Monday, April 1, 2013

San Diego Vacation – Day 3 – Legoland

Before we left home, we thought that our visit to Legoland would be the highlight of our vacation. After all, Kai has been a Lego maniac these past several months. And he really enjoys going to our local Legoland, which is a pale miniature compared to the “real” one in California.

So following our great time at SeaWorld the day before, we thought this trip to Legoland would surely mean that we would have another good day.

Alas, our day started with a tussle over breakfast. Kai ate the fruit and potatoes on his plate, but did not touch the eggs and sausage. I wanted him to have some protein, too. And it was only one piece of sausage and one small spoonful of eggs; that didn’t seem like such a terrible request to finish what was on his plate.

But Kai objected. Loudly.

And when he started to yell that this was a terrible restaurant, we left.

I told him that on the day when we are visiting Legoland, where they have a great gift shop that has Lego sets that you cannot get back home, I would think he would behave nicely and not do anything to get Mom or Dad angry.

He mulled over what I said. He said that he would be good. But I was in no mood to tell him that we would get him a Lego set that day.

Legoland is north of San Diego, and the half hour drive to get there gave everyone time to cool off.

When we got there, my wife had the idea of checking with Customer Relations to see if they had special accommodations for kids with autism like they do at Disney World. We were very happy when they gave us a pass that allowed us to board rides with only a minimal wait. We found out that most of the rides that day had wait times from a half hour to well over an hour, so we would not have been able to enjoy them without the pass.

Our first ride was a boat that took us around a lagoon that had fabulous Lego figures, from famous buildings…

to fun creations.

Next, we walked over to Miniland, where we saw magnificent Lego recreations of cities including Las Vegas…

New York City….

and Washington DC…

as well as many others.

The Star Wars Miniland was really impressive, as they had recreations of famous scenes from all six Star Wars films.

as well as large figures of each major character.

After that, Kai wanted to play miniature golf on the course they had there. We play plenty of mini golf at home, and this course was nothing particularly special, so I would have been happy to skip it. But Kai wanted to do it, and we wanted to make him happy. But when he started complaining that he was tired and laid down on the course, my wife and I got really irritated. I was thinking that if he had eaten all of his breakfast, perhaps he would have had more energy.

We finished the game and found a place for lunch. Kai complained about the food again. My patience was running very thin.

After lunch, we wanted to go on some of the rides. Kai did not want to go on any rollercoasters as he was too scared. My wife and I thought it would be fun to do a ride where you ride a boat down a hill where it splashes down at the bottom. Kai did not want to do that either.

It was frustrating. Kai had done similar rides before. Three years ago, he had done Splash Mountain at Disney World and loved it. But now he was too scared.

I am usually the one to push him to do things he is too scared to do. But I did not have the energy to fight him any more on this day.

But my wife kept trying.

And Kai kept refusing.

Finally, I suggested that we do what he wanted to do. Which was some rides really intended for much younger kids.

Like the boat…

And the car…

He also did the Sky Cruiser with me, which was a bit more fun.

And after that we went to see the 3D movie that he really enjoyed.

As we left the 3D theater, we exited through a gift shop. Kai spotted a Ninjago set that he said was “really rare.” He wanted Mom to buy it for him.

My wife told him that she would get it if he rode the water ride just one time.

He cried and protested and said he was too scared.

I told him that he did not have to do it. But, if he did it, he would get the Lego set.

He finally agreed. Though it took a lot of hand holding to get him to the ride.

When we finally boarded, he was really nervous.

But as the boat plunged downward, I think he enjoyed it.

We all got soaked thoroughly. My wife and I laughed at how fun it was and how wet we got. I thought I saw a smile on Kai’s face as well.

We asked him if he liked it. He quietly muttered, “Mmm hmm.”

Here’s the picture we took after we got off. The camera got wet which is why half the shot is blurry.

When Kai and I went to the restroom afterward, Kai spontaneously said, “That was really fun!” And then he made a whooshing motion of the wave of water as it came over us.

So, he did really like the ride!

And that relieved a bit of my guilt for kind of making him do it.

We went back to the gift shop and my wife bought him the Lego set he really wanted.

And when we left the park, we all were in good spirits.

We had one more thing to deal with at dinnertime, though.

Kai really wanted to see American Idol. He started watching it a few weeks ago. He is not particularly interested in seeing the performances. But, he likes to see the results.

We went for dinner at a different sushi restaurant than the one we went to the first night. We would be cutting it really close to the start time of the show. Kai immediately started badgering the waitress about how long it would take to get the food, and we hadn’t even ordered yet!

We ate our edamame appetizers and then Kai got more anxious when the rest of our meal hadn’t arrived.

This was not going to be pleasant.

I got up and found our waitress. I asked if she could box up our sushi so we could take it with us. She seemed a bit dismayed, but she got our package ready quickly.

We got back to our hotel room in time for the results. My wife and I got to eat our sushi in peace.

Sometimes you have to adjust.

And so went the day.

It didn’t go as I had ideally imagined.

But in the end, through it all, we all adjusted. We all had a good time.

Tomorrow: Safari Park

Click here to read about our vacation from Day 1.


  1. I am really enjoying hearing about your vacation. This was a great account of a day that might not have gone perfectly, but that was still fairly enjoyable to all. That's the best we can hope for, sometimes! I look forward to reading your posts always.

    1. I'm glad you're enjoying the posts, Suzanne. Thanks for reading!

  2. That LegoLand looked like it is so much fun for young children.

    As your narrative continued...I was nervous. I was thinking that there would be a huge blowup. Thankfully, that did not happen. It had all ended well. Kai is going to have wonderful memories of this vacation. I am waiting to see how he reacts tomorrow with the animals. I know he will remember them...whether or not he appears to like them at the time. When we had taken our son to a large zoo...he hadn't seemed particularly interested at the time...however, years later...he remembered it and he seemed to have had a much better time than we had thought. His eyes had lit up as he talked of the various animals...especially when he later had seen them during nature shows. He had seen live ones...and it had brought to life...the nature show.

    1. Legoland is really geared toward younger kids... Kai would be on the tail end of the spectrum except that he is more like a 5 year old in some ways.

      I know what you are saying about your son not appearing to be interested but later showing that an impact was made. We've seen that with Kai at different times, and hopefully he will have grate memories of this trip.


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