Didn’t it feel like it was announced years ago? Well, despite the COVID complications, LEGOLAND New York is open and ready for you to have a bricktastic day!
/edit Jan. 22, 2023 – LEGOLAND has announced a new Water Playground in time for Labor Day this year. “LEGO lovers can build and race boats, shoot down four water slides, and get drenched by an enormous 318-gallon water bucket,” according to Hudson Valley Living. They also announced that on March 31, they will be opening a Certified Autism Center. “Every ride in the park will be posted with a sensory guide, forewarning of stimuli like bright lights and loud sounds to which guests with autism may be averse. In a case where a guest needs a moment away from all the excitement at LEGOLAND, the park offers a quiet room outfitted with ‘weighted blankets, dim lighting, and tactile toys.”
I’ve been on LEGOLAND New York’s mailing list since I heard they were coming to the state and finally, after months of waiting, it paid off! I got the announcement that they were doing a few weeks of previews for a discounted rate. By previews, they mean a dress rehearsal. Not all of the rides, foods, and attractions may be open, there may be some closures, things that don’t look their best, and in this case construction on their seventh world that isn’t open quite yet. During previews, tickets for 13+ are $49.99, ages 3-12 are $44.99, and ages under 3 are free. To compare prices, according to LEGOLAND Florida, single-day, theme park-only tickets are $84.99 online. Previews are available until July 8th. We drove from Schenectady at 8:00 am on a Monday and after a stop or two, got there around 10:30 am. Parking was $20, I bought online in advance.
What I noticed during previews was that one of the performances wasn’t quite ready, you could tell Miniland wasn’t quite polished yet, the hotel wasn’t open, LEGO Pirates was being worked on, some of the smaller food stands were closed, and a ride or two were closed (we lucked out that they were kids’ rides). It may seem like a lot but honestly, I didn’t even notice.
I’m prefacing my experience with the fact that my boyfriend and I went alone, no children, and we’re in our early 30s. Did we experience all of the activities for children? No. Did we act like children? Obviously. Overall, it was pretty well-balanced between kiddie attractions and attractions for all ages. Each section is themed and has a ride and other stuff to do. The entrance is situated on top of a hill so make sure you bring a good pair of shoes to walk in, you’re walking uphill at some point.
The first section was Brick Street – the entrance. It’s got the biggest Lego store, a carousel, lockers, a mini grab-and-go food section and that’s about it aside from the beautiful LEGO builds. Then, you head into Bricktopia. There, they had a bunch of activities for children like the Build & Test, DJ Dizzy’s Disco Spin (think: teacups), DUPLO Express, LEGO Creative Workshop, and Robotic Play Center. We really enjoyed the LEGO Factory Adventure Ride where you’re “transformed” into minifigs and are packaged away to be played with. It was cute and a lot of fun!
Next, we headed into Ninjago World where they had Jay’s Gravity Force Trainer (which was closed when we were there), Ninja Training Camp for kids, and LEGO Ninjago The Ride. It’s similar to the Buzz Lightyear ride in Disney World and was quite the arm workout having to shoot little balls at 3D bad guys. After that, the LEGO Castle. Builder’s Guild and the Dragon’s Apprentice (was closed the day we were there) for the little ones and Merlin’s Flying Machines, Tower Climb Tournament, and the Dragon for all ages. The Dragon is the roller coaster and though it was short, it was a lot of fun!
Middle of the park was City World where they have Coast Guard Academy (which wasn’t open when we went), Driving School, and Junior Driving school for kids, and Fire Academy and the Palace Cinema for all ages. We wanted to check out the Palace Cinema that had a 15 minute 4D adventure but due to COVID, they weren’t allowed to let a lot of people in. The shows are every hour but they were playing them every half hour to accommodate. LEGO Pirates was closed and is still being built but they will be welcoming three more all-ages rides to the park when that opens.
Finally, we walked through Miniland which was incredible. Full LEGO displays of Las Vegas, Nashville, New York City, Chicago, Washington DC, Mount Rushmore, Goshen, and more! It will be interactive but at the time, not everything was working properly. There was SO MUCH to look at!
To eat, we stopped by Smokey’s Brick-B-Q for a brisket platter that we split (it was a lot more food than we needed separately). The food was really good! They have a bunch of other options throughout the park. They also have the option to buy a jug for refillable drinks for $17.99 for one and $8 per refill. Each store has some of your favorite LEGO set favorites like Harry Potter, Marvel, Ninjago, etc. It seemed like the LEGO sets are the same price that you can find in the stores. We decided to get some of the LEGOLAND exclusives that included various pieces of the park (we bought Ninjago and LEGO Castle).
Phew, that was a lot, huh? Well, TL;DR us two thirty-somethings had a lot of fun at the park. Sure, a lot of it is aimed towards children but we really enjoyed ourselves and can’t wait to go back and check out LEGO Pirates when it’s open. We ended up with exclusive LEGOLAND merch and since it was previews, we barely waited for any of the rides. They did a great job designing the park and to see those figures in Miniland was beyond incredible.