Lego Discovery Center in Tempe is attached to Arizona Mills Mall in Tempe right across from Sea Life Aquarium. The easiest entry is the parking lot right outside of the Lego Discovery Center. Just look for the bright yellow building off of Baseline Rd.
Update** 11/2016 We got to see the Factory tour. The lovely workers actually asked if we wanted to join in on it already going (we did) or go right to the play area.
The Factory tour is a movie of the factory. Much like an Imax movie, you watch one of four screens and can interact with it a little by playing a game. There are no seats in the room, and there are four tables with five stations each. The video made me a bit dizzy, but the kids liked it.
We also finally did the Kingdom Quest Laser ride this time. There are three seats in the front of the vehicle and two seats in the back (perfect for our family of five)!! There were also five laser guns. I lost horribly. I am pretty sure it was because I was trying to do some videos and pictures. Or I am a terrible shot and even my three year old beat me. Anyhow, Here’s the video so you can get an idea what you are in for!
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I’m guessing all the buzzes were me not hitting the target…Oooops!
- LEGO Factory Tour
- LEGO 4D Cinema
- Kingdom Quest Laser Ride
- LEGO Racers: Build and Test
- LEGO City:Play Zone
- LEGO Model Builder Academy
- The LEGOLAND Discovery Center Shop
- LEGO DUPLO Farm
- Earthquake tables
- LEGO Friends-Olivia’s House
- Birthday Rooms
It is highly recommended to buy tickets online to get in, as it’s a very new attraction and space will fill up. The tickets are cheaper online than they are in person (as of 4/2016). You also reserve a spot when you buy online. The Lego Discovery Center site says allow for 2-3 hours to enjoy the location, but I would recommend more. We only had two hours to enjoy it today, and the cafe wasn’t open yet and momma was starving. Outside food is not allowed (unless it is for babies or those with allergies).
Look at that yellow! You can see it easily! You first enter through the store and buy your tickets at a desk if you didn’t purchase online, or you go through the check in at the desk and then into the store (sorry I didn’t get a picture of that. It was mayhem!) Be prepared for your children to want everything. They did have a lot of great LEGO kits that I haven’t seen before.
This was the “LEGO DUPLO Farm”. There were Duplo bricks, and other really large ones, easy for small hands to grasp. This section was for under five.There was a small climbing area in the house and a tube slide. Since Giggles is almost four but the size of a five or six year old, we moved on. It was really cute. Had Dimples been with us, he would have enjoyed this section.
There were also a few “small swimming pool” bins of LEGO bricks in different areas around the entire center. The staff members will come out and sweep the LEGO bricks that fall on the floor and deposit them into a cleaner every night. The rest of the bricks get cleaned weekly. I know, we all worry about stepping on the LEGO bricks with bare feet. Keep your shoes on throughout the center!
This is the Creative Workshop where you can make different projects. However, you cannot keep the projects you made (but they will be displayed for a short time), but you can purchase the set you made in the gift shop.
This was the Merlin’s Apprentice Ride. We went up to do the ride when we first got in (it has 8 double seats set in a circle and you pedal a bike like apparatus to get you into the air and stop pedaling to come down). Here’s the problem with this ride if you have littles-they have to be a minimum height (3ft) to go on the ride or a certain height (4ft) to go by themselves. By “going by themselves” is-not having a parent right next to them in the two seater. Both Munchie and Giggles were big enough to go on the ride but needed an adult to go with them. We made friends with another adult so that I didn’t have to pass up the opportunity for the kids to go on the ride (thank you kind sir!). So, if you have more than one little one, under 4 ft you might have to jostle kids around so they can go. If you are like many moms (or dads) who go to attractions like this with more than one child per adult that fits this height category, you may have to pass on this ride. Eeek…I also understand why they have this rule as when the ride was over, Munchie was able to completely lift himself out of the buckle before they came and got him (I yelled over at him to stop). The straps are unlocked by the attendants so the riders can’t unstrap themselves mid flight.
