Day out: LEGOLAND

3 May

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.

Now, the park itself.  (For a serious breakdown of the whole park, check out wikipedia or this guide on squidoo.) Everywhere you go, everything you see, is LEGO.

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.

No lines, no waiting.

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:

Underwater Poseidon made of LEGO

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

Miniland is full marks for awesome.  We visited both days of our stay, and saw new things each time.  Day one was a bit rainy.

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) —

(I’ll admit it.  I just like this guy’s face.  Is he blowing you up in to the air?  Is he blowing away?  I don’t know.)

Catch the pirate show — it was crowded on sunny day two! —

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:

“It’s the mother-f*cking Millenium Falcon blasting out of mother-f*cking Mos Eisley space port! I mean … kids, cover your ears.”

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.

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9 Responses to “Day out: LEGOLAND”

  1. Zazzy May 3, 2012 at 2:06 pm #

    Legoland was never high on my list of places I wanted to visit. I mean, legos, seriously? But now you have gone and made it all interesting and fun and I want to go too! I particularly want to see fathers pushing children out of their way in the Star Wars exhibit!

    • Monique May 3, 2012 at 3:51 pm #

      If you don’t care for LEGOs, I have to admit LEGOLAND would probably fall flat, unless you were with someone very enthusiastic to make it fun. Miniland is pretty cool, tho.

  2. Tesni May 3, 2012 at 3:46 pm #

    I went to legoland several times as a child and really enjoyed it. I feel that as a 22 year old that it probably isn’t acceptable to return until I have a child with me, which is a shame as I think I would appreciate all the amazing lego builds more now than I did when I was 8.

    As for rides, not brilliant, but it’s designed for children under 10, not for thrill seekers. When the kids want a bit more excitement Thorpe Park and Alton Towers would be your best bet. If they are inbetween – Chessington World of Adventures would be perfect. Rides are much better than lego land and there is a zoo 🙂

    • Monique May 3, 2012 at 3:54 pm #

      Alton Towers is on my radar, will look up Thorpe Park, thanks! We saw a hen party while we were there, I think the hotel is marketing to singles/childless couples, too. 🙂

  3. satnavandcider May 3, 2012 at 11:45 pm #

    It sounds like you had a blast. I can feel your enthusiasm What fun!

  4. Norma Kerklo May 8, 2012 at 4:31 am #

    My kids played with legos a lot, wish there was a Legoland to visit then. They would have loved it. We used to keep the legos in big plastic buckets when not in use. An erector set or lincoln logs never caught their imagination. But my kids are in their mid-40s now. In fact my son has an 8-yr old son who he has introduced to legos. You apparently had good timing, I recently read in the news that Legoland had to shut down for a day because of a power outage. I so enjoy reading your blog–just wanted you to know.

    • Monique May 8, 2012 at 8:55 pm #

      Norma, thanks so much for commenting! Glad you’re enjoying the blog. Bummer about the Legoland power outage – that would have been way worse than missing out on the pool.

  5. greatscott3 May 8, 2012 at 9:00 pm #

    Man…you must have earned enough cool points during this trip to set you for life! Awesome mom award goes to you. And I agree – I totally want Lego Vadar at my front door. Or Lego Poseidon in my bathtub. It’s a toss up, really…

    • Monique May 9, 2012 at 11:51 pm #

      Do you earn mom points if you have as much fun as the kids? Let’s say yes. 🙂 We do have a LEGO dragon sculpture in the house…

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