LEGOLAND Discovery Center Michigan – Review From Our Early Media Preview
If you have children aged 3 to 10, you’re going to want to circle March 25th on the calendar. That is the official grand opening for LEGOLAND Discovery Center Michigan, the first of its kind in the state of Michigan. This great attraction from Merlin Entertainment is set to open in the Great Lakes Crossing Outlets Mall in Auburn Hills. We share our review from our visit to LEGOLAND during a sneak peek media preview.
The 32,000 square foot new LEGOLAND features hours of entertainments for kids. It’s worth noting that you will need kids to enter the building, so if you’re an adult LEGO fan, you’ll have to wait for a special adults only event if you don’t have kids you can bring. The team at LEGOLAND recommends two to three hours to make it through the attraction and experience everything on your visit. I would agree with this for small children, but say that if you have kids older than preschool age, you could spend three to four hours in the attraction easily. In fact, we had to pry both of our children away from several areas to keep things moving on time, and also had a hard time leaving. For reference, my two sons are almost four and two.
LEGLOLAND Discovery Center Michigan offers 10 Interactive Play Zones:
- Kingdom Quest interactive laser ride – we rode this once during our visit and both boys enjoyed shooting the laser guns at the “bad guys” on the walls. This ride lasts about five minutes and since you are scored on your shooting, most kids will want to ride more than once.
- LEGO Racers: Build and Test Zone – we did not spend much time in this area, as it was quite busy. I would recommend the area for older children, as it puts your building skills to the test to create the fastest cars possible in timed events.
- LEGO Studios 4D Cinema – We skipped this part of LEGOLAND due to time and hopefully my boys don’t find out there is a movie theatre we missed. The cinema offers a one of a kind experience with visitors seeing effects of rain, snow, and wind right in the theatre.
- MINILAND – This was my personal favorite part of LEGOLAND Discovery Center Michigan. More on this area below.
- DUPLO Farm – With younger boys, we spend a lot of time between the DUPLO Farm and LEGO Friends areas. This area is geared to the younger crowd with DUPLO blocks that can be turned into creations. There is also a small play area with a slide.
- Earthquake Tables – This was a pretty cool area where you build a tower on a LEGO mat and then test if it would stand during an “earthquake”. My oldest liked doing this and spent a little while at his spot.
- LEGO City – This is the name of the play area, which resembles a fire station and police station. There are also large soft LEGO bricks that create almost a “Ball Pit” atmosphere. Kids must have socks for this play area and need to be between three and five feet tall to enter.
- Creative Workshop – We did not go through any of these. The workshops are around 25 minutes long and would be great for older kids.
- LEGO Friends – This area was a pleasant surprise for my boys. The LEGO Friends line, which is geared more to girls, kept both boys busy collecting the animals and building new creations.
- Merlin’s Apprentice – This ride looked very fun, but we also passed on due to time and the pending line. The ride resembles small helicopters, that climb higher depending on fast you pedal, as you are spun around in a circle.
Along with the 10 interactive listed zones, there is a factory tour that allows guests to see how LEGOs are made. At this station, guests also get to create (on screen) several customizable LEGOs and Minifigures. There is also a LEGO Café, offering drinks and food, and a LEGO shop, offering many items for purchase, including some exclusive items.
The staff at LEGOLAND Discovery Center Michigan was awesome and I was surprised with how interactive they were. Both my boys liked building creations with the staff. Staff walked around throughout our visit interacting and showing off cool features of LEGOLAND.
MINILAND was one of the coolest parts of the attraction and may appeal the most to adults. This area took 20 Model Builders more than six months to build using more than one million LEGOs. This area alternates from day time to nighttime by dimming the lights. Every five minutes nighttime is simulated and also features fireworks on the screens found on the walls. This cool feature helps light up the buildings and provide alternate views. The area features the 10 finalists from public voting, which includes replicas of:
- GM Renaissance Center
- Motown Museum
- The Heidelberg Project
- Michigan Central Station
- Uniroyal World’s Largest Tire
- Comerica Park
- Guardian Building
- Fox Theatre
- Spirit of Detroit
- Belle Isle Park
The GM Renaissance Center won the public voting for top MINILAND attraction prior to the opening. This winning involved the public unveiling of the replica at the Detroit Auto Show. The GM Renaissance Building Replica is huge and really cool in both day and nighttime settings.
Other replicas that we found in MINILAND include:
- Detroit River Light
- Ambassador Bridge
- DTE Energy Music Theatre
- Ford Field
- Detroit Opera House
- Detroit Metropolitan Airport
- Old Auto Factory
- Sea Life Michigan and LEGOLAND Discovery Center Michigan
We previously shared with our readers the recent information on combo tickets from LEGOLAND and Sea Life Michigan. This is by far the best value to attend both attractions, which are located close together in the mall. I highly recommend buying tickets ahead of time online, as this attraction will be extremely popular and you could be waiting in line for long periods of time. Online tickets guarantee you entry. Prices for LEGOLAND tickets are:
- $23.50 for adults and children, kids 2 and under are free
- $49 for adults and $44 for children as the Combo with collectible (Sea Life and LEGOLAND)
- $37 for adults and $32 for children as the Combo 2 (Sea Life and LEGOLAND)
- Annual Passes for LEGOLAND are $75 for an individual and $70 per person in a family membership
- Annual Passes as a combo for LEGOLAND and Sea Life are $115 per person
LEGOLAND Discovery Center Michigan opens its doors to the public March 25th. Hours are 10am to 7pm Monday through Saturday and Sunday 10am to 4pm. The attraction stays open two hours after the last admission, giving you ample time to experience everything on your visit. You can find LEGOLAND at 4240 Baldwin Road in Auburn Hills Michigan. Park near Entrance 6 at the mall. Follow LEGOLAND’s Facebook page for more information and special offers along the way.
For more photos from our visit, check out our additional Photo Gallery.
*Disclosure: This post was not paid for by LEGOLAND. We received free admission to the attraction in return for writing blog posts about our visits. The opinions are those of the author*