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The Insider's Guide to LEGOLAND Discovery Center

 

Merlin Entertainments' LEGOLAND Discovery Center is branded as the ultimate indoor Lego playground, and one of only 11 U.S. sites happens to be located in Atlanta.

These Discovery Centers, which also have 11 locations elsewhere across the world, are focused on creativity and feature tons of attractions that encourage guests to learn and build in a fun, dynamic atmosphere.

»RELATED: How to get free admission to Atlanta’s top attractions

In March of 2012, Atlanta received its own LEGOLAND location in Buckhead's Phipps Plaza. Spreading over 32,000+ square feet, the building is packed with rides, play areas, and (obviously) Lego building stations. The activities inside are for children ages three to 10 (with an adult to accompany them). However, they have Adult Nights once per month where big "kids" over 18 can join in on the nostalgic fun.

When the LEGOLAND project was first announced, Phipps Plaza seemed like an unlikely locations for a children's attraction. Despite concerns, Steve Shears, Merlin Entertainments Site Search and Acquisitions Director, was confident the company had chosen the perfect location. "The mall is home to many successful children's stores and already sees significant shopper traffic from families," he told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in 2011. "We feel that the addition of Legoland Discovery Center will only heighten the overall experience."

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Since then, adults and kids alike have been putting their Lego skills to the test.

6 reasons to visit LEGOLAND

The 4D Cinema – Wind, rain and snow effects help bring a host of 4D movies to life at LEGOLAND's 4D Cinema. You can even reunite with a few familiar characters in The LEGO Movie: A New Adventure, a 4D short based on the film.

Behind-the-Scenes Lego Factory Tour – If you've ever wondered how Lego bricks are made, the Factory Tour will bring you behind-the-scenes for an insider's look at the creation process.

Lego Master Builder Academy – If you've ever wondered how to start building your own LEGO creations, you can take a LEGO Master Builder workshop to learn tips and tricks.

LEGO NINJAGO Training Camp – Earlier this year, LEGOLAND premiered the Ultimate Lego NINJAGO Experience which includes a new play-zone called the Lego NINJAGO Training Camp. This attraction includes a laser maze and other types of activities that are perfect for budding ninjas.Lego Friends – There's always a party going on at Olivia's House. You can stop here for fun activities like building Legocupcakes and karaoke.

Lego-themed Rides – Go on a daring adventure to save a princess on the Kingdom Quest ride. You can also pedal your way through Merlin's magical potion chamber and practice your charms on the Merlin's Apprentice ride. Check ahead for height and age requirements.

How to get there:

LEGOLAND Discovery Center is located in Phipps Plaza at 3500 Peachtree Road NE in the Buckhead area of Atlanta. Once you're inside the mall, LEGOLAND is up on the third floor, close to the AMC movie theater and Belk.

If you're taking MARTA, take the North/North Springs Line to Buckhead Station. From there, Phipps Plaza will be on the left, just a few blocks north on Peachtree Road. You can also take the Northeast/Doraville train to the Lenox station. From there, Phipps Plaza will be on the right, just a few blocks west on Lenox Road.

If you're driving, you can take the Lenox Road exit off 85 South or GA 400 to turn onto Lenox Road. From there, take Lenox Road to Phipps Plaza.

Parking

Parking at LEGOLAND is free. If you choose to park in the parking deck, the closest spots are in Monarch Court. You will see the signs as you drive through the garage. If you're parking outside, the closest spaces are in front of Davio's Italian Steakhouse. You can also use the valet service, which is currently priced at $10.

When to go

LEGOLAND is typically open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., with hours extended to 9 p.m. on Saturdays. This year, on Thanksgiving and Christmas, the Center will be opening at noon instead of 10 a.m. A usual visit takes about two to three hours, but visitors can stay for as long as they want. Before you go, it's a good idea to check the hours online or call 404-848-9252.

Cost

All LEGOLAND tickets give you access to every attraction. The website recommends purchasing tickets at least 24 hours in advance of your visit. Whether you buy tickets online or in person, you have to make a reservation for a specific entry time.

Here's a look at the current online pricing, which is usually cheaper than in-person ticket purchases:

  • Online Saver Ticket ($12.50) – Online tickets for individual admission. Children two and under do not need tickets to enter.
  • Extra Value Ticket ($16.50) – Online individual admission ticket that includes a Lego Collectible.
  • Ultimate Flexible Ticket ($27.95) – Individual admission ticket that includes a LEGO Collectible and allows you the flexibility to visit on the day or time of your choice.
  • Annual Pass ($40) – Annual passes allow for 12 months of unlimited admission to the LEGOLAND Discover Center in Atlanta. Other perks include discounts on purchases and additional savings.

Here are a few discounts you may be eligible for:

  • Military discount ($5 off) your in-person ticket purchase with a valid military ID
  • AAA discount ($5 off) your in-person ticket purchase with a valid AAA card
  • Appreciation events for groups such as teachers and healthcare professionals throughout the year (call 404-848-9252 to ask about the next event for your profession)

The Lego Store is open to the public, so you don't need a ticket to buy gifts or toys.

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