You know how when you build something big out of LEGOs — like, say, a life sized Queen Amidala — and haven’t we all been there — you know how you need a giggle-de-boople-plex of LEGOs? (That is a technical term for “lots”.) Well, apparently I need a giggle-de-boople-plex of photos of LEGOs to tell you about LEGOLAND Windsor. I’ve cut, cut, cut, but there’s still lots. So, get a cup of coffee, sit back, and let your fingers scroll away.
Not a joke: when I told my son we were moving to England he said “Great! Now we can go to LEGOLAND.” Seriously. In our first weeks here, we booked tickets and an overnight stay at the as-yet-unbuilt LEGOLAND resort hotel, which ended up opening just a week or two before our trip to LEGOLAND:
The new hotel is adjacent to the park, is completely devoted to the LEGO theme, and a stay at the hotel gets you early entry into and a late stay before leaving the park. We chose the “Kingdom” theme for our room — because I am a princess, duh — and it was pretty amazing. Open the door to a family room and find a ‘treasure hunt’ puzzle to solve, which then opens a locked safe filled with LEGOs for the kids to keep.
The kids get a bunk bed, with roll-out trundle on the bottom — sleeps three.
Kids get their own entertainment area, and parents can keep out.
Next, down a small hall, the bathroom, which is also done up in LEGO theme.
And then the parent area. Very comfy.
Outside the room, the hall on this floor has peep-holes overlooking the LEGO pit in the lobby.
You can play here all day long. The wall to the back holds guest creations and there’s a daily build competition. There are also games and shows in the large play area and stage.
Parents can sit next to the play area and order from the bar. Boo-ya!
Breakfast and dinner are buffet-style and plentiful in the Brick restaurant. Book ahead for dinner, it gets crowded.
Even the main hotel bathrooms are themed.
Oh yes I did take a picture of the toilets. Did you think I wouldn’t? The only downside to the hotel was the waterpark — it wasn’t open during our visit. Lame. Apparently not everything was quite working when we arrived.
We made fantastic use of our half hour early park entry, and dashed over to the Kingdom area of the park for a ride on the only real roller-coaster ride in the whole park, The Dragon.
Depending on your age, or the age of your kids, you’ll recognize these as the original Knights. LEGO has moved on to Bionicle and Heroes, but it was nostalgic to see these old warhorses.
This is the main water ride at the park, the Viking River Splash. The dragons are super-awesome and I want them in my living room. As a ride though? Eh. It was more fun after when we could shoot water cannons at the riders going past. Actually, I preferred the kiddie water ride Fairy Tale Brook.
The LEGO figures were clever and fun, and the leaf-shaped boats didn’t pretend to do anything but float around softly. The most disappointing ride for me was the Atlantis Submarine Voyage. It was interesting:
But really you’re just sitting in a bathtub with glass panels to one side, going in a circle above water.
LEGO awesomeness: 4 out of 5. Ride awesomeness: about a 1.5
Day two (view from the Sky Ride) was bright and sunny.
With two days to play with, we could try out all the rides — like LEGO boating, driving, flying, laser-shooting (kids have their LEGO drivers licenses, now) —
But my absolute, hands-down, most favoritest thing ever was STAR WARS MINILAND (dum dum dum!)
The force made my hand unsteady and the pic out of focus. The Vader was life sized. I came up to his sternum. I want him to guard the front door to my house.
I took another giggle-de-boople-plex of photos just in Star Wars Miniland. I would have gone through the complex multiple times. I would have eaten there. I would have slept there. I would be there now. I will show you one photo, and one only. I am usually very careful with my language around my children, but this one made me curse out loud:
Note the fathers in the background. They shoved their kids to the side in their stampede to get photos of the Mos Eisley cantina back there. It. Was. Amazing. Star Wars LEGOS, from Clone Wars all the way through Jedi. I’m sorry, I need to catch my breath.
Are you feeling like old bony up there? Had enough of LEGOs? Of course that’s not possible, but I can’t do this all day, so let’s wrap up.
LEGOLAND Windsor was an amazing weekend out. If you can swing it, staying over at the resort hotel is absolutely worth it for the convenience, the entertainment, the LEGO theme activities, and the food. (I assume the water park would be cool, too, but I’m trying not to be bitter about that.) Food in the park is overpriced — as in any amusement park — but there is wine, beer, and well-enough made espresso drinks everywhere. The LEGO stores in the park carry some classic hard-to-find items, as well as the largest (only?) collection of those new pink LEGO sets I’ve ever seen. If your expectations for roller-coaster rides were built in the US, dial them down and avoid disappointment — just admire the whimsical and artistic LEGO everywhere and enjoy the day.