legoland windsor is overpriced, overcrowded and dirty

(215 Posts)
crumpledinside Mon 19-Aug-13 22:14:47

And overrun by wasps.

I'd seen maybe 4 or 5 wasps all summer until our trip to legoland today. Then had wasps on me and the kids all day with dd getting stung. The toilets were rank, the entry fee was massive, the markup on everything was huge and it was so seethingly full of people you couldn't go on tbe rides after midday and could hardly move in the play areas. The lego models looked weathered and tatty, and seemed to be an afterthought on many attractions.

That's £££ I won't be spending again.

MarmaladeTwatkins Mon 19-Aug-13 22:15:43

Hmmmm.

I found it pleasant but then I didn't go in the middle of the busiest period in the year for theme parks.

amothersplaceisinthewrong Mon 19-Aug-13 22:15:59

Spot on, a complete rip off. And a dreadful place to work too, according to my DD.

Inclusionist Mon 19-Aug-13 22:18:26

I live 20 mins away and have NO desire to ever go. My mate has a season pass though so she must like it! Maybe it's ok on a week day in November.

Damnautocorrect Mon 19-Aug-13 22:18:48

You missed out how shit the food is.
Yanbu!

RandomMess Mon 19-Aug-13 22:20:12

YANBU we have Merlin passes, I prefer Chessington for all those reasons! Legoland is strictly a term time only visit.

IHeartIona Mon 19-Aug-13 22:20:49

They have nesting bees there that are protected and they can't get rid of. I know because one stung me last summer there and the man in the first aid room who zapped me with something that took the pain away told me.

Mintyy Mon 19-Aug-13 22:21:53

Yanbu, it is horribly overpriced. Longleat, otoh, was a brilliant family attraction. Could easily have spent two days there.

Catsize Mon 19-Aug-13 22:22:13

And the queuing system is rubbish. Went last year and struggled to hold son in the heat. Pushchairs not allowed in queues and no sensible parent-swapping systm. Of course, there is the elitist fast-track system!!

We went years ago out of school holidays and it was lovely. Then we went back in August (again, quite a few years ago) - never again! YANBU about the queues. I have to say that it was really clean when we were there though.

Catsize Mon 19-Aug-13 22:22:52

Have to say though, the Denmark one is very good.

Inclusionist Mon 19-Aug-13 22:23:35

In the summer the relief road across Windsor queues back to the M4. Not a soul in Windsor though- all legoland traffic.

Bemuses me.

LimeLeaafLizard Mon 19-Aug-13 22:28:32

YANBU. You also forgot to mention that if you ever get to the front of a queue, the rides are short and boring.

DeWe Mon 19-Aug-13 22:28:55

The wasps are always a problem, but it's not usually dirty, they're usually pretty quick at picking up rubbish.

You can parent swap, not sure why you think there isn't. Assuming what you mean is: If you have two children needing accompaniment then you take one then the other, never had a problem doing that. That's what they tell you to do anyway. I preferred it when they had assistants that would take your spare children on as I'm not too keen on some of the rides though.

But I never go in August. Wet weekends in April/May are the best. No queues at all.

Renniehorta Mon 19-Aug-13 22:29:42

Agree the one in Denmark is spotless and so well organised. We really enjoyed our trip there.

Idespair Mon 19-Aug-13 22:30:17

It is a mistake to go in August.

Silverlace Mon 19-Aug-13 22:30:27

I have been to another Merlin attraction today, Warwick Castle, and felt the same. I think it is partly to do with all the kids/adults go free offers around. I saw a huge pile of vouchers at an entrance desk.

I grew up near Warwick and have always loved the castle and have been many times but today was just awful. There were too many people for the infrastructure. There was a massive queue for the loos and food.

I actually felt sorry for the ancient buildings, it really did feel like a theme park. Far too many people there.

LEMisdisappointed Mon 19-Aug-13 22:31:18

We went at the very begining of the summer holidays, day one was fine, reasonable queues - day two was murder - an hour to queue to go on a fecking merry go roundhmm We did enjoy duplosplash thingy and tbh DD would have spent the whole time there if we had let her. I wouldn't be in any particular rush to return but DD kept asking me if she was dreaming and had a brilliant time so it served its purpose as it was a birthday treat.

YABU about the wasps though - we haven't noticed any wasps up until this week and the bastard things were everywhere on the beach today

SorrelForbes Mon 19-Aug-13 22:32:37

It was better when it was the Safari Park (not helpful)

Pachacuti Mon 19-Aug-13 22:36:58

It's fine on a weekday in term time. There are no queues at all and you can just walk straight onto the most popular rides and go round and round until you get bored. I would never go in the summer holidays.

Fakebook Mon 19-Aug-13 22:39:32

We went 2 years ago in March and it was busy, overcrowded and a rip off then. My nieces and dd only got to sit on about 3 rides and two we left the queue because it was so long. Such a waste of money.

This year (after consulting MN wink) we took dd and DS to Gullivers Land in Milton Keynes, which also had quite a few wasps and was a bit rusty too but it wasn't busy, eat all you want food, a hot drink/ice cream and cold drink included in the price, a splash zone pass in their resort part, and they were giving people two or three rides in a go on some attractions because there was no one else queuing up! They both enjoyed it a lot and it was well worth the money. The toilets were also clean and the workers seemed really happy and helpful.

LadyBigtoes Mon 19-Aug-13 22:43:39

We had a nice day there this summer, before English summer holidays started (from Scotland so ours were already on holiday). I would never normally go to a theme park so yes it was pricey, but as part of a camping holiday I saw it as a special one-off treat. The mark-up on some things did shock me, but you don't have to buy them, we saw lots of people taking picnics in. (Oh and anyone who's planning to go, *take swimming stuff*/spare clothes for the DC for the splash zone water play bit - otherwise you end up buying some at £££££ - that was the only thing I regretted.)

We loved the lego models and actually did very few rides, just the underwater one and the sky train. The model towns and NASA area were the kids' favourite thing. Some wasps, wasn't that dirty. The thing that sticks in my mind most about the day was the number of tantrums I saw various DC having! (No judgy pants btw, mine tantrum too...)

GobbySadcase Mon 19-Aug-13 22:52:58

Couldn't agree more.
Disney Paris has shown me just how bad theme parks here are.

TwasBrillig Mon 19-Aug-13 23:00:15

We used the basic fast track and had a fantastic day. I agree it looked like hell if you had to queue.

Valpollicella Mon 19-Aug-13 23:00:47

I would disagree about the toilets.

We were there about 3 weeks ago and honestly, they were pristine. In all the places.

Sparklysilversequins Mon 19-Aug-13 23:01:00

I like it there and so do my dc smile. It's a lot of a fun.

Chessington today however was godawful! 4 of the big rides were out of order. I have Merlin Passes but if I didn't I would have been furious to pay full whack for that.

I love theme parks though and don't get the distaste towards then on here. Disney, Florida is my dream holiday! grin

LiegeAndLief Mon 19-Aug-13 23:02:10

I'm a bit on the fence about Legoland. W had season tickets for 3 years using tesco clubcard vouchers. It is at its best on a weekday in termtime but, of course, that's not so great once your dc start school!

Have never found it dirty, apart from the toilets at the top at the end of the day, and the wasps have been ok recently. Two years ago though they were horrendous. There were wasp catchers everywhere, about 60 wasps round each one and 1000s more flying round the park. I felt so sorry for the people working on the food and drink stalls, there were swarms round them.

To be fair the rides were perfect for my dc who don't like big rides, and I went loads with a preschooler and a baby and there were still lots we could go on plus the shows.

They lost me the year they started charging for parking on top of the astronomical entrance price and opened Atlantis with a fucking ice cream kiosk actually in the middle of the queue. It was just piss takingly money grabbing. We staggered on going but won't be renewing the annual passes this year. Went to Paulton's Park recently which was better in many ways but sadly doesn't take tesco vouchers.

LiegeAndLief Mon 19-Aug-13 23:03:42

Oh and I think the queues have got worse over the last few years, or maybe it's just that we've been more in the summer holidays. It was ridiculous the last time we went though.

valiumredhead Mon 19-Aug-13 23:07:00

Tesco vouchers next time !

Bugsylugs Mon 19-Aug-13 23:09:15

Went last Friday fab, queues ok 15-20 mins. Toilets great and clean, splash area excellent. No wasps.

Witchesbrewandbiscuits Mon 19-Aug-13 23:10:14

yanbu! totally disappointed dc's this weekend. 90min-140min queue times are not appealing to me never mind the kids. the poster who said the rides are short and boring isnt wrong either. absolute waste of time and money. I intend to complain about the queuing system.

