Legoland with a 2 Year Old

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Last week our family spent a day roaming about Legoland, a major attraction in San Diego County. Legoland was one of the big selling points for my boys when we told them three years ago that we were moving to this area. We promised, “We’ll go to Legoland.”

Thankfully, we’ve been able to keep that promise. Legoland generously offers discounted tickets to homeschoolers on certain Mondays throughout the year. Advance registration is required. It is a wonderful way for our family to fit a fun experience into the family budget.

Is it for big kids only?

Legoland California was our first family amusement park experience. It was an eye-opener for me two years ago because it was my first amusement park experience as a parent, and I didn’t go on but one or two rides.

One of the distinctives about this park over others in its genre, like Disneyland, is that there are not many rides for small children. In fact, it can be quite frustrating to take toddlers and preschoolers to Legoland due to the height and age restrictions imposed on so many of the attractions.

One solution to this dilemma is to stay home. I did that two years ago, staying home with the girls, while FishPapa took the boys for one of the boys birthday.

Be a kid.

Another solution is to approach the day at Legoland with the mind of a child, a two-year old child. There is a lot to interest a little person without going on every roller coaster.

The following are tips for enjoying a day at Legoland with a 2 year old or other small person under 36 inches:

Divide and conquer.

If you have older children, your best bet is to divide your party. Have one adult take those 36 inches and above on the roller coasters and other rides, while you take the slower route. There are plenty of tame rides to enjoy like the Coast Cruise or the Cargo Ace as well as a number of playgrounds that are well-suited to small ones.

Watch the shows.

While the boys did Big Things, my girls and I watched the Bob the Builder 4D adventure show. They loved it, though one opted out of wearing the 3D glasses. It’s a fun little diversion that the kids really enjoy. There’s also another show about Clutch Powers that older kids would enjoy as well.

Pack snacks.

My kids all wear their infamous fanny packs on these adventures. We stuff them with little bags of crackers or fruit leathers so that they have provisions on them. I never hear a word of complaint; nary a whine of “I’m hungry.”

Fanny packs rock. Seriously.

Tour the miniland.

The Miniland at Legoland was already amazing with its to-scale constructions of major world monuments but they’ve taken it over the top with the new Star Wars Miniland. Every important scene from all 6 movies, as well as some from the Clone Wars cartoons, is depicted — in Legos. It’s really quite amazing.

Not only is it a hit with kids, it’s also pretty popular with adults, particularly those grown-up boys who played incessantly with Legos or wielded a lightsaber back in the day. I saw quite a few couples without children at Legoland, the men clearly geeking out over the Lego structures. Your husband might just volunteer to take the toddlers to the Miniland while you go on the roller coasters! My teenage son said the Miniland was his favorite attraction.

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Prepare to splash about.

There are two splash pads within Legoland, one designed for young children, one clearly made for older kids. They are brightly colored, whimsical and fun, the perfect end to the day. We brought swim trunks for the boys, but I just let the girls wear their clothes. I’d done too many potty stops already that day. We went back to the car during the last hour for towels and headed to the splash pad.

The water area designed for older kids is really for older kids. Small children are not allowed to climb the stairs or go down the slides without an adult companion. Unless you want to get wet, keep the little people in the little area.

Enjoy a sweet treat.

The apple fries at Legoland are delicious. They are about $5 each, a typical amusement park price for an atypical treat. They are deep fried apple slices served with whipped cream. Very yummy and a nice break in your day.

Adjust your attitude and have a great day.

Your two, three or petite four-year old can still have a wonderful time at Legoland, even if he or she can’t go on all the big kid rides. You can help them by having a good attitude yourself. It may seem a bummer that you’re spending this money, but you have to sit it out with a kid who can’t go on anything. Sure, you can both park it on a bench or trade off with another adult. Or you can take the toddler route — and just embrace it.

If you’ve decided to spend the money (children under 3 are free), then give yourself over to making the best of it.

Pretend you are two only so far as looking at the things that will interest a young child.

How do you make the most of amusement parks with little people in tow?

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  1. Planning a trip to legoland in Ca. We live by Fresno, Ca we got our tickets free bcuz we bought 8 tires at a tire shop. So now my bf wants to take us. We have a total of 6 kids 16yrs(g), 7yrs(b), 6yrs(b), 5yrs(b), 3yrs(b), and 18 month (g). Trying to find a way to get there because our vehicle only fits 7 people we need an 8 passenger vehicle going to cost $500 just for a weekend to rent so we think we might have to take Amtrak not sure any suggestions. Also how do we go about renting a condo? I’m looking for fanny packs now LOL any tips greatly appreciated please

    1. I responded to the car situation in your own comment on another post. As for accommodations, I’d recommending looking at the reviews on Trip Advisor.

