Book Review of the Week: The Unauthorized Legoland Guidebook

Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture

As a special bonus, author Bridget Smith has graciously donated a copy of the Unauthorized Legoland Guidebook, to be awarded to a randomly drawn commenter on this article. Post your comments - you might win!

I just love the internet. I met the coolest author on twitter and twitter moms - a fellow traveler, Bridget Smith. We are so happy to present her new book, the Unauthorized Legoland Guidebook, as our Book Review of the Week. Subtitled 'How to save money and have more fun at Legoland, California', the guide definitely explores that! From the basics (getting tickets, planning your visit, where to stay, what to bring, and getting there and parking) to incredible details about the park itself (including age-appropriate activities), this is truly an inclusive guidebook to Legoland.  We were lucky enough to sit down and chat with Bridget about her book, and Legoland - here's what she had to say...


WE:  Please tell us about your new book, the Unauthorized Legoland

BS: This is a comprehensive family guidebook to Legoland, California.  I am a mom of three kids ages nine, five, and four who lives in Carlsbad, California home to the Legoland California theme park and the Sealife Aquarium.  After spending a year as a pass holder, I decided to write a guidebook that would enhance families' experiences as Legoland visitors or passholders.  My kids contributed a lot of ideas to this book so you will find their preferred rides and attractions for each age group.  You will also find information about the wonderful special events like Lego Star Wars Day and Junior Master Builder Competitions at Legoland throughout the year.


Bridget Smith - Unauthorized Legoland Guidebook

Destiny and Jared



WE:  I've never been to Legoland - can you please share the things you and
your family love most?

BS: I love the scale of this park.  It is big enough to offer plenty to
explore, but if you can only spend one day you can still see the whole park.  The kids can walk around the whole thing without getting too tired and cranky.  I also love that it provides lots of interactive experiences.  Kids don't passively ride rides all day.  They also build with Legos, splash in the big water area, try out the latest Lego video games, and construct working Lego Mindstorm Robots.

My husband loves the Pirate Shores area.  He has some very specific
strategies in the book on how to get your friends and family very wet.

My nine year old Justin likes a ride called Knight's Tournament.  I have
never seen another ride like it.  It is a giant robotic arm that spins you around in all different directions.   He never misses Lego Star Wars Day.  It is one of the highlights of his year.

My five year old Destiny is rather timid.  She likes the Fire Engines and
the airplanes.

My youngest Jared who is four loves the Duplo Playground, but he is also a
thrill seeker so he likes to ride the big kid rollercoasters.

We are all big fans of the Granny Apple Fries up on Castle Hill.  Everyone
in the family enjoys spending time in Miniland.



Bridget Smith - Unauthorized Legoland Guidebook

Justin and Destiny with Duplo




WE: Your research for this book is exhaustive - did you have fun researching
all of Legoland? Do you continue to discover new things?

BS:  We had actually been pass holders for a year before I started writing this
book.  I decided to make the guidebook my summer project and ended up
writing it in about three months.  Writing it was a blast!  The kids were pretty
patient when I stopped to investigate something for the book.  They had lots of fun contributing their own ideas and observations.  We would go at least once a week after my husband came home from work.  Summer evenings are my favorite time a  Legoland.  Everyone goes home about 5pm and you have the place practically to yourself for about three hours.  Doing the research also motivated me to attend some of the great Legoland events that we had missed the year before.

Funny, but I do keep discovering new things...mostly in terms of the
detailed Lego models at Miniland and throughout the park.  The Website Theme Park Insider posted some photos of Legoland at Christmas on their website recently.  I am ashamed to say that I hadn't noticed some of the models they featured in that post.


WE:  Exploring with kids can be challenging - do you have any tips for making
a trip to Legoland less stressful with less meltdowns?

BS: First of all, to be honest we have experienced our fair share of Legoland
meltdowns.  My youngest had one on Christmas day that was particularly
memorable!  That said, I think that there is a lot you can do to minimize
the potential for grouchiness and postpone those meltdowns until you have the child in the stroller leaving the park.

First, I would try to visit at a non peak times and use the strategies for
avoiding crowds that I outline in my book.  Second,  if you are waiting in
a long line with your child keep an eye out for a Duplo play area.  Some of
the big attractions have them, and they come in handy.  One parent can
supervise the child in the play area while the other one waits in line.  Finally, it's not all about the rides.  If you look you can find a quiet place to chill out with your little ones.  There is a great pavilion with big kid lego bricks by the Knight's Tournament.  There is a giant enclosed area filled with every kind of Duplo brick imaginable by the front of the park.  The Hideaways on Castle Hill
and Playtown in Explore Village are great places for kids to run, climb, and be



Bridget Smith - Unauthorized Legoland Guidebook

Justin and a Storm Trooper



WE:  This is an excellent guidebook - do you have others? Can you please
share your other work with us?

BS: I would love to write another guidebook. My dream is to have a whole series of Family Adventure Guidebooks that give families more information and resources to help them make the most of their time together.

Unfortunately for now I need to focus on promoting The Legoland guide and
on the Environmental Health and Safety Consulting and E-Learning Business,
Class7Training that I run with my husband.

If I can get those two projects going, I'm hoping to write a guidebook on
affordable family adventures in San Diego or on Sea World, San Diego in


WE:  Is there anything else you'd like to share with us?

BS: People can visit my blog at to order the Unauthorized Legoland Guidebook in e-book or paperback form.

On the blog I also give Legoland updates and write about our Smith Family
Adventures.  My focus for 2009 is to find more fun free activities for my
family to enjoy and to get the kids and the dog outside enjoying the natural
world.  We also have a trip planned to Las Vegas and one to the Central Coast of California, so those should yield some fun adventures and family friendly travel tips.


WE: Thanks so much, Bridget! We've truly been enjoying reading your book!  For more information on the Unauthorized Legoland Guidebook, please see:

Please leave a comment on this book review to be entered into a random
drawing for a copy of the Unauthorized Legoland Guidebook, courtesy of Bridget Smith. Comments left until 11:59pm Monday, January 19th, will be accepted.

You must be a member of (free to join) to leave
a comment, and reside in the U.S. to be eligible for this drawing.


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Comments (2)

  • Julie Royce

    12 years 6 months ago

    The article about Legoland couldn't have been more timely.  My husband and I are spending the winter in California because our grandson was born January 5th in San Francisco.  Our two grandaughters will be visiting us here on the West Coast so they can meet their new cousin. We are always looking for places to enjoy with them and Legoland sounds perfect - not too overwhelming but plenty to keep them occupied.  Thanks Jessie for an insightful look at a worthwhile place to take children.

  • Dr. Jessie Voigts

    12 years 6 months ago

    Congrats, Julie, for winning a copy of the Unauthorized guide to Legoland!


    Jessie Voigts


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