LEGOLAND New York Resort is open for previews and it’s official- everything is awesome. For those of you who might not have heard, LEGOLAND is opening its newest resort in Goshen, New York, right in the heart of the Hudson Valley, this summer. It was originally slated to open last year, but was postponed to this July (most likely, opening date to be announced). Starting mid-May, the resort opened for previews, allowing guests to visit the park while it was still being completed. After having visited LEGOLAND California and Florida while I was growing up, my family wanted to see what the new New York destination had to offer. We visited on June 3rd and I can certainly say the park is truly bricktastic.
LEGOLAND New York Attractions & Offerings
When you first enter the property, you enter directly into the parking lot without first going through a toll booth, as you pay for your parking upon exiting at the end of the day. Even at the front gate, you’re greeted by LEGO sculptures, something that’s common around the whole park and is distinctly LEGO. Right now, the park still has temperature checks with bag checks, but masks are not required in outdoor areas for fully vaccinated guests. Before you enter the park, you’ll need to snap a picture in front of the iconic sign- it’s so fun and full of hidden details!
Once you enter the park, you’ll meet Brad (the big, red, awesome dinosaur) and some of his other friends that help to create a perfect centerpiece for Brick Street. In this area of the park. you’ll find most of the park operations, like the photo center and guest relations, as well as The Big Store, the park’s main merchandise location, and the carousel. It’s also the only open location during previews for quick refreshments, where you can find a deliciously sweet frozen lemonade. From Brick Street, you can either enter Bricktopia or Miniland, but you can see the most gorgeous views of the Hudson Valley while looking over the park.
Bricktopia is themed very much to an imaginative LEGO set where anything is possible. The highlights here are the LEGO Factory Adventure Tour- a ride exclusive to LEGOLAND New York- and Smokey’s Brick-B-Que grill. The Factory Adventure Tour functions similarly to SeaWorld Orlando’s Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin and takes you along the process of becoming a minifigure, even allowing you to become one! Smokey’s Brick-B-Que was the main quick service restaurant open during previews, featuring a menu of barbecue-inspired meals. I got the chicken fingers and fries, and my parents got the Trio platter, which comes with three smoked meats and two sides. We all really enjoyed the meal and being someone that doesn’t love barbecue, it’s actually a restaurant I’d eat at again.
Next to Bricktopia is LEGO Ninjago World, which features the LEGO Ninjago attraction as its centerpiece. The ride is well-themed and uses a technology similar to the Spiderman Web Slingers located at Disneyland California Adventure’s Avengers Campus (though this ride debuted at other LEGOLAND parks years before Avengers Campus). It’s certainly a fun ride, and once you know how to work the system, it’s perfect for a group to play together.
As you leave Ninjago World, you’ll progress down a path towards LEGO Castle. The park is essentially built onto the side of a hill, so the path will take you down the incline while featuring some LEGO decorations, primarily focused on woodland creatures and the LEGO Friends characters. There was also a small snack stand and an outdoor theater, but neither were open when we passed by. However, there were some performers rehearsing in the theater.
LEGO Castle is waiting at the end of the trail and I got all the nostalgia in this area. The Dragon coaster, which combines a LEGO story with a kiddie coaster, was one of my favorite rides at LEGOLAND California and I was so happy to see it added to the New York park. While this medieval-inspired area is smaller than that of California, it also features a Baby Dragon roller coaster for younger kids and the Castle Climb, a ride that seats two people who have to work together to pull up a rope to make it to the top (see: Lumberjack Lifts at Dollywood, also a childhood favorite of mine).
Moving on from a land of magic, we head straight into LEGO City. This area was also a favorite of mine as a childhood, but LEGOLAND New York has its own unique spin on the area. Despite being a pretty horrible driver, I loved the kid’s driving course (for kids up to 13 years old) and the Coast Guard Academy boats (not yet open), both of which have been adapted for the Goshen park. In addition, the land features a firefighter team challenge attraction, also found at the California park, as well as a 4D theatre. The show in the theatre wasn’t horrendous and felt reminiscent of the transition scenes from my old LEGO City Nintendo DS game, but was definitely aimed at the younger end of the park’s target audience. The City also showcased Brickolini’s, a buffet-style restaurant that featured pizza and pasta.