BrokenSunglasses Mon 19-Aug-13 23:16:55

You can have a great time at Lego land if you have pre school age children, an annual pass and you live nearby. I never found it to be dirty, but it will be overcrowded in the school holidays, as will any popular theme park.

PoppyWearer Mon 19-Aug-13 23:17:28

We have Merlin passes and avoid Legoland and Chessington in the summer holidays.

As a previous poster has said, a rainy day is a good time to go. Also in term time (with pre-schoolers) or on teacher training days. I took DC2 in July on a hot day and we had a brilliant time.

We were elsewhere this weekend just gone but also saw fuckloads of wasps around the bins.

they should have a Disney style fast pass that's free

jnl0612 Mon 19-Aug-13 23:33:28

I went a few weeks ago. Sooooo many wasps it was hideous. They have friendly wasp catcher things but nowhere near where the wasps were. Apologies if anyone was there 2 weeks ago my daughter who has special needs had a complete meltdown it was pretty horrific for people to watch (not much fun for me either tbh) shock

missingmumxox Tue 20-Aug-13 01:27:25

we when last year not in a holiday, teacher training day it was awful, arrived early and got on 4 rides...I repeat 4, the queues where so long, but for no reason, one we joined said 15 minutes from this point, the amount of children from the same group and the jobs worth in charge of the ride 45 mins later I was still at the 5 minute point...
I took to timing the ride 90 seconds, timing the filling 5 to 10 minutes...I kid you not for a swinging boat ride, he chap measured each child and then still let them on even if they went on their tippy toes... also one group where using mobiles to co-ordinate, mums where queuing as they got to the front about 5 children would push through, my mums there! usually children over 8 when they got to loading the ride women would suddenly say they where scared could their husband replace them several men by the exit gate with a enormous amount of children with them, oh could these children come on? oh yes then jobs worth would measure them all on tippie toes and let them on so 2 adult men and about 15 kids...and if you don't think that was piss taking enough they get off stand at the exit 2 other women get to the front of the queue with children in buggies and repeat the process with the same children who pile on...fair play to them all, busting the system...but 4 ride we managed to get on, women in queue,coordinating with phones I even mentioned it to staff and they said "well what do you do?" well not let them on maybe? my children queued, even ended up eating their dinner in one, never again, and I have never given it a good review, I was so pissed off.
fast passes f only these people did not have them, I can live and let live if someone has paid more.... but one day the fast pass will become the super fast pass as we all decide the only way to get on a ride is to do that...we are mugs.

NoComet Tue 20-Aug-13 01:35:44

OK I accept the Halloween fire works were not a good day to go, but LegoLand with DCs old enough to appreciate half decent sized rides ie over 7 is hell.

NoComet Tue 20-Aug-13 01:39:29

We got two rides then people poured in for the fire works around lunch. I'm guessing local season ticket holders as it wouldn't be worth the entrance fee to arrive at 2pm.

No way could the dump cope with the bumper of people.

NoComet Tue 20-Aug-13 01:39:58

Number of people.

MummyPig24 Tue 20-Aug-13 06:34:04

I agree it's hideously expensive (so expensive we haven't been able to afford to go in 2 years) but I think it's awesome! I've never found it dirty, yes busy but I expected that. I like it a lot, but its too expensive.

crumpledinside Tue 20-Aug-13 08:09:54

To be fair the paths weren't dirty: there wasn't a litter problem - it was the loos that were messy even first thing and the lego exhibits and giant bricks that had black mould on. Made it seem shabby and uncared gor despite the millions of turnover they must have every day.

Ive been to Disneyland Paris and the cost isn't too different but the cleanliness and attention to detail, and better managed queues put this to shame. My eldest were really looking forward to drench towers but it was so full they couldn't get on it.

Emilythornesbff Tue 20-Aug-13 08:33:08

Slightly OT hijack.
I have never been to legoland. DS is not yet 3.
I used to love theme parks. Spent many a day off at chessington woa and Thorpe park. never had to go n the hols so it was a great day out.
A few yrs ago I took my DNiece and a friend's children to chessington. OMFG! It was a horror. The queuing alone was hellish.
Theme parks are staggeringly pricey and these days one has to contend with another layer of stress if they don't pay even more for a priveleged pass.
Horrible.
I dread my DCs wanting to go to a theme park.
Anyone know anything about Peppa Pig world?

Pachacuti Tue 20-Aug-13 08:38:45

I like Paulton's/Peppa Pig World. The queues in most of Paulton's aren't too bad at all (we've been on an August Bank Holiday before and it was quite manageable, even from my perspective as someone who hates queuing); they are slightly worse in the PPW bit but still nothing like the queues at Chessington/Legoland. And even in PPW there's plenty to do that doesn't involve queuing.

Emilythornesbff Tue 20-Aug-13 08:41:03

Thanks pachacuti

Queenofoldtatt Tue 20-Aug-13 08:49:34

I went there on Saturday with dd she has sen and is entitled to a ride access pass. If we hadnt been able to queue jump it would have been horrendous. I also got in on points so don't feel like I paid to get in if you see what I mean.

It's shabby, there isn't an awful lot there and the prices are ridiculous.

susiey Tue 20-Aug-13 08:49:46

We just came back from Peppa pig world and it was fab.
We got there at opening time( well before to queue) and did a few rides in ppw when it was quieter. Then went into the rest if the park and came back to ppw when all the toddlers were going home. In the main park some places didn't have queues and a lot of copies of the Peppa rides without the Peppa!

Well worth the money!

FobblyWoof Tue 20-Aug-13 08:51:12

I can't comment on the overall state of the park because I've never been but surely if you go to a theme park in August you should know it's going to be busy? confused And that rides will be difficult to get on between 12-4, especially the bigger, more popular ones? If you want/have to go to these places in peak season the only ones that will be quiet are more than likely crap.

moominmarvellous Tue 20-Aug-13 09:02:03

While I didn't find the place dirty, I did find it crap and have no desire to go back. Like one previous poster, we went on a total of four rides all day because of queuing and what to me seemed like an unnecessary policy of everything being only two riders allowed when there was plenty of space for 3 (water log ride, piddly helicopter ride for my 2 year old).

I understand this might be for insurance reasons, but if you're in a odd-number family with a bit of an age range (in my case 9,6,3 year olds) it was a total pain in the arse. The system just seems really badly planned.

We went to Peppa Pig World and I couldn't recommend it enough to friends and family when I got back, but tbh, I tell people not to bother with Legoland.

moominmarvellous Tue 20-Aug-13 09:03:32

Oh and I went on a teacher training day, not peak time.

Mckayz Tue 20-Aug-13 09:07:01

We went at the start of August and thought it was great. Very clean, practically no litter. You have to expect queues at a theme park in summer. But nothing longer than 25 minutes.

CockyFox Tue 20-Aug-13 09:10:09

We really enjoyed legoland, it is the only place we have tried that we would go back again, we went at this time of year (DS's birthday).
We are hoping to go to Warwick Castle on Saturday not sure what that will be like.

soverylucky Tue 20-Aug-13 09:10:13

Some people have no choice to go to these places in school holidays as that is the only time they get off work.
For the price you pay these places should be clean. The queues would move quicker if the people managing the rides could work quicker and if all spaces on the ride were functioning properly so that carriages were not closed off.
The mark up price on food is ridiculous.

When you go to the US you see how theme parks can be done and should be done. Makes our UK parks look like feeble amateurs in comparison. Some UK theme parks are worse than others. The q bot thing at lego land doesn't sit right with me at all. Why not let everyone use some sort of booking system for rides? People pay to get in then get to go on four rides because of queues - that isn't right. Its daylight robbery!

I went during the week in March last year, as DD was not at school yet and it was the best theme park experience I have ever had! No queues, hardly anyone around, brilliant.

I expect every theme park is hell on earth at this time of year, which is why I don't go in peak season.

niceguy2 Tue 20-Aug-13 09:20:43

I've no idea why people go during the 6 weeks holiday. You just know it's going to be hell on earth! I remember going once during a school holiday but we paid entry using Tesco clubcard vouchers then bought the QBot's.

Without those you really are just going to stand around all day for 30 seconds of 'fun'.

No thanks

soverylucky Tue 20-Aug-13 09:21:34

How else can you take school age kids if you don't take them in school holidays?

Sovery I will aim for teacher training days when DD is at school or Easter Sunday etc if I want to go to a theme park. They will be avoided like the plague during the summer holidays.

Mckayz Tue 20-Aug-13 09:27:00

Niceguy, when do you suggest I take my school age children?

CockyFox Tue 20-Aug-13 09:28:33

We only go in the school holidays for two reasons
1: DS's birthday is in August and he likes a day out rather than a party.
2: The Children have to go to school.

I honestly wish we had a Disneyland here, as I don't like going abroad but went to Florida as a teenager and loved every minute of it.

