Legoland Windsor: easily the best, biggest and most all-round successful theme park aimed at children. With such a global brand as Lego, there is a lot you can do with it whilst never feeling gimmicky or over the top. If anything, I’d welcome even more Lego around the park!
I recently visited Legoland with my boyfriend; both of us are twenty one and at times it felt wrong that we weren’t there with children, but I did notice we weren’t the only ones! We had gained a couple of vouchers from his habit of eating the most boring cereal around (cornflakes) and it gave us the option of many theme parks or attractions to get one adult entry for free. Frazer hates big rollercoasters but loves toys so we settled quickly on Legoland (although I also would have been happy with Thorpe Park or somewhere bigger like that!) Here is an account of the day, and what Legoland is like if you dare enter without children…
We arrived first thing (although I left my lunch in the car so we had to trek back through the car park, letting many overtake us! The pain…) so we used this to our advantage by heading straight to the bigger rides at the other end of the park where it was still quiet.
First up was The Dragon, in whose queue we barely had to pause at all. A very tame rollercoaster, it is nonetheless enjoyable, with two excellent drops and a castle tour of its Lego inhabitants and a dragon before it even goes outside. Ironically, when the ride stopped, the little boy behind us said “is that it?” whereas Frazer later decided it was one of his two highlights of the day!
Next up was Pirate Falls Dynamite Drench, Legoland’s log flume. This is similar in dynamic to The Dragon, in that for most of the ride you travel around the water track following the pirates’ story, before you are to be punished and are sent up and then down the steep drop (on which I got SOAKED!) It’s great fun, especially if you have someone witty like Frazer in your boat adding their own narration to the story.
Continuing the pirate theme, we headed over to Jolly Rocker, the swinging ship. This was also very merry (I kept my hands up the whole time- Frazer didn’t) although we couldn’t sit together because they need adults on either side of each row and there were too many children. This made for a long loading time, but we were on first so at least we could rest easy.
We then shot our way through a labyrinth on Laser Raiders which also featured some excellent Lego displays, although I managed to finish 23,000 points behind Frazer, embarrassingly enough… I then kept up the silliness by going on kids’ ride Scarab-bouncers, but it was so fun just bouncing up and down! There are only two adults seats on that one though.
Before lunch, we watched the Pirates Of Skeleton Bay stunt show, which was terribly cheesy at times, with a tenuous plot, but it was an enjoyable twenty minutes, especially with some of the larger stunts and when the jet ski was brought out (although it certainly isn’t historically accurate for pirates!)
I soon got wet again – twice – on both the SQUID Surfer, a ride on spinning jet-ski pods dodging water cannons, and Vikings’ River Splash, a typical rapids ride complete with more Lego dragons. One ride that we were clueless about was the Atlantis Submarine Voyage, which turned out to be an underwater ride through an aquarium complete with many fish including rays and sharks! This was a highlight of the day we weren’t expecting, and obviously everyone can enjoy this one equally.
After all this, we decided it was time to chill out and enjoy the Lego, so we journeyed to Miniland. This was as good as I remembered from years ago, with plenty of iconic scenes from London and elsewhere in the UK as well as Paris, Amsterdam, Verona, at NASA and many more places. It was clear that some models had been there since 1996 in that they were beginning to look well-worn, but equally, the real life buildings do too so surely it’s okay! My Miniland highlight was seeing the Isle of Wight remembered in the form of The Needles!
Even more exciting was the separate Star Wars Miniland: the models in there were just as intricately detailed and featured a cross section of each film and story, and some even moved and illuminated with the press of a button. It excited Frazer VERY much when the Millennium Falcon first started moving.[Disclaimer: I had a temporary mind blank when writing this and forgot what the ship was called. Frazer is having trouble forgiving me and so made me write this.] There were also several big models of favourite characters such as Chewbacca, Darth Vader, R2D2, C3PO and Boba Fett which are perfect photo opportunities.
As you can see, the park offers a fairly wide cross section of rides and attractions, perfect for the less adrenaline-keen adult as well as children. We had a fantastic day out and coped in the sunshine despite the heatwave because there was plenty of shade around. Just avoid Duplo Valley and the Traffic area if you’re not with children!