LEGOLAND New York Guide to Visiting: Reviews, Tips, Advice and Suggestions

Thursday, January 25, 2024
If you're headed to LEGOLAND New York, don't go without reading my review first! We just returned from our park visit and I have plenty of tips and suggestions for you. These are things I wish someone had told me before I visited, too, so be sure to read to the end for all of my advice.

*This post has been freshly updated for 2024!
LEGOLAND New York opens for the season on March 27, 2024

Disclosure: I was provided with media tickets to visit LEGOLAND New York in order to facilitate my review, but that in no way influenced my opinion. I still had to pay for our food, parking, add-ons, travel costs, and more, so trust me, I wouldn't steer you wrong. I loved our visit so much that I recently signed on as an affiliate for Merlin Entertainments. Affiliate links in this post enable me to earn fees by linking to LEGOLAND sites. 

I always try to keep my posts up to date and accurate, so be sure to Pin this for future reference! Also, I try to answer all comments in the comment section (but comments are not posted until pre-approved, thanks to spammers). 

My Quick History with LEGOLAND New York

I have been covering the construction of LEGOLAND New York since 2017- literally since day one when I stood in a hard hat on the grounds that would someday become this awesome theme park. I wrote multiple posts about the park's progression (you can read them all here) and was eagerly anticipating its grand opening. As we all know, a pandemic delayed that, and I was not asked to return for a press visit until now. Finally seeing it complete in person was very special and something I'll never forget.

About Our Visit

For reference, we visited LEGOLAND New York midweek (a Thursday) in late August. Crowds were not awful, but it's a theme park, after all, so there were plenty of people. If you want to avoid big crowds, I would not suggest visiting on a weekend. When we visited, it was also unbearably hot - I mean, waaayyy over 90 degrees. There was also a hurricane earlier in the week when we visited. It was a tough weather week for anyone!

Don't Bring Cash

A HUGE thing that you need to know, first and foremost, is that this is a cashless theme park. None of the stores, eateries, games, or rental areas accept cash. Everything is credit card only. If you bring cash and forget, don't worry, they do have Cash-to-Card machines in the park where you can exchange cash for a prepaid card.

About the Themed Lands and Attractions

I am not going to go over in detail what every single ride entails because that would be a waste of time and space. If you want to see a complete list of LEGOLAND New York's rides and attractions you can see that on their website. You can also read an in-depth description of each themed land (including one that is not built yet, go look at my post and see if you can find it) here. Things to note:

-be sure to review height restrictions and requirements ahead of time so you know what rides your kids can and can't go on. 

-LEGOLAND New York is made up of a combination of attractions and rides. There are not a huge amount of rides (roughly 18, and that includes kiddie rides) that all ages/heights can actually ride on (rides are age/height specific, so look ahead at what your kids can enjoy). Others are attractions, like the 4D movie, climbing structures, shows, or building opportunities. 

-there are some areas where kids can actually build and learn, such as the Build and Test and Creative Workshop (your child can sign up for a workshop or build cars to race and go). Both areas are air conditioned, too. Build a Boat and Builders Guild also offer opportunities to build.

-there is a water playground area with small slides and cascading splash (this was not open yet during our visit but has since had its grand opening at the park. Will update when I visit again to let you know what it's like!)

Parking Fee at LEGOLAND New York

As of the publication date of this entry, there is a parking fee of $30. You can pay online in advance or on-site. We did not see much info about parking fees as we drove into the park. As you exit the park (on foot) there are signs reminding you to prepay, but there are no kiosks to do that and no physical ticket stubs to put into a machine anyway. I stopped at the guest services ticket window on my way out to ask about this and was told that if you did not prepay before leaving, you could hold up the QR code on your printed ticket to use upon exiting. We opted to pay at the window, so we were given a ticket stub to insert in the machine to show that we paid. It's an automatic gated exit for cars and we did not see any human attendants, so I'm not sure what would happen if scanning your ticket didn't work or if you were trying to pay at the gate with a credit card. You can also purchase a "parking upgrade" on their website for $45, enabling you to park closer to the park entrance.

Food at LEGOLAND New York 

There are so many amazing food choices listed on the LEGOLAND New York website and park map. But I have to be honest and let you know that when we visited, many of the food kiosks were closed (again, a weekday in late August). I don't know why this was, but the smaller snack and drink kiosks were all not open. There were no food carts at all. Here are some tips I can share with you about eating:

-you are permitted to bring coolers into the park of small snack items and water. There are refillable water stations throughout the park (but for us, water was not cold, although in fairness it was 100 degrees outside).