We've booked go for 2 days stay and play this coming weekend. I'm kind of thinking its not going to be that great now. sad

fluffyanimal Tue 20-Aug-13 09:45:27

I don't really know what can be done about wasps BTW - late August and early September they will simply be everywhere - they are bound to be attracted to any area where there are loads of tourists eating ice creams and fizzy drinks (and what self-respecting wasp wouldn't prefer that to a wasp catcher? - useless unsightly contraptions).

Blatherskite Tue 20-Aug-13 09:59:53

We bought annual passes using clubcard vouchers last year and only paid £22 each for what turned out to be 6 or 7 visits. We went mostly in term time weekends and it was fine, no enormous queues. Everything was clean.

Agree about the Lego models looking tired though. We went on opening weekend and they were already looking dirty and tired. I'd expected them to have been cleaned and maintained over the closed period. Also agree on the food. We all quite liked the pizza hut-style all you can eat place but all of the other outlets were rubbish, especially the one in Duplo land where everything is swimming in grease.

MildredIsMyAlterEgo Tue 20-Aug-13 10:33:56

We went to LEGOLAND last year and it seemed a little bit shabby around the edges.

We took DS to LONGLEAT in March - OMG it was so cold, we didn't do a lot of the stuff like the maze and the play fort area as it was just too cold but on a nice day I would say it's a good day out. I was disappointed with the Postman Pat Village, really grubby, peeling paint etc. The park had only just opened for the season and I couldn't believe they hadn't done some work during the closure.

For little children I recommend DRAYTON MANOR. As well as Thomas Land (which has got a good variety of rides, no bloody teacups hooray), the whole park is surprisingly small, so you can get around it really easily and go back to things if you want.
The play area is fab, I think DS would have happily spent all day on that alone, there's also a small zoo and a dinosaur walk through trail.
And the thrill rides are not bad either.

Can't wait to take DS to Orlando's Islands of Adventure when he's a bit older. Now that is a good theme park, shame it's so far away smile

goldenlula Tue 20-Aug-13 10:48:41

To those saying how clean Euro Disney is, I agree in the park itself, no litter etc but we have just come back and the toilets were disgusting every time we used them, even early in the day. Oh and there were plenty of wasps too. Ds2 actually got stung while we were out there, but at our hotel.

celticclan Tue 20-Aug-13 13:05:38

We used our clubcard vouchers so it didn't cost us anything and we live nearby. I said to dh that I feel sorry for people who have travelled long distances and paid for the entry fee.

Legoland has to be the most overhyped tourist destination in the UK. It is just a theme park and really nothing special at all. We went at the beginning of the season when it was supposed to be quiet. We still had to queue for hours. The rides are nothing special at all.

We prefer Gullivers in Milton Keynes, less than a quarter of the price and you hardly queue at all.

It has really put me off going somewhere like Orlando for a holiday. Queueing for an hour for a 1 minute ride is not a holiday.

celticclan Tue 20-Aug-13 13:17:33

Titsalina, whereabouts are you staying? I seriously would consider going somewhere else.

Doyouthinktheysaurus Tue 20-Aug-13 13:20:46

Haven't been to Legoland for a few years but while we did love it, the rides aren't great and it is a lot of queuing. We used to get tickets via Tesco vouchers and then get qbots, the only way to get the ost out of it really.

Warwick castle is utter shite though, they really have ruined a stunning castle! We went in December 2000 on our honeymoon and had a wonderful trip. Went back with the dses last year and it was crap, the castle was almost incidental to all the other crap going on.

Caenarfon castle is my favourite castle ever, it is, go there instead. It's very reasonable to get in too.

madamginger Tue 20-Aug-13 13:21:41

We were there 2 weeks ago, yes it was busy but not horrendously, it was clean and I didn't notice that many wasps.
we had parent swap as we have 3DC, on a couple of rides a member of staff even rode with DD.
The kids loved it.

BalloonSlayer Tue 20-Aug-13 13:24:21

We love Legoland and go often as we are just over an hour away. We have Merlin passes so don't feel we have to get our money's worth on any particular day - if it's busy we cut our losses and come home early. On days like that I feel really sorry for people who have paid £100 for the whole family and (you can tell by their accents) travelled miles to get there.

Last time we went (a couple of weeks ago?) it was horrendously hot but I didn't see many wasps.

One thing that always gets me are the lego models, as others have said. They really ought to be scrubbed every week and re-painted every year. They are SO dirty and faded, the letter ones that you see as you drive up look dreadful, they are the first thing you see, FFS!

Agree about the parking charge. Utter piss-taking.

BalloonSlayer Tue 20-Aug-13 13:31:10

Titsalina don't worry - you'll have a great time.

You are staying locally yeah? Get there early, before it opens, (it opens at 10, I really would suggest arriving at 9.15 so you can get in, go to the loo, have a coffee etc before it opens at 10.00) then as soon as you are allowed in you can belt down and get on a good few rides before the queues build up. When the queues start pissing you off, go to the water splash area or miniland, and watch the show at lunchtime. As the afternoon wears on people start leaving and the queues die down. Anything you liked the look of but decided the queue was too long, you can make No.1 on your list for the next day.

Quangle Tue 20-Aug-13 13:41:33

Yes hideous. I just didn't get it - at all. It's just a massive fairground except with huge queues and enormous entry fee. Why wouldn't you just wait for the local fair to arrive, pay £2 per ride and not have to queue?

Also when I was there I lost DD who was then 3.5. Obviously that was my fault but the staff were useless while I was running around screaming like a mad thing. It took finding a manager before they could radio around to find her at the lost child centre and that was the worst 30 minutes of my life, shrieking at gormless teenagers. I suppose I would have assumed they would have training for the lost child scenario.

bumbletoes Tue 20-Aug-13 13:43:57

We went last week for a few days. Yes, queues were awful but dh got q bots after day 1 and these made it much better. Still had to wait an hour approximately for each ride but could go and watch a show or play in the adventure playground while waiting instead of queuing. I hate wasps and had no trouble with them at all. Found the toilets to be clean but wished we could q bot those too. Staff were lovely and the flowers too. I was expecting to hate it (not a theme park fan) but the kids had such a fantastic time I ended up loving it too. Will admit that day 1, with all the queuing in the heat, was horrible. It is a shame we had to pay so much more to make it better with the q bots and I am aware this is not an option for loads of people so I didn't like the unfairness of that. It was our main holiday this year though, so that is how we justified it. If you expect it to be awful, you may be pleasantly surprised. We also did Warwick Castle and that was incredibly busy. Not a massive amount to recommend it in August but the jousting was great. Must admit we loved Legoland... But the queues are horrific, truly.

bumbletoes Tue 20-Aug-13 13:53:22

Forgot- took our own food and drinks. The food there is very expensive and agree the kiosk in the Atlantis queue is a really cynical move on Legoland's part. Providing free water would be a better move. Also avoid the shop at the top any time after 11 am in August.

It did take a day to acclimatise to the whole thing, I'll admit.

ChocsAwayInMyGob Tue 20-Aug-13 13:54:19

YANBU.

I hate Legoland and I went on a school day (a Monday) in term time in early June (teacher training).

The queues were nothing short of unpleasant and stressful. I felt completely exploited and ripped off.

I thought most of the rides were seaside fairground standard and the Dinosaur Safari went round so fast you couldn't even take a non blurred photo. Atlantis was Ok but very quick indeed.

I just felt like I'd been mugged by Dick Turpin, chewed up and spat out.

hermioneweasley Tue 20-Aug-13 13:56:01

I hate the way Merlin Group really gouge you and everything seems to be sponsored and about money. It's like they take no pride in providing a great experience or want things to be fun, it's just how can they get the most money out of you. Even EuroDisney doesn't feel like that!

Alliwantisaroomsomewhere Tue 20-Aug-13 15:02:12

I would rather have root canal treatment without anaesthetic than go to Legoland again.

Tiredemma Tue 20-Aug-13 15:07:50

We went about 11 years ago and I vowed never to go back. Complete hell hole.

WetGrass Tue 20-Aug-13 15:14:27

Forget it.

We've just come back from Efteling in Holland.

Converted £40 Tesco vouchers into £160 worth of chunnel crossing, so only had to pay petrol to travel there. Lots of nice accommodation near by (we stayed in their holiday village - which was really good fun - but it would clearly be cheaper to stay off site).

Charm coming out of every corner. All the staff speak English, and if you get chatting to them they all seem to have stories about coming to Efteling when they were kids themselves. We stayed four days, and virtually every single person that served us seemed to really take pride in the place.

The longest we waited for any ride was an hour - but much less if you went in the mornings - so we scheduled our day accordingly. Proper loop the loopers, spooky pirate rollercoasters, 'worlds biggest wooden rollercoaster'.

