With manageable crowds and lines, and no bells and whistles, lakeside Legoland maintains an old-school vibe – you don't have to plan like a general to enjoy a day here, and though it feels a bit dated, it is strikingly stress-free and relaxed. Rides and attractions, including the attached water park, are geared towards children ages two to 12. Booking online for a specific date can save you up to $15. Opening hours vary seasonally.

Highlights include Coastercaurus, a classic wooden roller coaster; Flight School, a coaster that zips you around with your feet dangling free; and Miniland, a Lego re-creation of iconic American landmarks and cities. There are a few remnants from the park's history as the site of Cypress Gardens (circa 1936), including lovely botanical gardens with the giant Banyan Tree and waterski shows, but the charm of that grande dame of Florida theme parks is largely absent. The Southern Belles are Lego rather than real, the water-ski show centers on a bizarre and rather silly Pirate theme, and the cartoon network's Legends of Chima inspires an entire section.

The best option for eating is the Lakeside Sandwich Co, just behind Pirates Cove, and the best snack is the park's signature Granny Apple Fries (french-fry-styled cinnamon-sugar-dusted fried apples).

A shuttle (round-trip $5) runs daily from Orlando Premium Outlets – Vineland, near Walt Disney World, with multiple return times, but you must reserve a spot before 11:30am the day prior. You can rent strollers/wheelchairs/ECVs ($10/12/37) and lockers (from $5 to $12). Parking costs $14.