The day arrives. It’s Legoland Day! The kids are decked out in lego shirts and lego movie underwear. I packed EVERYTHING! Towels, bathing suits (for one ride we’re told we’ll get soaked), change of clothes, change of shoes, snacks, hats, extra plastic bags (never know when a kid might puke, you know this by now). Good thing I brought all of it because I needed every last NONE of it. Typical.
As we turn into the Legoland parking lot, I thought heavens gates opened up and Emmet was Baby Jesus or something. We have arrived. Open your gates to us and let us in. We take 20-30 pictures under the Legoland sign. J is already tired and in the stroller. Take another 15 pics in front of the life-size lego Emmet. Ok, let’s check out this map and get started. We know the all-star, knock-out, best ride of our lives ride is the Chima one. We also know we get soaked head to toe on it. Thus, the extra clothes, suits, towels. See the brilliant preparedness making the stroller and all the bags worth it? Thank you. You’re welcome. We’ll save the Chima ride til later when we really want to get soaked.
We hit the first rides. We quickly realize that J is too short for most of the “cool” rides. He doesn’t seem to know the difference. B decides on the Coastersaurus (rollercoaster) to kick it off. Looks a bit intimidating but he’s unwavering. J and I hit the safari ride, which is a slow train ride cruising around and looking at big lego animals on the way. He’s very excited that a lego elephant spit water on us. I took another 40 pictures because it was just too cute and all too satisfying to ride along with my little almost 4 year old seeing his delight.
We go meet B and Daddy at the coaster. B comes off and looks white as a ghost and still in a bit of shock. Michael is pumped and dying to get the official Legoland picture from the ride. We see the picture on the monitor and it’s hilarious. Michael tries to take a picture of the monitor picture to avoid buying it, which really didn’t amuse the staff in the slightest. We walk away but keep talking about the picture.
We weave through another line to do some kind of laser-blaster-save-the-princess ride. B melts down when he gets a front seat in the ride rather than a backseat because he claims through his tears that he can’t blast from the front seat. So this makes no sense whatsoever and I realize that I have lost him and we need to make an immediate detour to a break and cool air and food. He’s missing all the laser target things on the ride and can’t handle life anymore. Meltdown. SNACK!!! M leaves us to run back and get the coaster picture. He can’t let it go. Now you can see why. I think this picture is why the word priceless exists.
Boys and I have a snack break in front of one of those throw-a-ball-at-the-bottles-and-win-a-prize games. Uh oh. The prizes: various size stuffed minions. Boys are obsessed. B has to do it. Gut: the most terrible idea ever. Remember meltdown moments ago on blaster ride. He’s not ready. He needs a break. More snack. More shade. Don’t let him try for the minion prize. So…I do it.
I deliver a very meaningful speech to him about how it’s very hard to knock over the bottles and we are going to pay money to try but if we don’t get it we won’t get upset. “Deal?” “Deal.” Mommy dumbass right here. I know I know! He’s tired. He’s hungry. He’s never going to win. But maybe? The very nice guy with the speaker earpiece explains he has to knock down all 3 bottles to win the smallest minion. He positions himself perfectly. Hard to watch how much he wants this. Gets the ball in hand and swings it back, holding it there and sort of pacing with deep commitment before throwing it. First throw. 2 out of 3 bottles. Not bad. Ok, he could do this. Next throw. Close but no luck. Final throw and I already feel the world crashing down all around us. Not even close. @#*)@(#!!!
What’s wrong with the a-hole running this game? Give us the minion anyway!!!!! This 6 year old just gave it all he had to win this thing. GIVE IT TO ME!!! I see B’s lips start to quiver and his head go down as he walks away. Tears streaming. Well that’s shocking. M reappears with the roller coaster picture magnet he just bought. I explain what transpired and how heartbreaking it was watching him give it all he had and miss. We both know we are in a situation now. We decide to put another $10 towards it but only for daddy to try. I think I can hear you readers out there screaming NOOOO!!!! I’m telling you it’s the amusement park bug that you catch when you enter and you can’t make any clear-headed decisions. B’s first throw was better than Michael’s. Oh s**t. Second throw. Two bottles down. Third and final throw. OMG. Heart beating. Boys watching desperately. He just barely tips over the last bottle. MINNNNNNNION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ok, Michael, I welcome you back into the family. You can return to us. We got it! Boys ecstatic. Only about 2 seconds go by before they start fighting over it.