Where they really outdid themselves was in catering for the under 5s. Lots and lots of themed areas where they could explore. This is so much more restful with younger children than queuing for rides.

I can go on and on about what a nice place it is! For example, the catering: one evening we ate in a pasta restaurant with a soft play attached 'PandaDroom'. About 10Euro for adult pasta and 7Euro for a kids pasta & drink. Not cheap - but not dreadful for freshly made theme park food. Then a charming extra: if the kids bring clean plates back to the counter, they're exchanged for clean souvenir melamine bowls. They're doing their own gift shop out of business!

Then another night we paid more - I think maybe 20Euros per head for the adults. This was a restaurant attached to their live show. This got you a roast chicken and vegetables in the middle of the table, a bottle of wine on the table, various salami type nibble, a kids entertainer who took the kids off and organised them to sing songs to give the grown ups a break earn their supper. Lovely atmosphere, good food with the kids occupied, overlooking the show setting up.

Until my children are old enough to go by themselves - I just can't be bothered with the cynicism and aggravation of the Merlin attractions. Dutch charm all the way for me.

Alliwantisaroomsomewhere Tue 20-Aug-13 15:22:01

I would rather have root canal treatment without anaesthetic than go to Legoland again.

WetGrass Tue 20-Aug-13 15:23:01

Root canal treatment twice evidently grin.

I've already ordered Qbots, my boys are older (6,8) but young for their age. They don't like scary rides at all so I figured LL would suit. I've been reading up on all the six billion Mn threads about it so hopefully it will be ok it's our only time together this year what with DP's workload.

celticclan Tue 20-Aug-13 15:37:18

You will be fine with Qbots.

It's a wonderful place. Get there early... no queues to get in and the rides aren't too bad in the morning. Go on inset days... quieter. Use Tesco vouchers and buy one get one free passes... not too expensive. Take a picnic... no need to buy food (although the free refill drinks are brilliant and you get a straw cup thingy to keep. Woohoo!). Don't go if you want to spend the day on rides. Just gawp amazedly at the incredible mini-world and star wars when the rides get too busy, and go to the pirate playground thingy which was dead quiet when we were there. Oh and do NOT miss the pirate show which is incredible.

The place is bound to charge as much as they can get away with for food, drinks and those dreadful fairground games as they know you're a captive audience, so just beat the system and don't buy stuff! Oh, we did have a go on the hook a duck though wink and 'won' a very cute dragon which probably cost about 20p to make. Mugs!

I didn't find it dirty or tired at all but maybe I have low expectations. Oh and don't leave until late so you miss all the queues to leave. We had an absolutely fantastic day and my ds was in heaven.

crumpledinside Tue 20-Aug-13 16:35:34

The thing about q bots is the cost. I had already paid 120 quid to go in to the park and park the car and for a family of 6 the q bots would be another 90 quid. And that's the basic version that don't reduce queue time. For the middle version it would have set us back 240 quid. That's my budget for entertainment for the entire summer holidays

sleepwouldbenice Tue 20-Aug-13 16:45:16

we went start of holidays. used tesco vouchers and cereal coupons. arrived early and left late so used both ends of day for longest queue rides. just walked on about 6 key rides this way. took own food. didn't find it dirty. its easier to do all this with older kids than toddlers of course. wink so we found it okay and kids had great timegrin

ARealDame Tue 20-Aug-13 17:16:17

I would only do it Sleepwouldbe nice, way (if I could get it together that is).

But all these commercial "entertainments" for children are crap really, by definition, aren't they? Whats wrong with an ice-cream and a paddle in the sea? OR am I missing something?

p.s. all this Tesco-converting-voucher stuff, is it just me, or is it a bit creepy and materialistic? I'd rather pay a real price for something up-front that is enjoyable.

Sparklysilversequins Tue 20-Aug-13 17:20:06

confused What's "creepy" about vouchers?

LynetteScavo Tue 20-Aug-13 17:21:51

I think all theme parks are hell in the height of summer.

The Logo models have been there for years, so probably won't look spanking brand new.

I do think what you pay to get in should mean everything is clean, though. Especially the toilets.

LynetteScavo Tue 20-Aug-13 17:25:22

Nothing creepy about vouchers.

I have my Merlin attraction vouchers saved and will be using them on the weekends next half term. You wouldn't get me going to any Merlin attractions in the summer holidays!

There is nothing wrong with a paddle in the sea. But theme parks and beaches are two different things. As is looking at famous sights such as Big Ben or the Eiffel tower.

If I had the choice of only one, though it would have to be the beach. Sadly I live very far from the beach. sad

Mckayz Tue 20-Aug-13 17:29:12

Nothing wrong with a paddle in the sea but we live 25 mins from the sea so we go all the time.

ARealDame Tue 20-Aug-13 17:33:14

I dunno, saving them up, for something rubbish in the first place. If its not good enough to justify paying full price for, its probably a waste of space.

I do think voucher-gathering is a bit creepy though, reminds me of peeps who know the price of everything and the value of nothing.

Sparklysilversequins Tue 20-Aug-13 17:34:56

Right. So it's not mainly about people wanting to save money because they haven't got a lot then?

Mckayz Tue 20-Aug-13 17:37:55

Well we went to Legoland for free. Thanks MNHQ grin

But we were going to use vouchers we had before I won the competition. I use vouchers for all sorts. 10p off milk, 50p off some beer etc.

ARealDame Tue 20-Aug-13 17:38:03

I think if I didn't have any money, the last thing I would be doing is spending my cash on something like LEGOLAND confused. Maybe I would work more, or spend less, or something like that confused.

But I think my issue is more, that these theme parks have become entertainment centres that really are pretty rubbish. Just my opinion.

LynetteScavo Tue 20-Aug-13 17:41:24

But vouchers mean we pay out aprox £80 instead of £160.

It's worth £80, to me, but not £160.

So I will keep using vouchers.

I make it well known on MN I'm not a fan of Disney. But if it only cost me a fiver to go to Disneyland for the day, I would go.

celticclan Tue 20-Aug-13 17:41:31

Tesco clubcard vouchers are creepy? Don't be ridiculous. hmm

This year we have been to Legoland (admittedly not very enjoyable), Africa Alive! (fab) and had meals at Pizza Express and Ask. We save up our vouchers so we can have days out that we otherwise would not be able to enjoy.

Already saving for our ferry crossing to France next year.

What is creepy about that?

Sparklysilversequins Tue 20-Aug-13 17:41:51

You're certainly entitled to your opinion. I was just intrigued as to how using money saving vouchers could be described as creepy and I am still none the wiser, oh well.....

BalloonSlayer Tue 20-Aug-13 17:42:17

Legoland is one of those places where buy-one-get-one-free vouchers are everywhere, plus people know about the Tescos thing . . . with places like this you end up feeling a fool if you pay full price. You feel as if the full price is deliberately made so ridiculously exorbitant so people will think they are getting a bargain, like the Tesco strawberries story.

WetGrass Tue 20-Aug-13 17:43:13

hmm

By that argument, if your child found a free gift in his bowl of coco pops, you'd make them chuck it away? Because if it was a good toy he should have just bought it in a shop? Which is a totally unmaterialistic viewpoint hmm .

Tesco vouchers work well precisely because you have a choice on your loyalty 'free gift' - so if you're not a moron, you'd presumably not choose to use them on 'rubbish' .

Full price = full satisfaction ; cheap price = mean entertainment - is that the argument?

YoureAllABunchOfBastards Tue 20-Aug-13 17:44:36

We had a fabulous day a couple of weeks ago and can't wait to go back. We did have QBots, which made things easier. It was apparently the busiest day of the year so far (early August) and we never felt it was too crowded.

LEMisdisappointed Tue 20-Aug-13 17:46:18

A weeks holiday in isle of wight usibg tesco vouchers I'll take creepy! What a wanky thing to say

celticclan Tue 20-Aug-13 17:48:01

"Work hard, spend less"

That is so offensive.

I'm not claiming to have no money. We went to Legoland because the children wanted to go and it was free, it cost me nothing. We didn't spend a penny there as we took a picnic and live within 10 miles of the place.

You obviously don't know how clubcard points work.

WetGrass Tue 20-Aug-13 17:49:15

It's hugely wanky, isn't it!

It actually smacks of the green eyed monster and/or snobbery - I can't out my finger on which.

Trying to make people feel that their theme park tickets/pizza/Christmas presents are somehow inferior for having been bought cheaper.

ARealDame Tue 20-Aug-13 17:50:14

Well, I've obviously touched a nerve.

I suppose I don't like vouchers because big supermarkets and so forth use them to manipulate more buying! Quelle surprise!

