A few months ago we took a family vacation to visit family in Arizona. With 5 kids, grandma and grandpa decided we had to have a few outings to enjoy while we visited. Over the years we have visited a few places in and around the Phoenix area but we have never ventured to the LEGOLAND Discovery Center in Tempe Arizona.
We were not sure what to expect going into this center and with kids aged 10 – newborn we were wondering how everyone would enjoy their time. We spent almost 4 hours at the center so I guess you can say it was a success!
Tips for Visiting LEGOLAND Discovery Center Arizona
1. Arrive with a ticket for admission. Due to our large group we were able to get a discount on our tickets. Keep that option in mind when planning your trip. We had a set scheduled time of admission. The day we went, Friday, there were a number of school groups also going. Thankfully, with the scheduled admission times we never felt crowded or rushed. Be planful and look for discount codes and groupons for a more budget friendly adventure.
2. Arrive early and pack a lunch. There is a small cafe at the center with sandwiches, chips, crackers and drinks but we decided to arrive a bit early and find a place outside of the center to enjoy a quick lunch as a group. Due to this center being at a mall, there was plenty of space to find a bench and enjoy our sandwiches before our scheduled admission.
3. Use the bathroom before your admission to the center. The discovery center is located inside a mall, we decided to take a bathroom break before entering the center. There are restrooms in the center however, they are located pretty far into the exhibit. After lunch and our restroom break we were ready to enter the Discovery Center!
4. Take time for Mini Land. Your experience will begin with an interactive Factory Tour. This is a fun experience that the kids will love. Guests take a virtual tour of a LEGO factory as well as create their own LEGO figure in this tour. So fun.
Once you are out of the factory you have the opportunity to do a fun ride, more on that later. Then, you enter Mini Land. We could have spent a lot of time in this section. Miniland is modeled after parts of Arizona, including the city of Phoenix. Some of the LEGO sets include Sky Harbor Airport, Downtown Phoenix, the Grand Canyon, Tempe, and the University of Phoenix stadium. Our favorite was the Grand Canyon, although it was pretty cool when Grandma showed the kids where she works downtown! So creative and so many great details to look at.
5. Check out the Rides. There are a few big rides in the Discovery Center which is quite a treat for an indoor center like this. The first ride is an interactive ride that you have the opportunity to enjoy is the Kingdom Quest Laser Ride. This ride is not scary, although Teagan decided she did not want to go on it. You climb in a little cart, which carries you through a story about rescuing a princess. Your task is to shoot the bad guys with a laser-light gun. Getting the pictures at the end was a fun treat too!
6. Enjoy the 4D Movie. Towards the end of our stay, we happened to notice that the 4D movie was going to start in a few minutes. We gathered the kids and went into the theater. If you have never experienced a 4D movie before this is such a treat. During our stay, they were showing two different movies, we saw the NEXO Knight. It is such a fun experience, the special effects are surprising and fun. Having the wind blowing and water spraying us through out the scenes had the kids laughing like crazy!
7. Run and play! Sure, we want the kids to explore and build but honestly, the kids just want to run and play!! Thankfully there is a huge LEGO city that is built just for that. The Play Zone is basically a big playground that has a ton of fun LEGO qualities. The kids loved this part of the Discovery Center.
8. Create! After seeing the amazing Mini Land your LEGO lovers will want to start building their own cities and creations. There are a number of areas that are perfect for creating! Teagan and my niece loved the LEGO Friends area. And Jude really enjoyed the LEGO master builder area. That included space ships and cars to race. I loved that all of the kids were entertained.
9. You will exit through the gift shop – set expectations. I think every parent hates this set up but hey, it is a business. Go into the trip with the exceptions set for your kids. Grandma and Grandpa let the kids know they would get one LEGO set (under $25) at the end of our trip. All of the kids but Teagan dealt with that perfectly….ugh 4 years old is rough!!
10. Hours and Center Information. Legoland Discover Center Arizona in Arizona Mills mall is open 9 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Sundays. They stop admitting new visitors two hours before closing time daily. As discussed early, you can purchase tickets prior to arriving. Keep in mind, this is not the big amusement park, I would consider this a Children’s Museum and it is perfect for ages 3-teens!