If you have a lego fanatic (and doesn’t everyone have at least one in the family?) LEGOLAND Atlanta at Phipps Plaza is going to be nirvana for them. Here’s what my uber-lego fans found.
LEGOLAND Discovery Center Atlanta
LEGOLAND Atlanta is a 30,000 square-foot interactive attraction with 11 distinct play centers. The recommended time limit is two hours, but I had to drag my children out after almost three. Our visit was during a media preview, so we did not have the crowds that I would expect – especially during the first few months. Tickets are timed and they only allow a limited number of people in each hour to help avoid over-crowding. You’ll want to order online beforehand (bonus, it’s cheaper online). Tickets are less after 4 pm, which means they expect crowds to diminish during that time. Below is a mini-tour of the facility to get you prepared for a fun visit.
LEGO Factory Tour – See How LEGOs are Made
As we walked in, we were greeted by the LEGO Master Build who showed us how the LEGO is built. It was a great way to learn and peek inside how this little brick becomes one of the most popular toys on the planet. It’s also a nifty way to space out guests coming into the attraction. Interactive stations teach kids how their favorite building toy is mixed, molded, painted and generally produced. Here guests can measure their height and weight in LEGO bricks!
Kingdom Quest – Fun Interactive Ride
There are two ‘rides’ at LEGOLAND Discovery Center. Kingdom Quest is my favorite. It’s similar to Buzz Lightyear at Walt Disney World, where you shoot laser guns at targets to garner points. In Kingdom Quest, join the Good King’s army and step into your chariot then ride off into battle against the evil skeletons and giant trolls.
There are target symbols on real displays, but the targets within the mini-videos were a little harder to determine for me, my children however got the hang of it right away. To really score big in Kingdom Quest, you need to know what to shoot. LEGOLAND Atlanta staff are quite knowledgeable, but are also tight lipped on what to look for on the ride.
Here are some tips to Score Big on Kingdom Quest at LEGOLAND Discovery Center.
All it takes to score big on the Kingdom Quest ride at LEGOLAND Discovery Center is knowing what to look for an paying attention. I improved my score quite a bit just knowing a few of these tips. Let us know what it does for your tally.
Pay Attention to the Posters on the Wall and the videos. Not only do these help pass the time while you wait for the ride, they offer clues to what you’ll be looking for in each vignette and what items carry the most points. Pay attention to the posters on the wall in the Kingdom Quest line. They offer clues to what you need to shoot to garner points.
Sit in the Back. The back of the car gives you the best chance to keep shooting the Ogre, even after the car has pasted the vignette.
Shoot the Ogre. The most points are on the Ogre. As you enter the ride, your car will stop on the first screen, but you can see the Ogre in the vignette to your left; don’t worry about the first screen, just keep shooting the Ogre. His head is worth 2,000 points and his waist is worth 1,000.
Shoot the Crystals. The next video screen is a mine scene. Shoot the crystals in the mine. Generally, the objects at the top of the screen are going to be worth more points.
Shoot the Rat. On the third video screen, (the one with all the skeletons) shoot the rat that comes across the bottom of the screen. He is worth 4500 points. Note: The rat is quick. You have to be looking for him as soon as you see this screen or you’ll miss him. He scurries across from right to left.
Shoot the Bats. The bats in the trees offer quite a few points as well.
Free the Princess. Points here are given for the crystals, but if you want to free the princess, shoot the dynamite inside the cart on the right hand side. Then shoot the cart and the dynamite reappears. Keep going back and forth. Shoot the cart and dynamite five times and the ogre will throw a rock at you. As his does, you’ll see dynamite in the left corner behind the Ogre’s arm. Shoot it and the princess is free.
LEGOLAND Discovery Center: Funny Things that won’t gain you points
If you aren’t worried about scoring Big on Kingdom Quest at LEGOLAND Discovery Center, but do want to see what to make some fun things happen, here are some suggestions.
- Bounce the Goblets. On the first video screen, shoot the goblets and they’ll bounce around the table.
- Shake the spiders. On the second video screen, shoot the spiders and they fall down and shake, then re-appear.
- Shoot the treasure chest. On the screen in the forest, shoot the treasure chest and it will continue to throw out things. First it’s coins, but as you keep shooting it, you’ll get cups, turkey legs, bones and who knows what else.
- Shoot the bats, not the dragon. In the final screen, shoot the bats in the trees and they fly everywhere.
Know other ways to gain points or just make cool stuff happen? Let us know in the comments.
Miniland – Awesome Atlanta’s Landmarks
It fun to check out different Atlanta’s landmarks from the Varsity, Turner Field, Fox Theatre, Stone Mountain and many in miniature. Kids enjoy this area, but adults will love it, and could spend quite a bit of time taking in all the details of Atlanta’s landmarks depicted in nearly 1 million LEGO bricks.
During the day, take in an Atlanta Brave’s game. As nightfall approaches, watch the fireworks against Stone Mountain. Similar to a miniature train exhibit, there are buttons on certain sites that allow you to interact with the scene. Look closely, there’s a lot to see in here. The window washers on the Westin Peachtree Plaza actually go up and down.
