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Legoland Windsor

Being the nearest Legoland park to me, i thought I would start a discussion on it. What does everyone think of the park overall as well as the new star wars miniland that recently opened?
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Comments

  • The park itself is definitely worth visiting. It's got all the famous London landmarks, which are quite a sight! But the queues for the rides are long, and the rides are v short!
  • edited March 2012
    Went last summer with my two boys (5 and almost 3 at the time) and it was fab. Spent two whole days in the park. It was the summer holidays and I thought that the queues were surprisingly short even for the brand new Atlantis ride - followed the usual theme park rules of getting on the main rides early and late. Thankfully they were too young to go on the learner driver rides or I would have queued for ages - as it was the boat driving queue was the longest by a mile.

    Traffic to the park was not too bad at all, parking was fine. Food was ok, particularly the roast chicken place at the castle. Shop was EXPENSIVE - but had to walk out with something. This year I may pre-place a set in the car and tell the children that they have a new service where they take the lego direct to the car...
  • Only been once with the kids last year but the kids were probably a bit too young to enjoy it. Booked for the SW weekend in the hotel in a few weeks and probably as excited as the kids about it.
  • Never been to Legoland. The admission price is too steep and I always think I can actually buy a Lego set in that price if I don't go there. ;)
  • We go there seven or eight times a year with the family (two kids aged 8 and 4) and they love it. We have Annual Passes so nothing is ever a rush for us - there's always next time if the queues are too long. The event weekends are usually worth it but expect longer queues. Exiting the car park can be painful on these days too, especially the fireworks events (which are always amazing) when everyone wants to leave at exactly the same time.

    As for the park itself, the rides are a good mix for youngsters - there's nothing fast or scary (go to Thorpe Park/Alton Towers for that). Miniland is looking seriously dated now as some models have been kicking around for ten years or more. The new SW miniland experience is good - see the Brickset home page for Huw's review with pictures.

    There are some further activities in the park which are payable but we never go there. IMO you don't need to and I certainly don't want to win a giant teddy bear thanks very much, especially as it's not LEGO-related.

    Food is actually not bad. With an AP you get 20% off in most restaurants. The 'all you can eat/drink' pizza and pasta place is a firm favourite with us as everything is cooked fresh buffet style so you go back again and again until you are full. The Duplo family restaurant is also a good mix buffet-style. A family of 2+2 with Annual Passes will pay around £25 all in for lunch and drinks.

    The shop is not expensive for sets. They charge RRP but AP holders get a 10% discount. Yes, you can usually shop around and get a better deal elsewhere but they work on the basis you'll want to take something home. Where the shops are expensive is other licensed gear. Things like mugs, clocks, watches, bedding and all that other extended range is almost always well over RRP. I saw several items I stock in my online store for well over RRP.

    Generally speaking, LLW is a great day out for families and all the friends I've taken there for the first time love it - and their kids love it too. Anyone considering going more than once really should get an Annual Pass - the benefits are worth it and it's probably cheaper than paying on the gate twice.
  • I have been going to Legoland since it first opened in 1996. The best rides there for me have to be the Dragon, viking rapids, atlantis, pirate falls and jolly rocker.

    Iam hoping to see the Star Wars mini land in person on the 26th march and check it out for myself. Compared to last year, we have lost the Creation Centre and rocket racers for this. I have no idea where the former models have gone though except much of the creation centre is now the star wars shop.
  • My boys (both aged 5) have been asking almost weekly to go back since they went last summer. I think it's a perfect theme park for young children.

    I see it as two separate things really - lots of rides for youngsters, where the Lego theme is that the vehicles are brightly coloured plastic with studs on. Plus lots of Lego models: Miniland, plus others scattered around. It's not the Lego models that make my 5 years olds want to go back, although they are so excited about the new Stars wars exhibit that that may change.

    I don't think I'd go just as an AFOL, because the only interesting part is the models, and it doesn't take that long to look around Miniland, but it's nice to use the children as an excuse to check it out!

    It is very expensive (particularly as we bought the Q-Bot, because we didn't think 4-year-olds would put up with queuing), but we consider it good value as they would tell you it's the best thing they did last year, and have got so much out of it.

    I'd say the best recommendation is that my wife, who puts up with my Lego hobby and thinks the kids have too much Lego, is very happy to go again.


    Lee
  • I've been to LLW 4 times, as I used to live in the UK, it was only a 45min drive. I thought it was pretty good, but the miniland is a lot smaller than the one in Billund.
    Their mount rushmore is a joke compared to the one in Denmark...

