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Exciting Legoland Rides and Activities for Older Kids (Ages 8+)
In the slide show above, you're viewing pictures of Legoland California rides for older kids (approx. age 8+) If you may have imagined that the name "Legoland" sounds like it would be a place for little kids---think again! Tweens age 8+ can enjoy at least as many (and maybe more) of the theme parks attractions as any other age group! On this page, you'll discover how much fun Legoland holds in store for the older kids in your family!
Is Legoland for older kids, too? YES!!!Will your kids ages 8 thru 12 enjoy Legoland? You may have heard that Legoland Park is merely for toddlers and younger children. That's absolutely not true! No, your 10 or 11-year-old won't be interested in every attraction at the park...just as your toddler and your five-year-old won't. Legoland has taken care to include "something for everyone" who visits the park...and this means your older kids, as well.
Of course, the suggestions listed on this page may or may not fit every family. Not only do the interests of different children vary widely, but the physical size of children varies greatly. Thus, one child may be able to go on a ride with a "42 inch minimum height" a year or two earlier than another. And then on the other hand, there are attractions at Legoland that will please every age group in your family...from toddlers to grandparents! (These include attractions such as Legoland's Miniland Cities, the Legoland Coast Cruise, the Lego Star Wars area, and the park's movie theater showing films featuring Lego characters.
Legoland has been working hard to please "tween" visitors in the past several years---and they've certainly done a good job!
Legoland Rides for ages 8+ --- "Imagination Zone" AreaThe "Imagination Zone" themed area is geared almost entirely towards the older kids in your family. If you have children age 8 and up, you'll surely want to spend alot of time here!
LEGO TECHNIC TEST TRACK: The "Lego Technic Test Track" thrill ride is the Imagination Zone's centerpiece...and it's the tallest roller coaster in the theme park! Your 'tween may not wish to venture any further until he or she has ridden it!
The scenario for the "Lego Technic Test Track" is this: Lego makes a line of moderately difficult-to-assemble vehicles (called the Lego Technic line) that's geared towards the more-skillful abilities of older children. So, supposedly your ride car on this coaster has just been built from one of these kits, and you're headed to test it out on this daunting track!
Shops at Legoland sell the "Lego Technic" line of Lego kits, which are truly exciting. Your child can build interesting vehicles such as fork lifts, motorcycles, dump trucks, cranes and excavators---that all have real working parts, like pneumatically-operated booms that raise and lower, and/or steering mechanisms. Plus, all of the vehicles can be re-built into at least one other (different) vehicle. The Lego Technic kits are impressive. This Lego line of toys can be a perfect fit for kids who love to construct things.
The minimum height for riders of the Technic Test Track roller coaster is 42" (with parent along...or 48 tall to ride alone.) This ride does go high up into the air and make some thrilling plunges, so these are certainly sensible height requirements. The ride cars are individual units (rather than a coaster train) and will seat a party of 4.
The fact that your little "air boat" will send up a splash as it zips across the pond is only a PART of the deluge you may receive. There are also "geysers" of water that pop up unexpectedly every now and then, sending an extra spray your way. And, even worse, squirt cannons (when they're in operation on the warmer days) can be aimed at you by the spectators along the sidelines!
Still, if it's a warm day, "go for it!" This ia a unique ride that you're not going to find at other California theme parks. The minimum height for the Aquazone Wave Racers is 52" tall to ride alone...or 40 inches tall to ride with a parent. Yes, younger kids in the family may enjoy this ride, too...but some of the biggest, slyest grins that you'll see when you're watching this ride belong to the kids in the older age group.
Both Bionicles kits and Lego Technic building kits are available in the stores at Legoland Park! With the Bionicles construction kits, your child can make a number of interesting-looking aliens with odd-sounding names and strange shapes.
Legoland Rides for ages 8+ ----- "Castle Hill" AreaLegoland has a scary-to-the-bone thrill ride that older kids adore! It's called the Knight's Tournament, and as you can see by the photo of this ride (to your right,) older kids and adults can really have some screaming fun!
You'll be hoisted into the air in one of six frenzied claws that will wave you around, up, and down...then repeat the action all over again.. The tilting of the ride cars can turn the passengers upside-down and get them truly frightened---which is EXACTLY what the park's older-kid customers want!
Still, to please their big base of younger customers, parents may choose a milder version of the ride for their families---which WON'T strike terror into the hearts of younger riders. (However, many of the park's younger visitors will be excluded from riding, anyhow, by this ride's 40" minimum height requirement...and that's the minimum height if a parent will accompany them. Kids will need to be a full 55 inches tall in order to ride by themselves.)
Once aboard the coaster itself, you'll wind along a fun track through a tree-and-greenery filled garden, reaching speeds up to 26 MPH. You'll pass more whimsical made-of-Legos creatures spaced throughout the garden---if you're not whizzing along too fast to look at them!
