We tried to get a family photo in front of the park, but impatient Evan just wanted to go have fun. He couldn’t waste any precious minutes posing for a photo.
Legoland Florida opened in October 2011 and is about a 45 minute drive south from Disney. It is divided into the following areas: The Beginning, Fun Town, Miniland USA, Duplo Village, Lego Kingdoms, Land of Adventure, Lego City, Imagination Zone, Lego Technic, Pirates’ Cove, Cyprus Gardens, and World of Chima. I was a little bummed that we still missed out on Duplo Village. It closed for renovations right before our trip in October and didn’t open until the end of May. Looking at the photos of the area now, it would have been perfect for Evan. The water park was also closed during this visit, so I am glad we spent a good bit of time there in October.
We started our day with the Fresh From Florida Greenhouse. This interactive exhibit shows the steps from farm to table. Miniature lego farm scenes are scattered through a variety of vegetables and ornamental plants.
It seems like in every park we visited, Evan always went straight for the carousel. The Grand Carousel is a double decker with Lego-style horses. Evan was excited to ride twice in a row thanks to the low crowd levels.
Evan has grown a bit since October, so there were a few rides he could try out this time. The Safari Trek drives you around a course featuring large Lego safari animals.
He was still too little for the driving and flying schools, but he did enjoy the Boating School. We manned our boat around a water course. I helped him a bit since he had difficulty reaching the steering wheel.
Chad’s favorite is still the Star Wars section of Miniland. My only complaint would be that this area of the park gets very very hot. During both visits, Evan always got grumpy due to the heat. There isn’t much for shade and all the concrete doesn’t help. There are a few cooling fans stationed throughout the park, but by the afternoon, the mist seems to evaporate before it even hits you. I would definitely avoid this area between noon and three during the hotter months.
Sections include Daytona Int’l Speedway, Florida, Kennedy Space Center, Pirate’s Shores, California, New York, Washington D.C., Las Vegas, and Lego Star Wars. If you get the chance, look closely at detailing put into each of the sections. I especially enjoyed all the little scenes.
When Legoland Florida took over Cypress Gardens, they restored the botanical gardens and incorporated it into the park. Walking along the trails, you will see a collection of native and exotic plants, including a Banyan tree planted in 1939. Yesterland features before and after photos and a history of the gardens. We were strolling by the pond just in time to see an alligator with a huge fish.
For my last Legoland post, I made Lego shaped crayons using Building Bricks and Minifigure Ice Cube Tray or Candy Mold. I decided to use the silicone molds again to make these Fruit Gummy Legos. You can use any shape silicone or plastic molds, but the silicone is much easier to work with and doesn’t require any greasing.
Evan wasn’t quite sure they were for eating at first. He played for about 10 minutes before even attempting a bite.
This recipe is fairly versatile based on ingredients you have available. I had a large bag of plums from my CSA, so the first flavor I made was Plum Lemon. I also made Strawberry Lime and Blueberry Lemon. The plum and strawberry gummies were my favorite.
The gelatin begins to set quickly after you mix it into the fruit juice. If it starts to harden before you finish filling all the molds, reheat it on the stove and whisk to make sure it is thoroughly dissolved. I used a funnel to aid in filling the molds.
Fruit Gummy Legos
Adapted from Inspired Edibles
1/2 cup fruit or vegetable juice
1/4 cup lemon or lime juice
1 tablespoon honey or pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons unflavored gelatin powder
1/4 cup boiling water
If using plastic molds, lightly grease the surface (making sure to get into the nooks) with oil.
In a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over the boiling hot water. Whisk together until completely dissolved and let rest until the gelatin has bloomed.
In another small bowl or glass, whisk together fruit or vegetable juice, citrus juice, and honey. Stir the bloomed gelatin to make sure completely dissolved before thoroughly mixing into the juice.
Use a funnel or cup with a spout to quickly transfer the juice into the molds. Let the molds sit for about a minute before transferring to the refrigerator. Chill until gelatin has set and the exposed surface of the candy is no longer sticky to touch.
Carefully remove and store extras in the refrigerator in an airtight container.