LEGOLAND Florida recently unveiled its latest family-friendly adventure, and we’ve got your complete Unofficial Guide to the new Pirate River Quest boat ride through the historic Cypress Gardens.
Pirate River Quest is a one-of-a-kind boat ride through the natural canals of Cypress Gardens, whose vintage botanical gardens have been preserved since LEGOLAND Florida took over the property more than a decade ago. While the waterways had once fallen into disrepair, they have finally been fully restored for this new attraction, which lets families help search for Captain Redbeard’s stolen treasure as they enjoy a 25-minute tour of Winter Haven’s beauty.
Guests board the Pirate River Quest in the far back-left corner of the park, at a new boat dock built between the pedestrian entrance to Cypress Gardens and the pirate-themed waterski stadium. The queue features posters and video monitors introducing visitors to the scallywags they’ll encounter, such as Calico Jade, an original character created for the park.
Watch your step when boarding the boat because these are real free-floating vessels. Unlike Disney’s Jungle Cruise, there’s no underwater track guiding the boats. The certified captains must actually steer their ships through the canals, so be prepared for some mild bumping in the narrow turns.
Along the way, passengers hear a prerecorded narration as they pass by simply animated scenes built from larger-than-life LEGO toys. A troop of mischievous monkeys, a sunken pirate ship, and a fearsome Kraken are among the sights sailors encounter. There’s even an interactive element, as young riders are encouraged to count Captain Redbeard’s gems, coins, and golden bricks along the shoreline.
Small children will certainly adore this gentle adventure, and adults will find the experience charming as well, especially the scenic views across Lake Eloise. Look sharp, and you may spot glimpses of Florida wildlife (like waterfowl and river otters) or water-skiers while onboard.
Experience the entire Pirate River Quest from the comfort of your home with our 4K POV video, recorded during the pre-opening media preview:
Touring Tips: Pirate River Quest is designed to be accessible to the whole family, so there are no height restrictions, but kids 6 and under must wear a provided life jacket. Guests in manual wheelchairs and lighter powered models can roll right aboard the 2 accessible boats in the 10-vessel fleet.
Be aware that, with fewer than a dozen passengers per trip, this attraction has an extremely low hourly carrying capacity, and it may close an hour before the rest of the park. Make it your very first stop when the park opens in the morning.
Afterward your river cruise, be sure to explore the botanical gardens’ pedestrian path and the nearby Miniland USA model cities, which are now protected by shade canopies.
LEGOLAND Florida is celebrating the launch of Pirate River Quest with the return of PirateFest Weekends, with exclusive entertainment included in regular park admission every Saturday and Sunday from January 21 through February 19. For more information, visit Legoland Florida’s website.
To plan your family’s trip to Orlando, check out The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World with Kids 2023. If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to our YouTube channel and sign up for our newsletter here. Be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube.