Reviewed by Natalie Kitchen
My 4 year old twins have just discovered “big boy” Lego so were very excited to be going to LEGOAND in Windsor, Berkshire for the day. As we were going during the Easter holidays and we’d had a spell of nice weather, we decided to get their as soon as the gates opened as we expected it to be very busy. The turnstiles open at 9.30am but the attractions don’t open until 10am. We travelled up the M3 to get there and it was very well signposted from the motorway. So getting there was nice and easy. The excitement started for the kids as soon as we drove through the entrance to the resort as all along the road are big Lego figures. We arrived at 9.30am and it was already getting busy but getting into the car parks was easy and we managed to get a car park right near the entrance. You do have to pay for parking, which is £4, or £7 if you want priority parking which gets you into the car park closest to the entrance. But to be honest if you get there early enough then there is no need to pay the extra as you are still really close. If you want to park in the priority car park you need to pay as you enter the car park, otherwise you can pay when you buy your entrance tickets or there is parking machines located near the entrance. The car park is huge so remember to take note of which one you are parked in so you can easily find your car at the end of the day. Our tickets were pre-booked so we didn’t queue very long before we were in the park ready for our day of fun, so pre-booking is advisable on busy days. You also save money booking online rather than paying at the gate.
Along with our 4 year old twins, we also took our 2 year old. Under 3’s are free but they can’t go on as many attractions. Most have a height restriction of at least 90cms which my tiny 2 year old didn’t meet. But there are 20 attractions that are suitable for the little ones. The resort guide you get when you enter the park has a list of “fun for tiny feet” to show which attractions are most suitable for the under 3’s, as does the website if you want to make a list of things to head to before you go. The park also run a “parent swap” system where guests with children who are too small to ride a certain ride can take turns in taking taller children on the rides without having to queue up twice. It is only on selected rides so it’s best to ask the member of staff on the attraction. The baby change facilities were brilliant. There were special baby change cubicles inside both the male and female toilets which had a baby change station and toilet inside. The park is set on a steep hill so a pushchair is definitely recommended for little feet. You can hire them from Lego big shop for an additional charge.
Being a sunny day in half term it was extremely busy! A lot of the rides had 60 minute queues, and some were up to 1 hour 15 minutes, although a lot of the time we didn’t seem to queue as long as the waiting time indicated. You can hire Q-Bot, which is a ride reservation device. With this you can reserve your place in the queue without having to actually queue up. Hire prices are between £15 and £70 per person so it is a pricey add on to your trip, costing at least £60 for a family of 4. Your card details need to be taken for a £50 deposit to hire Q-Bot which is only charged if the device is lost or damaged. The queues to rent the system were very lengthy when we turned up, and they are limited, so if you decide to hire one then it would be worth doing it online before you visit. We didn’t hire Q-Bot as, although it was very busy when we visited, it seemed a very expensive way of queue jumping. It is also very hard to explain to young children, who have done their best to stay patient in the long and boring queues, why they have waited so long to make it to the front of the queue and then another family has walked straight on in front of you.
New for this year is Pirate Shores complete with an exciting pirate play area, Castaway Camp. Unfortunately this doesn’t open until May so the kids didn’t have a chance to play. Pirates Falls is a new log ride that is guaranteed to get you soaked! It was overcast by the time we got there so we didn’t brave it but for those who did there are walk in driers to dry you off. Duplo Valley is great for the younger ones. There is a huge water play structure called Drenched Towers and there are handy with changing facilities right next to it. You’ll need your swim gear to use it but if you forget them then the shop there sells everything you need. There is a play area there for the younger ones to let off steam. However you have to walk through the shop to get in and out of it which does result in a lot of “Mummy can I have this?” Miniland is a great break from all the queuing. It is a model village constructed entirely of Lego; from the buildings to the cars! A lot of it is moving parts too so all the buses, trains and boats move around and the kids have fun running around to see where they go. There are lots of Lego model scenes from around Europe and the USA, including all of the famous sightseeing attractions of London. This was one of my boys’ favourite parts of the whole resort. Definitely make time to see the ‘Pirates of Skeleton Bay Stunt show’ in Lego City. It was a brilliant slapstick stunt show that had the whole audience in stitches.
There are plenty of places to eat to suit all moods. There are 3 all you can eat buffets, 3 restaurants and lots of little kiosks dotted around for quick bites to eat. As with all theme parks, food and drink can be on the expensive side. However, there are lots of lovely places to sit and have a picnic if you choose to bring your own food. There are also plenty of shops to buy those all-important Lego sets as well as a lot of other Lego souveniers. There is a free Buy Now, Collect Later service so any purchases you make can be collected at the end of the day, or sent to the hotel if you are staying there, instead of having to cart them around with you all day. If you want to buy the ride photograph’s then I recommend buying the Photo Pass. Photos are £10 each but the Photo Pass is £20 and you get 4 vouchers which can be exchanged for a photograph, keyring or magnet. You don’t have to decide there and then of you want a photo or carry it around either. Just take a note of the photo number and the attraction and you can buy them from the Roaming photo collection point on the way out
All in all there are 11 different themed lands with over 50 attractions so a day is not enough to do the whole park. Unfortunately as it was so busy when we went we only went on 6 attractions plus an explore round Miniland in the 9 hours we were there. So if I went again I would either go out of the school holidays on a school inset day, or I would stay and do a 2 day trip. On site is the LEGOLAND Resort Hotel and they do shortbreak offers. Currently you get the 2nd day free in the park if you stay in the hotel.
We did have a great day at LEGOLAND and the kids really enjoyed it, and we would visit again. The park was clean and the staff were really friendly. However, I wouldn’t go on during the school holidays again as we didn’t get to go on a lot which was a shame especially when it is quite an expensive family day out (Between £35.10 and £46.80 for adults and £31.05 and £41.10 for children). And I would wait until my youngest was tall enough to go on more attractions.
Online (book 7 days in advance) day ticket prices are £31.05 (child) and £35.10 (adult). Or if you want to go several times a year why not get an Annual Pass for £76.50 (child) and £99 (adult) – these are online prices and save 10% off at the gate prices.
For more information, opening times or to book tickets visit www.legoland.co.uk.
LEGOLAND Windsor, Winkfield Road, Windsor, Berkshire, SL4 4AY | 0871 2222 001