LEGOLAND California offers three parks in one: the theme park, the water park and the Sea Life Aquarium. If you have tadpoles 12 and under, LEGOLAND has a lot to offer but on a less-intense scale than other theme parks. If you are visiting during the heat of summer, you’ll want to take advantage of visiting the LEGOLAND Water Park and SEA LIFE Aquarium as ways to cool off or escape the sun altogether. We frogs are always looking to save some green and maximize our time when on vacation, so here’s how to hop to it and save money when purchasing tickets for LEGOLAND California, the LEGOLAND Water Park and the Sea Life Aquarium.
How to Save Money at the LEGOLAND California Water Park & Sea Life Aquarium
The best way to save money is to buy Park Hopper tickets and to purchase in advance (which can also score you an extra day for free). The LEGOLAND Water Park is located within the LEGOLAND California, but it is gated off and requires either a Park Hopper ticket or a separate admission for an additional fee. You must purchase LEGOLAND California admission to gain access to the water park. In other words, there is no option to just pay for the water park and skip LEGOLAND. You can do both or just LEGOLAND, but not just the water park. The water park gate is located at the very back of LEGOLAND. If you do not have a Park Hopper ticket, getting into the water park will set you back an additional $30 per person ages 3 and up at the water park gate.
Don’t get hosed if you know you are going to want to visit the water park. Buy in advance! While a front gate ticket can cost an adult $95 and the water park add-on an additional $30 (plus an additional $22 for the Sea Life Aquarium), the Undercover Tourist Park Hopper (including theme park, water park, aquarium plus a second day free) comes to $106.95 (as of this writing). The savings per person and two days of LEGOLAND entertainment for the price of one are well worth the advance planning.
You can access the Sea Life Aquarium near the LEGOLAND California entrance and parking lot. Even though you can purchase just a Sea Life Aquarium admission ticket without entering LEGOLAND for $22, it really is not worth that price for the one hour of entertainment. A Park Hopper is going to be your best bargain to explore the interactive exhibits with touch tanks, tunnels, slides, sharks, jelly fish and even seahorses. You will have time to visit the aquarium on your bonus free day or use it as a way to escape the sun and heat each day if you have tadpoles who really love sea creatures.
How to Maximize Your Time at LEGOLAND California Water Park and Aquarium
The peak crowd time at the water park in summer is from 1 to 3 p.m. For the lowest crowds, we suggest visiting the water park from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. or from 3 p.m. to closing. The hours vary throughout the year, so be sure to check the calendar for other seasons. There are two sections to the water park: the regular water park and the CHIMA water park. The Pirate Reef boat ride and water cannon play area is accessible to both water park and LEGOLAND California guests. Beware: You will get drenched!
An alternative plan during those summer peak afternoon crowd hours is to visit the Sea Life Aquarium, which is completely indoors. It gets you out of the peak sun times and into some air conditioning. The aquarium takes about one hour to walk through and see all of the 5,000-something live fish and other sea creatures. Your tadpoles have plenty of play opportunities along the way. There is an indoor café at the very end. It makes a nice add-on to your journey if you already have a Park Hopper ticket. It is certainly not as large or as exciting as visiting Sea World San Diego, but it adds a fun and educational bonus to your LEGOLAND journey.
Get Wet Without Paying for Water Park Admission
If you only have one day to spend at LEGOLAND California, it would be challenging to do the park, water park and aquarium. If you purchase the Park Hopper with a free second day, you can definitely do it all in those two days. If you have only one day to spend, and getting wet is a small part of your fun, you can get by with a one-day LEGOLAND California ticket and bring swimsuits for the tadpoles. There are plenty of water play areas and wet rides in LEGOLAND to satisfy their splash needs without entering the water park. Pirate Shores has wet rides (OK soak rides such as Pirate Reef and Splash Battle) and three water play areas for kids of varying ages.