On our recent trip to Legoland California, we had the opportunity to try out their Reserve n Ride system, which is their version of the skip the line pass. I’ll be sharing some thoughts and tips.
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First Time Planning? If you are planning your first ever Legoland California trip or first trip since the pandemic, check out my Legoland California first time post as well as the Legoland Reserve n Ride post to see how to prepare for your ultimate block party! Do you like Discounts? Check out the current Special Offers. (Link opens in a new tab so you can continue reading the story below)
When planning our trip, and choosing July 4th as our main park day at Legoland, I knew the park would be at its busiest of the year. So choosing a Reserve N Ride option was a no brainer. The real question was, which would be best for us?
Having never been to Legoland previously, I wasn’t sure how long the typical waits would be, so how much time would each option save us? I ended up choosing the Ultimate, because why not truly test the system! During the hotel booking process, you’re able to select the version you want in order to guarantee it’d be available on your park day.
Upon arriving at the resort on July 3rd, we headed into the park. I wanted to verify a couple things regarding the Reserve n Ride system, so I headed over to the kiosk near the front of the park.
First thing I noticed was a sign out front that said the Reserve n Ride system was sold out for the day, so not everyone is guaranteed the option to purchase R n R, which means it may be a good idea to purchase early, especially on busy days.
The other questions I had were, 1) did I have to stop by the kiosk to set it up even though I prepaid and had my tickets in the app and 2) could I set it up then to use tomorrow.
In short, the answers were yes, I did have to set it up there and no, I could not do it the day before. I pretty much knew the answers, but I just wanted to confirm, and it would have been nice on the full park day to not have to stop by and use valuable park time to do it.
See my Top 5 Reserve n Ride Thrill Ride Rankings
I also asked if we were able to stack rides or if we could only select 1 at a time? At Legoland, you can only have 1 pass available at a time, which I’ll talk about later, but turned out not to be an issue. And, can we select the same ride multiple times? The answer to this one is Yes to all rides except Emmett’s Flying Adventure, which is their newest and most popular ride, so each guest is limited to 1 pass. Will a ride run out of passes? If it does, it’s typically for a short period of time and it’ll open back up.
The screenshots above show the wait times mid-afternoon, while the screenshots below show the list of rides available with the Reserve n Ride system. Looking at the top screenshot, the one with the longest waits, all of the rides except for the Sky Patrol ride were eligible for R n R, while about half of the rides from the second screenshot were eligible and just a couple from the last one. Which means, the system is set up to help you skip some of the longest lines!
So how did we do? Well for starters, we knocked out 4 of the rides with the Hotel Guest Early Entry. Guests staying onsite can typically ride Coastersaurus, Fairy Tale Brook, Coast Cruise and Ninjago starting at 9:30am. On July 4th, they opened at 9am and also had Safari Trek open, so we all rode Safari Trek, Fairy Tale Brook and Coast Cruise together while I rode Coastersaurus alone.
I ended up heading to the Reserve n Ride kiosk during the Early Entry period while the family wanted to take a break. No one was in line for it, so I was in and out really quick. However, after I left, I noticed it wasn’t working. I had to sign out of my account and sign back into the app in order to select a ride to reserve.
While we could definitely have rode everything again with R n R, we chose not to. After the early entry period ended, my daughter needed a time out from the park, so we headed back to the room for a bit.
There were a few rides that I wanted to do that I knew the rest would not be interested in, so from the room, I decided to use the first R n R pass on Emmett’s Flying Adventure. The ride wait time was around 75 minutes. I had a message on the screen saying I could arrive at the ride in 12 minutes. Cool!
Related: The Ultimate Legoland California Attraction Guide
From the hotel, I headed straight there and by the time I arrived, I had a notification that I could check in, so I went to the Reserve n Ride line entrance where only 1 other group was in line ahead of me, but others arrived after. When they were ready to start a new group to enter the ride, they brought everyone in the R n R line through, then the standby.
I could have chosen my next ride as soon as I scanned in, but I chose not to. In fact, I didn’t do that at all during the day as it wasn’t a big deal. I think if I had one of the lower tiers, it would have been more important to get the next ride selected though.
After Emmett’s Flying Adventure, I decided to book Unikitty’s Disco Drop since it was right there. This one had about a 35-40 minute wait, it had me return in 4 minutes. Then I decided to head a different direction in the park and go to Ninjago, which had me return in about 2 minutes.