    The lego shop is expensive, and PaB is usually disappointing.

    7/10
  • ^ PaB is now virtually non-existent. What's there is £5.49/100g.
  • Was it a bricksetter that bought all the Knights Kingdoms dragon battle packs at LLW today? There were about 30 in the big shop at 10am and by 4pm....all gone!
  • u was thinking of going today to see what therre was .. anything else worth having in the shop?
  • Some of the discontinued kingdoms keyrings, some foam kingdoms swords/shields/hats. Didn't look at much else.
  • ^Wow, last Saturday were boxes and boxes of all of the Kingdoms sets - Castles included.
  • No way! Did you pick up any castles?
    Did they have any dragons prison as well? I'm so after more of that set.
    Might head off there first thing in the morning ...
  • ^^they must have sold out last saturday as there was no 'empty space' where boxes could've been....the turrett shop didn't have any boxed sets either. Alternatively they've shifted stock to another Merlin attraction eg Warwaick castle.
  • ^^ Afraid I didn't get anything. Was all a bit of a rush and given I have nowhere to live in 2 weeks time.......

    ^ I wonder where they all went then? They were there on the last day of Christmas shopping in December and as predicted, there again last Sarurday and that was about five minutes before they shut. Warwick Castle isn't a bad guess.
  • ok, I wish Id read this thread before I left, because they dont have any in Legoland from what I can tell. will continue to look tho. grrrr flump.
  • edited March 2012
    Well J should at least do the decent thing and offer you petrol money for a wasted journey!!
  • ^ Not to mention the time that Si wasted, Wes. Say £50 total for petrol, time and inconvenience ? Seems fair to me.
  • ^ Don't forget the disappointment factor!

    It was a very bad call on @flump6523 part.

  • its ok, I just got a beefburger for brekkie so going home empty handed wont be so bad. off home now. nothing much in any of the shops.

    legoland is great, but im missing my sons birthday to be here so best get back home.
  • What, you missed your son's birthday because of @flump6523 ? For shame.
  • I'm at LLW now. THEY HAVE THEM! Have left message on your mobile @Si. I have limited signal.
  • Have also text you.
  • edited March 2012
    ^^ Now surely THIS is a wind up ! OK, then - bring one back for me as proof...

    :-)
  • oh, they must have taken stock out for the first weekend of LLW this year....will go along as have annual pass....hope to get a castle before they run out....
  • edited March 2012
    OK, I admit it, I'm winding you up ... I've still never been to legoland in my life :o)
    Anything else good?
  • Joke's on you guys. Flump turns reseller. Filling my boots. Everything other than castle. Not on shelf, but........ :-P
  • LLW had Kingdoms stuff. They weren't on the shelf, out-the-back nor in the discount store. They were all in a container ready to ship back to Billund for whatever reason. Persuaded them to open it up and let me have a peek. All of the Kingdoms sets were there other than the Castle. Whilst discussing mine, a father and son saw my bits and pieces and their eyes lit up, "Soldiers!" They enquired about the Castle of which the two shop assistants went all sheepish - the staff later revealed they had cleared the Castles beforehand.

    @Si_Dorking_Surrey_UK - shame on you. Kinda backfired though huh? :o) And to think, I gave you every opportunity. Did you not want the Dragons Prisons?

    No Exclusives or Hard to Finds were in there. The manager explained that the Dropships we saw in there last week were snapped up as soon as the park opened yesterday morning. He actually said the purchaser had seen them mentioned on Brickset - go figure!? During the course of yesterday morning, two other men went in to specifically buy Dropships also. Lol!
  • edited March 2012
    I really thought you were winding me up mate, since I'd heard from someone else that they werent there.
  • ^ Wind up? I wouldn't wind any of my homies up!! Would you? :o)

    I got you your Dragon's Prisons.
  • edited March 2012
    OK, I'll take em off your hands if no-one else wants them (dont really need them but anyway) .... sorry again mate, but I really believed you were winding me up and I just wanted to have a bit of fun to cheer things up a little round here.
  • They have mentioned that the first 100 children through the door for the Star Wars Weekend this weekend get a free collectors badge. No decent minifig or brick, just a badge!
  • edited March 2012
    ^ That is a standard Legoland 'thing', the kids collect badges and can trade in park. Having said that, limited to 100?? That sounds strange.
    It would SERIOUSLY suprise me if they dont also have a collector brick. They have for pretty much every other event that I am aware of. Nothing special though IMO.
  • just returned from a night in the legoland hotel and a couple of days in the park. The hotel is fantastic inside and the details and effort that's gone into it is amazing. A few problems with the this and that only because everyone is still learning on the job I guess. All the staff were very friendly but i'guessing after a summer season of kids running amok you can see that wearing off. As much as I love my kids, I really don't like other peoples and the play area is a bit small for running kids to be bumping into each other.