The other ride in LEGOLAND Discovery Center apart from Kingdom Quest is Merlin’s Apprentice. It was not your typical sit down and enjoy kind of ride. You will have to work out your legs. The faster you peddle, the higher you go up!
There are only six cars for this ride, so a maximum of 12 people ride at a time. I anticipate this ride will have a long wait given the amount of time it takes to load, so if you don’t see a lot of folks waiting, head here.
LEGO Racers: Build & Test
This is where my boys spent most of their time. In fact, all the boy moms seemed to be hanging out in this area – apparently mine aren’t the only ones who like to build and race their own cars. Given the amount of dads in the area playing, I’d say this is a hit for any male, regardless of age.
There are three tracks. One test track where you can time your vehicle – very similar to a Pinewood Derby race and two large sloped roadways, which seemed to be more a test of whether or not your vehicle would stay together.
Earthquake Table – Fun for Dads (& Kids)
Next to the LEGO Racers is a shaking earthquake table. Build your tower as tall as you like, then press a button and see if it can withstand the earthquake! This is another popular area for dads, as they try to see if their building will stand the Earthquake test on this table. It’s definitely a challenge to build a tall building that doesn’t crumble after the table shake.
This area is for the youngest LEGO fan. It has a small slide and an area for little ones to crawl away from the bigger kids. There are even big DUPLO bricks to play with. This section is right off the Cafe, making it the perfect place for adults to grab a seat and a drink and watch the little ones.
LEGO Friends Olivia’s House
This is obviously the “girl area” as it is all pink and full of LEGO Friends bricks. There is a karaoke stage where you can build your own microphone and perform. I missed that, but perhaps it was because it looked too calm over there with the nice tables and little girls playing quietly and neatly with their LEGOS.
Pirate Adventure Island
Families can explore treasure island themed build spaces to create their own LEGO sandcastle or treasure map, construct a LEGO pirate ship and set sail through an aquatic obstacle course and battle fellow shipmates by setting off air cannons. The new exhibit will have a soft play element and send guests on a pirate adventure as they climb the rigging walk the plank, capture the flag!
LEGO 4D Cinema
We also enjoyed watching the LEGO 4D movie, usually you’ll have three to choose from and the titles will change. We caught Clutch Powers. It was cute. I won’t ruin it for you, but will say, you might want to put your cameras and electronics away before the show starts. You don’t want them to get wet. The theatre is small, so judge the crowds to determine how early you need to go and wait for the doors to open.
A visit to LEGOLAND Discovery Center Atlanta takes about 2 hours to truly enjoy everything. However, it all depends on your family because we were there for 3 hours and didn’t want to leave.
LEGOLAND Discovery Center Atlanta Party Rooms
LEGOLAND Discovery Center has two private party rooms. It’s recommended that you make reservations at least six month in advance if you’d like to have a party here.
LEGOLAND Discovery Center Activity Pack
On a recent trip to LEGOLAND Discovery Center I noticed some stamp stations around the attraction and wondered why they were there. It turns out LEGOLAND Discovery Center has an activity pack that can be purchased for $4, in addition to the regular ticket price. The activity pack is a collection of cards secured to a lanyard that goes around a children’s neck. Collect all the stamps located around the attraction in your activity pack and get a collectible medallion. Medallions change monthly and can be traded like pins with employees or other guests.
The kids enjoyed running around to get the stamps and of course were excited to get the medallion. Some of the activities are interactive with LEGOLAND Discovery Center, for instance, the scavenger hunt of mini-land is a great way to take a closer look at the details of this huge LEGO diorama of Atlanta, and the Build and Test page encourages you to record your fastest times on the track. Several of the activities were things that could be done anytime, like a word scramble or search and find.
The problem with the activity pack is once you’ve done it, there isn’t much incentive to do it again, other than to collect new medallions. In addition, some of the activities, like the crossword, seem like things that might be included in the LEGO magazine that you can pick up for free.
Bottom line, it was a fun activity once, and an inexpensive souvenir of a trip to LEGOLAND Discovery Center, but I probably wouldn’t spend the $4 more than once. I love the idea of collecting the medallions, but there just isn’t enough in the activity pack to make it worthwhile and the medallions aren’t the same quality of a pin, which, in my mind, makes them less desirable as a collectible.
Tips for Family visiting LEGOLAND Discovery Center Atlanta
- Purchase tickets online to get a discount. This also provides you with an entry time which will guarantee entry for you and your family.
- Both rides inside LEGOLAND have minimum height requirements of 3 feet. Kids who is under 4 feet must be accompanied by an adult.
- There is no food or drink allowed inside the center. However, they do have a cafe where you can purchase food and drink. The cute kids meal comes in a LEGO lunch box.
- All adults must be accompanied by kids to enter LEGOLAND Discovery Center. If you want to come as an adult, check out their website for adult only events.
- Don’t miss LEGOLAND Toddler Time every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at 10am. LEGOLAND Discovery Center hosts a special toddler program, featuring guided play and story time in the Duplo village. Adult and child tickets are $12 each. Tickets are only available online.