After being delayed due to Covid, Legoland NY officially opened July 9, 2021. With my eight year old niece visiting in August, I planned a visit for the day.
The first stage of buying tickets found that it was not inexpensive. You need to purchase tickets in advance as they are date based and you must visit on the day you have purchased the ticket for. Currently the price is $80 for adults and $70 for children. It took a bit of time searching online but I did finally come across a code for a free child admission with the purchase of an adult ticket. I would have gone anyway but the discount was nice to have.
You also have the option to pre-pay for parking. Parking is $20 in advance and $27 on the day of. Definitely pre-pay for parking. I will explain the parking situation later but besides saving a little bit, it will make your departure so much easier if you pre-pay.
The park opened at 10 am. We arrived at 9:30 and there were already some guests in front of the gates. We made our way over there and found some photo ops available in the area in front of the gates.
At 9:45 am, the model citizens (that is the term for Legoland employees) did a little opening song and started to allow guests through the gates in the main courtyard area. There were restrooms, the big gift shop and a grab n go food / drink area. There were also some more photo ops in that area and Lady Liberty was out for photos as well.
From the courtyard area, you can either go left or right. The park is one big loop. It is also one big hill. So you may enjoy the downhill at first but you will be coming back uphill eventually. I checked my Apple Watch and it was a little over 2 miles all the way around.
If you go left, you will get to the first themed area that is Bricktopia. In this areas is one of the popular rides, the Lego Factory tour. If you go to the right, you go into Miniland which is a walk through area where different cities are built out of Lego.
My instinct was to go to the left and do the popular ride at opening when it isn't as busy. However, I had read a few trip reports online that suggested doing the Miniland first so that by the time you got all the way around to Bricktopia in the afternoon, it would not be crowded. I hadn't really decided what do but what ended up happening was that it was still before 10 am and the left side wasn't open yet. But you could start walking through the Miniland on the right so that is what we did. It really worked out great for us but it also was not very crowded at all on this day. On a weekend, I am not sure if it is still the best plan.
Miniland was my favorite part of the park. Besides the fact that everything was Lego, there were so many fun details to spot. I could have spent a lot more time there but I had an 8 year old that was anxious to get on the rides. Here are just a few photos.
From here we made our way through the other lands. The areas are Pirates, City, Castle, Ninjago and Bricktopia. The highlight for my niece was driving a Lego car on the city streets and then getting her drivers license. (Each child gets a little drivers license card for free. The license and lanyard were $27. )
My favorite attraction was the 4D movie. It was funny and had a lot of "4D" effects.
There are plenty of Lego figures around in all the areas. Again I was impressed by the details.
Be sure to check your child's height. Under 52 inches means that they will need to ride with an adult. This is the case for the main rides.
Let's talk food. I already knew where I wanted to eat. We started with a snack of apple fries. Yes, these are apples cut like French fries, battered and fried. You can get them with ice cream but we went with just the standard fries with whipped cream and a little cup of caramel sauce. They were yummy!
For lunch, we went to Smokey's Brick-B-Q. You have a few options for different bbq meats and sides. There are also chicken tenders and fries for kids. I got the brisket with mac n cheese and fries. The brisket was really good. It was fork tender and had great flavor. The mac n cheese was also really good. Fries were pretty standard. You could definitely share this meal.
There is also a pizza buffet and another place with your standard burgers and nuggets. I also noticed that each area had a smaller snack bar. As far as drinks, you can purchase bottled beverages or there is a refillable mug system. There are multiple freestyle Coke machine areas around the park.
Of course there is a big gift shop. There were a lot of Lego kits available. My niece did a "build your own" mini figure set in one of the smaller gift shops.
If you are a fan of Lego Masters (which I am), definitely go into the big gift shop. They have the winning build from Season one on display.
We had made our way all the way around the park by 1:30 pm. It was really not crowded at all. The longest we ever waited was 10 minutes. I have seen other guests report long lines on the weekends so I would be prepared for that.
There is a "Fastpass" / virtual queue type system set up there called Reserve n Ride. It is a bit confusing. It is not through the Lego app but it is a separate website. However, you need to create an account with the same email you used to purchase your tickets. There is a paid version but that was not available on the day we visited. There is also a free version. At 10 am, I was able to activate the free version for us. However throughout the day, it was never available. My guess is that it was not busy enough today for them to activate the system.
Now for parking. As I mention you should pre-pay your parking. As we walked out of the park, I saw a few signs that said Stop at Guest Services or the Ticket Booth to Pay for your Parking. I saw the signs...but I could easily see them being missed. When you get to the exit there are lanes with machines and gates that are down. For me, it was easy. Scanned the QR code on my prepaid voucher and the gate opened. However, I could see guests getting there without paying and needing assistance which would back up the exit, especially on busy days.
Overall we had a fun day. I would recommend a weekday if you can. I would not say that the rides are worth more than a 10-15 minute wait. I would think the lines are much longer on the weekends.
The Legoland Hotel actually opens tomorrow. My niece was eyeing that up already for next year!
I have been a huge Disney and travel fan since childhood. I love going to new places and, of course, heading to Disney as often as I can.