Our family was so excited to review Legoland Discovery Center in Schaumburg. Our kids are huge Lego fans! We had been to the center 5 years ago, but our younger boys didn’t remember much. They were really looking forward to this trip! I was somewhat surprised that our 11yo daughter wanted to come along, but she’s always loved Lego and was also really looking forward to the day.
Upon our arrival, we were greeted by a life-size Batman figure made entirely of Lego bricks. Since our younger boys enjoy the Lego Batman game on the Wii, we have a running family joke about who really is Batman. This figure made us all smile!
Regular admission prices are $20/person for all those ages 3 and up, but readers of “The Shopper’s Apprentice” can get a FREE Child Admission with Full Paid $20 Adult Admission Printable coupon. This high value coupon is valid all the way through December 31, 2013! Be sure to print a coupon for each adult/ child pair in your group to maximize savings.
We walked into a large room that held city scapes of Chicago built almost entirely of Lego bricks! These structures are miniature works of art, and the kids (and adults) loved it. We also had a challenge to complete….
Find each of the minifigures from series 11 hidden in the scenes, and write down the letter next to each figure. The letters were fairly easy to see (see the letters on the roof of the building to the right in the picture below)
But it was sometimes challenging to figure out exactly which minifig was standing near the letters! Eventually, we got them all. It was then up to us to unscramble the letters to answer the question at the bottom of the sheet provided. We all tried and tried but to no avail (later, over lunch, I was able to unscramble the letters successfully so we went back and entered the contest). Several winners will be chosen to each receive 4 annual passes to Legoland Discovery Center!
After the scavenger hunt, we entered the jungle, where life-sized animals of all sorts awaited. My kids loved the fact that they could pose with the creatures, and they had a lot of fun walking through this display.
I liked the educational aspect to this part of Legoland – little tidbits of useful information scattered througough the exhibit!
We then went into Star Wars Miniland, which was really cool. Our boys (both Star Wars fans) were awed by this Imperial Palace of Naboo.
We noticed all the little touches that make this place a little more special. Artwork on the wall composed of Lego bricks, mini figures peaking out from unexpected nooks and crannies, banisters filled with Lego bricks, and even Lego-themed doors in the restrooms! We rode the Kingdom Quest Laser Ride, which, if you’ve done Buzz Lightyear in Disneyworld, was pretty tame and much shorter by comparison (but cute).
Next up for us, the Lego Studios 4D Cinema. We donned our 3D glasses and entered. There were two movies showing, and it was a little silly but necessary for us to exit the theater and walk all the way around back into the theater to see the second movie. I could understand this if the place were crowded, but there was no line and it seemed like a waste of our time and energy. The movies were cute – our boys were actually trying to grab things out of the air, that’s how real it seemed. And that fourth dimension is not time, no it is not – we had air blown through our hair and were sprinkled with water before the shows were over (but the water was lightly sprinkled and I didn’t mind it a bit).
We then did the Lego factory tour. This cute little demonstration aims to teach kids how Lego bricks are made. At the end, each child received a Free Lego Duplo block with a Legoland Discovery Center decal, and I thought it was pretty cool that every adult was offered one as well!
We signed up for the a Master Builder clinic at noon (a 45 minute wait by this time) and headed over to the cafe to check out the lunch options. No outside food is allowed in the building, so keep that in mind when planning your trip. You can get your hand stamped to come back should you choose to leave, and there are many restaurants nearby.
We decided to get the kids lunch (my DH and I waited to eat until we got home). Fountain drinks are $2.00 (endless refills), chips are $1.00, Nachos are $3.00 and a kids meals are $5.00 – $6.00. The kids meals do include a fountain drink and a Lego minifigure, so it’s actually a pretty good deal (the minifigs run about $3.00 in the store). Adult meals are $6.00 but no minifigs for us
We ordered a Kids Hot Dog Meal for our gluten free 5 yo, and asked if we could have that without the bun. No problem, we were told. Then the hot dog came out in a bun and I had to ask for another one. Unfortunately the hot dogs were frozen and I had to stand there waiting for a full 15 minutes before another hot dog was ready. I had a hard time understanding this, as there was a microwave right there on the counter, but they had their method of defrosting (it wasn’t that busy, either).
Family meals are also available: 4 hot dogs, 4 chips and 4 drinks with ? Lego minifigs for $25.00, or a 16″ pizza with 4 drinks and 2 Lego minifigs for $30.00. There was a case with salads and sandwiches, so if you’re a gluten free adult the salad would work for you.
Eventually, the hot dog was warmed and we finally had one happy boy!
Noon came around and we headed into the Master Builder Academy. The kids were each given a plastic baggie with Lego pieces and the instructor showed them how to build a miniature space shuttle. My daughter’s bag was missing pieces, so the instructor joked that we were the “problem students.” Every child wants to keep the model they built, so only sign up for this event if you’re ok with spending the $5.00 per child it will cost you to bring the model home.
One more ride on the Merlin’s Apprentice, a fun experience where your leg power allows your car to stay up in the air. Stop pedalling and down you drop!
My bottom line: this was a fun day out for most of our family (our oldest teen is away at college and our 14 yo daughter was not interested in attending). If we’d paid full price for the tickets at $20/pop, plus lunch for the kids, plus the $5 per set for the Master Builder class, our total for the day would have been $133.00. We were in Discovery Center from 9:30 am through until 1:00 pm, so that was 3.5 hrs of entertainment. If you’re planning a trip, by all means make use of the coupon offered above, or get a midweek tickets (currently $12.00 over on the Lego site).
My younger boys are such Lego fans this day was a huge hit for them. In fact my 5 yo is already asking if he can have his birthday party there (Legoland does offer parties: the basic package for 15 people and 3 chaperones is $325; the gold brick package is $625 for the same number of people). I would have been pleased they had such a great time, but would have walked away feeling like it was a pretty expensive morning (so use the coupon and/or midweek deals to save).
We will definitely be visiting Legoland Discovery Center again!
Disclosure: Legoland Discovery Center supplied our family with free passes in exchange for this honest review. All opinions expressed here are my own.