Legoland: the Mumsnet survival guide
A trip to Legoland Windsor is a great day out for all the family - but it pays to be prepared.
From getting into the car park to cutting queuing time, Mumsnetters have shared their wisdom and experience to help you make it through the day
in one piece.
- Aim to arrive early. The park is officially open from 10am, however, you can get through the main gates and into the square from around 9.30am.
- If you are driving in from the M4 Junction 6 (Slough/Windsor) or M25 Junction 13 (Staines), it is definitely worth following the signed alternative route, which is longer but quicker:
"It does feel like you are leaving Windsor and going around in a big circle (you are!). Enjoy the scenic views of the Great Park, avoid the traffic jam and allow yourself a smug grin as you sweep into Legoland in front of the queues."
- Be aware if races are on at Ascot as the roads will be busier.
- Premium parking is only marginally closer than normal parking.
- There are coupons and offers galore to bring entrance costs down and you can also save by booking online in advance. To get the best price, don't buy tickets on the gate.
- Redeeming Tesco points is cost effective although you can only swap for an annual pass, not day tickets.
- If you have a three to five year-old, the pre-school annual pass is a great buy. £50 for unlimited weekday, term-time visits for one child plus one accompanying adult.
- Before 10am you can still get through the gates to the main square at the top of the park. There are shops (you can hire a buggy here), a cafe and toilets, plus Q-Bot hire - see Getting around for more details.
- If your child is under 90cm they will not reach height restrictions for every ride. If they scrape just over 90cm, one Mumsnetter has this helpful tip:
"If your child is borderline 90cm, get them measured at customer services - they will issue a wristband to say they are ok to ride, this will save you arguing with the attendant at every ride."
- Once the main gates open, the consensus seems to be not to take the train down. Plough on down the hill and maintain your position within the crowds. Taking the train may mean less walking, but it's actually quicker to walk down the hill. Save the train ride for back up the hill at the end of the day when you're tired - your feet will thank you for it.
- Before you set into the main park, go to customer services upon entering to get wristbands for your children to write your mobile number on, just in case anyone gets lost. If you don't get the wristbands, just use a pen to write your number on your childrens' arms.
- A change of clothes and something warm. Except for shops, cafes and a handful of attractions everything is outdoors so bring plenty of extra clothing for all. Be warned: the water rides get you very wet. If you are soaked through, there are dryers around the park for £1.
- A pram/buggy. Even if your children no longer need one to get around:
"(I'm) grateful for the people who said to take a buggy even if DC growing out of them - we haven't used ours for years but it was a godsend not to have to walk everywhere at DD's pace and listen to her moaning about hills, and great to have somewhere to dump the picnic, drinks, swimming stuff and (unused) waterproofs whilst we were on rides or looking around."
- Pushchairs can also be hired from the Big Shop at the park entrance: a single pushchair costs £9 and double costs £14. There are buggy parks at the rides.
- Remember a small rucksack or cross body bag for your valuables to take on the rides. A waterproof one is a great idea.
- A picnic and plethora of snacks and drinks. This will save money and save you having to think too much about what you're eating and when. It is also sensible to pack some food/snacks for the journey home as you are in for a long day. If you are looking for somewhere to eat later in the day, you may be able to bag a bargain:
"Children eat for free at some restaurants after 3pm, which gave us a nice mid afternoon break."
- Your own swimming gear. Join the kids in the splash area to cool down on hot days.
- And it goes without saying: don't forget comfy shoes, sunglasses, sun hats, rain macs, insect repellent etc. All the usual family day out paraphernalia.
- Forward planning pays dividends. Print off the map and get your bearings before arrival. Research what rides your children really, really want to go on and plan a sensible route that incorporates as many as possible.
- Q-Bots: This nifty technology holds your place in the queue and notifies you when it's time to ride via a handheld pager or your smartphone.
On a busy day a Q-Bot will make life easier but, of course, they come with a price tag.
The standard £15 Q-Bot gives you the same waiting time as everyone in the actual queue, it just means you can go off and do other things rather than actually standing in line. The £30 Express Q-Bot cuts your waiting time by half and the £70 Ultimate Q-Bot bumps you straight to the front.
You will need one Q-Bot per person, per ride, so a family of four will need four Q-Bots if they all want to ride together.
You can decide to buy a Q-Bot on the day - and if you pick a quiet day you might find queues more manageable. However, if you really want one, book ahead – there are a limited number. And remember to return them at the end of the day, or you'll be charged £50 for each.
"There's no need to pay for anything other than the basic Q-Bot. You can start 'queuing' for the next ride as soon as you have been scanned into the previous one, then by the time you have walked to the next ride you will be almost ready to ride again. If it's a longer queue there are plenty of other things to do, for instance you can work out what the longest queue is then select that one while you watch the pirate show."
- Whether you are armed with Q-Bots or not, the consensus seems to be to head towards the busiest rides first - or whatever rides your DC would be devastated not to go on.
- If you don't have a buggy to carry around your belongings, there are lockers at the top square (park entrance) and by the splash park. These require a £1 coin which is non-refundable.
- You may well be persuaded to part from more of your money in the gift shops, but don't worry about precariously balancing expensive Lego kits in your buggy while you walk around the park:
"If you buy stuff in any of the shops, you can arrange to collect it on the way out." Coveredinweetabix
- If you can (and you are not reading this for the first time on your way back to the car) pay for parking online first. It saves queuing for pay machines at end of day.
- Prepare for an exhausting final slog to get out of the car park, everyone is tired and tempers will be short. Whack on the air-con/wind down windows, turn on the iPads/stereo and dig deep.
- Follow the magical alternate route and it will save you about 1 hour in travel time as everyone floods out of the park. Upon exiting Legoland at the bottom of the hill turn right towards Ascot for all routes.
- One final piece of travel advice:
"Do not be tempted to go left towards Windsor if traffic is not moving. Turning right will take you to the M4 Junction 5 in 20 minutes and M25 Junction 13 in 25 minutes. Turning left will take you to Junction 6 on the M4 in 1 hour+ at closing time. You have been warned!" HRHQueenME
- Enjoy it! The kids will have a blast and will be shattered that evening. Mumsnetter Kittybloom speaks for many when she sums up her day:
"Returned from our Legoland trip today. Large glass of vodka, lime and soda currently being inhaled. Overall we had a fantastic but exhausting day."
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Last updated: 22 days ago