One of the coolest activities at LEGOLAND is trading Minifigures with LEGOLAND employees (aka Model Citizens). For the Disney fans, it’s a very similar process to pin trading at Disneyland or Disney World. Check out these tips on how to trade Minifigures at LEGOLAND.
How to Trade LEGO Minifigures at LEGOLAND
We like to think of Minifigure trading as a scavenger hunt at LEGOLAND where the prizes are the awesome new LEGO Minifigs you end up trading for. Take a minifig or two from home that you no longer want and trade for a much cooler Minifigure you find at LEGOLAND.
Tip #1 Bring LEGO Minifigures
Most LEGO fans already own a few extra Minifigures they can spare to trade. If you absolutely cannot part with ANY of your minifigs, check yard sales or thrift stores before you go. Try and grab a few Minifigures to trade on the cheap!
Tip #2 LEGOLAND Minifigure Trading Rules
In order to trade at LEGOLAND, your Minifigure needs a head, a body, and legs. Hair, hats, and accessories are optional when trading. Any combination of head, body, and legs will work, go ahead and mix/match spare parts to create a Minifigure for trading.
Tip #3 LEGO Minifigure Case
We bring our minifigs in little tins so we don’t lose them. Small snack size bags or small plastic containers also work great at keeping your Minifigures organized and together.
Tip #4 Buy LEGO Minifigures at LEGOLAND
Don’t worry if you don’t have any Minifigs to trade or forget to bring some from home. You can buy Minifigures once you get to LEGOLAND. In fact, the Minifigure Market near the LEGOLAND entrance sells a set of three build-you-own-minifigs for about $10. It’s probably one of the best souvenir purchases at LEGOLAND because you can build/customize your own Minifigures and then trade them throughout your LEGOLAND visit.
LEGOLAND sells the new Disney LEGO Minifigures for less than $5 per blind pack. My little guy ended up buying 2 packs, one was Ariel which he wasn’t thrilled with. So we hunted all day and successfully traded her for an Alien from Toy Story.
Tip #5 Trading for Disney LEGO Minifigures
Even though the Disney LEGO Minifigs are fairly new, it is possible to trade for them. Just be patient and check with each shop/employee you come across. We didn’t see a lot of them but did find a few. We ended up finding C3PO with the Alien at the Sealife Aquarium shop. The next day we saw both Aladdin and Dash from the Incredibles available for trade just inside the LEGOLAND entrance.
Tip #6 Trading for LEGO Friends Minifigures
Unfortunately you can’t trade LEGO Friends minifigures because they won’t attach to employee brick badges.
Tip #7 Where to trade LEGO Minifigures at LEGOLAND
The majority of LEGOLAND employees (Model Citizens) at rides, food carts, and gift shops will be wearing a lanyard with Minifigures to trade.
Certain locations might also have a display box of Minifigures to trade, check near the cash register. Some places to check out include:
- Minifigure Market
- Dino Dig Store
- LEGO Idea Shop
- Miniland Trading Co
- Guest Services
- SEA LIFE Aquarium Retail Shop
- The Awesome Shop in LEGO Movie World
- LEGO Life Zone / Planet LEGO in Fun Town
- King’s Market in Castle Hill
- Imagination Zone
Be sure to stop in both the original LEGOLAND hotel and the new LEGOLAND Castle Hotel, the front desk at both hotels will definitely have some to trade as well.
Tip #8 How to Trade LEGO Minifigures
Trading for LEGO Minifigures is super easy. Once you find one you’d like to trade for, politely ask the Model Citizen to trade. That’s it! The best part is you can trade over and over again all day long. It’s a souvenir and fun activity rolled into one! Bringing Minifigures from home to trade is a great alternative to buying souvenirs and an easy way to save money on a LEGOLAND trip.
Save On LEGOLAND California Tickets & Packages
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They also sell Southern California City Pass tickets which are perfect if you planning on visiting several Southern California attractions like the Disneyland Resort, LEGOLAND California, and SeaWorld San Diego.
Where to Stay when Visiting LEGOLAND:
If you are looking to splurge, we’ve enjoyed our stays at both the LEGOLAND Castle Hotel and LEGOLAND Hotel. With free breakfast, extremely fun themed room and early access to LEGOLAND, they are a great place to stay for families who want to be within steps of the LEGOLAND entrance.
There are quite a few hotels nearby that aren’t as expensive though, many with shuttles to LEGOLAND which helps you avoid the daily parking fee. We really liked the West Inn & Suites Carlsbad and Hyatt Place Vista/Carlsbad.
If you go a few minutes down the freeway, you can stay right on the beach at the
Carlsbad Beach Inn Resort. There is no shuttle but it’s a really lovely property with beach access and some condo style rooms are available. You can really save money on meals with a full kitchen!
More LEGOLAND California Tips
- Ultimate guide to the LEGOLAND Castle Hotel
- 10 things to do on busy days at LEGOLAND
- LEGOLAND California tips
- LEGOLAND Brick or Treat Shirt
- Best things to do at LEGOLAND in the summer
- Why you want to stay at the LEGOLAND California Hotel
This post was originally published July 2, 2016.