Reviewed by Amanda Hayes
When I finally awoke our exhausted son this morning, his first words were, I don’t want to go to school today mummy, I want to go back to LEGOLAND, in fact I want to go there every day! Praise indeed for our six year olds first theme park visit. Having wanted to go to LEGOLAND for ages I surprised him with the news the day before knowing I would be up for a week of sleepless nights if I gave him plenty of notice. After checking several times we were definitely going tomorrow he happily went to bed, got up, got dressed and was in the car waiting for us!
On arrival there weren’t any queues going in, so we parked easily, got our tickets and were in promptly. We had express Q-bots for the day which we collected from a special building next to the ticket collection and the assistant was really helpful in setting up the Q-bot on our iPhone and showing us how to work it. Hearing us talking about where to go he also gave us lots of really useful advice on where to go first and how to get around the park easily.
The express Q-bot is expensive at £40 per person but cuts your waiting time by half so we found that with checking the map we could arrive at a selected ride, pretty much get straight on it and then book the next ride while we were boarding the first hence cutting out nearly all queuing. This meant we were able to go on almost everything we wanted to do in one day, something that we never could have done had we had to queue for each ride. You can buy two other options, the standard Q-bot which lets you pre-book one ride at a time and wait the standard wait without queuing in line, and the Q-bot Ultimate which offers near instant ride access. With a cost of £90 per person I think it would need to be a very peak school holiday date to make this worthwhile.
We started off a little disappointed as some of the first few rides we saw weren’t running, but we realised later on that some close early and some open later so most of the rides are available at some point during the day. We made our way to Imagination, quickly taking in the LEGO Reef thinking we would return later but didn’t get time, onto Duplo valley and some gentle rides to start, Duplo Valley airport and a lovely boat ride looking at the amazing LEGO characters in Fairy Tale Brook. LEGO City Driving School was our next stop, this was busy so we were glad of our Q-bot here. Ethan loved his time here driving the cars round the track and we got some great photos. Atlantis submarine voyage was next to be visited, I really enjoyed this ride as the submarines go under water and the sharks and other fish swim past the windows really closely. The parks new ride, Haunted House, was next on the list and as you would expect there was a huge queue for this, we did feel a little bad as we went into the very small separate Q-bot queue, but the beauty is you are waiting, just not in line, so you can do other things while you wait. I won’t spoil the surprise of what happens in Haunted House but it was good fun, just nothing like I expected. Our last stop before lunch was Fire Academy, a fun family adventure where you compete against other families to put out a fire. Our competitive spirit came out and we were worn out afterwards and definitely ready for a break.
The queues at all the eat in places were really long and we wished we had brought a picnic, instead we grabbed a hot dog from one of the many stands and thought we would eat again later when it had quietened down. We just about managed to squeeze in most of the other things we wanted to do in the afternoon including watching the pirate show around Heartlake City Harbour. Planning on leaving the two water rides until last we rode the Dragon roller coaster, which was a bit much for our son, and then calmed down with the LEGO Ninjago The Ride which was a real favourite and completely different to anything we had done before. The Dragons Apprentice, the smaller roller coaster was next and a real hit. After a fairly leisurely ride on Vikings River Splash we covered up with ponchos and got on Pirate Falls: Treasure Quest. It takes your breath away and you will get wet! If you are really wet you can dry off in one of the family driers outside at £2 per go. Our ponchos kept us pretty dry luckily, I recommend taking some waterproofs with you unless it’s very hot, and the park had starting getting a lot quieter from about 4pm so we managed to fit in another roller coaster ride, Knights Quest, which we went on twice, and then noticed Mia’s Riding Adventure was open. It had been closed earlier when we passed it so ran for that. Riding a small pony what felt like miles up in the air was not for the faint hearted!
Our last ride was S.Q.U.I.D Surfer. By this time our phone had run out of battery and so we couldn’t pre-book via the Q-bot, we really noticed how effective it had been during the day here as we waited ages.
It was heading for 6pm by then and with all the restaurants in the main park shut from around 5pm we headed to the exit via Miniland where we all really enjoyed looking round the world in miniature built out of hundreds of thousands of LEGO bricks. It was difficult to get Ethan to leave but the promise of food lured him to the Hilltop Café which was serving hot food such as lasagne and baked potatoes and was busy with families eating before a long journey home. It was a great end to a long day eating with a fantastic view of Windsor Castle.
I would recommend LEGOLAND 100% and six was around the perfect age for it, small enough to want to go on the gentle rides but tall enough to do the roller coasters etc. We had an amazing family day out in part due to the Q-bot as we would have only done half the rides without it. It is expensive but save some money on food, take a picnic and spend on not queuing instead you will be glad you did. Having it on our own phone was really easy but the downside is battery life so I would probably use one of the parks own bots next time.
We had an absolutely brilliant day and finally left around 7.15pm tired but happy.
Tickets cost from £29 (book online for best deals).
For more information or to book tickets online visit www.legoland.co.uk.
LEGOLAND Windsor Resort, Winkfield Road, Windsor, Berkshire, SL4 4AY