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Friday, March 7, 2014

Legoland Discovery Centre in Vaughan Ontario

Yesterday we swung down to the Legoland  Discovery Centre in Vaughan Ontario.

Oops sorry after we took the picture we saw this sign so I don't recommend you allowing your children to swing on it but it was fun while it lasted.

This wrecking ball's proper purpose I guess is to build a tower and knock it down with the ball but my girls had little interest in that. They did however LoVe the play ground area which I'll talk a bit more about later. For now lets head back to the beginning.

Legoland Discovery Centre Map over view
Source
*this post is based on my opinion of our experience while visiting here. I have not been compensated in any way for this post. I merely want to share our experience with you both the positive and the negative.

We visited Legoland Discovery Centre as part of a homeschool group fieldtrip so when we arrived we lined up and went in to the first room in a group of about 25.

This first room was a Lego factory tour which explored how Lego bricks were made. From my reading THIS on their website before going I thought it was an actual tour of making real bricks. Their website said you could create your own brick at the end of a guided tour.

We didn't receive a tour and we didn't make a real brick. We entered the room which was a playroom basically to explore how bricks were made. My girls did enjoy this room but it was not what I expected. As you enter on your right there were a few white lab coats but we didn't notice them until we were about to leave the room when I looked backwards (no photo sorry).

While in this room we learned how to mix the pellets that make the blocks, how the molds form the blocks, how many Lego bricks we weigh, and had a lot of fun designing Lego patterns on tablets.

Outside this room we saw a board that said Stamp Station. I asked a staff member and apparently you can buy an activity book that comes on a lanyard to learn about Lego and collect the stamps as you go to each station. I wasn't about to buy one so I gave Sierra an envelope I had in my purse and she collected her stamps on it (for some reason she really liked this Lego block stamp).

Thankfully I did not spend the $5 on a booklet as half the stamp boards we found did not work. They either had dried up ink or the wrong stamp attached to them. For the cost of admission I think Legoland could cough up even just a photo copied page to collect the stamps on.

From here we went to the Kingdom Quest Laser Ride. This was a fairly short ride but it was a lot of fun. It's very similar to the Buzz Light year Auto Blasters game at Disney. I have no pictures as the hallway leading to it was fairly dark and we weren't permitted to take pictures on the ride.

This ride does take pictures for you to purchase. There was no one at the desk on any of the times we went on it so I have no idea how much they cost to buy. We wouldn't have purchased one anyway but they are always fun to look at when exiting a ride (the desk was unmanned so we didn't get to see ours even).

This is beginning to sound like a negative post...we did enjoy our time spent here overall so please keep reading.

After riding this a few times we headed through MINILAND. It was very interesting to see how the Ontario landscapes were constructed with Lego pieces.

Through out this area there were interactive areas. Here Aayla is playing baseball pinball. It reminded me of the old Atari baseball games.
 Here Sierra is operating a crane.




There was also a search and find...you had to try to find these two mini-figures hidden in the display which houses over 3000 mini-figures. We found a couple different sets that looked very similar but we aren't 100% sure we found the actual pair.

From here we headed out into the middle area which housed the rest of the activities within the Legoland Discovery Centre.

We all enjoyed building and racing Lego vehicles at the Lego Racers Build and Test area in the centre. We came back to this area many times throughout our 5 hours stay.



We would all play here then run and try some other areas, come back here and build and race a new car, then go off again. There was a great selection of bricks but limited wheels.

My girls spent a lot of time in the Lego Fire Academy play centre. It's an indoor playground...not huge but big enough to provide a lot of fun. This is probably my least favourite part of Legoland...the girls love it but if I'm to be honest...indoor playgrounds are so boring waiting for them to finish up! You do need socks for this so make sure you wear or bring socks. If you happen to forget they do sell socks in the gift shop for $1 I believe.

Other areas within Legoland are:

Merlins Apprentice Ride where you had to pedal to lift your seats up high in the air otherwise you go round and round low to the ground. Younger children are not permitted on this ride. There is a minimum height requirement of 90cm and anyone under 120 cm's has to ride with an adult. The excitement level of this ride lasted for a couple turns each. FYI if you have just been playing somewhere without your shoes...put them back on before lining up to this ride as you MUST wear shoes on it and after waiting we had to leave, get our shoes and return to line again.


Lego friends Area where there was a house area set up and you could create and cook your Lego creations.


In this area Aayla developed a love for karaoke even though she made up her own songs she sang. She had a blast wiggling her butt and dancing up a storm while singing.

I added in a pizza picture to the above collage as we headed to lunch right after this and the way Aayla ate her pizza makes me smile. She was covered in sauce by the time she was done. We purchased our lunch through the group and received a personal size pizza, chips and a juice box for $5. They do not allow food to be brought in (the exception is for allergies) and they do not allow in or out privileges. Once you leave you can not come back in. Their Cafe area sold pizza slices for $3.00 or a whole pizza for $21. I believe they had a few other choices like hot dogs but I didn't look into the pricing as we pre-purchased our meals.

The Earthquake tables were kind of fun. Here you had to build a tower as stable as you could so when the table was turned on to wiggle it would withstand the motion and remain intact. Ian tried to stabilize up the girls tall tower but inevitably collapsed fairly quickly.

The 4D Cinema was a short cute film. Sierra was amazed when we got sprinkled on and when it snowed on us. We watched a movie called Clutch Power (I think). They show 4 different short movies but this was the only one we saw.

When we went on our 4 1/2 month Maiden Voyage in our RV the girls collected pressed pennies. Since Canada no longer makes pennies they make the penny tokens now. You put your money in, it spits your money back and a token out to you. You then put your money and token in the press machine, choose your image, pay, then turn the crank to press your penny.

One cool feature that Legoland offers is if you bring in a mini-figure you can exchange it with a staff member. If you see a mini-figure on a staff members name tag that you want you can ask them to trade. Your mini-figure does need to be complete. Ours were hat/hairless and were lucky that a staff member traded with us as we over heard a different staff member say he couldn't trade as his figure was incomplete without a hat.
 Here is the mini-figure both Sierra and Aayla received for their individual trade.

A few other pictures for our day:
Sierra liked this Merlin made of Lego and spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out how it was made. She explored and examined the whole statue.



On your way out you of course walk through their gift shop. Our favourite spot here is the build a bag lego wall. You fill one of the yellow bags for $14. This allows you to buy sizes and colours of bricks you need.
We didn't purchase anything this time. We did enquire about Mincraft Lego Mini-Figures but they didn't have any. They did have one Minecraft set.

but it was a tiny box for $42 so we left without anything. The staff did say that Lego is planning on building new Minecraft sets with actual Mini-Figures but they haven't yet so that is something to look forward to.

 Then it was time to head for home but not before playing on this Lego wall for a bit.
So overall we had a great day. We spent about 5 hours here for a homeschool group cost of $34 (plus $15 for lunch) which is a significant discount from regular fees. HERE is their fee schedule. We were happy with the amount of money we paid today but I think their regular prices are very expensive. Personally we would not attend paying their regular fees. We have travelled all over Canada and the US and have visited many children's museums, play places, aquariums and zoos and have had our money stretch much farther in other places. that being said our girls had a great time. I just found their adult admission prices especially high. So...our repeat visit will only happen if we find another group going in the years to come.

We had fun meeting up with old friends and new friends and re-meeting friends we've met before but I didn't recognize...sorry Jen :)

Have you been to a Legoland Discovery Centre? What did you think? Was it fun? Did you feel like you got your moneys worth?