Thursday, September 25, 2014

Lego Fun: Our trip to Legoland Florida

   We started our second full day of vacation with a trip to Cracker Barrel.  The younger two boys brought their video games in with them and while I cringe at them playing video games at the table I allowed it since it was vacation and I try to relax all non- essential rules during vacation.  Ian played with the wooden triangle IQ game on the table.  He was trying really hard to only have one or two pegs left and he kept trying to start at different spots on the game to see if it made a difference. 
   We were driving to LEGOLAND which was about an hour away from out hotel and so I allowed the boys to play DS games and Kindles.  They surprised me by playing educational games like Stack the States, Scribblenaughts, and 2048.  We got a great homeschool deal for our admission and with a two day advance reservation we were all getting to enjoy our day at the park for just under $90!  That's about a quarter of their full price admission!  We picked up our tickets when we arrived and just had to show the letter we wrote to our school district telling them we were homeschooling.  We lined up at the turnstiles to wait for the opening show.  Buddy, the minifigure came out and helped turn the power on to the whole park and then we were free to have fun. 

Playing video games

Arriving at the park
Buddy opens the park

    We met Laval and headed right for the Lego Chima section of the park.  This part of the park was new since our last visit and since Alec and Evan love Chima so much we just had to see it.  We rode The Quest for the CHI and got soaked!  It was so much fun we decided to ride it twice in a row (and Alec talked my husband into joining him for the third time in a row!). Once we were sufficiently soaked the boys tried out their skills at the Speedorz arena.  Not one of the boys would leave the arena until they managed to get their speedorz through the hoop and into the bin.  It took a few tries but they all managed to sink a few.  They checked out Cragger's swamp and we headed to the Lego Kingdom.
Meeting Laval

Alec and my husband riding for the third time in a row

Ian tries to get them wet and a water battle ensues
We were all very wet by the time we were done!

Racing speedorz

    We rode The Dragon roller coaster and got Ian to ride alone between my husband and I and Alec and Evan (who really wanted to ride all by themselves too).  The younger boys went to try out the Royal Joust and then they all played on The Forestmen's hideout.  Throughout the park the boys asked for their picture with random Lego animals. guys and objects.  Often they had signs posted that told us how many hours it took to build, how many people worked on it, and how many Lego bricks it took. They're all pretty neat and awe inspiring.

Look at those smiles! 
The Royal Joust ride

posing with a wolf

Playing at the playground

Using their imagination to make up a game where the ground was lava!
  We wanted to go watch Brickbeard's show so we headed across the park, taking some time to really check out and enjoy looking at Miniland USA.  We noticed a few changes from the last time we were there-- like a whole Lego Star Wars section!  Ian was asking questions about the space shuttle so my husband gave a mini lesson in how it worked and how they loaded up the shuttle.  We thought the saw the Athena Parthenon but as we got closer we saw it was all part of Washington, DC with the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, and the white house.  While they were disappointed it wasn't the Parthenon it was great to see the layout of Washington, D.C. and relate it back to the books we had just been reading on D.C.  We also checked out the skyline of New York City and since the building for grand Central Station had the front taken off and a piece of Plexiglas inserted we were able to see inside the station.  We had just been talking about what Grand Central Station looked like inside not to long ago when we were studying New York City and also with listening to the Percy Jackson series so that was great. 

Learning about the space shuttle


Let's race!

Otters by the waterfall all made out of Lego pieces

   We watched the water ski and stunt show The Battle for Brickbeard's Bounty.  Ian loved watching the boats and jet skis throughout the show.  The water skiers make everything look so easy!  Ian has tried wakeboarding and knows it's not as easy as it looks; especially when they skied around the cove riding on one another's shoulders like a human pyramid or when they used their feet to hold the handle and turned around backwards while skiing.  It was a cute show and it was nice to sit down and take a break from the hot Florida sun. 


Amazing waterskiing stunts!

  After the show we headed to the Land of Adventure and passed through an entire mini land section of Star Wars.  There were buttons to make various pieces move and the boys just loved it!  They're huge Star Wars fans.  After checking it all out the boys played inside the Pharaoh's Revenge shooting foam balls at one another and at enemies while navigating the maze.  Once they got tired of that we cooled off indoors at the Lost Kingdom Adventure where we could fire lasers at targets throughout the ancient tombs. I got the highest score and the boys all started to figure out the order of our scores and how  much they were ahead or behind one another.  From there the boys raced to Coastersaurus-- a dinosaur themed roller coaster.  They LOVED it! 

Darth Vader and R2D2!

Even Darth Maul

Comparing scores

On the ride

Alec rode alone on Coastersaurus

The boys posed next to the dinosaur and we read the sign about building the replica out of bricks

    We stopped for our second round of drinks for the day and offered to buy ice cream or snacks too since it had been a while since breakfast.  Evan didn't want anything to eat or drink but we pulled him aside and explained to him the importance of drinking plenty of cold fluids while walking around in the heat.  He was red faced and sweaty and I could tell from his attitude he wasn't feeling real well-- either because he was hot or hungry.  My husband finally got him to drink some cold soda and we all decided to sit down and watch the hilarious Big Live Test Show.  I took that opportunity to go find some lunch for everyone to share.  I went to get some chicken and French fries for everyone and missed a good half of the show.  I have watched it before so I didn't mind and I more focused on getting Evan fed and hydrated.  The Big Live Test Show is a comical show that teaches fire safety.  Evan still remembered the song "put the wet stuff on the hot stuff" from last time and all the kids were laughing uproariously at the antics on stage.  By the time the show had ended everyone was feeling better and they were raring to go on some more rides. 

