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THE LEGOLAND 2012 thread, top tips and recommendations

(53 Posts)
MummyPigandDaddyPig Sun 18-Mar-12 15:39:09

Have started a new thread to keep all things Legoland easy to find, as the season just started! Please feel free to add tips and hints for both newcomers and seasoned fans! We just went at the opening weekend and were pleasantly surprised that Legoland has had a good scrub over the winter and everything looked really nice clean and tidy, esp Fairy tale brook that has been slightly scruffy round the edges for years!

It was really lovely to see all the regular pirate show stuntmen back on form, they are tru champs braving the icy water and still making time to chat and high five all the children after the show whilst shivering in their wetsuits! Hats off to them!!!!

So here are my top tips!

Try to park in the carpark furthest away ( the carpark attendants will try to direct you but if you can escape the herding go down to the shingle carpark C and up to the top nearest the entrance and you will get a prime spot if you are early)

Prebook your tickets, and if you have tesco vouchers there is usually a staffmember queue combing, just grab them and they will take your vouchers there and then and swap them for tickets! Queing done!

Walk down dont take the hill train. Saves time queing and the walk is nice. The slides are fun going down the stairs too!

Kids under 90 cm can only do about 6-7 of the rides as they are strict on height. Look on the map and choose what you want! The Duplo land is great and little kids will love the duplo train! Fairy tale brook, the orient train and balloon school will be great for little ones too. When they are over 90cm Dino safari will be a firm favourite!

The Atlantis is always very busy so head there first to miss the queues. The worst queue seems to be the boating school, but there is lego to entertain the little ones. Expect to queue as per the signs, if it says 45mins it will be 45 mins.

Turn up for the Pirate of skeleton bay show early (20 mins approx before the start) and put down a picknick blanket a little to the right of the control booth on the corner. You now have loos behind you, handy family loos in the middle of the building have 2 loos and changing tables so you can all go together and even fit the double pram with ease. The show is brilliant and will be enjoyed by all, plus the Pirate Captain is usually a bit of eyecandy for the mummies. The harbour coffee shop does starbucks quality lattes, surprisingly good! Have your lunch infront of the show, its fab! And bring a picknick as food is ridiculously expensive.

The duploland puppet show is fab and again there is loos and a tea and coffee stall behind you when you get seated.

The waterplay area in Duploland is brilliant if its a warm day! BRING TOWELS!

And do the Xchallenge waterslide LAST before you go home as its brilliant fun but you will have a WET BUM however much you try not to. Dont even bother sitting on a tesco bag you will get soaked, just get over it!

Definitly bring a change of clothes. For EVERYONE.

DONT be put off if the weather is crap, bring suitable clothes, (you can buy ponchos on site) and you will have NO QUEUES. When I have relatives visiting we always choose the day when it rains to do legoland and dressed appropriately you will have a fab day out!

Finish the day with and Icecream at PapaMoles and sit at the back of the icecream shop with fab views of the whole park and miniland and windsor castle and you will see the planes take off from Heathrow, the kids will love it!

Our fave rides ( have 3 yr old and 2 yr old) are: The Pirate Show, the Helicopters at Duplo land, the Orient express green train, the Duplo train (never any queues to speak of) Dino Safari, the Boating School and the Mini Drivers at the driving school.

The only ride I wouldnt bother with is the Lazer ride in the Egyptian area (Pharaos Kingdom? Cant remember what it is called at the mo) Its not worth the massive queues even if you can bring a baby on bord. Its just plain not a big fan of Balloon school or Aero Nomad either, dull...

Im sure plenty of people have more great tips too, but it is a great great day out!

Dont forget to bring a stroller for little ones, they will get exhausted. you can rent them on site but do you really want to spend 20 pounds on one?
And you will want your stroller to hold your picknick, blankets and spare clothes! And waterbottles drinks and snacks. And ponchos....and lego purchases from the gift shop.

Afterwards if you are going home leave half and hour before the rush to get out starts, otherwise you will spend hours queuing to get out of the carpark and down the hills towards the main road. Its very pretty and beautiful but not fun. If you go towards Windsor you will get stuck in traffic again but it does move again. Towards Ascot is usually better and a quicker route to get around Windsor.

If you want a nice meal after the day out the LOCH FYNE restaurant along the road to Ascot is Lovely and will treat your kids like royalty. The nearest MCDonalds is off the dual carriage way in Windsor heading to the M4, turn off for ETON just before the M4, follow the slip around and take a left towards slough and there is a nice MCD just next to the M4. Very easy you cannot miss it.

We havent stayed in the new Legoland hotel yet but im sure someone who has stayed can post hints tips and a review, it would be great to read about it!

Have fun! x

archfiend Sun 18-Mar-12 21:01:27

We've just been to the new hotel for the weekend so I'll try and add some tips here. Firstly, it is fantastic! Not a tip but worth knowing. Friendly staff, amazing rooms and Lego everywhere!

Ok, tips that I can remember (am sure there will be others):

You need a pass to get the lifts to work. When we arrived our room wasn't ready so we got a key card from reception that allowed us to use the lifts. The entrance to the park is on 2nd floor, as is the bar/restaurant. They open the gate to the park at 9.30 am-people will be queuing to get in so get to the gate early!

The 30 minutes extra time in the park is great. Not all of the rides are open, but they do open Atlantis, the Dragon, Pharoh's quest and some of the water rides early so you can get onto the really busy stuff early without having to queue. In fact, we stayed on the dragon for a few goes as there was no one else waiting!

The hotel is right near Atlantis so you can work your way up the park from there when you get in.

What else. Lots of parking-you register your car when you get there so no need to pay for parking. You can check luggage into a secure room when you arrive. When we got back from the park on day 1 our room was ready and they had taken the luggage up already which was nice.

The rooms are fabulous! Really well laid out and lots of attention to detail.

Lifts-there are 2 and only 2 as far as I can see. They do get busy (and they aren't that big) so you may find yourself going up and down a few times before you get to your floor! Stairs are to the right of the lifts in the lobby near the shop, you need a key card to open the door to them.

The pool is on floor 0. They have towels available, lockers for £1. Not many changing rooms but it didn't take long to get one. The pool was very chloriney when we went but I think they were adjusting that.

On phone so might post this before I lose it! Will add more in another post.

archfiend Sun 18-Mar-12 21:12:41

Ok, more info.

Food is very good. The restaurant does get busy so you need to book for dinner. We went at 7.30pm and it was heaving. We only had to wait a few minutes for a table though. The food is a buffet style help yourself deal-lots of choice and you can go up as many times as you like (same for breakfast). All soft drinks included, alcohol charged as an extra.

As with other food at legoland it is not cheap! Dinner was £19.95 for an adult, and around £10 for a child. Didn't try room service but there is a £5 tray charge on top of food prices in menu.

Tea/coffee/biscuits provided in room, also hot chocolate which dd liked!

Once you check out in the morning (before 10am), you will need to keep a key card to get up to the park and back to the hotel at the end of the day.

Overall, it was brilliant. We did see some people who were unhappy about waiting for a room, but considering it was the opening weekend I think the staff did a fantastic job. Would highly recommend a visit!

I have probably forgotten loads of things but will try and answer questions if I can!!

EggsOvaryZee Thu 29-Mar-12 11:17:30

This is great, thanks so much for all your sharing. Am really hoping to take DCs (4 and 3) this year, maybe before the schools break up - hoping it would be a buit cheaper and not as busy?
This will be our first holiday in years. We won't be driving up, will be getting the train.

So, my question is - should I go for 1 night in the Legoland hotel? One night seems to be about £340 and 2 nights an extra £200 on top of that.

They seem to be doing an extra day in the park for 'free'? But if you can't check in until 3pm, does that mean you can't go in the park until then?
So, if I booked only 1 nights stay, does that mean we would only get to be in the park from 3pm that day and then the next day til we have to catch our train home?

archfiend Thu 29-Mar-12 19:42:55

Hi Eggs (love the name!),
We stayed for 1 night at the hotel. We arrived there at 9am, went and registered and put our luggage into the secure store. We were then given a key card for the lift so we could get up to the park and were in by 9.30 so no problem with using the 2 full days. When we got back to the hotel around 4pm we just went back to reception and got a new key for our room which was ready by then.

Hope that helps!

StringOrNothing Thu 29-Mar-12 19:57:24

EOZ, I cannot stress too much that you should go as far away from school holidays and half terms as possible. It will make an enormous difference. Pick a Tuesday / Wednesday in mid May and you'll have a great time.

iklboo Thu 29-Mar-12 19:58:49

Website ichild are doing discounts up to 42% off (£25 adult, £22.50 child - other discounts too). It's a pretty good site for reward charts, art & lesson ideas and it's free to join. Plus they don't bombard you with emails (I am not connected to the website in any way. I just use it from time to time).

