Thursday, January 2, 2014
The Trip to Legoland
A few weeks ago, Legoland Discovery Center in Schamburg had a give-away on their Facebook page. Four free tickets if you merely commented on what you planned to do with Legos over Christmas break. I never enter their drawings, but decided on a whim to enter. Lo and behold, they decided to give four free tickets to EVERYONE who entered!! Since Rob had a long break from work, we opted to go asap.
I did a whole lot of planning for this trip: maps to each location, plans for a mall visit so Anna could see the Disney store, reservations at PF Changs (gluten-free friendly restaurant), etc, etc. The kids had Christmas money to spend as well. Most of my planning went well. I also asked for some advice from a friend who had been there in the past year. We were set!
We took off after breakfast on Monday morning following our Google Maps directions, which had never failed me yet. We had two minor problems with the directions, as they missed putting two turns on it. Thankfully we have brains and knew to continue following the same highways but it was irritating not to be warned that turns were coming. We opted for the "Bob's Road" route (see the movie Twister for the reference) so we could avoid tolls, hence our lengthy and confusing directions. We made it in good time and found Woodfield Mall.
Anna was so cute when we entered the Disney Store! She bounced all over the place and found all of her favorite princesses. It was very difficult for her to narrow down the list, but she settled on two princes, Kristoff from the Frozen movie, and a drinking cup with straw. She has almost all of the princesses and they needed princes!!
Rob took the boys down to the Lego store. We had been told that Legoland's store wasn't as well-stocked at the mall store and Matt had a particular set he wanted. The boys (all three of them) had fun selecting various Lego items and it was so cute to watch them walk out, each holding a Lego bag.
We got to PF Changs right at our reservation time and the kids loved the food! Their children's plates are only $3 and there was plenty for our big eaters. Rob and I enjoyed our food as well.
And then we had to find Legoland. It's right across the street from the mall, yet somehow Google Maps managed to get us lost. And I don't handle getting lost very well!! We finally found it after turning around three times and my three darlings got very quiet in the back: all three of them praying we'd find Legoland and that Mommy would calm down. Aren't they awesome??
Rob dropped us off at the door so we wouldn't have a long, cold walk w/o coats. Good thing we ditched them in the van b/c it was PACKED and HOT inside!! There were two lengthy lines and the nice people in front of us informed us which was which. Because I had purchased one advance ticket and had four free ones waiting, we got to enter earlier than the poor people in the walk-up line that wasn't moving at all. Legoland was at capacity so those people had to wait until others left. It's $5 cheaper to order your tickets ahead of time--so glad I planned ahead!!
The first three rooms were models of the city of Chicago, jungle animals, and Star Wars. The city was pretty cool and some parts of it were moving. The jungle animals were equally as nifty, our faves being the baby tigers. The Star Wars models weren't as impressive to our family, as we're not huge Star Wars fans, but we did like the stands at the pod race. They were filled with more mini figures than we've ever seen in one location!
We rode a rather (boring to adults) ride and shot rocks out of bad guys hands with lasers. I told Rob afterwards, "Wow! That was about as exciting at the Peter Pan ride at Disneyland!" which he knew instantly meant "I was bored to tears!" But the boys loved it and that's all that matters, right? Upstairs we found a 4-D movie (tons of fun), a little "tour" of how Legos are actually made (fun and informative), and then the nutsiest room in the whole place. There was a large play area, multiple building areas, and another ride. All of them filled with children! ACK! Our kids played in the playground for a bit then got on the ride. By this point we had been there for 2 1/2 hours and had seen/done nearly everything. The kids were happy to troop back downstairs for a visit to the Lego store.
I'm glad we took the advice of others and did not depend on the Lego store for what Matt wanted. They did have some older sets which led us to believe it's more like an outlet-style store. The kids all found things they wanted (as did I) and we headed out the door and across the lane to Jamba Juice for a treat. After that it was back home following the wretched Google map directions which were missing three turns this time. Somehow we missed one highway in Wisconsin and ended up in Fort Atkinson instead of Watertown, but as I know how to navigate from Fort to home it was no problem. The kids actually felt relived b/c they KNEW Mom could now get them home!!
We had a great time overall and I'm so glad four of our tickets were free. Rob and I agreed it was not worth the $15 admission price per person for what they offer. The kids, on the other hand, said it was worth every penny! Go figure :)