    we went for the cheaper themed pirate room which had some nice touches. There was a spider in the bathroom and butterfly and dragonfly in the main room. A rat and monkey in the kids den. The kids also received 2 polybags each, the fish and truck.

    the restaurant is decorated really nice and has some great models of chefs doing different things. The tablecloths double as a colouring page which is a simple touch. The food itself is ok, buffet style. Not sure if its worth £20 an adult but not many alternatives so needs must. Breakfast was a good selection from cooked to pancakes and waffles.

    the star wars theme day was good. The characters walking around were extra friendly to the kids and my boy wanted his photo taking with them all. Which brings me to the star wars miniland...a little disappointed really in the whole experience. Still quite dark, very loud, so loud my kids didn't want to go any further than the door. The exhibits are nicely put together but I don't know , I was expecting something a bit more.

    All in all a great couple of days and we will definitey return in the near future. The annual pass will make sure of that. And a big thank you to the weather gods for smiling down on us.
  • Just an aside... the entire world's supply of 1x1 Maersk blue round bricks all came from the Windsor model shop... never found in any set. I and another Yank pretty much bought up the available supply from UK Bricklink sellers, who were selling them for less than 25 cents each. The supply has pretty much dried up by now... they were likely were purchased quite some time ago at the Windso Legoland PAB wall... if they ever show up again... keep an eye out! :-)
  • ^ Do you remember the name of the Yank?
  • There was a spider in the bathroom and butterfly and dragonfly in the main room. A rat and monkey in the kids den.
    i'd have asked for my money back.
    boom boom
  • @Yellowcastle... that would be alias Starbeanie on Bricklink, who is an acquaintance, and he collects all the Maersk models. He's selling the Maersk rounds at $1.25 each on BL right now...
  • Was going to do a review of the hotel as we stayed last night, but @greekmick beat me to it!

    Pretty underwhelmed by the hotel. It didn't help that all we seem to have were issues throughout our stay. We had a Premium Pirate room, but I cannot see a difference to what was described above for a Standard one, apart from not having a kids den and the authentic Pirate soaking wet carpet where the wet room leaked over it throughout our stay (we didn't need or want a wet room BTW, we actually wanted a bath so we could bath our children but that wasn't allowed!), and a dirty bathroom which wasn't cleaned even after we contacted reception. Not the nicest feeling at 3 in the morning squelching to and from the toilet.

    Food in the restaurant wasn't the greatest and queuing for 15 minutes after you have made a reservation is a pretty new experience. To be fair the staff I saw and spoke to seemed to be struggling with the new systems and processes, and according to one it was about 100 times better than on the first weekend.

    Finally it didn't help that the Star Wars weekend was on. We booked before it was announced, it wasn't something we really wanted to see, given we are not really into Star Wars, it just meant that everywhere seemed to be busier than usual.

    As greekmick ended at least we had the weather gods on our side, it would have been much worse if the sun hadn't come out.


  • @Istokg - I figured it was Bret but wasn't sure. :o)
  • @martyn - you werent one of the group at the top of the hill talking with thw boss were you?? That was annoying that the hotel guests can enter the park at 9:30 but nothing is open until 10am and mist paths up the hill were closed off.

    I had to argue about the £20 voucher for the swimming pool being closed and was told you could only use in the hotel shop although the big shop had a sign saying LOOT vouchers can be used here. If tou werent into star wars then it was a very mistimed stay. The characters were using the hotel as a base which made for the lobby and such being very busy.

    What was the extra gift in the premium room and was it worth the extra money??
  • @greekmick - Nope wasn't at the hill. We were there yesterday and today. They had 3 things open at 9:30 this morning, laser raiders, dragon and scarrab bouncers, so we went to laser raiders before the rush. We were also told that the voucher could only be used in the hotel, didn't make it to the big shop so didn't see any signs. That's annoying.

    About the timing. We booked in September, before it was announced that Rocket Racers was going, let alone an Star Wars weekend to launch the new miniland. Just really bad luck I guess.

