Newest Review: ... 1 ticket which meant with the £3 for parking (what a piss take that is!) we paid £165 for myself and 3 children.......my partner was free... more
Invasion of the Wasps
Member Name: loveableukangel
Advantages: A nice family day out, fun rides
Disadvantages: Costly ticket prices, Long Ques for Rides. Wasps
Firstly I will appologise for this being a long one but I feel there is a lot that needs to be covered to make this a thorough review, Legoland is a big place and there is a lot to it so hopefully you wont fall asleep reading.
Legoland is a family theme park which is open between the months of mid March and November. Owned by the Merlin entertainment group the park is entirely themed around the much loved and ever so popular toy Lego, now seeing that my four year old son has taken a keen interest in all things Duplo and Lego we thought that this would be the perfect place to take him for the day.
Located on the outskirts of Windsor in Berkshire Legoland is easy enough to acess via the M25, M3 and M4 and sign posted on all approaching roads to the park to make it that little bit easier if you dont know the area well.
The Park has a large amount of parking although you will find that the later you arrive the further away from the entrance you are more likely to be parked up. Parking itself costs £2.00 per vehicle, thats unless you are a merlin anual pass holder then it is free, you just scan your pass upon exit. You can purchase your parking ticket at any of the kiosks or booths within the park but remember to do so before you leave of you wont be able to get out.
If you would prefer to park closer to the entrance then you can use the Prefered Parking section of the car park but this will cost you £6.00 per car and their is only a limited amount of spaces so you need to look at getting there for opening to get a space.
Now like most of the Merlin Entertainment theme parks Legoland does come at a cost, on the day prices are as follows:
an Adult ticket costs £38.00
a Senior ticket (60+ years) costs £29.00
a child between the ages of 3 - 15 years costs £29.00 Under 3s are free entry.
Now if you decide to pre book your tickets online before you go then you can benefit from a 10% reduction in the price of your tickets and it also means that you wont need to que up at the kiosks to purchase tickets you just print them off at home and when you get there go straight to the turnstyles which saves time as during peak season queing for tickets can involve a bit of a wait.
The park itself is spread across 150 acres and split into 11 different areas of which are all individually themed and boast many exciting attractions of which I will try to explain to you:
The name really says it all, this is the entrance area to the park itself and is where you will find the ticket booths, ticket gates, guest services, gift shops, photo collection points, QBot kiosks and other facilities such as toilets and cash machines.
Located at the top of a hill it gives you some stunning views across Legoland itself and the Windsor, Heathrow areas.
From here you will find that there are two pathways which lead you down into the park, these paths are quiet steep so not suitable for everyone so there is a Hill train that you can use to take you down into the park. Its been designed so that it is suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs and let me say its a gods send at the end of the day when you are all walked out and need to get back up to the top of that hill.
This areas is aimed at the younger visitors to the park and is one that my four year old son thoroughly enjoyed, it features :
Duplo Play town - this is a soft surface family adventure playground aimed at children under the age of five years old.
Duplo Train - this ride is a small railway, its a bright colourful train that travels along a figure of eight track, not the most exciting in the park but certainly suitable for the younger, smaller guests.
Extreme Team Challenge - This is a ride where you should prepare to get soaking wet and requires two riders (my Fiance and son loved it) You board an inflatable dingy at the top of the hill and then when the green light shows the platform you are on raises and you begin to race the other dingy to the bottom.
Chopper Squadron - is a ride that involves lego themed helicopters that rotate around a central colum, the rider is able to control the movement on the helicopters going up and down.
Waterworks - this is a water play area in which young children can play with the numerous interactive water features such as fountains and water cannons. The day we went it was a really warm summers day, perfect for this area but it does get very busy and remember to take your lil ones swim wear and sun screen and you will need a towel as they will get very wet and the likely hood is that so will you.
Fairytale Brook - This is a lovely enchanting little ride great for younger children, it involves a nice relaxing boat ride through different animated fairy tale scenes including little red riding hood and hansel and grettle. Each boat holds four people so we found it good for a family ride.
Cuddles corner - This is a take on the 'build a bear' factories which you find in shopping centres across the country. Your child is able to chose a bear which a member of staff will then stuff , you are then able to chose from a large selection of Lego themed clothing for your bear to wear. You can also purchase swimwear for your children to use within the waterworks section and it also has a section where you can purchase items and have them personally engraved. A good place for lego land to cash in on their branding.
