Carlsbad, California, USA
“California’s worst day out”
Legoland has theme parks all over the world and honestly, they all look similar. Exceptions are the beautiful original park in Billund and the desert park in Dubai, but all the other versions have similar themed lands and attractions. This is also true for the park in California, which is located in Carlsbad, approximately 150 kilometres southeast of Los Angeles. At the time it opened in 1999, it was the world’s third Legoland theme park.
Of course Legoland has roller coasters, why else would I be here? The park has a total of three family coasters. The smallest one is called Coastersaurus and it was built by German manufacturer Gerstlauer. It’s just 150 metres long and you shouldn’t ride it if you’re only looking for thrills. Vekoma’s Dragon is definitely more interesting. Despite the fact that it’s less sensational than its namesakes at the parks in Dubai and Malaysia, this ride is perfect for families. The coaster is nice and the ride starts with a well-themed dark ride part. Dragon is undoubtedly my favourite coaster at Legoland California, but it’s not the one with the longest queues. That honour is reserved for Project X, the park’s Mack wild mouse. I love the shape of the vehicles and I recognize Matterhorn Blitz’ fine layout, but that’s the only positive news. Theming is nonexistent, the queue moves very slowly and the trains move even slower: this could easily be the most boring wild mouse on Earth.
It’s Legoland… so very few things are unique. I like the park’s signature jet ski carousel and Lost Kingdom Adventure (an interactive dark ride) is okay, but most rides seem to be copy-pasted from other resorts. The best part of Legoland California is actually Miniland, a themed land which is dedicated to huge Lego structures. Artists have rebuilt famous landmarks in Lego bricks and the focus is clearly on West Coast sights. I’m able to spot the San Francisco skyline, lots of well-known Las Vegas casinos, the landmarks of Hollywood and much more.
WORTH A VISIT?
In all honesty: I wouldn’t recommend this park. It’s expensive and you can find tons of better theme parks within reasonable driving distance. Most parks in the Los Angeles area offer more value for money than this place. I liked Legoland Billund, but all the other Legoland parks just fail to impress me. I admit that we visited Legoland California on a crazy busy day and this certainly plays a role in my bad experience, but still… I’d recommend spending your day at the nearby SeaWorld San Diego or at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim.
Photo Gallery 2012
Does this park offer California’s worst theme park experience? Would you come here for three mediocre roller coasters? Or did I just pick a wrong day and do you actually like this place? Share your opinion in the comments section below!