Legoland Rides for ages 8+ ----- "Fun Town" Area
Still MORE Legoland fun for 8, 9, 10, 11 & 12-year-olds!The Sky Cruiser is a pedal-it-yourself ride on an elevated track, which will give you good views of Legoland Park as you're riding along. (The Sky Cruiser ride is pictured to your left.) The Sky Cruiser accepts riders with only a 36" minimum height, if they're riding with a parent. Frankly, however, the ride takes quite a bit of stamina to pedal down its long track, and if you ride with a younger child, YOU'LL be doing all that pedaling---by yourself! By the time kids reach the 48" minimum height to ride alone, they'll be more capable of making a more substantial contribution to the go-power of this vehicle.
Other rides in Fun Town that might be of interest to older kids are: The Volvo Driving School, which accepts riders ages 6 through 13 only; and Legoland's "Kid Power Tower," another one of the many rides in this unusual theme park which you won't find at any other theme park. At the Kid Power Tower, older children get the chance to discover that---with the proper equipment and leverage---seemingly impossible feats can be accomplished. In this case, that feat is lifting a ride car and its occupants to the top of a tall tower---all by one's own muscle power!
This ride does require some minimum basic physical strength, and has a minimum height requirement of 40" with parent (or 48" tall to ride alone), so there are indeed some good reasons why this ride is for older kids only. In fact, kids who ride at 40" tall aren't going to be able to do much lifting; mom or dad will need to add a heavy dose of their own elbow grease. So, while it's a fun ride for many ages, kids really won't be doing much of the work themselves until they reach the 8 to 12 age range.
Lego Mindstorms Robot Lab!LEGOLAND ROBOTS! There's an exciting Legoland attraction reserved for guests age 10 and up ONLY---the Lego Mindstorms robotics lab.
You won't be able to "come and go as you please" at the Lego Mindstorms lab. Guests are admitted to the Mindstorm Robot Lab in "sessions"...and your tween or teen will need to be listed on the session's roster to be admitted. So, first thing when you enter the Legoland Park in the morning, you'll want to head to the Mindstorms attraction to schedule a session time for this popular attraction.
When it's your child's turn to enter the lab, he or she will get to build a computerized robot---that will really follow commands!
The current Lego Mindstorms robot...called Mindstorms NXT 2.0...is actually more REAL robot and less "toy" than you can possibly imagine. Visually, it LOOKS like a real robot. And, it ACTS like you'd expect a robot to act. The Mindstorms NXT robot responds to both lights and sounds, and has touch sensors, as well. It's the perfect parent-child project...although parents need to "hang loose" and prepare to be shown-up by bright children! (Being raised in this age of computers, kids sometimes have a knack for things that parents can't quite "get!") With a Mindstorms NXT 2.0 robot kit in-hand, your child won't just be a kid putting Lego parts together. He/she will feel...and be...a budding scientist!
With an older at-home Mindstorms version, your child got to build a minimum of 3 different computerized robots that actually move and function on their own (to the pre-programming that your child sets!) Note: The kit didn't come with enough parts to build all 3 robots at once; your child had to tear the first one apart to build the second one, etc.
One robot in the older Mindstorms home kit was a Candy Sorter. The second was a Robotic Arm. The third was called an "Artbot," which actually drew pictures (geometric designs)! It accomplished this by using its tires to drive in a pre-determined path, carrying a drawing pen along with it as it rolls!
The older Lego Mindstorms basic kit cost $199...though, considering the complex parts that you got with the kit, it did seem like a good value. Though I don't believe this older Mindstorms robot kit is currently being offered by the Lego company itself, it can sometimes be found on sites like EBay.
Note: If your child already has been working at home with a Mindstorms kit, you'll be pleasantly surprised to know that at the Legoland Park's lab, projects will get even more involved and intense. Your son or daughter can build robots at Legoland that do even more complicated things from their at-home cousins. (However, it is NOT necessary to have prior at-home experience with Mindstorm Kits in order to have a successful session in the theme park's lab. Each session begins with an instructional period. Next, kids start building their robots...but with the instructor making rounds to help the students continually.) Does this sound like a great learning activity? Well, indeed it is! Note: Legoland warns winter visitors that the Mindstorms lab may be closed for several hours at a time if a school group visits!
Lego Mindstorms Home Version Discounts on EbayIf you're looking for Lego's Mindstorms NXT 2.0, you're not alone! Mindstorms are a very popular line of the creative Lego toys. You can find Mindstorms products on sale every day of the week on the EBay auction website---often at a good discount from what you'd pay in a toy store. (You'll also be able to find some of the older Mindstorms versions for sale, from time to time...just in case you'd like to catch up on what you missed before.)
In the Ebay Widget below, you can see current auctions of Lego Mindstorms kits and parts. When one auction ends, another new auction moves in to fill its place. In other words, by the next time you reach this page, you'll have a whole new assortment of Mindstorms items to look through! (Or, if you're looking for a different product, simply type what you're hunting into the search box at the top of the widget.)
Other activities for older kids & 'tweens at Legoland ParkAs you've seen, Legoland California has many rides & attractions that will appeal to older kids age 8 thru 12. However, the park also offers a selection of attractions which will interest more than one age group. Your 'tween may also enjoy some of the rides and exhibits that you'll find covered on one of our other pages about Legoland. These include---