For three weekends only, you can experience Star Wars Days at the Legoland Florida Resort Theme & Water Park in Winter Haven, Florida! May 5-6, 12-13, & 19-20. I took my youngest son and a couple of his friends and we had such a great time! I forgot what it was like to have three young kids out on a trip (it's been awhile, since my oldest three are now grown). It was amazing. Of course, it didn't hurt that we were on a Star Wars adventure. :)
Checking out the map was a must because the boys wanted to see what they wanted to do first. I'm all for walking around the park, experiencing what you'd like in the order you come across them, but I gave the reigns over to the kids and let them lead the way. Fortunately, they DID just decide to walk in one direction and enjoy what we came across. We were hoping there wouldn't be rain, since there's also an awesome water park inside of Legoland (extra fee). We had a little rain, but nothing to complain about and we got to experience the park in full.
To help celebrate the LEGO Star Wars Days, there were theme-oriented events all over the park, including these great stops for photo opps.
There were also a lot of Star Wars deals being advertised. People were taking advantage of these in droves.
The gift shoppes were stocked with lots of Legos, including a huge amount of selections that were Star Wars related. I think it would be fun to build an R2D2 Lego set but I didn't think to look for one while we were there (I was too enthralled with the LEGO sets like Cinderella's castle or the big Ferris Wheel, I guess...which were amazing, but that's a story for a different day). We did come home with one Star Wars LEGO kit, and one Batman Movie Lego set (the Penguin's Car which I had never come across in stores before!!) but my son doesn't know about either. Those are going to be holiday gifts. He thought my gift bag was something for his niece who had a birthday party the very next day (yep, my grandbaby is a year older now!). :)
There were other items available for sale too, like t-shirts, cups, key chains, and so much more. Truly if you are looking for any items that are Star Wars related, the Legoland Florida Resort is the place to be, and what better time to go, than during their Lego Star Wars days?!
One of the gals I work with showed me a picture of her and her son in front of this display. Being a huge Star Wars fan, she was there the same weekend we were, and we didn't even know it! Her room is literally right next to mine, and we talk all of the time, so it's hilarious that we didn't realize our destination for the weekend was the same. It would have been even more fun to visit with them for a bit. Our kids are about the same age.
One (of many) thrill about being there on a Star Wars day is that there were quite a few character meeting opportunities. The storm troopers walked by and high fived us all, which of course was a delight for the boys. We were lucky to be at the very start of the line of them walking by, before people saw them and swarmed them. :)
High fives all around and a wave from the big guy in front. Darth Vader was extra awesome because he had those breathing side effects going on nice and loud. You know the ones. It was actually a little menacing/intimidating, which means his costume and sense of presence were both amazing.
Actually, just about everywhere we went in the park had great photo opportunities going on. We did get a couple of pics, but by the time we spotted characters, there were lines to wait in (not too long of a wait, but we were on a purpose-driven 10-year-olds agenda), so I'd just snap a picture while walking by. ;) I love how nonchalant the kid on the left is in this picture. I don't know him, but it makes me laugh that he's surrounded by ultra cool characters and is choosing to just chill and enjoy the view of the water, lolol. :)
You could go inside air conditioned buildings to meet characters too. The times were displayed on the windows of those types of meets.
There were various Star Wars related events going on all throughout the day, including this ongoing Galaxy Competition Build with fun surprises included along the way.
My son's friend on the left wore his Star Wars swim shorts to the water park, which was a pure coincidence, but quite perfect, don't you think? :) My son's basketball socks (far right) look like tights. -_- He's Mr. Basketball right now though, so if he's wearing shoes, he's also wearing long socks. He did take them off to go swimming in the water. ;)
The water park has a dumping bucket (those that fill with water and then splash the crowd below them by tipping when full) and smaller slides to play on.
It also had some bigger options, including these two water slides that have a pretty fierce angle.
A lazy river...
and various LEGO-related activities added to the fun. I sat here and rested while the boys ran around. In fact, I had initially changed into my swimsuit when they put their trunks on, but decided I'd rather just lounge and relax, so I went in and put my street clothes back on. I sat under the shade and watched the kids run around and be 10.
