Newest Review: ... (20 months)to use and my eldest, (very nearly 4 years old) wanted to walk. This is one area where I wish I had taken my double buggy with m... more
More Lego than you can shake a stick at!
Member Name: karalouk
Advantages: Good park for children and families, Impressive Lego creations
Disadvantages: Not a very good park for adults without children/teenagers/thrill seekers, Overpriced
Recently I decided it was about time we gave it another go (my daughter is now 4 years old) and thankfully our visit was a lot different.
Legoland is located in Windsor, Berkshire. We travelled by car. It was relatively easy to find - I got off the M25 at Junction 15 and then off the M4 at Junction 6 where Legoland was well signed up from there. You can also catch a train from London Waterloo or Paddington. Alternatively you could look into a coach trip to Legoland.
Legoland is closed between November and March, but open for the rest of the year. Opening times vary depending on when you visit but range from 9.30-10am to 5-8pm.
We arrived mid-morning and missed the early morning rush. We drove straight into the carpark without any queuing and surprisingly had plenty of spaces to choose from not far from the park entrance. We had to pay to park which I thought was very cheeky (especially considering how much ticket prices are) which costs £2.00 per car. We paid at the ticket booth at the park entrance where we were given a parking ticket to use when exiting the carpark.
Adult tickets cost a whopping £41.40 each. Children and senior tickets cost £31.20 each. Children under 3 years go free. Tickets are slightly cheaper if you book online at the Legoland website.
Look our for vouchers and offers. We used a buy-1-get-1-free voucher and a half price voucher which meant we paid £62 instead of £114! I was very pleased with our saving as I think ticket prices are way too overpriced. Especially considering Legoland is a park aimed at children.
2 Day tickets, annual passes (standard and premium) and lifetime passes are also available.
**Inside the park**
Legoland is split into a number of different 'lands'...
This is where it all starts. The beginning is where you enter and exit the park. We didn't stop here for long as it's mainly just full of shops and restaurants. You can hire out buggies here and the Lego Creation Centre is also here. One of the first things that caught our eye were the number of impressive statues made entirely out of Lego. The beginning is situated at the top of a very large steep slope - to get to the bottom you can walk it or catch the Hill Train. I recommend the Hill Train to those with buggies and wheelchairs. I also recommend the Hill Train for getting back up the slope!
--Land Of The Vikings--
This was the first land we came to which had a fun and obvious theme - vikings. It consisted of 3 rides - Vikings' River Splash (a very fun ride that was enjoyed by all of us - a little bit jolty and we got very wet! Dryers are available to use at the end of the ride for £2 a go), Longboat Invader (a viking boat which seats upto around 20 people and goes backwards and forwards whilst spinning around. The kids enjoyed it) and Spinning Spider (a lot like the spinning tea cup ride, but in logs. We all enjoyed spinning our log and getting dizzy! We were also impressed with the giant Lego spider which lurked overhead). There is also a hedge maze called Loki's Labyrinth which I have to admit we didn't even see.
The theme of this land was dinosaurs. No, just joking - it was pirates obviously! The 'main' ride in Pirates Landing is Pirate Falls Dynamite Drench which is much like a log flume ride, however we never got round to this ride unfortunately so I can't comment on it. However we did do the Jolly Rocker which is a large swinging pirate ship - semi-brave kids can sit in the middle of the pirate ship which is fun but not too scary, brave kids can sit at either end of the pirate ship which is quite a thrill! We sat in between and the kids loved it. The kids also enjoyed playing in the Pirate Training Camp and Enchanted Forest which were outdoor play areas, although we tried not to spend too long here (we have parks at home afterall!). There was also Pirate Goldwash (panning for gold) and Caricatures (get a cartoon drawing of yourself) for an additional cost, which we gave a miss. Places to eat included Crossed Ribs BBQ and Pirates BBQ, neither of which we ate at.
The first thing we noticed in Knights Kingdom was the huge castle (not made of lego unfortunately!) surrounded by a moat. The lego statues were very impressive in Knights Kingdom, the dragons seemed to be the biggest hit with the kids. Inside the castle is a rollercoaster ride called The Dragon which we didn't get round to doing and a shop selling all of the overpriced Lego essentials! Outside of the castle were 2 rides - Dragons Apprentice (a mini roller coaster ride which is just the right size and speed for young children. A step down from The Dragon rollercoaster) and Knights Quest (an average childrens ride which spun around).
Also inside the castle is a restaurant called Knights Table Rotisserie which specialises in spit roasted chicken and jacket potatos. We had our lunch here. You order your food at the counter and they bring it to your table. The menu wasn't huge but had something suitable for all of us - being a non-meat eater I ordered a Falafel & Creme Ciabatta (which cost around £6.00) for myself and a kids meal for my daughter (which cost almost £5.00) which consisted of a jacket potato with beans, an apple and a drink (aswell as a badge). The food was overpriced but both me and my daughter enjoyed our food regardless. Other kids meal options included Annabel Karmel Vegetable Pasta and chicken. None of the kids meals came with fizzy drinks which I thought was good (you could choose from milk, water, orange juice or apple juice) and the menu boasted it's 'healthy balance' status. Other people with us had Half A Sweet Chilli Chicken Meal (which cost around £7.50 each) - they said it tasted good but there wasn't much meat on it, so rubbish value for money.
--Kingdom Of The Pharaohs--
The first thing you might notice when entering Kingdom Of The Pharaohs is the big camel made from Lego. I was quite looking forward to a ride called Laser Raiders (an ancient Egyptian ride where you ride around and shoot things with a laser gun) but the queue was 40 minutes long and we were rapidly running out of time so had to give it a miss. Another ancient Egyptian themed ride was called Scarab Bouncers (which takes you 15 feet in the air and bounces you up and down) but we didn't get to do this either as the queue wasn't moving at all. Disappointing.
There are 3 other rides in Kingdom Of The Pharaohs - Thunder Blazer (hanging chairs which spin around), Aero Nomad (a lot like a small ferris wheel) and Desert Chase (a small carousel). These rides are small and are made soley for children - no adults allowed! They aren't the most exciting of rides but our lot seemed to enjoy them. What I didn't understand was why these traditional fairground rides were situated in a supposedly ancient Egyptian themed land.
This appeared to be the center of Legoland where cash points, toilets, first aid, information, lost services and baby care centre could be found. There were also plenty of shops and a couple of restaurants, aswell as Xbox Gaming Zone. A big hit among the boys was Digger Challenge where you get to operate your very own digger.
Lego City is also the home to Pirates Of Skeleton Bay which is a live pirate themed stunt show. The show drew in a big crowds and we caught the beginning of the show, which everybody seemed to be enjoying. However we decided to use this opportunity to get on a couple of rides whilst the queues weren't too long!
Adventure Land wasn't as adventurous as I'd expected - It only had 2 rides inside and the rest was mostly taken up by a large lake. The first ride was called Wave Surfer which is a hard ride to describe but it was lots of fun and you could also detonate water bombs to get people on the ride wet. The second ride was called Dino Safari which is a ride where you sit in little cars and 'drive' around and spot dinosaurs - small, simple but once again the kids thought it was great fun. There were a couple of places to grab some food and a couple of picnic areas (along with a small play area). It's best to avoid Adventure Land Games if possible - the games are like (impossible) fairground games and they charge you an absolute fortune to play. We walked passed a ride which is currently being built and due to be opened in the summer - Atlantis Submarine Voyage.
This part of the park is based around driving and controlling vehicles yourself. This was the last area of the park that we visited and unfortunately ran out of time so we didn't get to do everything - this was a big shame as I know the kids would have loved it, especially driving their own fire engine. Attractions consisted of Boating School (where you get to accelerate and steer your own boat. This was great fun for all of us, even if we did keep crashing into walls!) Driving School (where children get to drive Lego cars and earn their own licence), L-Drivers (similar to Driving School but for younger children), Balloon School (you spin around in your own hot air balloon and can increase altitude by pulling on a cable) and Fire Academy (you can drive your own fire engine and put out 'fires').
Duplo Land appeared to be aimed at younger children and was home to Fairy Tale Brook (float along in little boats whilst going past different fairy tale characters. Pleasant enough), Chopper Squadron (go up in your own helecopter and spin yourself around. Pretty simple but the kids enjoyed it), Duplo Theatre Puppet Show (which we didn't even see!), Duplo Train (a gentle but fun train ride), Mole-In-One Mini Golf (at an additional cost, which we didn't do), Cuddles Corner (a shop which a large selection of soft toys) and Duplo Family Restaurant (which serves traditional roasts).
