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
Lego On My Mind
Member Name: eilidhcatriona
Advantages: A really fun day out for all ages, lovely park, lots to see
Disadvantages: Entrance price, rides are fairly tame
Recently my partner and I were invited on a day out to Legoland with various family members who were going to be in the area. Legoland is located just outside the town of Windsor, so it was quite easy for us to reach from London. We changed trains at Slough, and then caught a local bus service to the park from Windsor town centre.
Having known about the day out for some time, I looked into ticket offers and found that Kelloggs had two-for-one vouchers on certain boxes of cereal. We let the others know about the offer, and then scoffed some Frosties. On arrival at the park, I was feeling smug that we would be making a good saving. It's a been a couple of years since we went to a theme park - I may have made a strange noise at the ticket man when he said "that'll be £41 please". £41! That's the price for one adult??? By god was I glad we had got that two-for-one voucher, I think I would have been heading straight back to the bus stop if we'd had to pay over £80. Strictly speaking, it meant we were having a day out at a theme park for £20 each, which is good value, but I just can't get over that full entrance price.
Anyway, mini-rant over...by the time we had got off the bus at the park gates, it was raining heavily, and showed no sign of stopping. We met the others inside and all donned bright yellow plastic ponchos. At £3 each for these ponchos, we thought they should be given out free on rainy days - given that three in four visitors that day were wearing the ponchos, Legoland must have made a nice profit selling glorified bin bags.. On a practical note, Legoland is incredibly child, buggy and wheelchair friendly - most of the paths are slopes, with few stairs - and always a slope alongside any stairs. There were even slides alongside the paths on some slopes, so kids could have fun even while walking about. There were a lot of staff around should you need help with anything, and the park was clean and well-maintained.
Legoland, like most theme parks, is arranged into "lands", each with its own theme - there was a pirate area, Viking kingdom, knights kingdom, and so on. For some reason I found the map more complicated to follow that in other theme parks though. Like most theme parks, Legoland is nicely landscaped with plenty of trees, flowers and seating areas, and of course an awful lot of Lego - everything that can be made from Lego is, and if it can't be made from Lego, it's Lego-themed.
During the morning we strolled around the park in the rain in a large group, taking it in turns to go on rides with or without the kids. There were a lot of really good rides for young children - driving schools for different age groups, boat school, and lots of typical theme park rides in small sizes. While one of the little girls with us was a bit too young for any of the rides, the other, at five, was having a fantastic time - of course it helped that all the adults were determined she should have a great day out! Of course the first ride my partner and I went on was basically a water flume, with the two of us sitting in a little rubber dinghy. My jeans still weren't dry by the time we got home that evening.
We stopped for lunch at a very busy cafe, full of rather soggy families. My partner and I couldn't see anything we wanted for lunch from there, so we nipped next door to a burger bar - two meals (chicken burger and falafel burger, both with chips and drink) were just under £14. I dread to think how much the others paid in the cafe for a whole family's meals. The food was fine, nothing special but then you wouldn't expect that from a food outlet in a theme park.
Back out into the lightening rain after lunch, and it wasn't long before we found another grown up ride. The Wave Surfer - despite my love of theme parks and rides, I don't think I've ever seen anything quite like it. There are two identical sides to it, circlular jetties over water, with individual surfing pods around the outside of the circle which extend over the water. The circle rotates at speed, there are water cannons shooting randomly, and you have a wheel on your pod with which you can control your proximity to the jetty - by moving closer to the jetty and then whipping out, it feels like you are going really fast. Anyway, it was fantastic fun - the effect it seemed to have on everyone was to make them grin manically. And I called it a grown up rid but our little five year old went on with her mum and loved it - I suppose I mean it's not a ride aimed mainly at kids.
The day that we were visiting Legoland happened to be the day of Legoland Live, when a stage was set up in a field by the car parks and various kids characters and entertainers performed - the likes of Fireman Sam and many others I've never heard of. The others were planning on going there for a couple of hours in the afternoon, so my partner and I decided to use this time to find some proper rides.
The larger rides are located in a few areas of the park which are all in the same corner of the park - the Viking, pirate and knights kingdoms. First up for us was the pirate ship - called the Jolly Rocker at Legoland. Such a simple idea, yet so effective and addictive. We have been known to go on a pirate ship countless times during days out - at Legoland we managed to restrict ourselves to twice. In case you don't know, the pirate ship is the ride which is shaped like a ship, you sit in rows facing the central mast, and then it swings back and forth (like a giant version of a playpark swing) until you are looking directly down at the ground below. It gives you all sorts of funny feelings in your stomach - and I love it. The Jolly Rocker was a rather good example of a pirate ship - we felt the effects of the swinging even sitting in the middle row (it's generally accepted that the further back in the ship you sit, the more exciting it is).
Next up was the log flume - Pirate Falls. This was a bit disappointing - a journey on the flat through pirate infested land (Lego pirates that is) and then just one hill. Admittedly we did get soaked on that one hill and the pirate scenery was really good, but still - I do expect more from a log flume.
We moved onto the rollercoasters - there were two of these in the knights area of the park. Unfortunately one was out of commission, so we went to the other - which was the larger one, The Dragon. We had a bit of a wait for this, only about 15 minutes, but that was the longest wait of the day. It turned out to be a fairly tame but fun rollercoaster - far from white knuckle, but enjoyable nonetheless.
We ended our tour of the larger rides with a spin on the river rapids - Vikings River Splash. These were located at one of the highest points of the park, so you had a good view as you went round. The rapids weren't as long or quite as white water as the ones at Alton Towers for example, but they were fun - and very wet. There were Vikings and water cannons shooting water at you at every point on the ride. The rain had stopped earlier, and we were starting to dry out - but unfortunately I was in exactly the right spot to get completely drenched again as we approached the end of the ride.
After trying out the rides, we went for a stroll around Miniland before going to find the others. Legoland is full of Lego statues, and while the rides aren't made from Lego (thankfully), they are Lego-themed and decorated with Lego characters whenever possible. Miniland is where many sights from around the UK and the world have been built from Lego - a Lego miniature village if you will. We really enjoyed this, it was fun to see Eilean Donan and Edinburgh Castle made from Lego, as well as all the various London sights. There were also model docks, and a model of the "Garden of England", complete with tranquil villages and Lego cricket matches. We were rather taken by the Lego Amsterdam, as it is a city we love - and one we would be going to on holiday just a week later.
We all had a great day out at Legoland, kids, parents, grandparents, and us. It is much more child-oriented than Alton Towers or Thorpe Park, which can entertain young children for a day but also have a lot of rides for grown up kids and thrillseekers. Whether we would have had as much fun without the kids there I don't know, but we had a great day out - and the rain didn't dampen our spirits at all.
Summary: A fun day out for little kids and big kids!
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