And I have been with friends who say "lets go to X I've got Tesco vouchers" and I'm wondering which came first. In the marketing mind, its hard to tell...

Reminds me of a Woody Allen joke. A old couple having a meal in a New York restaurant: Husband: "This food is awful". Wife: "Yes, and such small portions!

Just another way of looking at it, that's all.

usualsuspect Tue 20-Aug-13 17:50:25

I've haven't been to lego land for about 10 years, I loved it though and so did DS.

I don't think I've ever read anything quite so ridiculous as Tesco vouchers being creepy grin

ARealDame Tue 20-Aug-13 17:50:47

Obviously I don't know how Clubcards work (Shoot me!)

LEMisdisappointed Tue 20-Aug-13 17:50:51

Arealdame your attempts to justify your comment is just naking you like a bit of an idiot really.

ARealDame Tue 20-Aug-13 17:52:52

But let's get back to the quality of the toilets ... grin.

Please don't call me names on an internet website, it makes you look tacky LEM grin

WetGrass Tue 20-Aug-13 17:53:14

I do know what someone upthread means about the perma-sale status of some places.

DH laughs at me that I don't like to eat in Pizza Express without a voucher - whereas I'd happily spend the same at another restaurant. I've grown habituated to viewing 'one main course free' as the proper price for pizza express - and see the menu price as a mark up for bank holidays and morons.

celticclan Tue 20-Aug-13 17:54:35

Well I have to shop somewhere and I choose Tesco because of the clubcard points, if they stopped the scheme I would possibly shop somewhere else.

I'm not a fool, I know exactly why Tesco operate the scheme but if it means we get to take our children on the ferry to France and have a night in Le Touquet then I'm quite happy to be sucked in.

LeaveIt Tue 20-Aug-13 17:54:45

We had a great time there this weekend from 10 am to 7.30pm. We had two free tickets from the Sun, two reduced tickets using Tesco vouchers. With the money we saved we splashed out on the QBots as the queues are very long, the rides extremely short and there's no way my 7 year old and 3 year old would queue patiently. We didn't find the wasps very bad and the staff are very quick to keep the place clean.

LynetteScavo Tue 20-Aug-13 17:54:57

Eh? No one said they didn't have any money.

DH and I both work. We have three DC. We want them to have variety of experiences. So we go to the beach, to lakes, to cities, and to theme parks. If we can go to theme parks for half the price, using vouchers, then we will because it means we can then spend the money we have saved on something else.

It's what normal families who have to budget do.

Some families can't afford theme parks etc, even with vouchers. Some don't need to think about vouchers, and can afford to pay full price without noticing an extra £100 here or there.

But most people using MN can afford the odd trip to a theme park, and may well use vouchers. But they also hope to have a nice, clean, entertaining day out, and can feel ripped of if they haven't used vouchers and been provided with less than sparkling service.

The entrance fee to Legoland for DH, I and three DC, would be a large chunk of our family budget, and we earn above average between us.

LEMisdisappointed Tue 20-Aug-13 17:55:01

I am actually pretty cynical about vouchers myself . I am not niave enough to think im getting a bargain but I definitely dont shop more just to get vouchers but we do have them so id be a bit of a twat not to use them. I refuse to go to places like pizza express without vouchers or an offer because I know the price is boosted to cover this. I know this. Im not an idiot I did however feel my free holiday last year was a bargain though

theoriginalandbestrookie Tue 20-Aug-13 17:55:53

I loved Legoland the two times we went with DS, but my friend went in the hols and said it was getting a bit tatty.

Oh and I use Tesco vouchers or half price ones - doesn't everyone?

LEMisdisappointed Tue 20-Aug-13 17:56:51

I did not call you names I merely pointed out that your arguments were making you look like an idiot. If I were being tacky id have called you a cunt

celticclan Tue 20-Aug-13 17:57:25

grin

ARealDame Tue 20-Aug-13 17:58:05

That's great if you don't think you're an idiot LEM. Its just really not very nice to call other people idiots when you disagree with them, even on MN. Its kind of nasty and rude, especially over something so trivial.

Anyway, I'm off. I don't know what was so controversial about what I said. Marketing are thrilled either way.

ARealDame Tue 20-Aug-13 17:58:36

Oh dear the C word. Very classy. I think you are the one sounding a bit like that ...

LynetteScavo Tue 20-Aug-13 17:58:50

You don't need Tesco vouchers (I don't shop at Tesco), vouchers seem to be on lots of things.

Although in the days I did shop at Tescos, DH and I got a Merlin pass, and had a fun year, but DC1 is too young to remember.

ARealDame Tue 20-Aug-13 17:58:58

But I will move. Don't need to spend my time with such awful people ...

ARealDame Tue 20-Aug-13 17:59:25

I meant move on!

LynetteScavo Tue 20-Aug-13 17:59:59

Just me sniggering at tacky and cunt in the same sentence?

WetGrass Tue 20-Aug-13 18:00:50

ARealDame .

You get 1% of your tesco spending accrued into a rewards account. You can spend this on groceries for face value. Alternatively you can exchange it for a voucher of your choice. Typically, on the voucher route, you get 2X or 4X face value - so most people choose that.

You may then exchange it on: travel tickets, theme park vouchers, eating out vouchers, car insurance, cinema tickets, magazine subscriptions, gift items, wine cases & so on.

It is perfectly rational - from the point of view of financial planning and from the point of view of not spending too much time on organising it - to allow the reward account to accumulate towards a time of year when you expect to have higher expenditure (e.g. holidays and Christmas).

usualsuspect Tue 20-Aug-13 18:00:52

You didn't say they were a marketing ploy,which we all know they are,in your first post.

You said they were creepy, which makes you sound a bit odd tbh.

LEMisdisappointed Tue 20-Aug-13 18:01:18

I am proper classy me! I was just trying to stop you making a fool of yourself with your creepy voucher comments. Off you skip back to waitrose

Sparklysilversequins Tue 20-Aug-13 18:02:02

Ok I get that you don't like voucher schemes, fair enough. But how are they CREEPY?! I am going to be pondering this for days!

ARealDame Tue 20-Aug-13 18:03:12

You sure sound classy. With your LEGOLAND vouchers and calling strangers idiots and c***s, you sound nasty and abusive.

ARealDame Tue 20-Aug-13 18:03:57

tbh

usualsuspect Tue 20-Aug-13 18:06:27

Clubcard vouchers will be forever known as creepy vouchers from now on grin

usualsuspect Tue 20-Aug-13 18:08:15

Maybe Tesco can make them.glow in the dark with scary pictures on.

celticclan Tue 20-Aug-13 18:08:47

So the actual problem is that vouchers are not classy, they allow poorer people to experience the hell that is known as Legoland. I get ya. I know exactly what your problem
is which is why I said that your statement of work harder and spend less was offensive.

ARealDame Tue 20-Aug-13 18:08:54

Indeed!

But back to the toilets ...

LEMisdisappointed Tue 20-Aug-13 18:10:08

Thing is we have been to legoland this year we wanted to save our vouchers for something else and because we didn't want to worry about queues we did two days and stayed in a posh hotel overnight we got to go in a special entrance and evryfink I felt like the trotters when they struck it rich. I

celticclan Tue 20-Aug-13 18:10:41

I didn't use the loos. I crossed my legs and waited until home.

WetGrass Tue 20-Aug-13 18:11:55

AREalDame

The point is - digressing into your views on vouchers on a thread about a substandard attraction inevitable sounds like you're implying that the two are connected. You say "vouchers are creepy" I hear "Well, what do you expect when you're not paying cash, you impecunious pleb".

Paddling on the beach is all very well in the Boden catalogue - but if you want to see what 'paddling on the beach' looks like from the pov of someone getting out of London without their own transport, check out Southend.

ARealDame Tue 20-Aug-13 18:12:40

I am offensive for having another point of view that wasn't 100% positive towards Tesco Vouchers hmm.

I'm all for people getting value, esp. people with no or little money, but into the hands of rubbishy theme parks, I've less convinced, especially by a scream of poverty attending it.

Anyway, I think people are missing my original points about marketing, commcericialism and over-pricing.

LEMisdisappointed Tue 20-Aug-13 18:13:08

I would like to have rnough money not to have to worry about budgeting but hey ho. I dont think legoland would be your type of place though dame.dont take offence at my posts hon. If you read them properly youll see I acshally agreed with you on some bits

LEMisdisappointed Tue 20-Aug-13 18:14:41

Its because you made your point really badly! But don't fret not everyone can be as articulate as wot I am

crumpledinside Tue 20-Aug-13 18:15:12

I got my vouchers for my still wildly overpriced trip fromboxes of raisin wheats. Buy a kid's ticket and adults go free. Made the £264 gate price for the six of us "only" £117. Perhaps I fell into the trap of thinking the cereal box deal was a good one. The advice from the other poster to work more and spend less is a bit weird tbh.

