Mummy Mondays – A Trip to LEGOLAND Windsor

During the school Easter holidays, just before we headed off on our honeymoon, Ed and I decided on a spur of the moment visit to Legoland as a treat for the children.

Luckily there was a promotion allowing adults to go free with a full price child’s ticket on packs of Kellogs cereals at the time, as otherwise it would have been incredibly pricey. At £120 for the four of us (Benjamin was free), plus £6 for parking and the additional expenditure that comes with a day out at an amusement park, it was still an expensive day out but the kids enjoyed themselves.

Our children are seven, five and eighteen months, and I think that they all got something out of the day. Benjamin was limited on the rides he was allowed to go on, but then this is reflected in the free entry for under three.

Cameron and Carly aren’t very daring when it comes to rides, so we didn’t go on any of the rollercoasters, but we did enjoy some of the tamer rides as a family, my favourite probably being the Coastguard HQ, where we got to control our own little boats around a river bend.

The weather wasn’t too bad on the day, we had a bit of rain as we arrived, but this cleared up quickly and didn’t affect the rest of the day.

The kids had been to Legoland before with my mum, and one of the things they were most excited about was the Lego City Driving School. Carly hadn’t been old enough to do it the last time and she was in fact 6 months away from being allowed to this time, but she still went on it and absolutely loved it!

The souvenir driving licenses are an additional cost, available after you exit the ride itself (and so technically could be purchased even if you hadn’t gone on the driving school course itself, useful to know if you have a child who isn’t quite old enough but still wanted the license).

At £12 each, they weren’t cheap, but you did get an additional decent sized photo license alongside the smaller replica one on a lanyard, as amusement park souvenirs go, they were alright value.

There were a few rides which were, for want of a better word, a bit rubbish. The children didn’t seem to mind though, and they kept interest all the way around the park. Even Benjamin made it through the entire day without getting cranky, and he seemed to enjoy the rides he went on with us.

The world in miniature area was a firm favourite with the kids, and I found it really interesting to see how many pieces of Lego each of the models took – it’s really quite amazing!

On the way to the park I had downloaded the official park app, which was useful for checking ride times, which was fairly accurate. It also informed us of rides which were closed (there were around 4 when we were there, which was a bit annoying), and gave us information about restaurants and shops.

Most of the rides we went on had queues between 15 and 30 minutes, which weren’t too bad. The driving school and Coastguard HQ were both saying 45 minutes but we weren’t waiting for that long, so don’t necessarily get put off if it’s a ride you really want to go on.

There was only one ride which we found the queue to be ridiculous and that was Squid Surfer, which Ed went on just with Cameron. They were only on the ride itself for all of 2 minutes, but they queued for almost an hour!

Legoland is around 2 hours from us, so we were able to go there and back in a day, but if we were to go again I think we would spend out and stay at one of the two on-site hotels just for the experience. They are both themed, and the children loved the look of them. You also get early access into the park as a hotel guest, and exclusive use of the restaurants and play parks.

Near the end of the day we visited the Atlantis Submarine Voyage, which was probably my second favourite ride. It was set up to mimic a submarine ride, and was quite clever how it was done. Carly did get a bit scared by it, as it was dark and quite loud. It’s worth bearing this in mind if your child has a nervous disposition as she does, because the ride times can be quite long for this popular attraction.

There are chances to have photos taken on the majority of the rides, and around the park itself, including during the queue for Atlantis. This can get costly, although they do offer a package where you can get several photos throughout the park for one set price, which works out better value than purchasing them individually.

There are also plenty of shops dotted around the park, including a Star Wars one, which Ed loved (Star Wars and Lego are two of his favourite things).

We managed to avoid the shops until right at the end of the day, when we allowed the kids to get a keyring each, which were £5. Again, I didn’t find this too bad for an amusement park, and they are quite nice and well made unlike some of the cheaper souvenirs available in other places.

We had taken our own picnic food, but ended up purchasing hot dogs halfway round the park as we kept seeing people eating them. We had the child’s size as they had run out of the adult ones, but these were a decent size and enough for us. I can’t remember how much they were, but they weren’t too bad. There was a buffet option at one of the restaurants offering all you can eat pizza and pasta and a drink for a set price, which I thought was quite a good offer.

There was a 4D cinema, which played a Ninjago film, which I thought was excellent but all three kids refused to wear their glasses and Carly and Benjamin didn’t like it in there at all. Carly also found the Star Wars walk through absolutely terrifying and I had to rush her through it, so again be aware of these areas if your child tends to get scared of loud noises and the dark.

Overall I was happy with our visit to Legoland. I wouldn’t have liked to have paid full price for the tickets, but for the price we paid, I think the day was fairly good value for money. The park isn’t huge, and we comfortably fit in everything we wanted to throughout the 8 hours we were there for. I am not sure we would have found enough to do had we been there two days, so I would avoid the extra cost of this and fit it into the one day.

The atmosphere was fairly friendly at the park, although not as happy and smiley as say Disneyland, but staff members we spoke to were all polite and helpful.

I would definitely recommend a visit, if you haven’t been before, but look out for special offers before you pay full price, and consider a Merlin Pass if you like visiting different attractions, as it works out better value.

I was not asked to write this review, and purchased all tickets, food and souvenirs myself.

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