While the LEGO Pirates section of the park isn’t open yet, it will definitely become a fan favorite. Brickbeard’s will serve guests traditional theme park quick service food (think: pizza, chicken, and other basics). Yet, the centerpieces are the two water rides: Rogue Riders and Splash Battle. Both are water-based rides, and after going on similar attractions several times, you are guaranteed to get wet. In the middle of summer, both are going to be popular for families looking to cool down. As for me, I’m excited to relive some more of my favorite childhood attractions while experiencing some summer fun.
The final stop on the tour around LEGOLAND New York is Miniland. Advertised as the heart of the park, it’s truly a masterpiece. The area features displays designed by LEGO Master Model Builders of popular tourist destinations across the U.S. From Las Vegas to Washington D.C., you can find elaborate and detailed scenes, many of which are even interactive. The second section of Miniland highlights New York City, and the final display is a miniature version of the park’s hometown of Goshen, NY. Like the nature trail, Miniland is located on a path with an incline, but it provides gorgeous views of the park and the Hudson Valley. I was left speechless at how incredible Miniland was and it quickly became the highlight of my trip.
Thoughts on LEGOLAND New York
Overall, I absolutely loved LEGOLAND New York. My day was really enjoyable and it felt amazing to be back in the theme park, especially one that was so well done. There weren’t many high-thrill rides, but each of the attractions present are well-thought out and geared towards the park’s main target audience (families with children ranging from 6 to 13 years old). Every section of the park certainly had its LEGO touch, which helped to maintain a sense of immersion. Yet, at the same time, the park worked well with the natural landscape of the Hudson Valley, which gave not only gorgeous views, but also a serene feeling amidst the energy of a theme park.
I personally felt a sense of nostalgia throughout the park which helped to heighten my experience, but the park has so much for first-time guests to enjoy and experience that it’s easy to build new memories that will last a lifetime. Plus, a great deal of energy was put into including interactive elements throughout the park, bringing it to life in a whole new way.
The food and merchandise was priced about average for the LEGO brand and the live entertainment industry. The wide selection of LEGO sets themed to the park was a perfect souvenir that’s distinct to the LEGOLAND experience, though there were plenty of other options to commemorate your experience, including apparel, plushies, and keychains. I ended up buying a rose gold brick keychain that had my name engraved on one side and “LEGO NY” on the other- something unique even for me. While there were already many options, I do see the park expanding its selection as it grows. In terms of food, I was only able to sample one dining location and one snack stand, but I thoroughly enjoyed my meal and frozen lemonade (as seen through my need for multiple trips back to the stand). Once the park is fully open, I do look forward to trying more snacks and perhaps getting lunch from Brickbeard’s in the Pirate section to try something new as opposed to getting Smokey’s Brick-B-Que again.
The highlight of the day for my family was exploring the Miniland section of the park. The amount of detail included in the scenes was beyond belief, and it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that a family could spend hours wandering the replications and watching life in brick form. Plus, its location provided a beautiful view of the Hudson Valley and the lower levels of the park- a view that couldn’t be matched at most other theme parks or entertainment attractions.
If I had to give one critique of the previews, it would simply be that I thought more would be open. However, the teams were clearly hard at work putting the final details on everything and it was clear to see that the park would be completely ready in the near future. Otherwise, it was a near perfect day in the park. While there were already plenty of things to do and see, the resort has quite a bit of room for expansion; I’m excited to see how the park grows and builds on in the coming years and I look forward to future visits.
If you’re in the Hudson Valley or planning to be in the New York City region, LEGOLAND New York is a wonderful place to spend the day. Especially if you have children who love LEGOs, the park is a must-visit. While it draws on many of the expectations from its predecessors, the resort recreates them in a way thats unique to the Goshen location to create a distinct atmosphere. With the stunning views of the natural landscape, it becomes a destination with something for visitors of all ages. I highly recommend LEGOLAND New York and cannot wait to return when the park is fully open!
To watch a full vlog of my adventures, click here.
To watch a complete tour of Miniland from my trip, click here.
Have a terrific day,