WetGrass Tue 20-Aug-13 18:16:16

Meh.

We spent our Tesco vouchers to fully pay for a Chunnel crossing to see the DCs grandmother in France, where the children spent the whole time climbing trees in their pants and eating salami. We would have paddled in the idyllic lake, but Monsieur Le Mayor warned us that there was a dead sheep up stream, which meant that everyone was getting sick from the water.

Vouchers are not a cult - just an alternative currency.

LEMisdisappointed Tue 20-Aug-13 18:17:16

Oh and paddling is all well and good ive been on the beach all day today but I burnt my shoulders granted this was bexause I was a twat and didn't use sunblock

ARealDame Tue 20-Aug-13 18:17:31

And whatever your views on Tescos, Clubvouchers, or LEGOLAND, it is NEVER classy or reasonable to call or threaten people with names like C**T or Idiot on a social website, just because you disagree with FGS.

(see thread about future generations and social media websites, bullying and lack of responsibility).

If you were an acquaintance and disagreed with me about this I don't think you would call me a C**t or an Idiot to my face. Oh no, only cowards and nasty folk do that, IME.

Anyway, I have no interesting in continuing this discussion with such unpleasant people.

bishboschone Tue 20-Aug-13 18:17:44

Yep

bishboschone Tue 20-Aug-13 18:19:09

I also have Merlin passes but haven't been once .. I went with dd years ago in term time and it was horrendous.its too small for the people they let in!

LEMisdisappointed Tue 20-Aug-13 18:19:59

Creepy voucher cult we are all being brainwashed it starts simply but do we really know what they tell our kids in the legoland driving school?? Be afraid,,,,,,

ARealDame Tue 20-Aug-13 18:21:31

Be proud you called a woman online you don't know a C**t and an idiot Lem, and keep running with it, for what its worth <nothing>

LEMisdisappointed Tue 20-Aug-13 18:22:18

Read my posts properly I didnt call you any such thing seriously though im just japing I genuinely apologise if I have upset you

ARealDame Tue 20-Aug-13 18:22:47

Meanwhile, why not go over to the bullying on social media thread whilst you're at it, I am sure you can make a valid contribution.

WetGrass Tue 20-Aug-13 18:22:59

She didn't ever call you a cunt - and it is offensive to claim internet bullying against the backdrop you refer to.

cathers Tue 20-Aug-13 18:24:46

Yanbu. We went last oct half term thinking it would be quieter than the summer hols. We live about a 6 hour drive away so have to go in the hols- a weekend is a real struggle. It was really disappointing- lts of the models were dirty or broken, queues were an hour per ride on average and including the price of the hotel, we spent ALOT...won't be returning in a hurry.

ARealDame Tue 20-Aug-13 18:25:05

Well I was reeeaaaally upset at being called an Idiot and a C**t, just giving my opinion and not meaning any harm, just trying to add to the debate. Truly.

I wouldn't accept it in real life, and see no reason to online, either, it feels very abusive.

But, perhaps you didn't mean it in the way I see it. Anway, I am glad you apologised.

LEMisdisappointed Tue 20-Aug-13 18:26:10

So......back to the toilets they left no impression so must have been fine. We had a lovely couple of days however I feel I can cross legoland and its queues off my bucket list now. I struggle with crowds. So two days was enough for me.

ARealDame Tue 20-Aug-13 18:26:41

She did call me a c**t by threatening to call me a c**t Wetgrass. But anyway I've moved on I hope.

LynetteScavo Tue 20-Aug-13 18:29:25

You are all cunts.

LEMisdisappointed Tue 20-Aug-13 18:30:47

No. I said if I were tacky......but as you can see im a proper classy bird and would never say such a thing but you are right we have moved on and are in agreement re cynical marketing

usualsuspect Tue 20-Aug-13 18:32:40

Those creepy Tesco vouchers are cunts.

LynetteScavo Tue 20-Aug-13 18:34:02

Can I just ask if the toilet seats still have the toddler seats on them?

I did like those, even though the toilets were dirty, and my DCs bums are big now.

Because when I last went in 2011, I think they were gone. Which is a shame.

LEMisdisappointed Tue 20-Aug-13 18:34:03

In fact the more I think about it the more it winds me up with their two for the price of one bullshit they are forcing your habd to buy two as the price for one has been hoiked.......thats another fred though . You could start it if you like dame this one is about queues shitty toiletsand cults

LEMisdisappointed Tue 20-Aug-13 18:35:00

Even dame will agree that tesco are cunts

GameSetAndMatch Tue 20-Aug-13 18:36:49

Im taking DC in term time in amonths time or so. DCs home educated so we have that luxury. Took DC once years ago in the holidays (when DC went to school). Never again.

(we're doing schoolwork in August socan go out and about in september)

Elsiequadrille Tue 20-Aug-13 18:36:50

Yanbu. Horrible place, we didn't go peak time either, so probably not as bad as your experience.

LEMisdisappointed Tue 20-Aug-13 18:39:04

And wasps those fuckers are right cunts!!

NoMoreMadCatLady Tue 20-Aug-13 18:39:33

Creepy? confused

But it does annoy me that legoland, amongst others, almost always has a voucher offer, be it tesco, kitkat, cereal etc. kids are always 'free' with a bit of paper.

Why not just charge a sensible price, & not have to have a near permanent 'special' offer which is nothing but.

And whilst we are on the subject, qbot was just about acceptable, 4 tiers of qbot is a joke.

Send the managers to Disney to see how it should be run. People off rides AS people get on. Not everyone off. Wait 5 minutes, close and open gate, get out measuring stick, scratch arse, let 1/2 people on, count how many empty spaces, few more on, hey let's have that ride now....

If you live near enough and have an annual pass it is nice to go to for the odd morning or afternoon and you don't feel like you've just been mugged. Full price, voucher or not, just for one day in the holidays is awful.

Sparklysilversequins Tue 20-Aug-13 18:45:15

Oh FGS you were NOT called a cunt. She said she might have called you that if you had done something else.

I am calling you Drama Queen though.

WetGrass Tue 20-Aug-13 18:47:11

That's the thing - it's nothing to do with Tesco vouchers - it's about an attraction that has its economic model firmly based on 'squeeze out as much money as the punters will tolerate'.

Anything related to my DC, I find I really need to feel a little bit of love in the process. (See my ode to Efteling upthread!)

harrietlichman Tue 20-Aug-13 18:52:10

It was fantastic in June - agree about the horrible elitist queuing system, but other than that had a very different experience to the one you have described OP - we didn't pay gate price but bought a deal which included two days in the park and a hotel (worked out at roughly the same as one day paying the gate price.)
We had a fantastic two days there, the rides are tame but my two children loved it, and didn't find it dirty, littered or over-crowded. We took picnics both days (as these places are always over priced) and bought one re-fillable drinks cup which we used over the two days. We thought it was a brilliant trip for the children and would definitely go back.

redexpat Tue 20-Aug-13 18:52:42

Jump on ryanair or BMI and fly to Billund, Denmark. Legoland is literally on the other side of the runway. And it's lovely. Sundays are generally quieter.

Sparklysilversequins Tue 20-Aug-13 18:53:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Sparklysilversequins Tue 20-Aug-13 18:54:03

Sorry wrong thread blush

Sparklysilversequins Tue 20-Aug-13 18:54:13

Sorry wrong thread blush

LynetteScavo Tue 20-Aug-13 18:58:03

grin

LynetteScavo Tue 20-Aug-13 19:05:07

Oooh, just read your post Sparklysilversequins.

Have some cake

Just to make you laugh, I was called into school becuase of DS1's behaviour, did the dead serious responsible parent thing (nodded in all the right places)...was told to take DS home, and make an apt with the GP on the way home, which I did. Then I realised later , when I'd got the phone call to go into school, DD had been doing my hair....and I had 1000 little hair clips all over my head. No idea what the Head Teacher or the Drs receptionist must have thought of my "hairstyle". grin

I hope you were given a hug by a teacher. If not here's one now. (((((hug))))))

Sparklysilversequins Tue 20-Aug-13 19:10:37

grin Can't be as bad as the day I went to a Governors meeting speaking sternly about SEN issues in the school, only to get home look in the mirror and see that my concealer that I dotted on and then meant to blend in after a few minutes had been forgotten and I had stripes of beige under each eye, down the sides of my nose and in various locations on my chin. Lovely.

I did get a hug once, from a teacher and an Occupational Therapist when I burst into tears about ds, we kind of all stood together in this three way hug, which I really needed but kind of felt awkward after I had calmed down. Oh well grin.

