A family day out at Legoland Windsor
It was daddy’s wish to write this post and mummy more than welcomed the idea:
This weekend we were given the opportunity to visit Legoland Windsor and as it was our daughters 4th birthday the other week, we jumped at the chance. Little did we know that the UK was due to enter a second ice age and that we wouldn’t have as many problems with traffic on the way as we would stampeding Woolly Mammoths!
However, this did uncover a few things about Legoland that we wouldn’t have noticed had it been a hot and sunny day. (If you can remember what one of them is?) So without further delay allow me to take you on a journey……
We set off just after 9am, it’s a relatively short drive from where we live (45 minutes or so) so there was no need to rush the journey, and were dressed accordingly for the weather. Unfortunately we dressed for a cold day, not a short spell in a Russian Gulag! Arriving at Legoland, the short drive to the car park was made fun for Boog by the little Lego people that littered the drive up. Even the hotel looked a fun place to stay, with its multi coloured walls and dragon over the entrance it actually looked like a Lego building.
Legoland isn’t cheap and, as you will see, there are many little add ons that can really push up the price. But it can be really worth the effort and expense if you’ve got the funds and avoid the extras.
2 Adult tickets and one child ticket purchased now for May would cost you £95.85 (2 x 34.20 & 1 x 27.45) it costs more if you book 7 days or less in advance and even more on the day (£127.80)
Now this taken on face value isn’t that bad considering the size of the place and the fun children will have. After all, how do you put a price on a child’s fun when the world will destroy their childhood all too quickly? BUT……. There is always a but.
If you drive, and let’s face it most of us will, you have to buy a parking ticket. Now this parking ticket is only £3, but you’ve just spent £95.85 on entry tickets and now there’s another £3 (or £6 if you get priority parking) on top before you even step foot inside!
Kerching…… £98.85 minimum
Once through the gates you are welcomed by some shops, an eatery and a bunch of child’s cars that you can wheel your small children around in. These consist of singles (£8) or doubles (£12). We opted for a single for Boog. It made getting around a bit more fun for her. Now before you say, hang on that’s another cost on top of entry, just wait a minute. This is one I partially agree with. If they were free then you would have people taking them. Then they would just leave them wherever when their child was bored of it, or the adult bored of pushing it. I say, partially agree with, as it could be a refundable deposit. Just produce your receipt upon return of the car to get a refund.
Kerching….. £106.85 minimum
Now if you hate queing, as most of us do, then you may be tempted to get a Q-Bot. This is a little device that lets you register for a ride and thus placing you in a virtual queue. Hold your horses for a moment though. While this may be a great idea it doesn’t come cheap. Each person over the age of 3 has to be registered on the bot to be entitled to use it. So for us it would have been me, otilia and Boog. This costs £15pp (£45 for us) for the cheapest option to a whopping £70pp (£210) for the Q-Bot ultimate.
Kerching……£151.85 minimum (and we haven’t even got on a ride yet!!!)
Now on with the show.
You can take a short ride on a train down the hill or walk down a winding path that is made fun for the kids by having slides on every set of steps (great idea). Once at the bottom there is a multitude of themed areas to explore from Egyptians to Pirates, Vikings to knights and Dragons and plenty of indoor areas with Lego for the children to practice their building skills. Boog enjoyed the Space Tower, was thrilled by the Squid Surfer, scared by the Laser raiders and Spinning Spider but loved the Dragon and I was dragged back to my childhood with the Star Wars Miniland Model Display. Unfortunately we didn’t get to go on much else as it was just too cold for Boog. We spent most of our time trying to seek shelter from the freezing wind.
By the end of the day Boog was wearing tights, leggings, jeans and 3 pairs of socks but her feet were still getting too cold from time to time.
As I said at the start this did uncover a problem within the Legoland Complex. A lack of heated space. We tried a few places through the course of the day but they all seemed to be devoid of adequate heating, even the indoor build areas weren’t that warm . We ordered some food in one place but it was so cold the food had gone cold before we had chance to finish it. The last place we tried was a Buffett place the name of which escapes me. Now this place was something special, first off you could only get a full meal! All we wanted were warm drinks but to get those you had to step outside in the cold again and pay at the outside kiosk. Then we decided to get some soup to try and warm Boog a little, guess what, once again they only did full meals so first they had to work out a price for just soup and then we had to pay outside again. Imagine if it had been raining!!! Honestly, what is so hard in adding the prices of drinks to their till system?
But then came the icing on the cake!
As we sat there Otilia noticed cool air blowing from the air conditioning unit above us, so she asked one of the girls working there if it was blowing out cold air.
“Yeh, I think so.” Came the reply!!!
Yeh I think so, not even an attempt to explain why on one of the coldest days this year the air con was on. No, just a ‘Yeh I think so’. Not a, ‘Oh sorry I’ll go and turn it off’ oh no that would be far too customer friendly. Were sat there with a 4 year old and a baby and all she could say was ‘Yeh I think so!’ Now I know all we wanted were drinks and a soup and I am sorry if this caused an inconvenience in their little world but it was BLOODY COLD and we had children with us!
But I digress.
The last thing on the days agenda was to buy her something from one of the many Lego Shops scattered about. Is it just me being foolish or am I not alone in thinking if there’s one place on Earth where Lego would be cheaper than anywhere else it would be at Legoland itself. Surely I’m not alone in thinking this, shouldn’t this would be one of the benefits of visiting Legoland. To be able to pick up Lego cheaper than anywhere else, even on the web. Apparently no though. I was surprised to find that Lego is just as expensive at Lego Land as it is everywhere else. In fact a quick Google search will show you that it doesn’t vary that much no matter where you go. Talk about price fixing?! This didn’t stop us from buying some of course. After all you wouldn’t go to Disneyland and not buy a Disney product would you.
You have probably read the above and thought, ‘Wow, did they enjoy anything?’ Well, in all honesty, yes. It was a great day. Of course the weather ruined it a little for us and limited the amount of things we could enjoy. But in between the tears (of which there were plenty) Boog did manage to have fun and did come away with a few new toys. Yes it can be expensive as I explained above, and if you include your food and drinks through the day you will end up in the £100s somewhere but let’s not forget that all these things are optional. So if you strip it all down then the ticket prices are actually (and I never thought I would say this) quite reasonable considering the fun to be had.
Would I go back? Yes (on a warmer day) and we have even discussed trying out the hotel just to had another layer of fun for the children. Check it out online it looks fun.
Would I recommend it? Yes, but be prepared to spend, possibly, a lot more than you bargained for.
Is the place without its faults? No. The bots should be charged per adult and child not per person. The parking should be free, after all it’s not like anyone would park there who wasn’t going there. The buggie charge should be refundable. The indoor areas should have better eating. Last but not least, the Lego should be cheaper here than anywhere else, this is Legoland after all!!
Legoland is a fun day out for all the family. It can be expensive but as I said at the start. Can you put a price on a childs fun?
Till next time…..
Now just for you a few more pictures from our day out: