If your kids love building ingenious LEGO building brick creations and they could not get enough of the LEGO Movie, they will be thrilled to go where everything is awesome at the new LEGO MOVIE EXPERIENCE at LEGOLAND California Resort.  The attraction features a behind-the-scenes look at the LEGO Movie set where kids can step onto a LEGO soundstage and see the amazing collection of LEGO models that were featured in the 3D animated adventure.

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Visitors can view more than three million LEGO bricks that make up the models on the set and relive the adventures of the hero Emit, one perfectly ordinary LEGO minifigure who follows a calling to stop an evil tyrant, and he learns that he is a lot more special than he ever imagined.

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While the LEGOLAND park operates on a limited schedule with shorter hours off season, the advantage to visiting during winter months is that the crowds are sparse.  On a cool and rain-sprinkling Sunday in March, we were able to get on the most popular rides with a wait of just a few minutes. 

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For those staying overnight to visit LEGOLAND Resort, the new LEGOLAND Hotel bordering the park offers terrific convenience, but another great option is one of the best little hotels anywhere, West Inn and Suites.  This boutique hotel offers a great value at a reasonable price starting at $159.00.  West Inn & Suites is located just few minutes away from LEGOLAND on the outskirts of an industrial park and close by the McClellan-Palomar Airport and the railroad tracks.  Despite the unusual location, this terrific inn is smartly decorated and features top-notch friendly service. 

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The large king or queen suites are appointed with classic contemporary dark wood furniture, desks outfitted with outlets for computer and a pull-out queen sofa bed in a separate sitting area perfect for kids.  This place has everything a traveler could need and more:  heated pool and Jacuzzi, wi-fi, lighted make-up mirrors, wet bar, mini-fridge and in-room coffee maker.  Families with young kids abound in this hotel, due to its nearness to LEGOLAND, so it makes sense that the staff were so understanding when the our kids locked the in-room safe, and security had to come up to open it; or when we needed a fan for white noise to help the kids sleep.  Other kid-friendly amenities include a game system and two TVs, and fresh-daily cookies served with cold milk every night along with a hot breakfast buffet served daily. 

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Two restaurants adjacent to the property are the popular local and tourist dining destinations:  the gourmet West restaurant and the more causal Bistro West.  Both source their produce from a local three-acre farm where fresh veggies are plucked each morning and brought to the restaurant’s kitchen. Image

Bistro West sees plenty of families enjoying the restaurant’s satisfying comfort food post-LEGOLAND.  The kids menu features typical mac and cheese and chicken strip fare along with a nice kid-portioned filet mignon for the little foodie sophisticate. 

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For grownups, some of the featured favorites are the calamari fritti two ways with Asian seasonings and a wasabi cocktail sauce and classic fritti with roasted garlic aioli.  For entrees the local white sea bass served with pickled baby carrots and black olive tapenade over farro and hearty pastas like the spaghetti in vodka tomato cream with sautéed shrimp are winners. 

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The white chocolate and Tahitian vanilla bean crème brulee duo or the made-for-sharing mud pie loaded with layers of Oreo, ice cream and drizzled with chocolate sauce are delicious finishers.

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