LynetteScavo Tue 20-Aug-13 19:17:32

Oh, I so could have done the concealer thing. I really hope I haven't. But I probably have.

Yes, hugs can be awkward afterwards. Especially when you were sobbing "I don't understand how DH and I could have produced a child who gets excluded" and you realise you sounded like a bit up yourself at the time of the hug.

Sparklysilversequins Tue 20-Aug-13 19:24:35

grin

GangstersLoveToDance Tue 20-Aug-13 19:41:59

Kind of crashing, but for anyone near enough and looking for a good theme park, I would recommend Oakwood Park in South West Wales.

We went last week with dc age 5 and 3 - a whole new section opened in May for dc and there was LOADS for them to do. We literally didn't stop all day and never repeated the same ride twice. I don't know if it was fluke or not but I was also really impressed with the queues, which were pretty much non-existent. Most were a 5-10 minute wait. Some were straight on, no queue at all. The longest wait we had was 25 minutes for the bob sleighs. Lots of the rides were also great for dc but good for adults too!

We went on a Tuesday - school holidays - lovely sunny day. I have heared that because they are open late on a Wednesday and Saturday through August, plus have fireworks at closing time, the rest of the week is quiet. So if you're not bothered about fw I would say to go a different day when it's quiet.

LaGuardia Tue 20-Aug-13 19:44:17

No-one tells you before you go that Legoland Windsor is entirely built on the side of a very very steep hill, which used to be Windsor Safari Park, so the whole place reeks of animal shite in hot weather. I cannot fathom the popularity of this hellhole. YANBU.

missingmumxox Wed 21-Aug-13 01:50:52

moomin twas me fobbly note we both went on a teacher training day not the middle of the holidays.
for the record I lived near Alton Towers as a teenager to the point people would come into the pub I worked in for directions, I expect to queue but never like at legoland is is truly shit , i really thought it would redeem itself with models as one of My ds is a lego addict, but no the models are uninspiring as well, we thought it would be a lego world..but it really isn't it fails on all levels, don't waste your money on it

Did anyone else read about the parental fight that broke out in Legoland last week? Mad eyed parents wielding metal bars in the queue for the rocking pirate ship.

www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/two-men-arrested-after-mass-2159547

I wonder if they used vouchers?

Oh - and what's wrong with paddling in the sea at Southend? Much more fun than Legoland.

LadyHarrietdeSpook Wed 21-Aug-13 04:22:55

Can I just ask: Who on earth wants to spend a fortune to go to an adventure park in the rain? Suggestion from pposter as to how to avoid queues...I mean whatever works for you I guess! Sounds grim to me.

We've just done a US holiday park (not Disney). Also very pricey, with extremely long queues (in the scorching heat, not rain...) I can't imagine committing to a yearly pass to these places but in the case of the California parks if you are a resident locally you do get a discount. Not sure if this applies to the area near Lego.

Wishihadabs Wed 21-Aug-13 04:52:37

YABU.We've been a total of 3 times dcs aged 9&6 love it !

Agree with lots of others wtf did you expect, 3/4 through the summer holidays ? Also why did you pay the ticket price ? There are loads of ways of getting in for less (tescos, Kellogg vouchers even just booking the day before). The door price is for tourists and those who can't be bothered to get organised and TBH I have limited (for that read no) sympathy, they need to make a profit ffs. As to the food, don't buy it ! There's loads of space for a picnic again just be organised. I bet the OP arrived at 11:30 and left at 4:30-5pm as well. Just use your brains people.

crumpledinside Wed 21-Aug-13 07:10:51

Thanks for assuming I'm a dolt wishihadabs: we arrived at 9 and queued inside the park when the gates opened. And £120 was the cost for six people with 2-for-1. And it was still overpriced and generally abysmal.

Backtobedlam Wed 21-Aug-13 07:37:40

We generally enjoy theme parks and have the dreaded Merlin passes. However, last year we booked in to the Legoland hotel (not during summer holidays) and it was absolutely awful. Worse than that though the 'don't care' attitude of staff, that goes all the way up to hotel management. This has put us right off visiting any part of Legoland, as you feel like they are totally ripping you for as much money as they can, and really do not care what the the experience is like.

I much prefer Alton Towers, Warwick Castle (as long as you realise it's for entertainment rather than historic information) and any of the other Merlin attractions.

daisychain01 Wed 21-Aug-13 07:38:06

The best view of Lego-hell land is in the rear view mirror IMO. But it sounds as though some people went and enjoyed, and therefore their memory of the place was positive, so worth the mortgage money.

MrsDoomsPatterson Wed 21-Aug-13 07:43:31

Awful place. It's dirty, my mother was stung by a wasp. When I'm queuing for 40 mins for some tin pot ride I don't want to look at filthy Lego pieces that haven't had a wash since they opened. Urgh. Grubby, yucky place. This was 7 years ago, it still sounds the same.

ChocsAwayInMyGob Wed 21-Aug-13 09:31:14

Wishihadabs- I went in term time, had a special offer, got there early and still thought it was overcrowded and shit!

ChocsAwayInMyGob Wed 21-Aug-13 09:32:28

I also found picnic spots few and far between, especially for the number of visitors.

BalloonSlayer Wed 21-Aug-13 10:41:03

Where we went on holiday last year there was a steam railway and DH found out it was on the Tesco vouchers scheme. So, DH being organised, he used Tesco vouchers to get £20 worth of vouchers for use on the railway.

When we went for our trip, DH went to buy the tickets using the vouchers, and got very sour treatment from the man at the ticket booth (remember that these places are largely staffed by volunteers and run on donations and ticket sales). I can't remember how the conversation went but the man told DH that the railway wouldn't get anything like £20 for the £20 voucher DH had used. sad

Of course, the railway didn't have to join the Tesco scheme, and had presumably worked out that it was worth doing it.

But I can see how in the case of somewhere like Legoland you get a situation like this:

- it's very expensive so lots of people use Tesco vouchers.
- the park therefore gets on average, say, £20 per visitor, instead of £30 per visitor before they joined the voucher scheme
- this means that the park must either put up the non-discounted entry price, or make money elsewhere (food, car park) or cut down on expenditure (cleaning, staff training, wasp deterrents)
- because if people are canny with their vouchers they can get to go using only vouchers (no extra cash outlay) then more people visit. This means that the park is overcrowded
- they reject the idea of introducing new and efficient ways of loading/unloading rides as someone else upthread suggested, because that would cost money. Instead they introduce Q-bots because they make money. And people are happy to pay for the Q-bots because they feel they got in for "free" using their vouchers.

I'm back to add my thoughts. smile

We went on bank holiday weekend, Sat and Sun using the buy one day get another free deal.

It rained on the Sat, the crowds were fine, nothing to worry about.
Sun it was hot and it was much busier, we were thankful for Qbots with everything having 60min + wait.

We did all the rides over the 2 days, the variety is really good I think and my children really enjoyed it.
The staff are pleasant and helpful and we found it to be very clean and the Lego models were great, not faded or dated at all.

The wasps were fine, they do gather at food stands so some wasp traps there rather than in the walk ways would have been better but it really wasn't a problem, we ignored them and they buzzed around without harming anyone.

The food is expensive yes but no more so than any other attraction or theme park.

The hill is a bit of a hassle when you're dealing with knackered joints like me but its no biggie.

It was over all a really nice 2 days, even with all the people.

SmiteYouWithThunderbolts Tue 27-Aug-13 14:34:53

We had a weekend at Legoland with PIL and the kids (PILs' wedding present to us). We went at the beginning of June so it wasn't too busy and comfortable wasp-free. I would not go in August, partly because the queues are bound to be hell on earth, but it's wasp season and I am ludicrously scared of them (we're talking full on squealing, flapping and running away) so it ruins any day out.

That said, we just had an amazing day out this weekend at Monkey World in Dorset. They're well set up for busy crowds, not too expensive (£35 for 2 adults and 3 children, under 3s go free) and it's an educational day out for the kids to learn about animal rescue. The "Great Ape" play area is also AMAZING for the kids and me too.

AnyoneButLulu Tue 27-Aug-13 15:01:44

We've been many times over the years, most recently this Easter and we love it, because we are all Lego addicts and we plan the day with military precision (we don't do q-Bots and I refuse to queue for more than 30 minutes for anything, we hit the thrill rides hard at the beginning of the day and so non-queue stuff and baby rides for the rest).

However I agree that a) a lot of the models are looking faded and need a wash b) the system of having a super-expensive mugs' price and then a huge range of discount options is really really annoying.

