LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Melbourne is the ultimate indoor LEGO play space that’s opened in Chadstone Shopping Centre. It’s going to be a big hit in Melbourne as the weather turns colder (or when we get a summer heatwave).
I’m invited to a preview event ahead of the public opening today at 12pm and we stay for almost 4 hours. No doubt we would have stayed longer but as the day went on there were long lines for most activities (just warning you now). The centre has capacity for approximately 800 people.
Entrances are timed so try and space out the traffic but once you’re inside you can stay for as long as you like, so of course it is busiest from lunchtime onwards. So try to enter at the earliest time slot possible and allow at least 2-3 hours for your visit.
When you first enter the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre you’re taken to the ‘factory’ where you can learn about the process of making LEGO. At the end of the little interactive screening where you can design and decorate your own minifig remember to claim your free LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Duplo block.
Next up is the first of two rides, a shooting game from inside a moving carriage. It’s quite dark inside so may not suit little kids….
Then enter Miniland Melbourne, with over 300 minifigs traipsing all over Melbourne’s iconic landmarks and locations all made out of LEGO.
How many can you name?
Some of the displays are interactive, including the one of Flemington where you can race horses with your friends!
The last section contains the main play areas, cafes and cinema. We spend the majority of our time there.
There are numerous LEGO play zones. One is dedicated to LEGO Friends…
…a Duplo Farm play area with soft bricks and slide suitable for 2-5 years…
….an earthquake building area using Duplo blocks…
….Build and Test Zone where you can make and race your vehicle creations along three test tracks…
….the second ride at LEGOLAND Discovery Centre which features Merlin’s magical flying machines (that you pedal to raise high in the air)…
….AND an indoor soft play area inspired by LEGO City.
In addition every hour the Creative Workshop room opens where kids can build a small structure from instructions with the on-site Master Builders.
Kids can watch the overhead camera as the Master Builders talk through each of the steps. Each session lasts approximately 30 minutes and it suits approximately 5-7 years though there’s no age restriction.
Every 30 minutes or so there’s a screening at the 4D cinema. There are three films on rotation – we watched Nexo Knights and got blasted with air and water droplets as part of the 4D experience.
There are two party rooms which come with party packages. I want MY birthday party there!
If you’re feeling peckish LEGOLAND Discovery Centre has an on-site cafe. The offerings are fairly standard – sandwiches, sausage rolls, sweet treats etc.
The kids lunchbox is $18 which seems very expensive, but the lunchboxes cost $14 from the gift shop plus you get a kids sandwich (normally $4), a piece of fruit and a LEGO biscuit (normally $2.50). So if you’re wanting to take home the LEGO lunchbox anyway the kids lunchbox deal is better value for money.
Note technically outside food or beverages are not permitted, unless it’s baby food or for food allergies. However, I noticed lots of families eating their own food so not sure how strictly that’s policed.
The cafe tables can be noisy and crowded so I suggest you eat in the ‘chill out’ area beside the Duplo slide and play area, which is mainly enclosed and quiet.
Also note there are no water taps around – the cafe sells bottled water or better still BYO a filled bottle. I refilled mine in the toilets.
Finally, of course you must exit through the gift shop!
It contains Melbourne’s largest Lego selection, including a magnificent wall of pick-a-brick LEGO.
If you’re looking for a Lego gift that’s exclusive to LEGOLAND Discovery Centre then check out the collection of BrickHeadz ($16). They come in a range of designs though Beauty and the Beast and Batman are currently sold out (more stock arriving soon).
The gift shop is open to the public.
One final tip – if you REALLY can’t lure away the kids to leave then tempt them with a gelati from Woodstock, in the glamorous Dining Terrace area just an escalator ride down from LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Melbourne. Yum!
- Adults must be accompanied by a child to enter. However the ratio is not 1 adult: 1 child ie you can have 1 adult: many children;
- Exclusive adult nights for adults without children are held the third Thursday of each month 7-9pm;
- Prebook your entry tickets in advance to avoid delay and disappointment;
- RACV members get 10% off individual tickets and $10 off Annual Passes online;
- Small Ideas members get 25% off tickets;
- Book a time slot as early as possible to avoid peak hour. You can still enter up to 2 hours after your booked time but there may be a wait for entry;
- Peak hour is around 12-2pm;
- Once you enter you can stay for as long as you like;
- No pass-outs;
- If your child can walk I don’t recommend bringing pram. Technically prams are allowed inside though I noticed a lot of prams parked outside the entrance (unsecured);
- Closest toilets outside the centre entrance are on Level 1 near Zara. There is also a parents room with a child-sized toilet;
- Allow 2-3 hours for your visit. Baby 2.0 (4yo) stayed for 4 hours because he was happy to repeat activities over and over again. A younger child will not be able to do some of the activities and an older child may not want to do things more than once but may build more intricate models that require more time;
- Make use of the free wifi while you’re waiting in line (or just waiting for the kids to finish playing!);
- Family-friendly cafe on site. Technically no outside food or drink is permitted;
- If you want a LEGO lunchbox buying the kids lunch deal ($18) with it is better value than just buying the lunch box at the gift shop ($14);
- No water taps so BYO filled water bottle if you don’t want to pay for bottled water;
- Eat in the ‘chill out’ zone next to the Duplo slide and play area as the cafe tables can be noisy and crowded;
- Change facilities available;
- You need to be 90-150cm tall to enter the LEGO City soft play area and have socks. Socks available to purchase at the cafe;
- You need to be at least 90cm tall to ride Merlin’s Apprentice ride. Children between 90-120cms must ride with an adult;
- Every hour the Creative Workshop opens, join the queue to ensure a spot. Most suited to kids 5-7 years but no age restriction;
- At the gift shop the exclusive items include the BrickHeadz and the gold LEGO block keyrings;
- Gift shop is open to the public and closes a few hours after the centre closes generally;
- To lure the kids to leave try the gelati cart at Woodstock at the Level 2 Dining Terrace. There are also other great dining options at the Dining Terrace (Fonda, New Shanghai, Mama’s Buoi) but you’ll need to eat before/after your visit as there’s no pass outs;
- If you’re driving to Chadstone take the Chadstone/Warrigal Rd exit off the M1 Monash Freeway and use the far right hand lane to turn right into Middle Rd. Follow the arrows for LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Melbourne and turn right at the lights. Park at the Target carpark near Hoyts; it’s NOT the first carpark you see, it’s the second carpark with a huge HOYTS sign on it. Park on any level, P4 is rooftop and not undercover. P2 and P3 both have signage pointing to LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Melbourne and you can access via lift or stairs; and
- Parking is free though the centre is busy so park early.
LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Melbourne, Level 2, Chadstone – The Fashion Capital, 1341 Dandenong Road, Chadstone
Individual Admission tickets $32.50, and annual passes $77
Mon-Wed, Sun 9:30-5:30 (last entry 4pm)
Thu-Sat 9:30-7pm (last entry 5:30pm)
Open daily except Good Friday and Christmas Day