Location: LEGOLAND Windsor; Wakefield Road; Windsor; Berkshire; SL4 4AY; UK
Ticket Prices: From £37 (Per Person), Under 3’s go FREE, Annual Passes from £100.
Opening Hours: 10:00am-5:00pm (Monday-Friday), 10:00am-6:00pm (Saturday-Sunday).
LEGO bricks and sets have been a part of our childhood since the 1950’s and it’s unimaginable to think of a world without them. It’s a toy that connects generations, and (depending on how honest you are) appeals to a large portion of adults as well as kids.
In June of 1968, LEGO opened the first ever LEGOLAND theme park in Billund; Denmark, and following its huge success, with well over 50 Million visitors to date, a second park was opened in Windsor; England. In March of 1996 LEGOLAND Windsor opened its doors, and with 2016 celebrating its 20th year, ToysWorld decided to check out Britain’s most-popular theme park.
As you walk through the gates in the area suitably called ’The Beginning’, you are presented with the most amazing view of Windsor and the surrounding areas from the top of the hill. There are also a couple of LEGO shops, including the ’BIG Shop’, which you will find it hard to resist visiting until the end. If you do manage to muster some self-control, the first attraction we recommend you visit is the LEGO Star Wars Miniland display. In here are stunning reconstructions of poignant moments from the movie saga, including giant LEGO versions of the Millennium Falcon, Darth Vader, C-3PO and, new for 2016, The Death Star!
After you’re finished at the Star Wars Miniland, we recommend hopping aboard the ‘Hill Train’, which will take you down the hill where all the main rides are.
The first land we advise you to check out is ‘Land Of The Vikings’. There are 4 attractions in this area, but our favourite by far was the ‘Viking’s River Splash’ – a circular raft that navigates rapids and water jets. Definitely start off with this ride as you WILL get wet and with all the walking (and running) around you’ll be doing, you will dry off pretty quickly.
Whilst you’re still wet, we recommend visiting the next land ‘Pirate Shores’, where you can set sail on the ‘Pirate Falls Treasure Quest’. Those of you who have been to Disneyland will appreciate this ride as it is the perfect combination of the ’Pirates Of The Caribbean’ and ‘Splash Mountain’ rides. Needless to say there is a big, watery drop at the end!
It is about now that Operation: Get Dry begins 🙂 Whilst you’re still in ‘Pirate Shores’, go on the ‘Jolly Rocker’ ride, where the big pirate ship swings back and forth, allowing you to catch some cooling winds. Note to adults / parents: Do not go on this ride straight after lunch! 🙂
At the ‘Knights Kingdom’ you will be spoilt for choice as far as rollercoasters go; there are 3 to choose from, and none of them are for the faint-hearted. The tamest of the three is the ‘Dragon’s Apprentice’, which is aimed more for the younger children, and is a much more scaled down version of ‘The Dragon’ ride which we will talk about shortly. The next is the ‘Knight’s Quest’, which is a fast carousel ride that will have you stumbling for a few seconds once you step off. Our daughter, Amelia loved this ride and she clearly handled it better than her parents.
The final rollercoaster, and by far the best – arguably the best ride in the entire park, is ‘The Dragon’. Our 2-and-a-half year old son, Jacob was obsessed with this ride, and as he literally *just* made the height restriction (1.0 metres), he made no secret that he wanted to go on it again and again. The beginning of the ride takes you through a gentle, horizontal ride through the medieval castle, with LEGO statues of wizards, dragons and general courtiers, before you are propelled up a slope and into the main rollercoaster ride. We went on a weekday, and because there were literally no queues all day, we were able to ride ‘The Dragon’ two times consecutively, without having to exit and rejoin the line!
After the thrills of all the rides so far, it was a good time to grab some lunch. There are several restaurants available at LEGOLAND Windsor, but the ones we suggest visiting are either the ‘Knight’s Table Rotisserie’, where you can get spit-roast Chicken, Ribs and Fries, or the slightly larger ‘Pirates Burger Kitchen’. Whilst the food is a little on the pricey side, there are discounts available for family dining. At the time of writing, 2 adult meals and 2 kids meals at the Pirates Burger Kitchen cost just £25.00.
After lunch, and making our way anti-clockwise around the park, we then visited ‘Kingdom Of The Pharaohs’. Here there are 5 attractions to choose from, and we highly suggest you go on ‘Laser Raiders’ (a laser target shooting ride), and ‘Aero Nomad’ a balloon ride, which takes you up and gives you fantastic views of the park. If you’re looking for some recently deleted LEGO sets, make sure you check out the ‘Last Chance Bazaar’ where you can purchase some discontinued sets.
As you leave the ‘Kingdom Of The Pharaohs’ you enter the LEGO Friends’ ‘Heartlake City’ where there’s ‘Mia’s Riding Adventure’; a ride where kids get to choose a horse (plastic) that they want to ride on, which then travels back and forth on a spinning track. High on the list of other things to do here is the ‘Heartlake City Express’ train, which takes you on a relaxing tour of the park. There’s also a great ice cream parlour at Heartlake City which offers some fantastically tasty flavours!
Right next to Heartlake City is ‘Adventure Land’, or at least the first part of it – the other part is across the lake. You’ll also find the LEGOLAND Hotel right next-door, too. The first ride we went on here was the ’S.Q.U.I.D. Surfer’, where you control jet-ski type boats that rotate. Watch out for the bystanders though as they can set off water explosions that will soak you! Be prepared for wet shoes after this ride, too 😉
At this point, we actually walked back through ‘Heartlake City’ and went through to the ‘LEGO City’ area. Here, the kids can get behind the wheel at the Driving School – they even come out with their own driving license! After mastering cars, you can then let your kids control the boats over at ‘Coastguard HQ’. With Land and Sea covered, it just leaves the air, so make sure you hop aboard the ‘Balloon School’ ride for some more fantastic views of the LEGOLAND Park.
We then moved on to ‘Duplo Valley’ – LEGOLAND’s self-contained waterpark where kids can splash around and slide down the flumes. This area is actually spread out over 2 sections; one for the younger kids, which is on the lower level, and one for slightly older kids – this is on the upper level and features the slides and flumes. Make sure you bring your kids swimming costumes, and also bring your own in case your child loses courage at the top of the flume and wants to be brought back down again 🙂
After ‘Duplo Valley’, we headed over to the other area of ‘Adventure Land’, where we went on our second-favourite ride of the day – the ‘Atlantis Submarine Voyage’. Here you get a little taster of the SeaLife centres that LEGOLAND’s owners (Merlin Entertainment) also run. Riders sit in a half-submerged ‘submarine’ which opens out to an undersea world of real-life fish, sharks and stingrays. It was quite mind-blowing being so close to some rather large sharks, and the kids were just as impressed as we were. Jacob even asked at one point if the sharks were made out of LEGO 🙂
Whilst you’re in ‘Adventure Land’ there are some handy places to grab a quick bite to eat as well as a handy picnic area if you’ve brought your own lunch. The kids can check out the climbing wall whilst you take a well-earned break, too.
The penultimate land is the phenomenal ‘Miniland’, where you will find LEGO versions of places from around the world, but most notably a mini recreation of London! The level of detail was amazing, and you could easily spend an hour here alone, poring over the intricate builds. A tiny level of detail which we were particularly impressed with was a little LEGO double decker bus which moved around autonomously.
As we complete our circuit of the park, the final land is the ‘Imagination Centre’, where you can watch The LEGO Movie 4D Adventure – a 12-and-a-half minute story that takes place after the events of The LEGO Movie. We thoroughly enjoyed it and with the added water, wind and fog effects, you really feel part of the action on-screen! There are some cool rides, here too; ‘Skyrider’ and the ‘Space Tower’ are worth checking out and there’s even an X-Box gaming area where you can play LEGO related video games. Also worthy of note are the educational workshops in the Discovery Zone, as well as ‘The Imagination Factory’ where kids can build anything they can think of with the LEGO bricks provided.
For the majority of the larger rides at the park, there are opportunities for you to purchase photos which are taken during the ride itself. There are also several green screen area which you can have photos taken at for purchase later.
Strictly speaking, there is one final attraction that everyone HAS to check out, in the form of the previously mentioned ‘BIG Shop’. Here you can purchase a wide range of LEGO sets and gifts, and they regularly have some great deals you won’t find anywhere else.
As a family we had a truly amazing day out; next to no queues, enjoyable attractions, as well as a friendly and knowledgable team of park employees all helped to make our day memorable. Whether you have kids or not, LEGOLAND Windsor is a guaranteed, fun-filled day out that will have you wanting to book your return visit before you’ve even reached the car!