We now find ourselves over-hungry and way too hot in the 90-degree heat. We are in the middle of the park with no food in sight. Boys sit on top of each other in the single stroller, squinting in the sun, and minion-fighting as we make our way to the very small cafeteria that accommodates maybe 1/348910231 of the people who need to eat at that moment. We pay a million dollars for 4 people to eat unlimited pasta, pizza, and “salad” (don’t go forgetting Passover now). Right after we get in, they close the ropes behind us and stop entry of the enormous line behind us. They are at full capacity. The line is out the door. Seriously!!!!! Did that just happen? I mean if we had been one family behind, that would have been the end of us. Michael and I are high-fiving each other. “Everything is Awesome!!!!” as the holy Emmet would sing from the mountaintops.
We snag a table and I drop the melting kids with Michael and I run for the buffet. The server places a new piping hot pizza on the buffet. The idea, I believe, is for each patron to take one slice on their plate. I scoop up half the pizza and throw it on the plate. Then I scoop up the other half and put it right on top of the first 3 pieces. Pizza gone. Sorry folks! Emergency. On the other plate, I scoop up about 7 pounds of buttery penne. Done. Run back to the table and find my mess of a family. Pizza for you. Bam. Penne for you. Bam. Eat children. I return to get the most boring salad of all time. Really lettuce and tomatoes which I soak in ranch dressing to ease the pain. Life gets pumped back into B and J and they have no memories of the prior episodes of almost total flatline. Life is good. NEXT!
We head to the Lego building center to meet some lego characters. They brush by life-size Wyldstyle. No interest in pictures. We hit the video game room. Then the lego car building. A/C is a beautiful thing. Then something unprecedented happens: 1) we decide we’re going to split up for a while and 2) Michael’s phone goes dead. “WHAT?!? How are we going to meet up? What if I can’t find you? Where? What time?” How does anyone meet at around a certain time at a certain place without a cell phone? I’m freaking that this can’t possibly work. Michael reminds me, “People have met up for generations without cell phones and have been ok.” Damn. Ok, see you in about an hour by the Duplo tractors. He was right. It is possible. We reunited…without a phone.
We head to the final, mind-blowing, can’t-stop-talking-about-it, get-fully-soaked last ride of the day. CHIMA!!! We approach the huge Chima gateway. I start to take a picture and notice staff members out front. Interesting. Um, wait.
“Sorry folks, the ride is closed.”
“Um, like it just closed at 5pm and we JUST missed it by a minute?”
“It only opened for 10 minutes this morning, but they had to shut it back down for maintenance.”
Phew. I’m oddly so relieved that we would have been screwed no matter what time we got there. I would have knifed myself in the stomach had he told me it just closed 5 minutes ago (but thousands and thousands of happy children rode it all day long with no problems and it changed each and every one of their lives forever for the better). We see the boys’ fallen faces and quickly offer up a trip to the BIG LEGO STORE as a treat for the closed ride. I read an article a few months ago that said we should let our kids handle disappointment and not just try to make it better with ice cream and trips to the toy store. BULL!!!! Like you wouldn’t jump at the opportunity to hit up the toy store on the way out after they were waiting the entire day for one single ride that was closed? I say, solid decision making. Honestly they were so damn tired at that point that I think when they heard lego store their memories were already wiped clean.
We set a $20 limit for each kid. B immediately honed in on a $30 lego set. There was NOTHING else in the entire flagship Legoland Florida biggest Lego store ever that he could find to possibly measure up to the $30 set. J, on the other hand, was completely and totally content with picking out a few mystery mini figures. 5 bucks. Done. Ok, so he gets the $30 set and sleeps with it that night. Judge me. We were hungry and exhausted. Notice the theme.
Walking to the car, I ask, “B, sooooo what did you think of today?”
“Mommy, it was the best day of my life.”
I get goosebumps as I recall him saying that. And there you have it. That’s a wrap on Legoland Florida 2015 folks and I’d say well worth it, minion, throw up, and all.