While Disneyland Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood are the big theme park players in Southern California, there are many other options just in that one region for people who appreciate themed entertainment. One of those is Legoland California Resort, which is an excellent park, especially for families with younger children, as basically all the rides are specifically geared to them.
That’s not to say that older theme park fans won’t also find something at Legoland to enjoy. It's quite the opposite, in fact. if you’re a big fan of Disneyland Resort, there are several rides in Legoland that will feel oddly familiar. While each Legoland California attraction is distinctly LEGO, many of the ride systems are very similar, if not identical to, popular rides you’ll find in Anaheim as well.
Emmett’s Flying Adventure Ride (Soarin’ Around the World)
One of the newest areas of Legoland California is dedicated to the incredibly popular LEGO Movie and its somewhat less popular sequel. Here you will find one of the theme parks most popular attractions. Emmett’s Flying Adventure Ride is a competition between various LEGO Movie characters to create the best flying machine, and riders are on hand to test Emmett’s Triple Decker Flying Couch, as seen in the film. But if you’ve ever been to Disney California Adventure, you’ll realize you’ve sat on this couch before.
The ride system for Emmett’s Flying Adventure is basically identical to Soarin’ Around the World, which replaced the popular Soarin’ Over California. Guests sit in long rows of seats that are lifted into the air in front of a massive screen that presents the story from a first person point of view. The screen, combined with some motion effects, give us the feeling like we are flying through the air. The core of the ride is the same, though the Legoland version is actually a bit more intense. Soarin’ gives you a feeling like you’re gliding over landmarks. Emmett’s makes you feel like you’re strapped to a jet, rocketing through Legoland.
Coast Cruise (Storybook Land Canal Boats, And Also Jungle Cruise)
Every theme park needs a good boat ride, and Legoland California has a good one in the Coast Cruise. It’s a slow boat ride that allows guests to relax and check out large portions of the park and the incredible LEGO creations that have been built all over it. You’ll see miniature, but no less intricate and impressive, LEGO versions of the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty among other landmarks.
The general concept of the Coast Cruise will remind Disneyland fans most of the Storybook Land Canal Boats. There you’ll also find intricately designed miniatures, though in this case, it will be miniature versions of the various iconic buildings in animated Disney movies, not built from LEGO. There is another Disneyland attraction that guests will think of when on Legoland’s Coast Cruise, however. Your boat driver on the Coast Cruise will be armed with plenty of bad puns and one liners, much like Disney’s Jungle Cruise.
LEGO Ninjago: The Ride (WEB- SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure)
In nearly all cases, the Disneyland rides you’ll think of when visiting Legoland California are all much older than their LEGO equivalents, but one that’s not is LEGO Ninjago: The Ride. In this ride, you put on 3D glasses and move through various scenes where you can fire projectiles and enemies simply by flinging out your arms.
When it was built, Ninjago was a more advanced version of Disney California Adventure's Toy Story Midway Mania, but now it actually bears a closer resemblance to WEB-SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure, as neither require any sort of interface. Because the Disney version is newer, it's much more advanced when it comes to the tech involved. Ninjago has a small sensor that you have to move your hand over, or it won’t register your move. Spider-Man allows you to fling your arms in any conceivable direction.
Lost Kingdom Adventure (Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters)
Attractions that allow riders to be competitive with each other are quite popular, so much so that Disneyland Resort has several of them just based around Toy Story. The first was Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters, which puts guests in a ride vehicle with a laser blaster and has them shoot at physical targets to gain points.
This is the same general premise as Legoland California’s Lost Kingdom Adventure. While a few things are different, the ride vehicle at Legoland can seat up to four people, it’s still a shooting at targets type of a ride, and unlike something like Toy Story Midway Mania, it uses physical objects rather than screens.
Bionicle Blaster (Mad Tea Party)
Some ride concepts have become so iconic that you expect to find them at basically every theme park, and it would be more surprising not to find an essentially identical ride with a slightly different cosmetic design. Disneyland’s Mad Tea Party is probably the most well known of the "spin around until you are dizzy" ride, but Legoland California has one as well.
At Legoland it’s called Bionicle Blaster, but you know the ride well. It’s a large circular vehicle with a wheel in the middle allowing guests to increase the speed of their spin. The vehicle spins around and around, both itself and throughout the ride area. The biggest difference is that, despite Legoland being a very colorful park overall, Bionicle Blaster is very gray to fit with the science fiction vibes of the Bionicle brand.
Just because two rides may have a lot in common doesn’t mean that one is inherently better than the other. In fact, if you love the Disneyland version of these rides there’s a pretty good chance you’ll love the Legoland version for a lot of the same reasons. There’s a reason that overtime we tend to see popular ride systems used again and again.
Legoland California has a lot that is unique to itself and things you won’t find at any other theme parks, except, of course, all the other LEGO theme parks around the world. But if you spend a lot of time at Disneyland and don’t tend to give other parks a chance, give Legoland a look. There’s just enough of Disneyland there to make it feel familiar and enough that's different to make it feel like nothing else.
CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.
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