Recently we made our second visit to Legoland in Windsor with our almost 3 year old son, with this being shortly after their reopening with COVID restrictions in place. Our first visit was some time ago when he was barely over a year old, so there wasn’t a huge amount for him to do that time, but this time he JUST scraped through the size requirement on a fairly decent number of rides. He’s 91 cm so all the 90 cm rides were OK for him to use… Although on some of them it was heart attack time for me with him! More on that later.
Now on paper… If you’re living your best nerd life, there’s a good chance that some part of you will be partial to a bit of brick action, and if that’s the case, then the idea of a little self contained world filled with stuff made from Lego, and celebrating that little brick surely sounds like an awesome place to be! Let’s see if that’s the case!
Is Legoland suitable for a toddler?
If you just want a really quick answer to that questions then I’d say yes, as long as they’re 90 cm or taller. When he was younger there really wasn’t much for him here but this time we actually managed to get on all of these rides (which I’m going to give really short family orientated reviews about):
- Duplo Dino Roller coaster – Massive queue (although we had the quick pass so it didn’t matter too much as he had lunch whilst in the virtual queue) for a ride which does 2 laps of the little track, each lasting I’d say less than 10 seconds. For me it was pretty bland, but for my little guy, as his first roller coaster, he absolutely loved it!
- L-Drivers – This made me laugh more than anything else I think I’ve ever done with him because I had to leave him in the car by himself to drive around. He doesn’t understand that well yet and is just on the cusp of even being tall enough so he just constantly steered in to the wall, or people, or other drivers and rather than just pushing the peddle down picked his foot up as high as he could and smashed down on it!
- Deep Sea Adventure – For all of us, this was the best ride by far. I know it’s not a real submarine, but you do get in to a ride where you climb down under the water – its essentially a glass bottom boat where you sit right down in the hull, but its amazing – it felt like a real submarine and the fish are so cool and in great condition. Loved the sharks!
- Haunted House Monster Party – I think this is a bit over rated but it was quite good fun I guess – very disorientating though as both the ride and the room around it seem to move in opposite directions. Really cleverly done and my son was just amazed by the effect.
- Fairy tale brook – very slow paced look at characters from some classic fairy tales. Pretty boring for adults but he enjoyed seeing which characters he could spot!
- Coast Guard HQ – this one is always quite fun because you steer the boat yourself, so if you put the kids in charge, who knows where you’ll end up! There’s only one way around but people do regularly crash in to walls etc. One of my favorite rides there!
- Duplo Airport – I’m scared of heights so gave this a miss, but my wife and son seemed to like it – you control the rotation and height of the otherwise stationary helicopters.
- Laser Raiders – Always love an interactive ride, and this one is pretty fun where you go through an Egyptian tomb with laser canons. The lasers are some of the least responsive I have ever had on such a ride, but that’s not saying much. I know that these kinds of rides have improved a lot in recent years, but this one could do with a bit of an update I think.
- Desert Chase – Thank goodness that there was a carousel with horses… That’s our son’s new favorite thing so it’s also the only ride we went on more than once… He loved it.
- Merlin’s Challenge – He was just big enough for this and I sat him on the inside. The lap bar came down and I thought “Man, he can slide underneath that” so I took hold of him under my arm and held on for dear life! For the next what felt like 5 minutes I had a drawn out heart attack and white knuckle held on to his jacket, ruining any photos or videos of us and afterwards realizing I totally over reacted, knowing I would do so again if we used it a second time. Great fun if you leave the jeopardy of a kid out of it!
- Fire Academy – This one is fun and a lot of work. You have to pump a handle to get to the fire truck to the building and then pump another to get the water to squirt before pump the truck back to the finish. There were 3 groups of 4 (2 adults and 2 kids) and then our group of 3… Everyone apart from me (adult wise) was female, so I had something on the line! I pumped like crazy and we arrived first… Then I pumped like crazy to realise that both my wife and kid were on the same water canon! By that time I had pumped myself out (hmmmmmm, that doesn’t sound good) and was knackered for the pump back home. Had I realized (and remember this if you’re racing a friend) that everyone fire goes out at the same time, I wouldn’t have pumped so hard for the water and saved it for the return journey! It’s of course not a competition though!