-there is plenty of room to bring a stroller and plenty of paved paths (it truly is built for kids and families). Some visitors were even bringing small wagons for their kids.

-There are several sit down restaurants throughout the park, so don't think you have to sit outside and eat. Smokey's Brick-B-Que, Brickolini's Pizza & Pasta Buffet and Brickbeard's Food Market are all sit-down eateries with air conditioning (they are counter service-type restaurants, though, no waiters/waitresses). 

-I personally thought the best deal at Royal Feast (which was walk-up service, not indoor seating) was the kids combo meal, which came with fries and a drink. The other combo meals there did not include drinks. Food is pricey! Be prepared to pay a lot, especially for a large family. 

-I hear the best deal for families is at Brickolini's Pizza & Pasta Buffet,  for about $50 a family of four can get all you can eat pizza, pasta, salad and dessert, including drinks.

-Don't miss the signature Granny's Apple Fries and exclusive apple-flavored ice cream. These are famous at LEGOLAND and shouldn't be missed! I didn't feel like waiting on line for it and I now have apple regret so don't end up like me. 

-Brick Street Cafe is a self-serve grab and go place to find snacks, muffins, candy, drinks, and coffee. If you hit the park early and need a pick me up, this might be what you're looking for. I'm not sure why they call it a cafe, though, since it's like a walkthrough self-serve kind of thing.

-Want to eat outside the park? Check out the Goshen Diner or Parm in Woodbury Common (Harriman). 

apple ice cream photo via LEGOLAND New York Facebook page

Not to Miss Rides/Attractions*

If you're wondering which rides shouldn't be missed or what you should hit first, here's my opinion:

-The Dragon (in LEGO Castle area) was my favorite ride of the day. According to one of my Season Pass Holder Experts (thank you, Stephanie!), when you get to the park, hit this ride up first (scope out your map ahead of time- you'll need to walk to the back of the park first), you'll most likely beat the lines. Honestly I feel like experiencing this ride alone was worth the trip for us!

-LEGO Factory Adventure Ride (in Bricktopia) was really incredible and used some awesome technology. We rode this as soon as we arrived and pretty much had zero wait time. Our only gripe was that we must've experienced a glitch. The ride is supposed to show what you'd look like as a LEGO minifigure but ours never worked. The screen was blank when it was supposed to show us as minifigures so that was a huge disappointment. I asked an attendant what happened and she said maybe we didn't move our arms enough for the system to recognize us, but who knows?

-LEGO Ninjago the Ride (in LEGO Ninjago World) was a fun experience (and a great arm workout). This ride can also be a long wait time so it's another choice for "ride first." Some of the line will be outdoors and other times indoors. You need to wear 3D glasses for this one and there are some "scary" LEGO skeletons and giant snakes that you have to battle virtually.

-The Palace Cinema (LEGO CITY) shows a 4D movie that is a great place to sit and cool off. When we visited, the movie showtimes were not posted, but I think they are supposed to be posted somewhere outside of the theater or on the app.

-Splash Battle (at LEGO Pirates) and Rogue Riders were soooo needed after the hot day that we had. We didn't get to ride Rogue Riders because we were leaving and the line was too long, but you can actually stand near the ride itself (without actually going on the ride) and get totally soaked from the imaginary pirate cannons exploding in the water. LEGO Pirates was my favorite themed land of the day.

-LEGOLAND theater (near LEGO Castle) offered a live outdoor show that looked adorable. We didn't make it to the show itself but I saw it in passing and it looked fun. 

-Little kids will love the Driving School/Junior Driving School (in LEGO CITY). They can "drive" LEGO cars around an actual mini road and earn their LEGO driver's license at the end. Geared towards kids ages 3-5 and 8-12.

-Miniland is truly awesome. I've seen a lot of LEGO displays in my lifetime, but Miniland was beyond extraordinary. It was amazing to walk through it and see all of the detail and work that went into the creation of it. Spotting our favorite landmarks and real places we have visited was a blast.

-Don't miss the souvenir shops, especially The BIG Shop. They had so many cool LEGO themed items (some hard to find sets, too). They also carry some exclusive LEGOLAND sets (and if you skip buying, you can actually purchase some items online here). IMPORTANT TO NOTE: there are no plastic bags with purchase. You will need to purchase a reusable tote (they range in price from $1 and up, based on size) or carry out in your own bag. I actually liked the little tote bag- it made a cute souvenir by itself.

*Note: Several of the rides were closed while we visited, or were open and then closed at lunch time. Merlin's Flying Machines, Dragon's Apprentice, Jay's Gravity Force Trainer, Fire Academy, and Driving School were all closed (Junior Driving School was open).  Many playground areas were also roped off (possibly due to covid concerns?). I don't know the reason behind the closures (short staffed, maybe?) but I can see how this would cause major disappointment for any family. I have talked to people who have visited often throughout the summer and this was not the case for them, so perhaps this was a staffing issue we encountered at the time. 

New for 2024

LEGOLAND New York's Water Playground debuted and you can read all about it here. I can tell you that after our 90 degree visit, it was definitely a wise addition to the park! Here's a blurb of info about it from their website (keep in mind I haven't seen it yet since this is a new addition): "Splash, slide and cool off with your fellow party girls and buoys (and maybe even a few pirates) at the Water Playground! This new oasis features awesome waterslides, a cascading splash with 318 gallons of refreshing water, and build your own LEGO boat to float and race. Visit the party this summer, only at LEGOLAND New York!"

photo via LEGOLAND New York Facebook page

Tips, Suggestions and IMPORTANT Things to Note

-There is a LEGOLAND New York app that you can download for free. It will tell you wait times for rides and which are closed, but only when you are within the park.

-My annual pass holder expert (thanks again, Stephanie!) said the best time to get to the park is around 9:30am (opening time is 10am). We arrived around 11:30am and still had to wait on a long line to get in (although it did move quickly). There is NO shade coverage while waiting in this line at the entrance, FYI.

-Again, this park is cashless, so credit/debit only!! Purchase tickets here.

-Don't forget there's a parking fee ($30 as of the publication date of this entry)

-All of the reviews I read online mentioned the walking, the walking, the walking. I came in expecting a long, winding path that I'd have to traverse through the whole park, but that wasn't the case at all. There is a winding asphalt path or two between worlds but nothing awful (it's a theme park, so you're going to be doing a. lot of walking, that's just how it goes!). Just wear good walking shoes and remember that it's asphalt so it's hot. I did notice how some people just couldn't stick to the path, though, and were cutting down steep grassy areas that were clearly not paved for a reason. Why, people? Just...why? 

-We were a little bummed not to find any cooling misters on such a hot day, and very little shaded areas. LEGOLAND New York, I hope you'll add some screen coverings to some of your ride waiting/line areas, because it was literally unbearable in some places. Bring a hat and sunscreen for sure! Many people also carried parasol type umbrellas, but those can be heavy in a backpack. If you have grandparents or seniors with you, consider renting a scooter or finding a central spot in the park for them with umbrellas or shade. The restaurants are air conditioned, too. I feel like the upper part of the park (Bricktopia, Brick Street) was a little cooler than the bottom part, possibly because it's higher up on the hill. We just seemed to feel more of a breeze there.

-Bathrooms were clean and plentiful. The ones I visited were also air conditioned. 

-The staff I encountered were friendly and helpful, especially in the gift shops.

-There were supposed to be Minifigure trading stations around but we didn't see any during our visit. Maybe we missed them? If you've visited and know where they are, please let me know in the comments! (*update you can trade minifigures with any staff member!)

-There are extra fees for carnival-type games where you can win (non-LEGO themed) carnival prizes throughout the park, but remember, cashless

-There are many free play playground areas scattered throughout the park but when we visited, they were closed or roped off (possibly due to virus concerns?)

-Stay tuned for seasonal events! There are multiple opportunities to visit LEGOLAND New York for different seasonal events: Summer Block Party, Red White and Boom, Brick or Treat and the Holiday Bricktacular all take place during the year. 

-Watch for special Adult Events! LEGOLAND New York hosts special events in the park just for adults, so be on the lookout for those, too. 

-Follow LEGOLAND New York on Facebook and Instagram and sign up for their email newsletter. Watch for sales, ticket deals and specials! Groupon also offers discounted tickets. 

-Be sure to really look at all of the displays and LEGO figures throughout the park. There are so many fun photo opportunities!!

Season Passes

Just a word about season passes. I talked to so many people about this and looked into it myself- I truly think that if you love visiting LEGOLAND New York, this is the best money saving option. There are different types of season passes (the gold and elite passes offer the most perks). The mere fact that you don't have to pay for parking with gold and elite passes practically helps pay for itself! Depending on which pass you purchase, some perks include;

-in-park discounts
-free parking 
-50% off bring a friend tickets
-access to special events and shows
-digital passes
-hotel discounts
-exclusive offers and more!

Season Passes make great gifts, too. Check the LEGOLAND New York social channels for exclusive deals on season passes, especially before the park opens for the season. Explore more about season passes here.

