We recently visited Legoland, Windsor. It had been on our radar for a while and when we saw discount tickets in the paper we jumped at the chance to save a bit of money in the process.
We’d heard good things about this theme park and thought our kids would enjoy it as they love their Duplo. From the website there looked as though there was a lot to see and do for our young children, and enough to hold our interest as adults.
We visited at the end of March on a Saturday; as the Cub is in pre-school we didn’t have the option of visiting on a weekday. We expected it to be busy!
Walking in was a little underwhelming as we expected more Lego models; instead we found a square surrounded by shops. There was a lovely view over the countryside towards Windsor Castle though. We had a quick bite to eat in the cafe and then went to the Star Wars section. This was fun; there were some good scenes from the films set out and the Cub really enjoyed herself here.
The rest of the park is downhill and set out in themed areas, often around a large ride. The themes were quite effective and ranged from Medieval castles to Vikings and Ancient Egypt.
The Cub was too short to go on many of the rides so we had to bypass them. The rides in general were fairly standard looking; think log flumes and gentle swings. Don’t expect any white-knuckle rides for older teens and adults.
We queued up for a couple of rides, including one that Bee could go on. The queues were so slow moving that we didn’t think it was fair to stand in line for any more rides as all our kids wanted to do was run around. We took them to the Duplo area after Bee had a meltdown in the second queue and they had a lovely time playing in the playground there.
In the summer there’s a splash park in the Duplo area which will be a hit with little ones. There were more rides suitable for both children here but the queue times were all about an hour. With the best will in the world, toddlers aren’t going to wait that long.
Moving on to the Lego Village area, we found models of sights in the UK and around the world. These were really good – lots of time and effort had gone into building them. It was a shame that lots of them were quite dirty and/or faded. The park has only just opened after winter refurbishment so I don’t understand why they weren’t in better condition. It would have been nice to see more Lego around the park in general – it felt as though it had been added as an afterthought.
Would we recommend Legoland?
Unfortunately we wouldn’t recommend a visit to Legoland with small children. You would have a better time with kids from 5- 10 years old. Younger kids won’t want to queue and older ones will probably find most of the rides too tame.
Many of the rides are for children 1m and over, which is fair enough; there are safety restrictions which must be respected. However if your child is over 3 years old they will have to pay full price entry even if they cannot go on half the rides (like the Cub). I do think that if rides are height restricted then children’s tickets should be applied according to their height rather than age.
The park is in need of refurbishment and cleaning to make it more presentable. A Ninjago area is due to open in May and a ride was being built in the Duplo area. Perhaps these new attractions will perk Legoland up a bit.
We felt that Legoland was too expensive for what it was. We had bought promotional tickets – two for £11 plus one full price ticket so I’m glad we didn’t pay full price!
Know before you go
Getting there and away
Legoland was very busy when we visited – if you possibly can, visit in the week and avoid school holidays. We would recommend arriving early. The park is easily reached by car from the M4 motorway and is just outside the town of Windsor in Berkshire.
You can use Park and Ride services from Windsor to the park – these are not services provided by Legoland so check before relying on them.
There are two train routes from London; from London Waterloo direct to Windsor and Eton Riverside or via Slough to Windsor & Eton Central from London Paddington. Again there are shuttle buses to Legoland from stops near these stations but they are not provided by Legoland so do check that they’re operating.
Costs and tickets
Legoland is a Merlin attraction so if you’ve got a Merlin pass your entry is free.
Book online at least a week in advance to get the best price (from £30) or keep an eye out for promotions. Tickets on the door cost from £45. Bee was free as he was under 3.
You have to pay £6 for the car park (yes, really). We paid online in advance but you can pay at a kiosk on exit.
If you want to skip the queue you can buy a Q-Bot pass for a starting price of £20 per person (though for full access it’s an extra £80 each). You can also download an app which shows you queue times in real time – this can be helpful when planning your route around the park.
There are restaurants, cafes and kiosks all over the park.
Perhaps we had bad luck but the food we bought was expensive and not particularly good. We bought two (tasteless) paninis, two small plain cheese sandwiches for the kids, two tiny pots of fruit and four juices which came to over £30. For that price I’d have expected a proper packed lunch for the kids with yoghurt and a treat as well as sandwiches and fruit. A hot meal will cost nearly £10 a head. Bring your own!
We also stopped at the Ice Cream parlour which did serve good ice cream and American-style donuts.
If you’d like to make a weekend of it you can stay onsite. There are two hotels at Legoland; the Legoland Resort Hotel and the Legoland Castle Hotel. You can book your stay online at Legoland’s website.
There are plenty of hotels, B&Bs and guesthouses in the area. One cheap and cheerful option is the Premier Inn in nearby Slough.