This area is just like a 'little city' it has its own harbour, train station, restraunt, a variety of gift shops and what city isnt complete without a building site. You can even find lego built black cabs parked up on the side of the streets and little workmen sticking up through the manhole covers. The harbour is also home to the pirate and Johnny Thunder stunt shows which are held at different times throughout the day. Features include:
Digger challenge - this is suitable for those of five years plus, Legoland have 12 mock JCB diggers and after watching a short video the children have to tranfer as many balls as possible into a metal container. Now one point about this ride is they require that the child who wants to have a go has proof of ID in photographic form..yes you read that right! they want ID to prove that the child is old enough to have a go, now how many children at the age of five actually have a passport as this is the only photographic ID that children have, they say its because of safety requirements.
Orient Expedition - this is a lovely train ride suitable for those of all ages that takes you for a journey across different areas of the park.
To be honest compared to the others I dont really see that Adventure land has a specific theme, The rides in this area are:
Wave Surfer - This is a really fun ride that you should be prepared to get very wet on, it involves lego themed jet skis which are connected at a central turntable which rotates at quite a speed , you can control the jet skis so that they either move away from or towards the centre. Other guests that are watching are able to detinate water like bombs from under the surface and fire water cannons directly at you as you aim to dodge these as your spinning around, its a really great laugh especially when you have other family members watching and trying to get you soaked.
Dino Dipper - This ride is suitable for the younger guests, it is a loop of cars which travel around at high speeds over a series of bumps, I wouldnt advise to go on when you have just eaten and some younger children may find it a bit too bumpy, my four year old wansnt too keen on the sudden jolts.
Dino Safari - this ride is more suitable for the younger guests, its a safari car that can fit two people that takes you around a track that features giant model lego dinosaurs all around, my son thoroughly enjoyed this ride, he called it the "Dinosaur hunt" ride
Mini land is an amazing section of the park and has many depictions of European, and Americam buildings and monuments. It has an amazing London section which includes models of the Gherkin, the Millennium Bridge, The London Eye , Canary Wharf, St Pauls Cathedral and Buckingham Palace. The attention to detail all of these models is absolutely amazing, the workmanship that goes into these to make them look so realistic makes these a true work of art. Its an area which you could spend hours looking at although not really one for younger children as my 4year old got really bored.
This is a fantastic section for children and adults alike, it gives children the chance to get behind the wheel, whether it be a car or a boat and let lose, my four year old son absolutely loved this area but be warned the waiting time for the following rides were quiet long.
Driving School - this is designed for children between the ages of 6 - 13 years old and it gives them the opportunity to drive cars and earn their own driving license which you see many children proudly wearing as they walk around the park.
L Drivers - this is the same as driving school but all on a smaller scale for children between the ages of 3 - 5 years old. My son had an absolutely fantastic time driving around in the electric car and was so proud of the license that he achieved from it.
Boating School- I have never had so much fun watching people in boats attempting to stear a course, here a maximum of three people can stear a battery powered boat around a course avoiding all the obstacles on the way. My son and fiance had so much fun although this was the one ride that had a waiting time of 1hr and 20 minutes, although I believe this could have been something to do with the boats batteries kepy dying half way around and members of staff kept having to wade out around the course to rescue and pull them back in.
Ballon School - Another nice relaxing ride for all of the family. This ride allows you to experience a ballon ride, as you rotate around the central colum you can pull on the the rope to take the balloon higher or release it to gently float back down, it gives some lovely views across the park.
Fire Accademy - You certainly need a burst of energy for this ride and it requires team work, we had such a laugh and you will almost certainly get wet. Teams of four people are placed into a fire engine which is hand powered by an up and down lever, you need to race other teams to get to the burning house then using the water extinguish the fire and then all jump back onto the fire engine and race back and be the first to win.
This area is where children can let their immagination and creativity run wild and experience different lego workshops to create lego models, test how they work and see how Lego and robotix can combine. These workshops include:
Mindstorms and the Robo test workshop - Now this workshop needs to be pre booked, its aimed for childrem aged 8 years and up and gives the child the opportunity to explore robotics and lego and how they can work together.
Build and test workshops - The build and test workshop is made up of three seperate sections:
-The creative zone is aimed at younger guests who can explore and play with brightly coloured soft bricks.
-Motion Zone that allows older guests to build cars and test them out and see how they fair and the Tremor zone which allows children to be creative and build towers out of lego bricks and then see how their building would withstand the tremors of an earthquake on the tremor table.
