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You know how there are resorts that appeal to kids as well as adults? Hyatt does really well in this particular area. So yeah, Legoland Beach Retreat ain’t it. Sure, there are some aspects that are nice. It’s located by the lake, and the atmosphere is peaceful.
But for the most part, if you book a stay here, you have to do so with the realization that your fun will mainly consist of watching your kid/kids have a great time. You will pay quite a bit of money for a tiny room with subpar furnishings. Then there is a basic pool that is barely a notch above something you can find in a roadside motel.
But if your kid is anything like mine, at the end of the trip they will probably say that when they grow up, they will buy a duplex in Legoland Beach Retreat. And that’s the highest praise I can think of.
Most people visit Legoland park as a day trip from Kissimmee area by combining it with a Disney vacation. Hopefully, my post will help you decide whether it’s worth it to pack all of your junk and treat your offspring to a night in Lego-themed hotel. I’ve written a post with details on the booking, so won’t repeat myself. The short version is that I paid $250 all-in via AAA rate, and chose Legoland Beach Retreat instead of on-site hotels because it was $175 cheaper.
Originally, only my husband and son were supposed to stay here. But on the morning of check-in, my daughter got sad because she didn’t want her brother to have all the fun. So, we all went. I anticipated something like that, which is why I made the reservation for four people.
The layout and amenities of Legoland Beach Retreat
First, let’s address the negatives. The reason this property is usually quite a bit cheaper than Legoland Hotel and Legoland Pirate Island is because it’s not located by the entrance to the park. The drive is relatively easy and takes about five minutes. Plus, there are shuttles that go back and forth every fifteen minutes, though only on Friday and Saturday. Still, you do lose the convenience factor.
How much it’s worth only you can decide. To me, it certainly wasn’t worth an extra $175, but I would probably book the on-site property if the difference was $100 or so. Now, I haven’t stayed at the other two hotels, so can’t make an apples-to-apples comparison. But I’ve done enough research to have a pretty good idea. So, basically, you can view the Retreat as cheaper version of the brand if you will.
You have to check in for your stay via drive-thru. It was relatively easy and painless, so I give this one a thumbs up. Of course, if you have five or six cars in front of you, it can take awhile. The resort consists of several sections, and only two parking lots located close to the entrance. Here is a map to give you an idea on what I’m talking about:
The biggest issue to me is potentially getting assigned to the furthest section and having to drag all of your stuff there. This would be a nightmare during summer, especially if you have to do it in the rain. Unfortunately, there is no way to reserve a unit in a specific section, so it’s the luck of the draw. If you do book a unit here, request a Seagull’s Cove, as it’s located close to the parking lot as well as restaurant and the pool.
I didn’t say anything at check-in, and we were assigned to stay in Lifeguard’s Cove. It was close to the parking lot, so that was a plus. However, the unit was right next to the road, so we could hear the traffic. At night, there wasn’t any major noise, though. It wasn’t the best location, but it was ok for one night.
The resort has a restaurant that looks like a lighthouse:
That’s where you get your complimentary breakfast, served family style
The food was actually decent, and the coffee was out of this world. The waitress told me they buy gourmet coffee because they know the parents will need it. Yup.
The pool (heated) is decent, though nothing to write home about. The biggest appeal to my son was the abundance of soft lego bricks floating around. He was entertained for hours. The pool wasn’t packed at all when we were there.
There is a fire pit where you can do s’mores, something both of my kids really appreciated.
A fun fact: when I booked the hotel stay, I had an option to add a s’mores kit for $10. I decided to skip it and bring my own. Well, the check-in person gave me a complimentary kit and said it was included with all rooms. So why charge $10 at booking time? Very odd.
Another odd thing was the fact that according to Legoland website and the sign on the property, the pool doesn’t open until 11 AM. This upsets many parents since the checkout time is also 11 AM. But then I saw a lifeguard telling a guest that they actually open the pool at 9 AM. Maybe it’s a crazy Florida thing.
I was told that the guests staying at Retreat can use all the amenities at the other two hotels. We didn’t really take advantage of it, since it required driving at night and finding a parking spot. But this is a decent perk since the other pool is a bit nicer and has a slide. Plus, they have a pajama party and other lego activities.
My husband did take my son to Legoland Pirate hotel for twenty minutes the next morning.
I can’t not address the elephant in the room. Due to Covid pandemic, staying in Legoland Beach Retreat will obviously be safer. You don’t have to worry about crowded hallways or elevators. Plus, due to new variant, infection rates in Florida may go up within a month or two.
Personally, this didn’t really affect my decision a whole lot. We chose to wait until all in the family were vaccinated. Plus, infection rates in Florida are very low at the moment. My thinking is, if you are comfortable going to an amusement park, you should probably be comfortable staying in a traditional hotel. But that’s a decision each family has to make for themselves.
