Legoland California will reopen as a theme park starting April 1, the resort announced today. Other locations at the resort - including the SeaLife aquarium and Lego Chima water park - will return on April 15.
With these reopening dates, Legoland becomes the first southern California theme park to abandon its hard-ticket special event that it had been running while state rules prohibited theme park operations. Legoland California's Build 'N Play Days now will end on March 31. However, guests who had bought tickets to the event from April 1 through May 2 "will be able to access the park with their tickets," according to the park's new FAQ.
Legoland California will be open from April 1-12 for "Park Preview Days," then return officially on Thursdays through Mondays starting April 15. Daily operation begins May 20. Advance reservations will be required, and Legoland is giving first priority to guests with annual passes and existing tickets that were extended when the park closed for the pandemic last year. New daily tickets will go on sale at a later date. Reservations for passholders are not yet available.
The park also said that "Park Preview Days offers access to select rides including Driving School, Lego Technic Coaster, Fairy Tale Brook and Coastersaurus." More attractions will be available on April 15.
"It’s been a long and challenging year for all of us and we are extremely excited to be able to start reopening our Resort not only to our guests so they can build family memories, but for our staff who have been patiently waiting to return to work," Legoland California Resort President Kurt Stocks said.
The fact that Legoland California canceled its special event from April 1 on in favor of reopening the park suggests that it had not sold enough tickets to the event to come close to the capacity that it would be allowed to admit as a theme park after April 1 - currently 15 percent, under California's new rules. If it had, it would have been over capacity on those dates and forced to refund some guests to comply with state rules.
On the flip side, Legoland is not doing a cash grab by refunding guests who did purchase Build 'N Play Days tickets and now demanding that they buy more expensive regular park tickets to visit. At $15-25 a pop, those special event tickets cost far less than the $90 list price that Legoland is now quoting on its site for regular day tickets. That's a solid by Legoland for some loyal guests.
I've reached out to Legoland for clarification on when its new Lego Movie World land will be opening. It had been scheduled to debut just days after the park closed last March.
Legoland California now joins Six Flags Magic Mountain and Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in opening on the first date that theme parks in California are eligible to return under the state's new industry rules. The Disneyland theme parks will reopen on April 30, and California's Great America will open for its 2021 season on May 22. Knott's Berry Farm has said that it will reopen in May, and SeaWorld San Diego is currently open as a zoo. No word yet from Universal Studios Hollywood.
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Being a smaller park should help them with the distancing and mask rules to be back on track and hope to see some fun updates for the Lego diroamas.