AKMD Sun 01-Apr-12 20:04:52

I just looked at the Legoland ticket prices shock Nearly £50 for an adult and they charge for parking?! I have a 2-for-1 voucher but even so <faints> Is it worth it with a 2yo?

StringOrNothing Sun 01-Apr-12 20:50:25

With a 2 year old, if you live reasonably nearby, it might be worth getting an annual pass and flogging it to death.

Tesco club card vouchers are normally the very cheapest way to get tickets.

mummytime Sun 01-Apr-12 21:02:44

If you don't leave early you could always do what we used to do. Ride until the park closes then the restaurant near the park entrance usually let's you order food. We would then eat, by which time the car park queues have eased/disappeared, and we'd drive straight home.

PatriciaHolm Sun 01-Apr-12 21:09:04

The restaurant at the top near the entrance is now a sandwich shop and no longer does hot food - we used to do the same as Mummytime but I don't think that will work as well in future if we've had sandwiches for lunch!

The new Star Wars lego is just past that restaurant on the right, so one to do at the start before you go down the hill.

thereinmadnesslies Sun 01-Apr-12 21:43:41

We went today. I'd totally recommend using Tesco club card vouchers to buy Merlin passes. We've been to Legoland 12+ times in the last year for freesmile

Went today. Most popular rides seem to be Boating school (queue 60mins), Atlantis (queue 45mins) and the junior dragon roller coaster (45mins). I'd suggest doing these rides either first thing or in the last hour of the day.

Scarab bouncers is an underrated ride - queue is often under 10mins and my 3 and 5 year old love it.

If you have a three year old who wants to do driving school, make sure you practise them saying their age. The staff will ask each child to say their age and i saw several children turned away for not being able to say how old they are.

Buy your parking ticket on the way in so you don't have to queue at the end to buy a ticket.

Pirate show was on at 12, 1, 2 and 4pm. I think they've improved it since last year, well worth seeing. The Duplo theatre is now showing Three little pigs in the morning, and pied piper of hamelyn in the afternoon, the last show is 4.30.

MummyPigandDaddyPig Wed 04-Apr-12 10:28:59

Shameless bump to add link to the thread in CHAT, lots of good and bad points but also great advice and tips!

Novstar Wed 23-May-12 13:29:40

Thanks for these tips, just printed this off. We're staying at the hotel next week with a 2 day pass (and am really apprehensive having read recent terrible reviews on Tripadvisor... ).

Can anyone tell me what happens at the start - since there is a free hotel car park, do you get diverted to the hotel car park at the entrance, rather than being stuck in the queue for the main car park? or do you have to park in the main car park to start with, then move the car? and if you park at the hotel car park from the beginning, can you get into the park from the hotel? I'm slightly worried because from the map, it looks like the hotel and the main car park/entrance are opposite eachother!

nannynick Wed 23-May-12 22:55:15

I've not stayed in the hotel but I do go to Legoland frequently.
The hotel carpark is on the Right before the road goes up the hill.
With regard to getting into the park as a hotel guest, see what archfiend wrote on 29th March.

With regard to weekday term time, I have been disappointed this season so far with regard to staffing levels in park. I'm not sure what Legoland are doing but there is often a ride closed, parts of the park (Pirate/Viking) not opening untill 11am, not enough staff serving in shops, staff not fully knowing about annual passholder perks. With luck Legoland will sort it out, especially as from next week they are open every day (whereas until now they have been shutting many Tue & Wed).

Pirate Training Camp is great... go through it (slightly left) to get to the Blue Sea area (it's recycled tyre pieces) where there are wooden half sunken boat playstructures. Good place for adults to take a rest whilst children charge about.

Before you go, work out which rides your children can go on based on their height and also based on how many adults you have in your group. I often seen schools going around where they have 1 adult with 4 or 5 children. With that ratio they won't get on many rides at all, as many rides have limits - such as 4 people (Fairytale Brook), 1 adult with 1 child (Dinosaur Safari and other rides).

Novstar Mon 28-May-12 12:20:16

Thanks Nick. So it sounds like there is a separate entry for the hotel car park.

LaCerbiatta Wed 30-May-12 13:10:44

Would you recommend going on the jubilee weekend / bank holidays or will it just be too busy? Also, is it ok for a 2yo?

