This summer, I took my son to Legoland Windsor for the first time after both of us wanting to go there for so long! It is a fantastic family day out (or in our case two days out!)
On day one we arrived at the park for 9:30am as soon as it opened so we could catch the opening ceremony before the rides officially opened at 10am. Upon entering the park (which was a quick and easy process of scanning our e-tickets and going through the turnstiles) we were greeted with many others who had the same idea of arriving early… There was excited children (and parents who were just as excited to be honest!) everywhere!
At the opening ceremony we were greeted by the ‘Major of Miniland’ and 3 other Lego costume characters with a high energy welcome! I must admit this part can be a little cheesy and aimed at the younger children in the audience but we are glad we didn’t miss it.
We began our day by looking around the Lego models in Miniland featuring fantastically accurate models of landmarks from London, Hollywood, Paris and more! My son has said this was one of his favourite parts of the park as it was so cool to look at all the places made of Lego.
Many of the models moved around such as busses driving around London and trains and boats too. We spotted a Lego space shuttle with a countdown timer and got excited to see what would happen… and then at the end of the timer a little smoke came out the bottom of the shuttle… so we were a little underwhelmed by this one!
Our first ride experience at Legoland was the Coastguard HQ which is a little boat for two people which you can steer around a little river which had Lego characters around the river bank. This was an enjoyable little ride to start our trip which we went on again the following day too.
Some of the other rides we especially enjoyed included:
• Fairytale Brook – similar to the coastguard HQ as it is a little boat trip (this one you don’t steer yourself though) with interactive Lego fairytale characters and scenes to view on your way round. We really liked this one and I think we must have gone on it around 5 or 6 times over the two days. Queues tended to be short for this ride as there were many boats going round one after the other.
• Fire Academy – This is a fun attraction where you are in ‘training’ to be a fire fighter jumping in your little fire engine and getting your engine moving by pushing up and down on the levers… You then jump out and hose down the ‘fire’ with your water pump and jump back in your fire engine back to base! My son was unfortunately stuck with slow confused me and we were the last engine back to base much to his disappointment in me!
• Atlantis – this is a submarine ride with actual real live fish and little sharks as well as Lego fish under the water to view on your exploring mission. It was so cool… We love aquariums etc so this one we really enjoyed and not something we would have expected to see.
• Laser Raiders – an Egyptian themed interactive shooting ride where you go around the ancient temple in your cart shooting targets. This was fun! I think this was our longest queuing experience for this ride though around 50-60 minutes however they were showing a Lego movie during the queues so this was great to distract kids and me! Some of the other queues had areas to build Lego etc for distraction too which is a fabulous idea!
• Sky rider – a little vehicle travelling around an aerial track 20 feet above the park capturing some fantastic views of Miniland and beyond! We were glad to get on this on our first day as it was closed on day 2 due to the rain which is a shame.
There was a good variety of rides throughout the park in themed areas such as ‘Lego city’, ‘Duplo valley’ and ‘Pirate shores’. I would say there is definitely a ride for all the family to enjoy!
Of course there were some rides which didn’t appeal to us personally so we just bypassed them and still had more than enough that we did want to experience. There was only one ride that we did go on and didn’t like… Or at least my son didn’t like anyway. That was the Dragons apprentice – a Rollercoaster – it went a lot faster than expected and my son screamed and got upset! I think this is one we will give a miss next time, just not his type of thing.
We also thought that the hill train was a very tiny route and we would have liked it to go further personally.
We attended the Pirate show at the Heartlake harbour featuring pirate gymnastics, stunts, audience interaction and a Lego pirate villain. It was cool to watch however slightly on the cheesy side again but enjoyable all the same! We secretly don’t mind a bit of cheesiness!! With it being Legoland we perhaps would have expected more Lego costume characters in the show though.
Indoor Star Wars model display – amazing models of various scenes from the Star Wars movies and a photo opportunity with a large Lego Darth Vadar.
Talking of photo opportunities, we took so many photos as there are models of Lego characters dotted around the whole park which my son loved and wanted a photo with many of them. From Buzz Lightyear to Yoda and from the Queens head to a Lego police man… There’s so many to spot! We expected to see Lego costume characters walking around interacting with the kids but we only spotted one which was Batman doing a meet and greet. For only finding one Batman is a good find though!
There was also indoor areas to play and build your own Lego creations however limited space to do so it was a great little attraction when the rain hit the park on day two.
The shops and restaurants
There are various shops and places to eat throughout the park in most of the themed areas. We ended up in the same restaurant for lunch on both days of our visit – City Walk pizza and pasta. This was a pizza, pasta and salad buffet (similar to that of weekday Pizzahut restaurant lunches) which was a handy and rather tasty spot for grabbing some food to fuel your afternoon of Legoland exploring! The food was quite nice and a good selection on offer.
The only thing which bothered us about this place to eat was that there was no toilet facilities inside the restaurant. You had to go about 5 minutes outside in the park to the toilets… Being a single parent and it just being the two of us there this isn’t too handy. It meant if one of us needed the toilet during our meal either I had to leave my son alone in the restaurant while I went outside to find the toilet or I had to leave him to go walking about the busy park to the toilet himself. With it being a buffet style restaurant (where you pay in advance) we couldn’t really leave the table unattended and both go as we would lose our table/buffet plates etc… Luckily him being a fairly responsible 9 year old we managed but if he was any younger I wouldn’t be leaving him to wander through the crowds to the toilet alone so not sure how it would have worked.
The shops were good to explore but as expected slightly on the expensive side… My son bought a Legoland lanyard and 2 Lego character key rings from his holiday pocket money though which he loves. It’s definitely great to take something away as a little souvenir. The main shop gets very busy at closing time though so I would recommend going earlier in the day.
Other points to consider
• It gets very busy so expect queues and crowds of people. If you download the Legoland app though you can view live queue times and information which is really handy and we found it to be pretty accurate.
• The park is very large and exploring the park involves lots of walking around including up and down hills etc – wear comfy shoes! Our feet were really sore at the end of the two days with all the walking and standing so I’d plan a relaxing evening after if possible!
• Take lots of photos and try to experience as much as possible as there are some fantastic experiences to create happy family memories at the park. Get the Legoland map so you can plan out where you are going to ensure your time is well spent.
• Do not use the taxi rank at Legoland as it is super unorganised and they will overcharge you! We made this mistake on day 1… jumped on a cheaper and more pleasant bus journey on day 2.
Have you ever been to Legoland?