Legoland Discovery Center, Odaiba
September 9, 2013
Lego is one of those timeless toys that we all played with when we were kids, and which continues to be as great as it was for us for the next generation. It's a fantastic way for kids to use their imaginations to build and design their own creations, all the while improving their motor skills, sensory perception and just having some plain, old-fashioned fun. And what better place to jump headfirst into the world of Lego than at Tokyo's very own Legoland?
The center, located in Odaiba’s Decks shopping mall, is home to an engaging nice mix of innovative displays and attractions, as well as hands-on activities for the kids. One thing that will make quite an impression on both the young and the old is Miniland, a miniature model of the Tokyo’s cityscape made from nearly 1.5 million bricks. Famous Tokyo landmarks are all present, such as Tokyo Sky Tree, Tokyo Tower, Rainbow Bridge and the Odaiba area, as well as fun additions such as Shibuya’s scramble crossing and even a sumo tournament, to name a few.
The Kingdom Quest is a Lego themed laser shoot-em-up ride, where you have to shoot the ghosts and trolls in order to rescue the princess. Afterward, you can compare your score with your friends. While the ride may not match Disneyland‘s level of excitement, it’s fun all the same. A newer ride opened last fall—Merlin’s Apprentice—and is more sophisticated and engaging.
At the Lego factory kids can meet Professor Brick O’Brack, who will show them how plastic is turned into finished bricks, and there is a fun play area called Fire Academy & Construction Site, with large soft bricks to build with, slides, crawl spaces and a crane and operating cabin.
By far one of the most entertaining attractions for both children and adults is the 4D theater. Wondering what 4D is? While you are watching the mini-Lego film in 3D (which is pretty cool in itself), it suddenly starts snowing, the extra sensory experience that represents the fourth dimension.
There are three areas for kids to actually sit down and play with Legos of all colors and sizes. The first is the Lego Racers: Build & Test area, where kids can build their own Lego race car and try it out on the test track. There is also the Lego Friends area, which is dedicated to the series of the same name. Finally, for the younger builders, the Duplo Village is stocked with plenty of the larger Lego blocks, which are easier for smaller hands to grasp.
When the fun is over or you’re in the need of a break, the cafe area offers cute themed foods such as Lego-shaped sweet bread and Lego cups, as well as a large and reasonably priced shop offers plenty of omiyage (souvenir) options, with all the different Lego series available to buy. One thing to note before going is that weekends (and some weekday afternoons and evenings) can get extremely crowded, so you may want to plan your visit accordingly.
For more ideas of great places to take kids when the weather isn’t conducive to playing outside, click here, here and here.
Address: 3F Decks Tokyo Beach Island Mall, Odaiba 1-6-1, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Open: Daily, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. (last admission 7 p.m.)
Admission: Free for children aged two and under, ¥2,000 for all others (book online for a discount and priority entrance)
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