Rollerskaterabbit Thu 29-Aug-13 20:51:18

We went a few weeks ago and there was exposed wiring in the queue at one of the rides. My child any several others handled them. Legoland did not fix until hours later and literally could not have given a toss that children had handled them. Will never set foot in there again.

plusonemore Thu 29-Aug-13 21:20:22

thinking of going in October for a weekend staying in one of the themed rooms for ds2 s birthday. will it be busy? you get two days for price of one when you stay in the hotel but is this the best deal? sorry to gatecrash but this thread has been so useful! !grin

girliefriend Thu 29-Aug-13 22:09:57

I went with my dd (7yo) in the Easter Hols this year and we had a lovely time, the weather was cold and a bit wet so we pretty much had the place to ourselves grin

It is totally and ridiculously overpriced but likely to be something I only do once with dd so <shrugs> we put our waterproofs on and enjoyed it grin esp loved the submarine ride.

Sounds hideous in August though.

girliefriend Thu 29-Aug-13 22:11:36

Plus think having to pay for parking is seriously taking the piss angry

Chippednailvarnish Thu 29-Aug-13 22:19:38

Just been made redundant and we are using vouchers to go next week on an Inset Day (fingers crossed it's going to be quieter than August).

So I'm obviously creepy grin

Icantstopeatinglol Thu 29-Aug-13 22:22:36

We've just came back on Monday as we went Saturday and Sunday (bank hol weekend yikes!). It was actually ok, quieter on Saturday as it rained but it was fine as we were prepared. Kids loved it, we got on all the rides we wanted to! Sunday however was much busier so glad we got on everything on the Saturday so we did the quieter things on the Sunday. I did think they let far too many people in to make it enjoyable for everyone, we thought it was ridiculous at times as there was just a sea of people at one point. If we had just gone the Sunday I'd have been very disappointed.
Enjoyed it though but think we were lucky.
....oh the dc loved the duplo water park!

Backtobedlam Thu 29-Aug-13 22:34:32

plusonemore-I really would not recommend the hotel at any time of year, it is basically a (slightly) prettier travel lodge. We stayed in a themed room and it was a big disappointment for the kids, such a let down after building it up to them. There are some lovely hotels in and around Windsor, and some also do deals with Legoland tickets included, personally I think you'd have a better time doing that.

alemci Thu 29-Aug-13 22:40:57

haven't been to lego land for years but, after being to usa theme parks the organization of rides seemed poor. I would never pay full price for anything nowdays if I can help it.

creepy tesco vouchers. I suppose they are in the sense that they know all about you etc

enjoyed Busch gardens in Tampa with eat all you like for extra 7 dollars, bargain

SoleSource Thu 29-Aug-13 23:12:54

I save vouchers for the local brothel. I suppose she'll be calling me creepy next. Fecking cheek! confused hmm

plusonemore Thu 29-Aug-13 23:24:47

backtobedlam- oh shame! I thought it looked lovely! sad especially as I think theres a pool?

AnyoneButLulu Thu 29-Aug-13 23:28:39

We loved the hotel but we are all Lego obsessives so a hotel full of Lego is pretty much our dream come true. The little indoor splash zone/swimming pool is great fun for the DCs in the evening, and it's great being able to walk straight out to the rides after breakfast - you can go on Atlantis and Dino Safari between 9:30 and 10 when they open the gates, and then you're already inside the park and can be first in the queue for another couple of roller coasters (Dragon and Pirate Falls perhaps).

AnyoneButLulu Thu 29-Aug-13 23:32:37

Also I thought the layout with the bathroom in between the parents' double bed area and the children's bunkbed area was really clever. Not exactly two rooms, but seperate enough to give you some privacy once they've gone to sleep.

bishboschone Fri 30-Aug-13 07:07:50

Omg .. I'm going today at dd request ( her day out without noisy ds) .... We have tussauds passes so I'm not paying as such .. Don't want to go ..argh!!! Will report back later !!

PuzzleRocks Fri 30-Aug-13 07:18:30

I quite agree with all the negatives, we went last week and I struggled to find any redeeming qualities. Inex

PuzzleRocks Fri 30-Aug-13 07:20:53

Inexplicably though, our 6 year old and 4 year old had a great day. I'm comforted that we won the tickets, otherwise I would have felt robbed.

(wonders if entering competitions is on the creepy scale)

Backtobedlam Fri 30-Aug-13 07:51:29

Anyonebutlulu-we were led to believe we would have that room layout from the website and had paid extra for a themed room. Unfortunately we got given a room that is nothing like the ones on the website, which apparently it states somewhere that not all rooms have the seperate kids bit, or their own TV (which we'd told them about). The room was so awful my DH rang immediately and asked to change rooms, they refused! We also asked for money back as the experience was nothing like what we paid for/what was advertised, all they offered was a discount if we booked to go again. No chance...it was a total waste of money.

The swimming pool is more of a splash zone, kids did have fun but its very cold and hardly any changing rooms, which means big ques...not fun with little ones in tow. Its not a patch on the pool on Alton Towers. which all in is a much better experience. Kids did enjoy the Lego play area, but there are loads of places that do similar, they'd have been more entertained in a nice hotel with a new lego set.

BalloonSlayer Fri 30-Aug-13 09:03:50

Well whatever you think of Legoland's cleanliness and smartness it's like Disneyland compared to Chessington.

We went there in the week. You could smell the toilets from outside them at 10am. There was practically no water coming out of the taps - a sign said that they are "experiencing low water pressure" and to use the hand sanitiser instead. hmm

I'd forgotten how much the Bubbleworks stinks - you would turn on your heel and walk out of a swimming pool that smelled like that. The "exhibits" for want of a better word you float past were all filthy. Everything needed a good scrub. The irony - when it is sponsored by Imperial Leather and has a theme of bathing and soap - was stupendous.

Another ride we went on had a wooden cover to the central part which clearly hadn't been painted for about 5 years, the paint was flaking off and the wood splitting.

These parks shut for 5 months in the winter! ONE PERSON with a few pots of paint and ONE PERSON with some bleach and a scrubbing brush, working 9-5, 5 days a week over 5 months could probably have dealt with a lot of this sort of thing, enough to make a noticeable difference, never mind what a team or even a company could have achieved, but it's clear they don't put the tiniest amount of effort into it.

Chessington also charge £2 to park and it's not even a proper car park, it's a field. The roads aren't even tarmaced.

fluffyraggies Fri 30-Aug-13 09:28:17

gringrin @

MrsCakesPremonition - Did anyone else read about the parental fight that broke out in Legoland last week? Mad eyed parents wielding metal bars in the queue for the rocking pirate ship.

I recon just about every time i've ever taken DCs to a commercial, 'fun' establishment for a day out we have all come away with disapointments of some description. I vow not to be sucked in again and my resolve tends to last a year or so before i go and do it again and then waste hours of my life cursing the amount of money i spent when i knew it was going to be shitty grin

The best and truly untainted memories we have of family days out are of days spent on the beach with a picnic, or walking out through the woods somewhere with a sarnie in the car when it rains. Even roaming around a historical site and soaking up a bit of history without a bit of 'child friendly' stuff in site. These are the days my (now teens) DCs re-tell when we're reminiscing together.

(I know not everyone has a car - don't fame me - you get the gist of what i'm saying smile )

cocoplops Fri 30-Aug-13 09:31:59

Definitely. The attractions are good but the joy of them is completely sucked out by the hours of queuing and knowing how much you've paid for the privilege!

alemci Fri 30-Aug-13 11:30:02

I think people get fed up when they queue and then other people leave 1 family member to stand there then a whole group of people appear and push in front of you. fair enough if a dc needs the loo etc but it is guaranteed to rile people

this happened in florida while I was queing with young son. whole group of teenagers.

bishboschone Fri 30-Aug-13 16:32:23

We survived , it wasn't too bad .. Queues were long but we went on the smaller rides and my dd preferred the mini land and spent much of our time there and also making models . I'm glad I'm
Home though.

RandomMess Fri 30-Aug-13 21:16:33

We went to the seaside today and my food obsessed 11 year old was so busy enjoying crabbing that we didn't have picnic lunch until 2.30ish shock

Funny how sometimes the cheapest things are the best loved (we borrowed the gear so cost is £1 for the bait for 4 dc!)

justasecond Fri 30-Aug-13 22:41:16

The kids love it but I think its hell on earth during the holidays. I have annual passes as it is local but I would be seriously pissed off if I paid full price or thereabouts for tickets only to spend the day queuing whilst being attacked by wasps from all angles. I think they really need to do something about limiting the number to people they allow in at peak times otherwise it is just unfair. Also the wasp infestation issue is no joke I was stung there last week.

AndHarry Fri 30-Aug-13 23:11:38

We took 2yo DS last year and it was awful. This year we've stuck with Peppa Pig World, Thomas Land at Drayton Manor and Gulliver's Land. So much better for small children and the most we had to queue was 10 minutes for a train ride. Perfect.

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