We live in Northern California and the hotel is in Southern California. That means it's a pretty hefty drive. We headed out and drove the 8 hours, knowing (per our check in info) that we wouldn't be able to check in until 4pm. We pulled up to the Hotel at 10am. The plan was to park the car and head to LEGOLAND until our room was ready.
We pulled up at the gate and the gate attendant was awesome! She greeted us and welcomed us to the LEGOLAND Hotel. She asked about our day and I told her we had been driving (with the birthday boy and his friend) in the back seat since 2am. She wished him a happy birthday and asked if we were going to hang out by the pool until check in....if our room wasn't ready. Wait, what? That's an option? She said oh absolutely! She did her magical stuff in the computer with my name, gave us the valet ticket in case we wanted to take an advantage of the FREE valet parking and send us on our way to start our adventure!
We drive down the lane and pull up in front of the hotel. I don't care how old you are....you WILL be impressed with the awesomeness that is the main entrance to the hotel. We decided to just go and self park since it was going to be a while until we could check in.
We grabbed a few things and headed to the lobby. The whole experience of walking in is something extraordinary! This is when you notice (if you're not completely awe stuck) that no detail has been missed.
I headed to the counter to do a pre-check in. If you get there before your room is ready they will do a pre-check in and call you when it is available. Well, we actually didn't have to take advantage of that amazing service because our room was already available! Oh....ok.....wasn't expecting that!
The girl at the front desk gave us our VIP wrist bands for the kids to get into the park early the next morning. She gave the little dude a button to wear that had his name and NEW age on it and gave each of the boys a sheet and pencil for the scavenger hunt.
The boys took their sheets, we rant down to the room to check it out and started the scavenger hunt. You have to do that in order to get the combination to open the safe full of goodies in your room! So that was the first order of business! Once they got the combo there were Lego goodies for each of them in the safe!
|Rum punch by the pool|
|Swim up movies on Friday and Saturday nights|
The hotel offers pool side movies on the weekends. Since we were spent we went back to the room but the kids were able to watch the movie from our patio.
I forgot to mention that there are character meet and greet opportunities in the hotel every afternoon as well! (see our friendly pirate captain to the left).
In between the pool and the movie we decided to go get some grub! We headed on down to Bricks Restaurant, located in the hotel. We had purchased the meal 4 pack with the room so this was part of our deal.
Now here's where I would normally get all freaky......EATING OUT AT A HOTEL BUFFET WITH CELIAC. Ugh. What I haven't mentioned is when I made our reservations I emailed the hotel and they put me in contact with the head chef. He emailed me back, gave me his cell phone number and told me that majority of their items are gluten free and that he or any other chef available, would be able to walk around with me and point out what was safe for me. They take precautions to avoid cross contamination and if there wasn't anything that looked good to me they would gladly make something, gluten free, for me. He assured me that they work with food allergies intolerances and other issues daily. I wasn't certain when I was going through the buffet so I was asking the people at each station what was safe. They were knowledgeable and happily pointed out to me what was safe and let me know if they were bringing out other options shortly. More than once I was asked if they could prepare me anything else. I declined, but it was so sweet of them to offer. They had many options throughout the hotel that were celiac safe for me. (I'll talk about changes made in the park in my upcoming LEGOLAND post too.....they've done ALOT for us GF folks!)
We went back to Bricks the next morning for breakfast before we checked out. Breakfast was fantastic and I had the same sort of experience as I did with dinner. When I asked what items were safe they were happy to help and I had more than one offer to make me something special.
Now remember, if you are planning on going to LEGOLAND over and over a Merlin Pass is totally the way to go. This pass saved us money on our hotel stay, food and purchases in the park and hotel and also got our 2 extra guests in for free with the annual guest passes they send out. This is how we were able to make this an absolutely epic birthday trip and take little dudes bestie for FREE. Check out my previous post for info about the discounts from these passes
Things to remember:
- Each room has room for 3 kids (or more depending on which room you boo)
- There are 2, yes TWO, happy hours in the Skyline Café each night
- There is a pit of bricks to build with and the creations can be displayed all day
- There is an interactive Pirate Ship in the lobby
- There is a store that has a little of everything in the hotel lobby
- You CAN charge items to your room so you don't have to pack anything around with you
- Towels are provided at the pool for no extra charge
- Nightly entertainment is provided in the hotel for the kids
- Birthday button, card, greetings, songs and a piece of cake are provided to your birthday kiddo (no extra fee)
- Lego goodies are in each room, for each child
- Snacks and beverages in the room are free of charge
Is it a little pricey? Yep, but it's cheaper than Disney....great for your Lego maniac and is a truly magical experience! Will I go back? ABSOLUTELY!!!! I'm planning right now and will be booking our next trip soon. We love LEGOLAND and now we're absolutely in love with the Hotel as well.
If you have any questions about the hotel let me know! I researched the heck our of things before we booked. I can tell you how to swing a discount (there are several ways) and tell you the cheapest way to get your grub on in the hotel as well! I'm a frugal mama and our vacations are NOT immune from my cheapiness!
Now please link up your Friday blog! I'll leave it open for a week so don't feel rushed! Have a fantastic 4th of July!!!!