There are also two rides within this area, these are:
Space Tower - Another ride which requires some energy, the ride requires two people to winch themselves up to the top of the tower and then to slowly descend back down. this is another ride which provides some spectacular views of the park but does require some strength and energy.
Sky Rider - is an elevated tack ride which takes you around the Imagination centre area, at a nice slow pace this ride can give you some lovely views across Mini land and the rest of the park although if your not keep on heights then this ride really isnt for you.
-Kingdom of the Pharaohs-
This area is themed around Egypt and the Pharaohs and the main central piece to this is a six metre high statue of a Pharaoh made entirely out of Lego. Features of this area include:
Laser Raiders - this is an indoor laser ride where you are borded onto a car equipt with four lazer guns you are then driven through an ancient tomb in search of the lost hidden treasure. Using your lazer guns you need to battle the evil mummies and skeletons by fireing upon red and green targets to accumulate points. Its a fun ride but it did involve over an hours wait to get onto it.
Scarab Bouncers - Located within the Egyptian tomb (tent) this ride is certainly a bouncy one. You are raised up to the top of the ride before gently being bounced back down then it repeats a couple more times before being bought back down and stopping.
Thunder Blazer - this is what you describe of a chairoplane ride. Its basically a fairground style ride where you sit in metal chairs that are suspended by chains, as the ride rotates these chairs swing outwards.
Desert Chase - is aimed at the younger guests to the park. Another fair ground style ride this is a mini carousel that rotates around.
Aero Nomad - Another fairground style ride, this is a miniature Ferris Wheel that slowly goes around, a pleasant little ride that my son really enjoyed.
-Land of the Vikings-
this area is a Nordic themed area of vikings and full of adventure Features include:
Lokis Labrinth - this is an exciting hedge maze, you enter at a starting point and then need to find your way to the look out tower located at the centre of the maze. Its a good way to waste twenty minutes although keeping up with an enegetic four year old without losing him was good fun.
Vikings River Splash - this is a very popular rides at the park and has the ques to prove it as we waited just under an hour for a go on this ride. A fast flowing river rapid ride that takes you on a journey downstream but be prepared to get soaked as at every turn, there are sections of rough water, curtains of water that you cannot avoid and a combination of static cannons and ones that other guests can fire unon you to get you even more wet. A really great ride and better on those warm summer days where you can dry off quicker.
Spinning Spider - this is just like a giant spinning tea cup ride but on this one the tea cups come in the form of logs. Its basically a giant turntable with smaller turntables within that and then the logs mounted upon them, these all spin round and then using a wheel at the central colum of your log you can spin around even more. I wasnt too sure how my son would take to this one but it had him screaming faster faster and Mummy wanting to be sick.
Longboat Invader - Im not to sure how to describe this, al I can say is that its a rocking viking boat that turns. The boat rolls back and forth on a track which then later starts to turn and continues with this motion for some time, not one of the most exciting that we qued up for.
Pirates Landing is new to Legoland for 2010 and is an exciting new area children and adults alike which is themed around pirates, treasure and treasure hunting. Features include:
Pirate Falls Dynamite Drench - This one is a log flume ride that will almost certainly get you soaking wet, once you board the log boat you find yourself floating along a river, along the way there are many different pirate themed lego scenes for you to look at, you then find yourself making a steep ascent up into what I could only describe as a dark wooden shed, you see a few more lego models and some warning signs and then its the drop down which will get you soaked through. We all thoroughly enjoyed this ride, my son wasnt to keen on getting wet yet wanted to go on it again and again. Unfortunately its a very popular ride in the summer months and found waiting approx 40 minutes to get on.
Pirate training camp - The pirate training camp is a giant wooden playground designed for both children of all ages and you will often spy adults on there having fun too.
Jolly Rocker - this ride is a giant swinging pirate boat. The ride swings back and forth taking you higher and higher each time before slowing back down and stopping. Althouh suitable for younger children who are accompanied by an adult our four year old son hated this ride, by the end it had him sheding a few tears and wanting off.
This is a really picturesque area that I feel has really been thought out and works really well, it themes around knights and dragons and is dominated by a giant lego themed knights castle. Features include:
The Dragon - Located within the castle itself the Dragon is a fast paced rollercoaster ride. Starting off within the castle it moves through a series of different rooms which all have different lego model scenes before exiting the castle and going out into the open where you find yourself racing through trees in a lovely picturesque parkland area. Now this rollercoaster is not for smaller children but Legoland have made up for this by creating the Dragons apprentice which is a smaller rollercoaster ride.
