When Legoland Florida opened in Winter Haven, Florida in 2011, I was shaking my head. Located 1 hour from all of the other Central Florida themeparks, I wondered how many people would be willing to spend an entire day of their vacation (including travel time) to visit a park about LEGO.
Several things have happened since then. The park opened at the perfect time, as LEGO has experienced a resurgence in popularity over the last decade, undoubtedly helped by the many LEGO movies and video games that appeal to adults and kids alike. LEGO kits have also grown up to offer complex and expensive versions, covering every fandom imaginable.
One thing was missing at Legoland Florida – somewhere for people to stay. While Winter Haven has a few hotels from when Cypress Gardens was a regional attraction (Legoland is built where Cypress Gardens used to be), the area was best known for being a place for snowbirds to visit during the winter. Back then, I remember hearing locals say they were going out for a fancy dinner at the Red Lobster.
Legoland was designed to be a day trip from Orlando or Tampa, as who would want to stay there for longer? As the park expanded and added a water park in 2012 (and the recent opened Peppa Pig park) people have a reason to make the park a destination. In response, The Legoland Hotel opened in 2015 and Legoland Beach Retreat opened nearby in 2017.
While these Legoland hotels were great, there weren’t many updated chain hotels nearby where you could stay using award points. That’s quickly changing and plans have been filed with the city for a 106-room Hilton Home2 Suites to open on a prime lot right across the street from the park entrance. In fact, it’s located on the road between the park and the Legoland Beach Resort.
Hilton’s Home2 Suites brand is perfect for families because the studio and one-bedroom suites come with full-sized kitchens and free breakfast.
The Winter Haven area is expanding rapidly with commercial and residential developments being announced regularly. This plot of land was one of the last prime places on Cypress Gardens Boulevard still sitting undeveloped.
With Walt Disney World prices continuing to skyrocket, visitors are looking for options and the area around Legoland Florida is turning into an alternate vacation destination.
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