LEGOLAND New York Hotel

We did not stay at LEGOLAND New York Hotel but it looked fun! There is an outdoor pool in front that is open seasonally. You can walk to the park right from the hotel. There is a restaurant inside the hotel, too, as well as many local places to eat in the town of Goshen (I hear the Goshen Diner is great!). 

The Jersey Momma's Final Word

LEGOLAND New York is a small park and relatively "new" as far as theme parks go (they officially opened in 2021). Would I go back again? In a heartbeat. This park was adorable. LEGO fans of all ages are bound to find something here to appreciate, be it the amazing structures of Miniland (and throughout the whole park) or the awesome Dragon roller coaster. The park was clean, vibrant, fun, and bright. I think it's perfect for kids 12 and under (and some older LEGO teen fans might appreciate it, too, even though it is not exactly geared for them). Adult LEGO enthusiasts will also enjoy even if you have no kids. It's only about 90 minutes from Central New Jersey, and easily accessible from New York City. If you visit and really enjoy it, consider annual passes, since you'll get free parking and a discount on purchases within the park. Annual pass holders also save on LEGOLAND New York Hotel reservations. I'm so proud to have covered the construction of the park all these years. I am honored to have witnessed a part of its historic beginning, and I will always, always tell people go while you can! Enjoy it while your kids are still little, seize the day! Everything is awesome.

For more info and to purchase tickets, visit


  1. Hi! We're planning a trip to NY this summer (from NV) and want to take the kids to Legoland. Have you been there on a Sunday? Is it too busy or do you think it's better to stick to weekdays? Looking into 6/26 or 6/27. Thank you :) love your review

    1. Hi Maria! I have not been there on a Sunday in June but I would imagine weekdays here would be less busy than weekdays. Did you check the calendar, though? I know they had planned to be closed certain weekdays in June, unless something has changed. I do think more food vendors and such might be open on weekends but it's hard to say!

  2. Is the park doable in one day or would you suggest the 2 day pass?

    1. I think it depends on the age of your kids and what time of year you are going. If they're very young you might want to stretch it out over two days (especially in the summer since they're adding the new water area). But if your kids are a little older and can't ride all of the little kid rides like mine, then you could definitely do it in a day. Hope that helps!

  3. Great information upon visiting, Thank you for posting.

  4. Excellent review! Thanks for the tips. I'm thinking of taking my pics this fall and you answered all of my questions (and honestly)!

  5. We are thinking of going in late November (thanksgiving weekend)? What do they do in the winter?

    1. I think this year (2022) they are having the "Holiday Bricktacular." You can copy and paste this link to see what they offer!

  6. Can you drop off guest to park without paying parking fee

    1. I'm not quite sure how that would work. There is a long and winding driveway up to the parking lot and guests pay on the way out of the lot, not in. At least that's how it was when we visited. It might be possible to drop them off at the hotel and they walk to the park from there (they are right next to each other). You could try calling the hotel to ask!

  7. Hiya! We are going this weekend. I am bringing a backpack with everything we will need. How are rides and stowing of a backpack?

    1. Most rides have the little cubbies (or a designated space to leave bags). It's "leave at your own risk" but I left mine on pretty much every ride with no issues. Hope that helps!

  8. Hello! I plan on going to this park in October (when I get my bonus) and unfortunately, we have to go on a weekend as my husband gets no time off. haha. We plan on going Friday October 20th through Sunday the 22nd and staying at the hotel. I will be booking it soon. It will be myself, my husband and our 11 yo son. Have you gone to the park during the fall? I see that there will be a Halloween party there.

    1. Hi there! I have not visited in the Fall (yet!) but I hear it is one of the best times to visit. I also don't think the park is open during the week in the Fall season, only weekends (and select Thursdays and Fridays), so you made the right call for a weekend visit! Their Brick or Treat event is supposed to be a lot of fun. That is held on Saturdays and Sundays in the park and it's included with your ticket. The weather is also usually really nice in October. I think it's a great time to go!

  9. This is so helpful! We are planning to bring a cooler with food into the park. Do you know if they have lockers available? Or, what type of stroller/wagon would work best? Is it like Disney, where you can just park strollers and go on rides?

    1. Hi there! So glad you found it helpful. Yes they do have lockers that you can rent. You can bring any kind of stroller or wagon as far as I know (but there is a size limit- max width of 31" and a max length of 52"). They didn't have designated areas for strollers and wagons that I recall but you can just park them outside of rides like most amusement parks. You can also rent a stroller at the park (you can even do it online before you go). I hope that helps!

  10. Do you think the "reserve and ride" passes are necessary? I just started researching this park today and was surprised to see they even have a thing like this (thing Genie+ here for Disney).


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