Here was the LEGO Friends area. Be warned that they have a sign saying no children 3 and under. If you have a three year old that likes to put things in their mouths-watch them carefully in this area. There were lots of body pieces, hair, heads and other accessories that would so easily go in a child’s mouth. This area was really cool, however, because the kids could create their person and put them into the city to role play. There were also kid life sized characters. We were able to talk with many of the staff members about what they do, and how things work. The staff was very good with children!
Here is the cafe. There was lots of comfy clean seating all around. Unfortunately the cafe wasn’t open which was a big bummer for me because while the kids played in LEGO City:Play Zone I would have really enjoyed a cup of coffee.
I parked myself here for a few minutes while the kiddos were playing in Lego City. I really could have enjoyed a big cup of coffee after the long ride. You can also see the bathrooms in the upper left hand corner of this picture. There are family restrooms as well as men and women’s restrooms, and changing areas.
THIS is LEGO City. A huge climbing aparatus, similar to Playgrounds Fun Zone in Glendale. It is shoe free, so bring your kids socks. There is a height minimum and maximum on it (I believe 3ft was the minimum and 5 ft was max). Under 3ft they have to be accompanied. I’m not sure if parents were supposed to be the accompanier (did I just make up a word? I think I did!). Big brothers and sisters seemed to be ok. There were shoe bags to put shoes in, but most kids just dropped them on the floor outside of the fence. There was a staff member measuring the kids and kind of keeping an eye on things, but wasn’t intervening. Giggles ended up crying and went up to him because she couldn’t find me (I was sitting about five feet away at the fabulous high stool table I showed you above) and they were very kind while I shuffled three steps over to get her. There are some areas you cannot see from the front, so if you have a kid that isn’t a good climber or gets scared easily, you may want to send them in with an older sibling or hold off on this part. There was a lot of climbing involved as it went up 3 “levels”. You can also see huge LEGO bricks on the ground the kids could play with.
There was a neat lounge that had glass windows everywhere and a television in it. You could see the Earthquake area in front of it and the race cars from it, but not much else. Good area if you need a quiet moment, but parents of little ones may not be using this so much. Perhaps parents over older elementary or teens would.
Here is one of the race tracks. There were many different cars you could build, but I am completely lost on building them. Munchie was able to get one going down this. There was also a racetrack where you could time them.
This was the Master Model Builder. They have a staff member that can teach you how to build great things. I saw the master builder walking around as well but didn’t get to interact. Next time!
This was the LEGO earthquake tables. You build on the green platforms and then you press the button to see if your structure stands. It was really fun watching them come down!
The 4D theater experience was fun. We saw CHIMA, which Munchie knows all about. It was about 13 minutes and we got 3D glasses (they did not fit over my regular glasses well) and there was rumbling, smoke, wind and even “rain”. It got very dark and cool in the room, but it was pretty cute. There were about 40 seats in the auditorium and easy to get in and out and even bring a stroller in. There will be more movies in the future offered, and I think they may play the factory tour there too? I’m not really sure on that!
We really had an awesome time. I think, if the cafe was open, we probably would have stayed four or five hours if we could. There were a few things we didn’t get to do-like the Factory tour or Laser Quest ride, and the news stations were using the party rooms so we didn’t see those. However, I think this would be an awesome day trip in the summer for the family. They also offer year passes, so if you plan on going a few times, it may make sense.
Although under three are free, I would be very watchful if you bring the youngest ones with you. There are lots of LEGO bricks throughout the center that are free to grab for little hands, and I can see them migrating from one location into another (and into the mouth).
If you are a collector of the figurines, you can also bring yours to trade with the staff, which is a kind of novel idea. Each staff member has a figurine on their LEGO nametag and they are required to trade with you! And, they also have adult only nights (that’s a pretty cool date night!)
5000 s Arizona Mills Circle
We were invited for Media Day and received complimentary admission. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.