I do want to just note one personal observation: Whoever says girls are sillier than boys when they get together (and I know someone who says that), has never been on a trip with boys. For some unknown reason, these two would stop and FLOSS right in the middle of the sidewalk, on a boat, or while playing one of the games. It was contagious and those around them (usually aged 12 and under, lol) would start Flossing as well. I saw that happen several times while the boys waited in lines for rides. I guess this is the new dance craze for the kids. The goofy face my son is wearing is intentional. Like I said, boys are silly (goofballs) too. ;)
The kids liked all of the rides they went on that day, but this one is the one they laughed on the most. You could shoot targets for points, and shoot bystanders who were watching as well. If one was unsuspecting, all the better because the ammunition was a stream of water. ;)
More stores lined the way, with lots of goodies for the kids to buy (including some powdered candy my crew went nuts over). It was this display of Star Wars books that made the oldest child among us happy though, and this is where all of his money went (aside from the aforementioned candy).
When it was time to play some games, my son was a very happy camper because he won one of the big stuffies.
He chose Pikachu and I lugged it around while the boys played. It got a front seat ride on the way home, complete with a seatbelt, which made all of the kids giggle. Of course they found a way to incorporate Pikachu into the ride home as well... "Pikachu wants to take a pit stop, he thinks we need drinks," was one example, and well, you get the idea of how that little game went. ;) I told the boys Pikachu was simply tired, and was one of those guys who couldn't help falling asleep instantly on every car ride.
fifty eleven billion times.
The star attraction of the day was the area that held the 350,00 LEGO bricks that were used to make Star Wars items: LEGO Star Wars Miniland.
All of them (except R2D2) were taller than my son.
The displays in this area were thorough and fun!
On the R2D2 display, the boys all added their mini figures for a photo opp (per their request). The mini figures were all earned via trade. The workers wear mini figures on their name badges, and if you approach them, they trade with you. Of course this was a novelty in and of itself, and every time the kids saw a worker they took off running to see if they wanted to make a trade. The stores have boards full of mini figures too, that they will bring out for a trade upon request. After all the trading was said and done, we went home with a fire man (not fireman), a cactus man, and a mini caveman figure with a club.
Darth was pretty awesome earlier in this post, as I mentioned, but he was not too shabby as a LEGO figure either. The builders did such an amazing job with these creations. What a fun job to have, if you have that kind of talent.
These special displays were pretty awesome to visit because they moved, lit up, made noises, etc. This one was on the ground level and dark one minute, and the next it was in the air like this, and all lit up. It was all pretty spectacular.
I'm sure it took a lot of time to put these together, but what a gratifying experience it must have been to see the finished product. This one above went up and down as well, and I love that they added extra touches, like the group of fighters coming out under the wall.
I have a new camera and I played with it a bit to test the special effects. I liked the one in the picture above, and I also like how the photo turned out below.
You can see that a lot of thought went into the building, and everyone who was taking a look at these, had only positive things to say (of course!).
Some displays were small, and others like the one above were a bit larger.
There were information placards in place too, in case you didn't know what it was you were looking at in front of you (though most people instantly knew, especially Star Wars fans).
"LEGO® Star Wars™: The Force Awakens MINILAND Model Display includes six exciting scenes set on the planet of Jakku, from Star Wars: The Force Awakens which include: Kylo Ren’s capture of Poe; Rey’s rescue of BB-8; Poe and Finn’s escape from the Star Destroyer Finalizer; The wreck of Finn and Poe’s TIE Fighter; Rey, Finn and BB-8’s escape from Niima Outpost; and the escape from the Starship Graveyard."
We stayed in this area quite awhile, marveling at the builds that were made. Each of the three children I had along had something to add in terms of ideas of what they might have added were they building as well. Master Builders in the making? Perhaps. :)
It was a wonderful way to spend the weekend, and if you have kids or Star Wars fans in the family I highly recommend it as a place to visit. Hurry though, Star Wars Days are only going for three weekends (March 5-6, 12-13 and 19-20).