Thanks smile

nannynick Thu 31-May-12 14:09:06

2yr old may not be able to that many rides - but they don't always want to anyway. They will like Atlantis, Big Train, Duplo Train, Fairy Tale Brook, Hot Air Balloons, Puppet show, duplo playground, pirate playground, they may like Mini land and Mini land starwars.
For other rides, check height details on the Legoland website.
If you have older children, keep in mind that they may need an adult to go on rides with them, so you need an adult to look after your 2yr old as well.

Hard to know what it will be like over this coming weekend. May be very busy, may be busy ish, may be quiet. I expect it will be busy ish.

LaCerbiatta Thu 31-May-12 22:54:23

Thanks smile
Dh says it'll obviously be really busy so we'll go another time.
Thanks on the tips on the rides though!

hawthornknitter Fri 01-Jun-12 23:13:23

Hi - we are coming over from Ireland the last week of June. The plan is to camp at Hurley (near Henley) and go to Legoland, HP studio tour etc. Kids are 10, 8, 6. Will 1 day be enough in Legoland, do you think or do we need to allow 2 days - bearing in mind we probably won't be back again any time soon so need to fit it all in. I'm thinking to allow for 2 days but not to say it to the kids and if we feel we've done enough in one day to just leave it as is. And for a midweek during term time will we need a Qbot?

And for anyone from that neck of the woods, is it easy enough to get a train into London from Henley-ish? Would it be a pain to do that 2 days or should we look at getting a hotel in London for a night?

Thanks for any input smile

Novstar Wed 06-Jun-12 12:57:43

Hawthorn - at 10, 8 and 6, your DCs would be too old for probably about half of the rides in Legoland, so you should be able to do them all in one day if you're organised enough. Get there early (9:30am at least), take snacks and lunches, look at the park plans and height restrictions, read all the tips on MN and have a rough plan in your mind.
It was really crowded when we went and we couldn't have done without a Q bot but you're probably fine without one for midweek in term time, particularly if you don't mind waiting.

MummyPigandDaddyPig Sat 30-Jun-12 23:26:57

Just been today and tried the sandwich shop at the entrance for the first time ( stayed so late the kids were starving, bad mummy for not leaving earlier but we were having fun and the queues were horrendous...) anyway, we were plesantly surprised as the sandwiches were actually nice and fresh, and with an AP £3.95 per child was not too bad. That includes sandwich, drink, apple and crisps AND legoland badge! Loads of people were doing the same as us, feeding the kids by the entrance to avoid the queues leaving. Good tip if you have a long drive!
The queues leaving the carpark were bad but they had staff directing traffic which was helpful, so we cant complain!

cupofteaplease Sun 01-Jul-12 16:58:26

I have been given free tickets for Legoland this Thursday. I have 7 and 5 year olds and a 9 month old baby on oxygen and a feed pump. I'm not sure if it will be do-able by myself? I won't be able to take the baby on rides, and won't have another adult to baby swap with. Can the older girls go on rides by themselves? If I queue up with them, can I leave the queue just as they ride? Also, can I get a disabled pass to reduce queuing time even though the baby won't be able to ride? (I'm assuming there are no wheelchair accessible rides?)

Sorry for all the questions, but I hope someone can advise me, or there might be no point in going!

MummyPigandDaddyPig Sun 01-Jul-12 20:24:15

hi cupofteaplease! Sorry I cant answer much re disabled passes, but definitly go! Legoland has lots of activities that dont need queing for, so the girls will have a fab day out, even baby will enjoy the colours water and fun!
All the rides operate on a height basis, you have to be over 0,9 1,0 or 1,3 meters to ride. If your older girl is over 1,3m she should be able to ride with the younger one on most of the small rides but go to the LL website and read the info on there. The girls can definitly do the driving school and the chopper squadron, the fairy tale brook, the swings and carousels, duploland etc etc, walk though miniland, you can all see the pirate show, the puppet show, the 4D movies, starwars exhibition, do the lego building workshops...I promise you you will not be bored and you will have lots of fun!

hawthornknitter Tue 03-Jul-12 23:19:45

Novstar - sorry, didn't see your response before we left, but thanks! Yes, one day was enough. We didn't need the Qbot as we didn't have to stand for more than 15 mins anywhere and most were less than that. We had a great day - we avoided anything with the teddy icon and got to go on almost everything they wanted, the only thing we didn't make was the boat driving, but they did the ordinary driving so were happy. Plus they got on the Viking Splash and Dragon a few times so it all worked out well.

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