There’s no doubt that LEGOLAND California is one the best San Diego family attractions. A stay at the LEGOLAND Hotel gives visiting families the opportunity to stay immersed in all things LEGO even after the park closes.
Is the hotel right for your family? It depends. I’ll share what you need to know based on our stay and reader feedback.
Note from Katie: We independently choose all featured hotels. Booking methods mentioned are popular with our readers or ones we think offer the best value. If you book through select links, we may earn a commission and appreciate you supporting our business. Prices and amenities are subject to change. Our editorial guidelines.
WHAT I LOVE
- Early admission to LEGOLAND California 30 minutes before it opens to the public
- Location steps from the parks
- The in-floor Whoopie cushion near the elevators
- Complimentary breakfast and self-parking included for all guests in the resort fee
- The separate sleeping area for up to three kids (bunk bed and trundle)
- Adult beverages at Minis Lounge (you’ll need one)
GOOD TO KNOW
- It is loud (lots of kids understandably make it this way)
- The pool is hectic (see above)
- The premium themed rooms have more LEGO embellishments than regular rooms (size is the same)
- The food is just okay (to reach other Carlsbad restaurants, you’ll drive off of the resort)
- LEGO enthusiasts will love it
- A night or two is plenty unless EVERYONE in the family loves LEGOs
LEGOLAND Hotel Location
The LEGOLAND Hotel is steps from the SEA LIFE Aquarium and LEGOLAND California park entrance, making it easy to walk back to the room if need be.
In fact, one of the benefits of staying at the LEGOLAND California Hotel is the ability to enter the park 30 minutes before it opens to hit the popular rides before the crowds come.
See also: 10 Best Hotels Near LEGOLAND California
A Cool Check-In
Check-in at the front desk which has 6000 Minifigures on the wall. A bicycle with magnifying glasses as wheels floats back and forth across the wall, enlarging the Minifigures along the way. This is cool.
Kids are handed a Welcome Treasure Hunt map to familiarize them with the hotel. When done, they unlock a treasure chest in the room containing a small LEGO prize.
LEGOLAND Hotel Rooms
The hotel has 250 rooms spread across three floors, but the disco-like elevator experience remains a highlight. Bounce on the in-floor whoopie cushion on lobby level while you wait.
Choose from Pirate, Adventure, Kingdom, Friends and LEGO NINJAGO rooms. The former three categories have a choice of regular and fully-themed rooms. At least eight LEGO models live in each room. However, fully-themed rooms have more LEGO models and decor.
Friends and LEGO NINJAGO come in fully-themed versions only.
The photo below is from our stay in an Adventure Fully-Themed room. The kids’ sleeping area in all 250 rooms can fit up to three children between the bunk beds and the trundle bed beneath the lower bed.
Kids also have their TV here with tons of shows on-demand, a brilliant design feature to allow parents to watch TV in the king bed area.
Juice, water, and coffee are complimentary and there’s an empty fridge to store your own food (though, frankly, I could have used a proper minibar). The bathroom is on the small side but has a combination shower and tub combo. A built-in potty training seat flips down on the toilet if kids need it.
Our room did not have bedside plugs so charging a laptop while using it in bed was difficult. I checked and even tried to jimmy the one our lamp was plugged into. They are designed not to be tampered with, so you’ll have to get up and sit at the desk to use a plug.
The beds are decently comfortable, and the acoustics are just okay, so perhaps bring earplugs. We could hear plenty of kids squeal with joy while walking down the hallways.
LEGOLAND Hotel Restaurants
Bricks Family Restaurant serves the complimentary buffet breakfast though it may be ordered at guest expense through in-room dining or at Minis Lounge.
Dinner at Bricks is a more elaborate buffet serving Chinese, Italian, barbecue, and more with plenty of kid favorites at a buffet that’s just their height. During our last visit, coloring pages lined the tables at dinner (not breakfast) to calm feisty kids. It took a while for a server to come (it’s busy) and take a wine order but other non-alcoholic drinks are available at the buffet.
The highlight of Bricks Family Restaurant is interacting with Adventurers, Pirates, Royalty, Jesters, and Knights that appear at every hour during opening hours.
For a little more peace and less of a hurried feel, choose the Skyline Cafe where a limited food menu and plenty of drinks are on offer. Or, order room service but be prepared that it comes in a LEGO-themed paper bag.
However, next to the giant play structure near the lobby is a fabulous coffee bar called Minis Lounge that serves a great Chardonnay at happy hour along with coffee and other snacks. Park here and decompress while the kids play in LEGO pits just steps away.
If you’re a foodie craving an upscale, farm-to-table experience, plenty of Carlsbad restaurants are a few minutes away by car.
Other LEGOLAND Hotel Amenities
A gradual-incline pool no deeper than five feet and complete with floating LEGO bricks cools down kids on a hot day. Life jackets are encouraged and free to use along with lounge chairs and a handful of cabanas.
The lifeguard diligently monitors the kids, blowing the whistle constantly to keep them in check. Poolside drinks and snacks are available.
A LEGO pit in the lobby, as well as a pirate-themed play structure nearby, keep kids entertained. Characters make afternoon appearances near the pirate ship for plenty of photo opportunities.
Don’t Forget LEGOLAND Tickets
I’ve written in detail about how to buy discount LEGOLAND California tickets, but here is the bottom line. There’s no need to pay the retail price. How you best save money depends on how many days you’ll visit LEGOLAND California Resort and what other San Diego attractions are on your itinerary. The two best places to check are below.
- aRes Travel (use promo code LEGO for discounts on most tickets): Straight-to-the-gate printed or mobile discount LEGOLAND California tickets for single park tickets, park hopper tickets, and family packs. Scroll down the page to see deals for bundling LEGOLAND California tickets with tickets to the San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld San Diego, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and local hotels.
- Direct through LEGOLAND: Sometimes this is the best way to buy tickets.
- Go San Diego pass: This is our most popular sightseeing pass you can buy in different increments.
LEGOLAND California Resort did a phenomenal job creating a dream hotel for kids. Parents need to realize that the hotel is more or less an extension of the park. If you’re looking for a zen holiday, this isn’t the place. It’s a vacation or staycation that your kids will remember, however.
If you have checked into LEGOLAND Hotel, please let us know your thoughts. Your feedback helps other travelers decide where to stay in San Diego.