  2. Dear Jessica,

    My husband and I plan to come in California (from France) and bring our twins boys (they’ll be 2,9 years old in June 2015. They are from October 2012)) in Legoland. My question is :
    The restrictions are they only about the age or about the height ?. If my children are 36 inches and more in June (I saw on the Legoland map that there are attractions for 34 inches and more and 36 inches and more), could they try them ?
    Also, is the waterpark and the slides allowed if we take our children between our legs to slide ?
    thanks a lot in advance!

    1. Bonjour Carole! The restrictions on rides at Legoland are definitely all over the place. Some rides need an adult for a certain height, some don’t. You just have to read the signs. If there is an adult for each child, chances are you will be able to do a lot. We had trouble when we had more little people than we did adults. The waterpark has lots of fun things for little ones. I’m not sure if they’ll let them on the big slides, but there is plenty to do.

  3. My husband and I are taking our ten month old son and our eight year old niece. Any advice?? Anything would be appreciated!!!

    1. Your niece will have a blast. Just be ready to do the baby pass off so each of you can ride if you want. I know Disney does this, so I imagine Legoland will, too.

  4. I’m headed to Legoland tomorrow with my toddler in tow, and had done a Google search in order to find some tips- which brought me to you! I appreciate your input , especially about the splash pad. I didn’t know there was one and now I’ll be prepared when my kiddo bolts for the water. I now also know that apple fries are a thing, which just made life a little better. Thanks!

    1. I did the same thing! I’m taking my almost 2 year old son to the Legoland in Atlanta next Saturday. I’m glad I have a better idea of what to expect. Thanks!

  5. I wish I had read this a few days ago. We went to Legoland on Friday and enjoyed it. We ate a picnic lunch in the parking lot. We definately didn’t have time to see everything though. My son just turned 4 and he was tall enough to go on a lot of rides with my husband. My daughter is almost 2 and she was about an inch too short for a lot of the rides. But our favorite family rides were the “cruise” around the water and the fairy tale boat ride that we could all enjoy.
    Of course, we loved the Star Wars miniland! It was fun to see all the ages of people excited about Star Wars.

  6. Yay! Thanks for the tips!
    I”m hoping the new Legoland in Central Florida will be the same type of experience…it’s opening in October and my folks bought 15month passes for the whole family. These tips will be great to keep Miss Zoey entertained!

  7. Your “baby” FishChick2 is looking so grown-up! She’s still a little doll!
    God bless, Kathy in Illinois

  8. Those two things are all I did with the little two while we were there. The dinosaur sand area kept them busy for a long time! Plus the duplo land. Just a big little kid play area. That is next to the food court. The hard part for us is our 6 year old needs someone to ride with him and does our almost 4 year old. But I have to stay with the 2 yr old. That is the biggest reason I haven’t gotten year passes. I’d lime to try out the water area though and see how they do with that.

  9. Totally agree! We did a spur-of-the-moment trip to Legoland last summer with ages 9, 8, 2, & 5 months.

    Thankfully, *I* am not a big ride person, plus I was baby’s food source, so I had little ones duty, while Dad took the bigger kids.

    Thankfully I had my double stroller, so I loaded them in and we did the slow route, kinda staying in the same general area as the older ones, but just enjoying the smaller things.

    One thing that you didn’t mention is the dinosaur bones excavation site. Basically a huge sand area. My 2 year old found a spot for himself and really enjoyed playing in the sand.

    Oh, and don’t forget the indoor lego area! There are six to eight different stations set up where the littles can play with Duplos and another area for the olders to play with the smaller Legos. My kids loved that, too, and its a great place to hang out when it gets a little warm.

    On another note, my 9 & 8 year old were the perfect age for Legoland: tall enough for the ride, young enough to still think that Legos are cool.

    1. @Jennifer, you pointed out things I’ve never even seen! We were there from opening to closing with a packed day and never saw those things. LOL

      1. @Jessica Fisher, How funny!

        The dinosaur bones are to the left of the entrance a bit. The indoor legos are in the same area as Project X. It has a big giraffe in front, if I remember correctly.

  10. Where did you get the fanny packs? I’ve been looking for some but all I’m finding are adult sized packs. We’re taking 5 kids to Disney and I’m going to follow your advice about packing lots of snacks and letting them eat whenever they want to avoid the “I’m hungry” whine.

    1. @Kim, great question! I searched the internet high and low last year and ended up buying the red ones, advertised a child size. Well, they are the same as an adult’s xtra small. They arrived with HUGE belts that we had to cut off. So, as long as the pouch is smallish, you can make any size work.

      My three older boys (8 and up) have a grey pouch that is available in the camping section of Walmart.

  11. That would for sure be a good selling point for my kids but mine aren’t as little anymore. Amusement parks with little ones is harder but it’s so much fun to see their excitement! I’m in Minnesota and the Mall of America has a legoland area that my kids just LOVE.