Day 20 | Legoland, San Diego

An early start was required as we had to travel to California Legoland in San Diego! The trip takes about 90 minutes and the park opens at 10.00am so we are targeting an 8.30am departure. A quick breakfast followed by a race through the shower, and then we all stopped for the current “Judge Judy” and argue with each other over both sides.

First out of the hotel with the car retrieved by the valet-guy (this is great!). The traffic is heavy but we don’t have a problem now, squeezing out into the commuters on their way onto the city. People are very polite and if they see you coming out they let you go. Not like at home where they assume the thousand-yard-stare and act like they can’t see you.

The first thing that Angus said once we got into the traffic was “where’s my bag?”, yep, we had left our water stash bag at the Hotel and decided to just abandon it as our early start was now 9.00am. The water at the parks is usually quite expensive (like $2-$3.5) but you also have to queue for it which may cut into the riding time. Never mind, onwards.

On the way down there are a couple of fantastic Pacific views. There was a little fog today so unfortunately didn’t see them to their full potential.

We arrived at about 10.40am which is okay and raced around the car park (we resisted the VIP and valet options) and made our way to the entrance. In through the gates we started with a fairly tame ride and it became apparent that the thrill ride part of the park was thrilling for the younger members of the attendees. McKay decided that he wouldn’t ride on anything that allowed people under 40 inches (about a metre) to ride. When he got in he was like Melvin, the Madagascar Giraffe folding into the seat before being clamped in by the teenage operator.

The one major exception to the rides was this one called the Joust. You told the operator what level of joust you wanted (1-5). The two riders get strapped in to these seats mounted on a swiveling robot arm. The arm lifts and shakes and stops you upside down, etc. The joust connection is not clear but the higher the level the higher the acceleration. O’Regan and Angus opted for the level 4 and some of the moves literally sucked the breath out of you. Good ride.

There was a miniature world Lego display, which is what this park is all about. There are areas of Washington, New Orleans, Las Vegas and San Francisco (which we are familiar with) and a couple of others. The models were really good but some of the animatronics parts weren’t going. Never mind, the sheer scale of the rest of the model was outstanding. Taj Mahal, Sydney Opera House, Guggenheim. Amazing.

There was also a factory display and an opportunity to make your own kits and purchase parts. Both boys spent ages in here choosing particular parts they never have enough of. O’Regan also bought some Lego sets as they were much much cheaper than back home.

There is a water park as part of the place but it was only upper 20 degC so none of us were keen to get wet. Like noted before, an outstanding place for littler kids than we have. In a lighter note we were examining a sand model on a Star Wars theme with a temporary fence around it. McKay leaned way back and leaned on the fence and staggered back towards the display, holding the collapsed fence. Luckily he pulled up short of stomping all over the display, phew.

Anyway, that was Legoland, less thrilling but more interesting, really well put together and very impressive. On the way back to LA we stopped at a Sears (at a Carlsbad mall) and a Ralphs supermarket and a bite to eat at Taco Bell. We rolled in to the Hollywood Hilton for an early night. Tomorrow, we fly back to Australia.

Highlights of the day:

O’Regan – buying armour, sword and shield at Legoland. 
McKay – riding the dragon ride at Legoland. 
Angus – the model city at Legoland. 
Rosie – watching Angus and O’Regan on the Joust ride. Of course more shopping.

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