There is also an outdoor water play area called Waterworks. This is great fun in the summer so don't forget to bring swimsuits and towels for your little ones. Our biggest queue was probably for a ride called Extreme Team Challenge which consisted of 2 water slides which you raced down (against the other slide) in a rubber dingy - it was fun, fast and we got quite wet (it was over in a matter of seconds though).
Imagination Centre appeared to be aimed at older children (therefore we didn't spend much time here) and was the most educational area of the park. It included the Imagination Centre Theatre (which shows 4D films throughout the day), The Exploratorium (an educational Lego workshop for those 11 years +) and Mindstorms (another educational Lego workshop for those 8 years +). The only thing we did in the Imagination Centre was Sky Rider (where you are taken around a track set around 20 feet in the air. Entertaining but not a 'must do' in my opinion) and Space Tower (where you sit in twos and pull yourselves upto the top of a tall tower by a rope. We all enjoyed this one).
Miniland is full of scenes from Europe and the USA recreated entirely of Lego. It's very impressive and we all enjoyed looking around and spotting famous landmarks. London Lego creations included the London Eye, Buckingham Palace (complete with royal family), London Bridge, Big Ben, Wembley Stadium and Canary Wharf.
I enjoyed our day at Legoland, it wasn't as exciting as many other big theme parks but it was enjoyable and I loved seeing all the different statues and buildings made of Lego. My daughter and the other kids that we went with (ages 2,4 and 6 years) had a great time - they loved all of the different rides and although they were shattered at the end of the day, they didn't want to leave! I was surprised at the amount of rides they were able to go on (even the 2 year old got on most rides). We didn't manage to get around all of the rides but my favourites were probably Vikings River Splash, Wave Surfer and Extreme Team Challenge. The kids favourites seemed to be the Jolly Rocker, Extreme Team Challenge and Boating School. It's a shame we didn't get to go on Laser Raiders, The Dragon or Pirate Falls because they looked like they would have been good contenders!
There was a decent amount of varied places to eat. The food which we had was pleasant enough, although overpriced (maybe think about taking a picnic). The ticket prices were also overpriced and I'd actually find it hard to justify visiting without a discount voucher or offer on. I'm not sure how big families would manage financially at Legoland!
As I've already mentioned I have previously visited Legoland in the school holidays and it was really miserable, so I would steer clear of Legoland in the school holidays if possible. I thought it was going to be the same story visiting on a Saturday but it was a lot better - don't get me wrong, it was still very crowded (I think the only way to avoid this is by possibly going on a week day) but a lot less crowded than our previous visit.
You can beat the queues by renting out an electronic queuing device called Q-Bot which costs £10-15 per person. Q-Bot allows you to 'book' a ride and return to it later without queuing. Q-Bot is available on most of the popular rides (but not all rides) and can be used only 1 ride at a time. The longest queue which we waited in was about 30 minutes so we didn't bother renting out Q-Bots, although even if it was packed I doubt I would use this service as it just seems like another way to rob you.
I wouldn't really recommend Legoland to adults without children or teenagers/thrill seekers (try Thorpe Park or Alton Towers instead). I didn't see any adults without children during our visit. All of the rides are quite tame and aimed at children - this might be disappointing for some. And although Legoland is a great park for children, I wouldn't recommend taking children under 2 years old (or under 0.9m) as there just isn't enough rides for them. I suppose Legoland is best suited for children 2-10 years old.
Something which I noticed was that loading and unloading guests on the rides was quite slow (especially in comparison to many other parks). This made queue times longer than they should have been. I suppose this was for safety reasons (the rides were all full of children afterall) but I felt they could have sped it up a little. The staff were nice enough - some of them were friendly and enthusiastic, but others (mainly the younger members of staff) were straight to the point and verging on miserable.
Legoland wasn't the biggest theme park that I've been to but was certainly bigger than I expected. We didn't get to see and do half the things that we wanted to do - and my feet were killing by the end of the day! I would definitely recommend dedicating a whole day to it.
Summary: (Although I'm not actually sure how many people shake sticks at Lego...!)
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