Each duplex has two units in it, so you only have one family as your neighbors. This could work out well if you are vacationing with in-laws, as long as both units are available.
Each cove has a little outdoor play area, a really neat idea for families with small kids.
You and your spouse can relax on the patio (preferably with wine) while your little ones are burning off the energy.
The room itself is quite small, probably around 300 square feet or so:
There is a bunk area for kids, separated by a curtain:
Everything is lego-themed, even the bathroom:
The sitting furniture consists of one wooden stool:
They leave a couple of complimentary lego sets for kids:
My son is obsessed with legos, so he was basically in heaven here.
My daughter? Not so much, though she did enjoy swimming in the pool and roasting marshmallows.
Should you splurge on one night here? Only you can decide. You should be able to use Ultimate Rewards portal, though it won’t give you a AAA discount. I do recommend staying in one of the two on-site hotels if the difference in price isn’t too great. As for me, I don’t regret booking this place at all. My husband and I had so much fun watching our son enjoy himself.
The pandemic has been hard on the kids, as we had to cancel a lot of our travel plans. Plus, my son has been in virtual school for close to two years, and craves interaction with other lego-obsessed kids. This place was a huge hit in that respect.
That said, I don’t need to ever do it again, though he is begging me to book him another night at some point. Eh, maybe I will. But don’t tell him that!
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Leana is the founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.
I’m glad your son had a good time.
Though this comment really resonated with me:
“That said, I don’t need to ever do it again.”
We didn’t stay at a Legoland hotel, but that pretty much sums up our Legoland visit Christmas of 2018. One and certainly done.
@Projectx I imagine it was quite busy there over holidays. We live one hour away, so it’s easier to plan a visit during slower time. I’ve reluctantly decided to buy annual passes to Legoland for my husband and son, probably for the last time. The cost for Florida residents during Black Friday was $99 per person, and we would pay that much for just one day. I might book him one night in Legoland Pirate Hotel at some point, but the price would have to be somewhat reasonable ($200 or less).
We knew it would be busy. What we didn’t know was that Legoland would be completely unprepared for it, full of apathetic & slow moving employees, and a couple of their bigger rides would be closed for scheduled maintenance. What park schedules maintenance on large rides during the busiest week of the year?!
My kids would have loved this place when they were younger!
Nancy, I’m sure of it! I imagine most young boys would. That’s why I decided it’s now or never. My son will most likely find the experience lame in a few years. Or maybe not.
Lara S. says
I’d actually rather stay here with the outdoor porch area. The two main lego hotels have no balconies or space to sit and unwind. My son would love to go here for a couple of days as part of a bigger central Florida all the theme parks kind of a trip.Thanks for the tip! Were the rides at the park any good?
@Lara S. My son absolutely loves Legoland park, and has been going there for six years or so. Since we live only one hour away, we usually get annual passes and visit for a few hours on a weekend. I’ve written a few posts on the park itself, here is one in case you are interested https://milesforfamily.com/2015/04/02/everything-is-awesome-in-legoland/ Though keep in mind that many cool rides have been added since it was published. I have always enjoyed Legoland park, since it’s a less stressful experience compared to Disney. Though of course, it’s an “apples to oranges” kind of comparison.
I think most boys ages 5-11 will love it. My daughter is 13, and it’s not her cup of tea, though she used to enjoy it when she was younger. Honestly, if you find a good deal on Retreat, it might be worth it, especially if you intend to pay for another hotel in the same area. The difference in price would probably be justified, especially if you plan to do it only once. And you are right, there are certain aspects to Retreat that are more appealing compared to the main hotels.
Nick @ PFD says
The rides at Disney are better than the Legoland rides, and they’re aimed more at the under 12 segment. But that said, Legoland was 100x more enjoyable than Disney. You can just show up, go on some rides, and leave without having to do all the planning and waiting in line that goes with a Disney trip. And my kids loved it.
@Nick Agree 100%! Legoland is one amusement park my husband can tolerate and even enjoy. My kids still want to go to Disney, and we are planning on it. But Legoland is a more relaxing experience, for sure.
appreciate this writeup! i cancelled my 2 night rez here (opting to stay somewhere nicer in Orlando instead), and was wondering if i had made the right decision. i think i did. 🙂
Danny, I’m very glad the post was helpful! My goal is to present the facts and let readers decide. Family vacations can be stressful, and what appeals to some may not be worth it for others. My son absolutely loved the whole experience, and said he prefers Legoland Beach Retreat to Hyatt Regency Coconut Point ( his previous favorite). I can say that to me, the value you get here for $250 per night is rather questionable. But then again, I’m not an 11-year old boy obsessed with legos. 😉