The newest of the Legoland theme parks in the United States is only a five-hour drive from Montreal, New York. And it’s an unmissable and memorable stop for all Lego fans, big or small.
Whether it’s their destination or a detour on the way to the Big Apple, anyone who has ever been caught up in the Lego universe (or who has just discovered it) will have hours of fun. Legoland is just one turn off Highway 87, just before the New Jersey border. Opened in October 2019, it is the newest and largest of the Lego theme parks in the United States, built on the model of those that already exist in Florida and California. It is also the closest to Quebec since the Lego Entertainment Centers (Discovery Center) of Toronto and Boston are very different in terms of the offer of rides.
There are of course the classics – the carousel, the train, coated with the Duplo universe of Lego –, perfect for toddlers. Roller coasters for the older ones, flying wizard rides, a pirate ship. And all kinds of challenges and game modules in the Ninjago universe. In summer, there is also the wave pool and water games to cool off. But the long queues leave no doubt as to the great popularity of the must-sees of the place: the driving school, where children take the wheel of small cars on a circuit, the fire station, where you have to direct your truck to put out a fire with a water hose, or the coast guard academy, where you learn to maneuver a boat. If you really want to try everything (and take pictures alongside all the Lego reproductions of your favorite characters), you need at least two days to really enjoy it.
The park is open at all times, but be aware that if the rides are unavailable for more than two hours at a time due to rain, you may be entitled to valid access for another day. That said, we ended up at the park on a drizzly day and were able to enjoy the rides with no problem. Otherwise, you can have fun sheltered from the rain in many places of the park since a large number of indoor activities are offered, including a merry-go-round that follows an incredible route through a virtual Lego factory. There is also a cinema where short Lego movies are shown at various times of the day. In short, you never get bored, even on a rainy day. And when it comes time to eat, you won’t find big chains, but plenty of choice (pasta, pizza, tacos, sandwiches, pastries, desserts…).
Walking through the park is a real treat for the eyes; there are Lego constructions literally everywhere, some more impressive than the others. Something to dream about… Just before the exit of the park, miniature cities like New York, Las Vegas, Washington (and even Mount Rushmore) were reproduced with thousands of small bricks. Each section of the park also has its own area where kids (and their parents!) can help build a castle or a pirate ship, or let their imagination run wild by dipping into bowls full of coins of all kinds. You can even sign up for workshops, divided by age groups, to learn how to build a Lego robot or perform all kinds of challenges for true enthusiasts.
If you want to afford the total and be close to the amusement park to arrive in time for the countdown before the opening, you can sleep at the Legoland hotel, right next door. Each night entitles you to one day at the theme park (breakfast included). And the experience is frankly amazing. Each floor has a theme – Ninjago, pirates, Friends, princesses and knights – and the rooms are fully decorated, down to the smallest detail, in addition to being supplied with building blocks. There’s even an in-room scavenger hunt upon arrival. In the hotel lobby, the little ones can also enjoy the play module surrounded by pools filled with Lego blocks.