    No extra gift in the Premium Room, just the fish and the car poly bags. It definately wasn't worth the extra money, in fact it sounds like you room was nicer than ours if the kids had a 'den'. We just had bunk beds next to our two single beds, we didn't even get a room with a double bed in it!
  • ^ the den was a nice touch and makes a difference with kids. Can't believe the premium rooms were that bad. We tried upgrading a few weeks ago because we were told my reservations originally the standard rooms didn't have the den or any Lego decoration and the whole point was for that but was told it was full anyway. After a few phone calls they advised us the premium rooms were only different in the adult area being more Lego themed and the extra gift for the kids. I'm glad we didn't now! We intended to write to them anyway about some of the issues but your experience sounds even worse.

    I love star wars so even though we had booked before knowing about the weekend I was happy about it apart from being so busy. Not sure if its that busy at weekends normally but will definitely take the kids out of school for a quieter day next time.
  • @Yellowcastle Yes, it's Bret... he bought one of the 20 models I made of the first Maersk ship LEGO ever created. But it wasn't for sale to the public... only to Continental European Retailers as a glued model from 1959-61... the REGINA MAERSK.

    The original LEGO model used regular blue bricks (no Maersk color available back then)... so I built a modified copy of that 0751 retailer model, and I needed 11 of the Maersk blue 1x1 rounds for each one... I was pleased with this design... I used some 10152 Maersk stickers, and a pair of custom (Tommy Armstrong) 1x10 bricks with REGINA MAERSK printed on it.

    Bret bought one, and compared it with his ($$$) 1650 Maersk Line Container Set... (2nd image).
    Regina Maersk Ship.jpg
    2560 x 734 - 661K
    0751 and 1650 Comparisons.jpg
    800 x 293 - 197K
  • By the way... the 1955 launched REGINA MAERSK was the first of the real Maersk ships (built in the Odense Denmark shipyards) with a Maersk blue hull.
  • The bottle of Tesco lemonade I bought today has a Merlin 2 for 1 coupon, valid for Legoland Windsor.
  • Are the weekends best to be avoided at Legoland? If not which is the quieter day Saturday or Sunday?
  • I forgot about this thread, but thought I'd report back our thoughts about LLW and the hotel- we definitely found it much better than @martin.

    We we went on the Thursday before Easter holidays (our kids finished school before many others) deliberately because we thought it would be quiet, and indeed it was. Our boys are 5, and we're enthused from the moment they saw the entrance to the hotel. Whilst the park was nearly empty, the hotel was pretty full (we were told when looking to change from adventurers to pirates).

    Our room was a pirate themed one. It was an odd combo in that it was the one with the full room themed, but without a separate kids den. I am pretty sure it was the disabled room, as it was by the lift and had handles etc in the bathroom.

    Bit odd being in the same room as the kids but we just kept them up and then put a movie on. In the end my wife went to sleep first!

    We thought the food and cafe play area was great. Food so much better than in the park - all buffet but a wide selection. We wanted to come back to the hotel for lunch but it only does breakfast and dinner. Was good to be able to see them playing and then move to the bar area to carry on.

    There were a few mini-fig dressed people visiting the restaurant/play area which kept the kids excited.

    The main Lego playing thing in the play area was Lego racers themed, where they build a vehicle from the provided Lego and race it down one of the slopes. There were lots of different Lego bricks but no wheels at all meaning the kids could only make slidey things.

    There were loads of nice touches at the hotel, from the treasure hunt to find the combination to get the polybags, to the various Lego models that you didn't see at first glance. I was super impressed when in a lift without my family that a person dressed as a minifig kept going with their act effectively giving the boy a personal show in the lift.

    The biggest problem we had was that we hadn't read the instructions and hadn't printed out our park tickets - just assuming that hotel stay always included park entry that there was no need - so we wasted half an hour trying to email them to the reception from my wife's phone to print them out.

    This was our second trip to the park but the first time we'd done more than a day - that worked really well. We arrived around 2pm got straight into the room and were able to do lots of wet rides between 2.30-5 without worrying about complaining wet children in a car home.

    If you're paying full price to the park (I know there are usually discounts) for 2 days then the hotel even seemed like great value for money.

    My kids are already talking about being allowed to go back next year, we'll definitely do 2 days and stay at the hotel again.

  • Just wanted to ask for few advices regarding the LLW. As my girlfriend bought me a tickets to the Legoland, and we are going on Monday. It will be the first time I'm going to any Legoland. I know to pack my own food, as the restaurants are very expensive. I'll pack some food, I'll be travelling directly to LLW by bus. And will reach there at 10 am(opening time I guess) any ideas where to go first etc? anything worth buying those days there? wanted to get some PAB bricks but after your reviews I can see it's not really worth it.
    Much appreciated PM's or posts here !

    regards,
    Rafal
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