LUX­URY AMONG LEGOS

A Cen­tral Florida va­ca­tion des­ti­na­tion built for kids but pleas­ing for adults

RSWLiving - - Contents - BY MANDY CARTER

A Cen­tral Florida va­ca­tion des­ti­na­tion built for kids but pleas­ing for adults

ALEGO-ob­sessed kid or adult will find a dream des­ti­na­tion in Win­ter Haven, just east of Tampa in Cen­tral Florida. LEGOLAND Florida now of­fers two unique ho­tels, a theme park di­vided into themed worlds and a wa­ter park, cre­at­ing an amaz­ing kid-friendly va­ca­tion. There is no longer a need to cram a LEGOLAND trip into one day. Book one of the unique on-site ho­tels to en­joy some adult re­lax­ation and lux­ury amid a world of Legos.

By stay­ing at one of the on-site ho­tels you will en­joy some ex­tra ben­e­fits, in­clud­ing early ac­cess to the amuse­ment park and a com­pli­men­tary break­fast buf­fet. Each re­sort is de­signed with a theme that will ex­cite any kid while cre­at­ing an at­mos­phere of fun, sun and safety to re­lax the par­ents.

WHERE TO REST YOUR HEAD? A BEACH OR A CASTLE— YOU DE­CIDE!

LEGOLAND Beach Re­treat, a vil­lage-style ho­tel, opened in April at LEGOLAND’s Florida Re­sort. First of its kind among the seven LEGOLAND re­sorts world­wide, the Beach Re­treat is a dif­fer­ent ex­pe­ri­ence from the first LEGOLAND Florida ho­tel. The brightly col­ored bun­ga­lows are lo­cated on the shores of Lake Dex­ter, a fresh­wa­ter lake in Cen­tral Florida. The ex­tra­or­di­nary fam­ily va­ca­tion ex­pe­ri­ence be­gins with a drive-through check-in; you re­ceive your room key with­out even get­ting out of the car. When you do step out of the car, you will first no­tice the beau­ti­ful breeze blow­ing off the lake. The ho­tel is di­vided into coves with 83 bun­ga­lows of­fer­ing pri­vate pa­tios, per­fect for en­joy­ing a fam­ily game or morn­ing cof­fee while the kids play on the cove’s play­ground. The beach-like ze­roen­try pool is the spot to be with a large play­ground and ad­ja­cent fenced-in sandy area, pro­vid­ing a great spot for fam­ily fun. Vol­ley­ball, sand cas­tles and swim­ming can all be en­joyed while par­ents re­lax on col­or­ful beach chairs. This pool is a great place to en­joy the trop­i­cal drinks from Bricks Beach Bar while be­ing ex­tremely tod­dler-friendly. The expansive pool full of float­ing

LEGO blocks is shal­low, with three life­guards on duty and life vests avail­able.

If you get enough of the beach at­mos­phere but are look­ing to bring imag­i­na­tion to life, then the five-story LEGO Castle is sure to im­press. While the more ex­pen­sive op­tion, the fun starts the mo­ment you step into the orig­i­nal LEGOLAND Ho­tel. The lobby is a play space for kids, from the gi­ant LEGO pit where they can build away and place their cre­ations on a tro­phy shelf to the enor­mous LEGO castle with the LEGO ogre, drawbridge and play area. The castle and LEGO pit can be seen from the Sky­line Lounge, so par­ents can re­lax over din­ner and a drink while chil­dren

play in view. This ho­tel is the first to have its own Mas­ter Model Builder Work­shop where guests can build ex­clu­sively with Model Builders daily. The in­ter­ac­tive el­e­va­tor to your room cre­ates a ride com­plete with flash­ing col­ored lights, sound ef­fects and mu­sic. Each floor has a ded­i­cated Pi­rate, Ad­ven­ture, King­dom or LEGO Friends theme, which is ev­i­dent ev­ery­where, from the car­pet­ing to the more than 2,000 LEGO mod­els on dis­play, in­clud­ing at least eight in every room.

An overnight stay makes it eas­ier and more re­lax­ing to en­joy ev­ery­thing that the LEGOLAND theme park and wa­ter park has to of­fer. No mat­ter which of the two ho­tels you choose, many ben­e­fits re­main the same, such as early ad­mis­sion to the LEGOLAND theme park, en­abling you to be the first to en­joy many of the pop­u­lar rides, in­clud­ing the new NINJAGO World. There are a num­ber of rides de­signed for preschool­ers up to adults, a va­ri­ety of shows, MINILAND USA and imag­i­na­tion sta­tion where imag­i­na­tion is un­lim­ited. Cy­press Gar­dens is also hid­den in the back but an ex­cel­lent way to take a break from the theme park with a peace­ful stroll in the shade. Through­out the year, a num­ber of spe­cial events take place from hol­i­day spe­cials such as Brick or Treat to the pop­u­lar Star Wars days. In the warmer months, the wa­ter park is the per­fect way to cool off in a safe and fun set­ting of­fer­ing rides and play space for even the youngest vis­i­tor.

LEGOLAND theme parks are rec­om­mended for chil­dren ages 2 to 12. Al­though a lot of the rides and at­trac­tions are too ma­ture for a 2-year-old, some are ab­so­lutely per­fect for tod­dlers. With all the spe­cial kid-fo­cused fea­tures and dé­cor at the two LEGOLAND ho­tels, there is no doubt that this Florida des­ti­na­tion was built for kids with par­ents in mind.

An overnight stay makes it eas­ier and more re­lax­ing to en­joy ev­ery­thing that the LEGOLAND theme park and wa­ter park has to of­fer.

Any LEGO- ob­sessed kid or adult will find a dream des­ti­na­tion in Win­ter Haven, just east of Tampa in Cen­tral Florida.

Bright bun­ga­lows, com­plete with kids' beds pre-checked for mon­sters lurk­ing un­der­neath, can ac­com­mo­date up to five guests. Kids can also add their own LEGO cre­ations to the Light­house.

LEGOLAND Ho­tel ( above) is just out­side LEGOLAND Florida, about an hour east of Tampa. The nexus is built for kids with par­ents in mind.

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