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Saturday, December 8, 2012

Lego Christmas

Even though there is so much to do here at the Villages, there are also a lot of interesting and fun activities a short distance away. Central Florida has a number of parks and attractions, and most of them offer deeply discounted resident and/or senior annual passes.  We have taken advantage of this for several of our favorite parks.

On Friday, we drove down to LegoLand to see what they have done in the way of Christmas decorations.  The annual pass for this park for seniors (60+) is just double the price of a one-day pass.  We bought our passes right after I turned 60 this summer. This is already the third time we have gone, so we have gotten our money's worth.

LegoLand is on the site that used to be Cyprus Gardens.  A small portion of the park is still maintained with the original garden paths and gazebo, so there is a section to get away from the crowds and enjoy nature.  Instead of the live women who used to walk around dressed as southern bells, there are 2 life-size lego southern bells near the entrance of the nature path.

The rest of the park consists of Miniland, shops, and various games and rides with the same theme as some of the popular Lego kits. Miniland is a section where small versions of various cities such as New York, Las Vegas, Miami, and San Francisco have been created.  A new section (or at least one we didn't notice before) has wonderful recreations of scenes from Star Wars.  

At the entrance to Miniland, there is a sign inviting you to see how many Santas you can find in the Miniland displays.  We found 2, but we didn't look real hard.  I remember there was a scavenger hunt for something else in the displays the last time we came, so this must be something they to all the time, changing with the season.

The ride areas are divided by theme. There is a techno area with a kid's driving school, flying school, boat rides and a show on being a fireman.  There is a jungle area where the ride consists of jeeps on a "safari" to see life-size Lego animals.  In the Medieval theme area there are playgrounds and a jousting ride.   For really young kids there is a farmyard playground.   What used to be a water ski show with girls in bathing suits is now a pirate show with Lego costumed skiers.   It is a lot of fun watching the children, seeing the Lego creations, and just enjoying a nice walk through the park. 

The shop area is decorate for Christmas.  There is a large (20 ft?) Lego Christmas tree with Lego ornaments, several full-size Lego Snowmen, and Christmas lights and garlands on the stores.  In other areas they have put out lots of poinsettias.  

Walking through this park always makes us wish we were kids again, or at least had a kid we could take with us to enjoy it all.  Nieces and nephews with young children, are you listening?  Come visit us and we'll take you there.  It's only a 2 hour ride from our house.

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