At this point, the family came back into the park. My daughter was wanting to do the Driver School for kids, so I met back up with them, which was back past the LEGO Movie area. We could have done R n R for this, but there was practically no line, so she was in and out right away. We then ate lunch and did a few activities that didn’t have R n R available, but we basically started a clockwise trip around the park.
As we walked, I was looking at the park map and found Skipper School was the next ride we’d head past, so used the R n R here with a 1 minute return time. Then we reserved Splash Battle, which isn’t showing in my screenshots above, but was definitely available that day, and that was a 1-2 minute return time.
Next we had a snack at Granny’s Apple Fries before heading over to LEGO City’s Deep Sea Adventure! I believe the R n R wait was about 2-3 minutes. Though, here, you skip the line where you get to play with Legos.
Next up, we headed to the Royal Joust, which is a kids only ride. The Dragon roller coaster is nearby, so I scheduled that for myself. The wait here was only about 2 minutes.
After this, we needed another park break, so we didn’t add anymore rides as we finished our walk around the park. After I rested for 30 minutes or so, I headed back to the park to record my 360° walkthrough video. This time, I went counter clockwise around the outside walking path around the park, then finished up by walking through the LEGO Miniland area.
Once finished, I decided to try out the Lego technic coaster, this one was a 1-2 minute R n R return as well. We then kind of cooled on the Reserve n Ride for the day, mainly I was waiting for the family to return to the park, but they were moving slow. I did end up doing the Bionicle Blaster ride with my daughter, but that was the last one we rode, again, just a few minutes wait.
Above are the average wait times for Legoland California from July 4th. For our Early Entry time savings, Safari Trek had an Average wait of 54 minutes, we were on immediately. Coastersaurus had an average wait of 51, I was on immediately. Fairy Tale Brook had an average wait of 5 minutes and we were on and off. Coast cruise had an average wait of 25 minutes and we had a 10 minute wait. Overall, the Early Entry saved us 2 hours of waiting in lines and allowed us to use regular park time on other attractions.
For Reserve n Ride, I believe we rode 8 rides. Emmett’s Flying Adventure had a 55 minute average wait, Unikitty’s Disco Drop was 35 minutes, Ninjago was 32 minutes, Splash Battle was 30 minutes, Lego Technic Coaster was 27 minutes, Deep Sea Adventure was 20, Dragon Coaster and Skipper School were both 18 minutes, and finally, Bionicle Blaster was an average 10 minute wait. The total average wait for these rides was more than 4 and a half hours.
Of course, ride times fluctuate throughout the day, so some of those times were longer, some were shorter when we jumped in the Reserve n Ride virtual line, and I don’t remember the exact times on some of the rides, but for the most part, anything 30 minutes and under had about a minute return time, while Emmett’s Flying Adventure had 12, Unikitty’s was 4 and Ninjago was 2-3. The total time I spent waiting was less than 25 minutes and the majority of that time was just walking from the previous attraction to the next one.
In a perfect world, we could have done even more rides, there’s a corner of the park with 4 or 5 more rides we didn’t do, but as it was, we got about 15 rides in total, plus took in some other attractions. I would say, for me, the Reserve n Ride was a huge success. Was it necessary for my wife and kid? Probably not, but we always enjoy skipping lines and getting straight to the ride.
If I were to recommend or do it again, I’d say go with a cheaper version and try to hit Emmett’s Flying Adventure right when the LEGO Movie land opens without using the R n R pass (save for later), followed by Unikitty’s Disco Drop using R n R while waiting to ride Emmett’s. You have to be a hotel guest to even line up for entering the LEGO Movie land first, so totally worth it if you’ve done the other rides in that part of the park.
Overall, it was such a great system. I can’t compare it to any other system I’ve used, mainly because I’ve only used Disney’s Fastpass+ and Genie+ services, and this just blows them out of the water. I like being able to select a ride and basically wait in line virtually from the time selected and get a return time based on the pass type, whereas with Disney’s system, you most likely are riding far after you would have if you had just gotten in line at the time you made the selection.
You can ride other rides while you wait, but the Legoland system makes it so you are skipping the line for the ride you want to ride right now, rather than in a few hours. But at the same time, Disney’s guest counts are way higher and I’m not entirely sure a system like this would work, maybe Disneyland would with limited purchases, but definitely do not think it would at Disney World.
If you’re ready to start exploring a Legoland California family vacation, I recommend checking out Undercover Tourist for your ticket options. I’ve already used them a few times, twice at Disneyland and once at Disney World and will plan to continue comparing their prices with other sites, however I usually come back to UT because they have the best deals and their instructions make it easy to add your tickets to the Legoland and Disney apps.
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