Monday 6 July 2015

Legoland - So much more than just rides!

As I write this I am absolutely shattered, but shattered in a good way. We have done so much walking today it is unreal and just a few days ago I was praying hard that my hurt knee would be able to deal with even a fraction of the ground we covered today but God is good and knew how much my little ones were looking forward to our annual Legoland trip. Even more so this time as it was Clare and Jacob joining us whilst Daddy was at work.

New for 2015, Lego Friends Heartlake City
We've been to Legoland many times before but the thing I especially love about Legoland is that there is always something new to see, each year there is a new ride, re-modelled area or fun attraction. This year was no different and my 7 year old twin daughters have been on tenterhooks waiting to explore the new Lego Friends Heartlake City area. Both my girls love the Lego Friends brand and happily play together with it. Take a look at the pictures and you'll see just what they thought of this new area -

Heartlake City is modelled around the harbour arena, where I'm pleased to say the pirate stunt show still happens but there is now also a Lego Friends concert show, which truth be told I wasn't so impressed with and neither were the two boys in our party but genuinely both my girls really enjoyed the singing and dancing and the area certainly got busy and there were many young girls dancing and cheering away. So it is a hit with its target market.

As always the theming is excellent and Miss E particularly liked the Lego Friends characters around the area as they were the same height as her and we got lots of photos. Miss M also loved the area surrounding the new ride 'Mia's Riding Adventure'. Everyone in my party was a bit chicken to try out this ride but so many people were loving it and having a great time being spun on the horses and whipped up into the air. I love the fact that Legoland put a thrill ride in this area as it blows away the stereotype of girls being a woss.

The train ride has been re-branded as the Heartlake Express and the shop area is now Olivia's House and has themed Lego Friends rooms, a Lego Friends town scene including iPads with built in virtual reality apps and a Lego bricks play area. I was also really pleased to see more toilets added in this area too, practical and necessary.

No Queues Necessary ...
Legoland is known for its superb Lego theming and also classic family fun rides like the Atlantis Submarine, Viking Splash, Laser Raiders, Pirate Falls, Fire Academy and Driving Schools. As well as dozens more big and small rides but when I've spoken to friends before about visiting the big theme parks like Legoland some have been dismissive that they wouldn't want to go to 'that kind of place as all you do is queue all day' but let me assure you if you are smart you do not need to queue all day. I don't mean buying a Q-bot either, no need to spend out extra money unless you particularly want to.

I thought it might be good to share with you the times we waited in queue yesterday (on a peak Saturday with beautiful sunshine and a very full park) so you can see that it really does not have to be as bad as you fear. The times in between we spent eating, in the park, exploring, watching shows and in the water splash Drench Towers area.

  • Atlantis submarine - 10.20am - no queue, we walked straight in
  • Dino safari - 10.40am - 2 minutes
  • Fire Academy - 11am - 35 minutes
  • Viking Splash - 4.30pm - 25 minutes
  • Spinning Spider - 5.20pm - 5 minutes
  • Knights Quest - 5.40pm - 5 minutes

I want to share some of the wonderful attractions we enjoy at Legoland that are not the big, popular rides and thus don't come with the long queues -

Imagination Centre - If you have a Lego mad child they will love this area. I know some people might wonder why you would come to Legoland to build Lego but it is all part of the fun for my kids. There is a X Box gaming area, free play with Lego, make up Lego kits using the instructions, bookable workshops to learn new Lego building tips and techniques and a new Ninjago training academy.

Imagination Theatre - Within the Imagination Centre is the theatre which has four different shows at regular intervals throughout the day. We have now seen all the shows and I think Clutch Powers and Lego Chima are my favourites. These are short (about 15 minute) cinema shows with 4D effects but be careful as you may get a little wet!

Miniland  - Central to Legoland is the model village that uses nearly 40 million bricks to make up some iconic buildings from across the world. See the NASA space centre, Edinburgh Castle, Eiffel Tower and of course all your favourite London attractions. My girls loved the Taylor Swift picture made from flat Lego bricks this year too.

There is also a Star Wars Miniland model display currently which has seven of the most popular scenes from the six iconic movies. I loved seeing all the little Ewoks and reliving my youth. This 1500 model display took 8000 man hours to make and over 1.5 million, it is definitely worth a walk through.

Pirates of Skeleton Bay Stunt Show - This show has been around a few years now but it never loses it's appeal and each year the kids (and adults) want to watch it again. Loads of slapstick fun, jolly music and excellent stunts including jumping from the high tower into the water below.

Duplo Valley Puppet Show - Don't be tempted to think that Duplo Land is just for the toddlers and pre-schoolers. My near 12 year old still loves many of the attractions in this area and this puppet show is good fun and when the kids were younger we always found it to be perfect for about 4pm in the afternoon when they were flagging and needed a little rest and snack.

Badge Swapping - This is something new the kids discovered just last year. When you buy a kiddie meal in any of the restaurants they will give you a Lego badge and you can swap them with staff. I've never found a grumpy staff member yet, they all seem to have the time and patience to chat to my kids and discuss the merits of a Duplo crocodile badge as adverse to a new Lego Friends one!

Drench Towers - If the weather is nice and your kids like getting wet then this splash fun is just perfect. Lots of slides, water shooters, fountains and all sorts in the larger kids Drench Towers area and then there is also the Splash Safari for younger children where they can enjoy the water amongst Duplo animals.

Brickville Play Park & Castaway Camp - There are a couple of parks within Legoland and they are both fun. Brickville is within the Duplo Valley and is aimed at younger children although my 7 year old girls still love it and the Castaway Camp was new last year and is over in Pirate Shores. It is full of wooden boats and buildings to climb and has loads of high ropes, slides, climbing nets etc so your more adventurous children can have some make-believe fun together.

We had a super day at Legoland (even with the normal bickering that comes with three kids) and we will definitely be back.

I'm linking this post up with Fiona at Coombe Mill for #CountryKids.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall
Disclosure: We received complimentary entry to the park for the purpose of this review. I have not been instructed what to write and I remain honest. Thank you so much Legoland, we had a great day.

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