Dragons Apprentice - this is another rollercoaster that has been designed for those not big enough to ride the Dragon which I think is good of Legoland. Its a fast paced rollercoaster wit many twists and turns. My son absolutely loved this ride and we later found ourself waiting to go on it again that he loved it so much.
Enchanted Forest - this is ideal if you want a bit of peace, the enchanted forest is a beautiful woodland area which throughout you will find lego creatures all dotted around and nature sounds over the audio speaker system. As we walked around we noted that it seemed popular for those who wanted an area to sit down and picnic but to be honest its a bit boring and my son just wanted to get out and go on more rides.
Now like I have said these rides can involve ques and at peak times these ques can be quiet lengthly. Now Legoland have introduced Q-Bot, it costs £10.00 per person off peak and £15.00 peak. Q-bot is a virtual queing system where you are given a small red and yellow electronic device, it allows you to scroll through all of the rides in the park, to see their current waiting time and to reserve a place in a virtual line, now you still have to wait the same amount of time that you would if queing for the ride but instead you book your place in a virtual que so it means your not having to stand around waiting for say 50 minutes getting bored,when your allocated time slot comes around all you need to do is enter the ride at the Q bot entrance and you get through to the ride.
Now we decided to pay the additional money to use one of these and this extra time does give you the chance to have a look around at different areas of the park so does save you time,we took advantage a couple of times to grab something to eat or to have a look around mini land, its also great if you have a younger child who doesnt understand that they cannot just go straight onto the ride and have to wait an hour.
There are a few negatives though to the Q-Bot system:
-It only allows a maximum of 6 people per party to use the Q-Bot so if you are a larger party its not really beneficial to you
-You can only reserve one ride at a time and have to wait until you have finished that ride to reserve your next.
You can also purchase the Qbot Express, Now this is the same as the QBot but this allows you to reserve as many rides as you want to, great BUT... it comes at a cost of £40 per person (more than the £38 adult ticket to get into the park) although it would save you an awful lot of time.
Now due to health and safety restrictions there are height restrictions on a lot of the rides which means that younger children cannot go onto specific ones but Legoland have pretty much catered for everyone so there are rides that everyone can go on no matter their age so this shouldnt effect or ruin your day.
A selection of the rides also offer Photograph opportunities, that mid way through the ride your photograph is taken and upon exit from the ride you can review your photograph and decide whether or not you want to purchase. More often than not these photographs are hit or miss as you never know where the cameras are or when they are going to capture you.
If you are lucky enough to get a good photo then you can purchase them at £7.00 each. Legoland do offer a photopass, this retails at £20.00 and gives you four vouchers to use throughout the park on purchasing either ride photographs or magnet or keyring photographs. If your planning on purchasing a few it does work out cost effective as it means a combination of four means that you are only paying £20.00 and not £28.00 if you were to purchase individually. Also if you are planning on coming back the vouchers are valid until the 31st December each year so do not have to be used up on the first visit, we still have two left and will use when we return later in the year.
As well as the rides Legoland also has a selection of theatre shows, movies and stunt shows being shown throughout the day at different times and locations over the park, these are a great way to take a break from walking around and give you the opportunity to take a break. Each one usually lasts for approx 20 minutes. These include:
Pirates Of Skeleton Bay which is a Live stunt show.
Bob the Builder in 4D at the imagination theatre and theatre shows of Little Red Riding Hood, The Elves and the Shoe maker and Goldilocks and the Three bears in the Duplo theatre for a younger audience
Across the park there are a veriety of differnt eateries for you to choose from. Whether it be Burgers, Mexican, Fried Chicken, BBQ Ribs, Rotiseries,Pizza, Ice cream and coffee shops or Hot dog stands they have them all, there are also a selection of picnic areas where you can sit down and eat your own food
The price of food we considered to be really reasonable, we went to one of the burger bars where you give them a table number,order and pay for your meal and then it is bought out to your table. Three adult burger meals with fries and drinks and a childrens meal with water and apple came to £21.00 which considered to some attractions we have previously been to was good value. The service was prompt, we probably waited approx 10 minutes for all of our food to come out together, It was hot and there was no issues of the food being under or over cooked, they also paid attention to the requests we made on one of the burgers and it came out how we wanted.
Located throughout the park you wiil find that there are many ameneties, Toilets and baby changing and feedign areas are located throughout the park so you dont have to walk far to find them. Toilets were always of a high standard and always very clean.
If you found your feet getting achy then there were lots of benches located all around the park which at times I was grateful for when my fiance and son went onto a ride without me.
There are many shops dotted all across Legoland, some selling products specific to the area which you are in at the time but all boasting the Lego branding. The largest of the shops and the one which we found the best was the Lego Big Shop, located at the begining it almost certainly sold the biggest range of lego products, it also has giant lego models of polular characters like Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story, Harry and Hagrid from Harry Potter and the much loved Thomas the Tank Engine.
From novelty products like keychains, Teddies and magnets through to a large variety of Lego branded clothes, from boxed lego models to a section where you could pick and mix your own bag of lego bricks to take home this shop certainly had it all.
Because of the Lego Branding a lot of the products were what I considered overpriced although saying that the lego model sets were actually some of the cheapest which I have seen around.
Where ever you are in the park members of staff were always very friendly and polite, especially those who operated the rides, they would always be chatty with our son. If you needed to ask a question they were always were very helpful which I feel all adds to your day.
All in all our day to Legoland was a really enjoyable one with lots of fun had although if I was to be honest I would say that you really do need to spend more than one day there. We arrived there for 10:00am when it opened and was there until close at 7pm and we didnt get to see and experience everything that is there to see and we certainly didnt even manage to get onto half of the rides, there just isnt enough time especially when you take into account that at peak times you can expect to que for rides from anything from 20mins to 1hr 30 minutes which is where we did find that paying for the QBot came in handy otherwise we wouldnt have managed all that we did that day. We found that we spent a good 3 to 4 hours in the Duplo and Traffic areas alone. My son absolutely loved these areas as they are very much more child orientated and child friendly and means children can get more involved.
The only one downsides of our trip to Legoland this Summer is the amount of wasps across the park site,
This year Legoland have had a dramatic increase in the amount of Wasp nests found on site, the fact is you cannot escape them anywhere you go, they are there. Everywhere across the park are signs informing guests that they are trying to deal with the problem by setting traps, bringing in exterminators when the park is closed, emptying bins more reguarly and that if anyone within your party is stung to alert a member of staff to receive medical treatment.
Now its great these signs being all dotted around the park but they seem to be failing to address certain issues that seem to be attracting the wasps. Within the food areas guests food trays are left on tables instead of being instantly cleared away therefore attracting the wasps to the food areas. Also dotted all over the park are these nice bright pink round pots designed for guests to disgard their chewing gum, now these are great as there is no sticky gum on the floor for you to tread on but instead these are also attracting the wasps being sweet and sticky.
This wasp issue can make your day a little uncomfortable, especially if you dislike wasps as much as I do but I got on with it for the sake of my son and wouldnt let these little critters ruin our day, I dont think I would be saying that if any of my family had been stung and you were hearing of this occurrence often as you walked around the park.
I would highly reccommend this attraction to anyone and believe that it is very much a family orientated park and works well with children aged 3 - 15yrs which it is aimed, none of the rides are what you would call hard core so if your after a theme park purely for rides I would reccommend Thorpe Park, Alton Towers or Drayton Manor.
I also believe that one day really is not enough time to cover all of Legoland therefore thats the reason we will returning later in the year to finish off what we started, lets just hope next time around they have the wasp problem under control.
Summary: A fun family day out
More reviews in the field of Theme Park / Zoo National
- Disappointing visit to Dinosaur park in Combe Martin
- Spectacular and unique
- Pettitts adventure park
- Thorpe Park - Fun and Eventful day out
- Alton Towers - Excellent Day Out
- Splash Zone Gulliver's Park Milton Keynes Birthday Party really rubbish
- I never realised things could get this wild in Doncaster
- British seaside fun in the (sometimes) sun!!
- I want to go back!!
- London's Hidden Gem
- White Post Farm Centre (Farnsfield)
- Monks Park Farm (Yorkshire)
- Wetlands Animal Park (Nottinghamshire)
- Marine Aquarium (Lyme Regis)
- Crocodiles of the World (Oxfordshire)
- Banham Zoo (Norfolk)
- Paradise Park (Hayle, Cornwall)
- Highland Wildlife Park (Inverness)
- Forbidden Corner (Coverham)
- Folly Farm (Pembrokeshire)