Other things which we did with him included the Duplo play town (although that area also saw the end of our visit as the poor guy, coming down one of the slides, caught his shoe on the side of the slide and twisted his ankle quite badly – no one’s fault but he’d had enough after that), Miniland (more on that below), the remote control boats & trucks (well, at least I had a go at using them – he had no interest but did seem to like watching me use them) and Lego Reef – he enjoyed running after the feed “buttons” in the interactive projector wall, and my wife and I loved making weird looking fish – win win!
All of the above we pretty much did in one day because the first day was an absolute rainy washout, super busy and was our arrival day, so we had less time anyway. The second day is when we got the virtual queue which we really only needed for the one dino roller coaster ride – but that second day was by far one of the best days out we have EVER had as a family and we have the power of the brick to thank for that.
Is Legoland suitable for adults?
The power of the brick brings me on to this question.
There is absolutely no doubt that it is amazing for toddlers and kids and families… no doubt at all! For adults though? There are maybe 2 or 3 bigger rides which might thrill an adult, like the Deep sea adventure, Viking River, Pirate Falls or maybe Sky rider, but beyond that, ride wise it’s really aimed at children. BUT there’s more to Legoland than just rides.
For me, it was an opportunity to really introduce my son to the brick!
He’s already had Duplo since almost he could hold stuff in his hands, but this time we let him choose a set and he went for a small Frozen tea party set, which he has fallen in love with! We stayed in the Legoland hotel where he met a pink brick person and got to surround himself with Lego built fun for a full 2 days and 1 night… We encouraged him to look at all the different models, and that’s where Miniland came in to it’s own!
Even as an adult (and maybe even more so), you can really appreciate the work which went in to this area and how amazing it really is. There are so many places we recognized and even some places where we have been, which made that area really special for us and help us talk about some great memories… And that’s what Lego does. It makes and triggers memories. How many people do you know who have never played with Lego?
So is it great for adults?
No I don’t think so. But its OK for adults – adults can definitely find something to make them happy there. But if you’re an adult coming as part of a family, then you will all together have an amazing time!
What’s the Lego Store like there?
I’ve been to the Lego store in Copenhagen, London, New York and here in the Legoland at Windsor and it is by far the best of the bunch! It has everything you want from a Lego store, then it even has some Legoland Windsor exclusive sets, merchandise for the park and just an incredible selection. I was so excited that I couldn’t choose what to buy – I felt like a kid again (but ended up with the tie fighter helmet). Best of all if you have a Merlin pass like we do, you can use it in the shop to get a 10% discount (with a discount also available for pass holders and when booking the hotel).
We really did have an incredible time there and I left with some great Lego to continue the fun when we got back home. We even got a small Ninjago car in the hotel room. That was pretty fun – they gave us a little riddle, the answer of which opened a locked secret compartment with the toy and some other stuff (like a badge, bag and lanyard) in it. Along those sorts of lines some other stuff which didn’t really fit in to the account above:
What’s the food like?
In the hotel, the food was actually pretty amazing. We ate at the hotel and pre-paid it when booking, which made the 3 course meal really affordable and surprisingly tasty (especially compared to the CBeebies Hotel at another of their parks, Alton Towers, which has awful food at the hotel). In the park, we had a hot dog, which is always nice as they use roll over and on the other day we had the pizza and pasta place in Lego city which we’d had before and was nice… This time, it was absolutely terrible! The drinks were flat and flavorless – the coke was essentially slightly brown water, and the food just wasn’t good. The flavors weren’t what they used to be. it was like they took some pizza hut leftovers, sucked all the salt out and re-heated them. Really disappoint with that, but other than this, all the other catering was alright.
What are the COVID restrictions like?
Just what we’re used to really! You had to wear a mask indoor and on rides and beyond that they ask you to social distance. That’s about all there is to it when it comes to the actual day. You can see that they’re keeping things clean, putting up alcohol rub and the hotel was spotless. Those COVID measures had no real impact on our day out – maybe that’s because it’s just the new normal at the moment, but we felt fine and safe.