Friday, 19 October 2012

Review - Legoland Windsor Resort

With half-term fast approaching, have you any ideas about how to keep your children occupied?  Have you thought about Legoland Windsor as a 'day out' destination? 

The end of last month was pretty hectic for me, not least because of the launch of Working Parents United.  There was a lot of work involved behind the scenes (and still is) and the launch was tiring yet exhilarating in equal measure.  So it was with great relief that a week off from work fast approached.  My husband and I planned lost of fun activities for the children – it was going to be a real getaway for us all – and Legoland Windsor was amongst them. 

I’d never been to Legoland before.  I had always thought of it as a miniature village-type place and, while I enjoy Lego (although not to the same level as some enthusiasts), I just didn’t think that spending a day walking amongst mini Lego versions of global landmarks would be a huge amount of fun. 

But – and I’ll happily admit this – I was wrong.  Yes, it has its Miniland section but there is lots more to this park; water rides; rollercoasters for all ages; interactive rides and activities; life-size Lego models.  You get the picture. 

We went on a school day so the park was quieter than it would otherwise have been.  We rolled up in the car, drove into the car park and parked fairly close to the Legoland entrance with ease. 

We weren’t entirely sure what to expect as we made our way through the turnstiles but the sight that greeted us was breathtaking.  The entrance to the park is on the top of a hill with the rest of the park sprawling out beneath it, with Windsor Castle standing majestically in the background (silly me forgot to take a picture though!). 

We began to make our way around the park.  It was so much bigger than we had anticipated with a number of differently themed areas.  We tried to single out parts of the park that would be the most appropriate for Sophia and Dexter but didn’t manage to visit all of them.  If you’re keen on seeing all parts of Legoland Windsor in one day, military precision planning is most probably required!

If I'm honest, I wasn't expecting very much at all in the way of attractions geared towards small children.  I thought Sophia might be able to go on a handful of things while Dexter mainly watched from the sidelines.  I'm pleased to say I actually couldn't have been more wrong!

As a family we all enjoyed The Imagination Theatre, Miniland, Aero Nomad, Laser Raiders, Balloon School and the Star Wars Miniland Experience.  As Sophia is slightly taller than Dexter she was able to go on a few more rides, as you'd expect.  She loved Sky Riders, the Spinning Spider (she went on twice!) and even went solo on the Thunder Blazer! 

We all had a great time.

There was actually lots more to explore and discover but we found we had to walk relatively slowly with two small children (both of whom are now resisting the pushchair).  There just wasn't enough time to see everything.

I have to say that what I did see of the park, I really liked.  In particular, their attention to detail and the obvious thought that had gone into making the park as fun as possible was excellent.  For example, while the adults walked down the steps from the theme park entrance to the rest of the park lower down the hill, children were able to use slides - I was very jealous!

The weather was a bit hit-and-miss for most of the day and, by mid-afternoon, it began to rain fairly consistently and we decided it was time to head home.  It was a decision that wasn’t popular with everyone.

A word of warning

If you're planning a day trip to Legoland Windsor, be prepared to pay good money for the pleasure.  A one day adult ticket (for those aged 16-59) will set you back £44.40 while a child's ticket (3-15 years) costs £35.40.  If you book online, you do get a discount (the price reduces to £33.30 and £26.55 respectively) but that's still expensive.  Meanwhile, a one-day family ticket for a family comprising two adults and two children (or one adult and three children) is £159.60 if you pay on the day, or £95.76 if you book online.  Then add to that the cost of parking (£2 for standard parking or £8 for preferential treatment) as well as food, snacks, drinks, souvenirs etc. and it will set you back a pretty penny.  With this in mind, a search for any online discount codes or special offers might be a worthwhile endeavour if you want to visit.

Please note: I was given a family ticket and car park pass in return for this review. However all thoughts and opinions are always my own.  All prices quoted have been taken directly from the Legoland Windsor website and are correct as of 19/10/2012.

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