Learning all about fire safety

   Ian took a turn on Boat School while Alec and Evan elected to go to Driving School.  Ian was upset to find out he was the only one riding on the boats and almost wouldn't go.  My husband gave Ian his cell phone and promised to wait for him of the ride near the fence where Ian could see him.  He finally relented and went on the ride.  He told me it was a lot of fun.  Meanwhile, Alec and Evan were getting their pictures taken for their driving silence and they had to watch a video about the importance of stop signs, stop lights, and obeying traffic signals.  They were then allowed out onto the driving course and they all drove around the mini little town in these little Lego cars.  Evan was so excited since it was the first time he was big enough to ride on this ride. 

    We all headed up to flight school and took a few turns on the roller coaster.  The boys loved it so much that we rode twice!  It's the first time Evan or Alec have ever ridden on a floorless coaster.  We once again had issues with who was going to ride alone to the point where I elected not to ride at all the first time and walked right off the ride once the other four were seated.  We knew Evan had to ride with an adult and I wasn't sure if Alec was tall enough to ride alone either.  While we were trying to figure all this out Ian was getting all anxious and I ended up having Ian and Alec ride together.  By the second ride we had it all figured out and things went much more smoothly.  Ian decided by this point in the day that he didn't really mind riding alone as long as he could ride between us and keep either mom or dad in his sights.  I figured I was small progress but at least it was some progress.
    We went over to Lego Technic and rode the Project X roller coaster a few times.  We all took turns riding in the front and back of the cars and swapped who we rode with a bit too.  The boys loved the big hill and wished the whole ride was made that way!  The boys decided they were pretty much done for the day and began asking us to go shopping.  We made our way back to the center carousel and Ian and Evan rode the double decker carousel while thinking about all that they had seen for the day and trying to decide what they wanted to purchase.  While they rode the carousel Alec dragged his father back onto The Quest for Chi. 
Big smiles getting ready to take off on Lego Technic

Their smiles were just as big at the end of the ride!

Evan on the 2 story carousel
       Evan decided he really wanted Lego Chima sets and toys so we went over to The Quest for Chi and showed up just as Alec and my husband were riding. They got us a little wet with their water canons and then we watched them get a lot wet on the ride.  It was fun and funny and a great way to end our day.  Alec and Evan both picked out a few Lego Chima souvenirs and we headed out.  While Ian and I shopped at The Big Store Alec and Evan went with their dad on one last ride called The Island in the Sky.  They got to see all around the park from up in the air.  It was a perfect day but we were all looking forward to cooling off in the hotel pool.
Mount Cavora

   We put some towels down on the car seats since we had a black rental car with black leather seats.  We warned the boys not to get in the car right away since it would be really hot inside.  We opened all the windows and blasted the A/C for a bit.  We talked about WHY it felt so much hotter in the parking lot than it had in the park.  We finally piled into the car and stopped for frozen slushes on the way home.  The boys elected to try frozen Mountain Dew and Frozen Coke.  They played video games and looked out the window as we drove.  Alec has been cracking me up as he plays his video games these past few days.  When he comes to a difficult part in the game or if he dies he yells out sayings like "holy Hephaestus!" or "Gods of Olympus this is hard" or (my personal favorite) "Neptune's Trident!"  I think he might be the only 8 year old who refers to Greek and Roman gods while playing video games. 

    We quickly changed into bathing suits and jumped into our hotel pool.  It was cloudy at our hotel but we didn't really care.  The boys and my husband played pass for a bit and then the younger two convinced me to try out the water slide with them.  They went first and then I took a turn-- wow! That slide was long, dark and FAST!  I couldn't believe they enjoyed it so much.  They went down several times and Evan tried riding it sitting up, sitting up until the very end then lying down, and finally he rode lying down the whole time.  He noticed a huge difference in his speed from sitting up to lying down and while I think he enjoyed going faster he did complain that he had bumped the back of his head a few times on the seams of the slide.  It was starting to rain and Evan REALLY wanted to head back to the hotel and put together his Lego set.  I took him back and along the way we stopped to watch what looked like a piece of bark cross the sidewalk.  Looking closely we saw it looked like a caterpillar with woodchips stuck to him. 
Cooling off under the sprinklers

Can you spot the caterpillar's head?  Look to the right...

   Once everyone came back from the pool we all got dressed and ready to head out to dinner.  There were thunderstorms around us in the distance and we were watching the lightening and listening to the thunder.  We kept watching the cloud colors and movements.  Mother nature always has the best shows!  The restaurant we stopped at is called Steak and Shake and it's one of the boys favorites since they serve delicious old fashioned burgers, fries, hot dogs and milk shakes.  It's cheap, yummy food with a 50's dinner style feel to it.  It was quick and fun.  We loved our waiter and had a fabulous late dinner just minutes away from our hotel.  It was the perfect end to a perfect day!
    When we got back to the hotel the boys worked on their Lego building for a bit and I promised to go on YouTube and find them a few video clips my husband and I had been talking about during our trip.  We encountered a rotary the other day and it reminded my husband and I of the scene in National Lampoon's European vacation where Clark Griswold gets stuck in the rotary near Big Ben.  While the rest of the movie wouldn't be appropriate for the kids yet I knew they'd love that part so we pulled up the video and let them watch.  They thought it was funny.  Somehow over the course of this trip we also talked about the clip of Dana Carvey in his turtle suit trying to get into the turtle club and when he was acting as President Bush and says "this is what you are doing, this is what I want you to do"... I had no idea what movie it was from but after looking it up we found they were both from The Master of Disguise.  I'm pretty sure I never saw this movie but remembered the words from the previews so we pulled up those two quick clips to show the boys too.  They thought it was a riot and want to watch the whole movie now.  All week long they kept quoting those few clips. 

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