- Seaworld San Diego with toddlers
Do you have a question about visiting Legoland with toddlers that we haven’t covered? Drop us a comment below and we will do our best to get back to you are quickly as we can.