We were offered tickets to review an attraction by 365tickets. Having never been to Legoland Windsor before, even as a child, and having some hardcore Lego fans in the house in the shape of my husband and my three and four year olds, I thought it would make a brilliant back to school treat to do a Legoland Windsor review.
Here is what we thought of Legoland Windsor for families with children under five.
First up in my Legoland Windsor Review…
There is so much there that you definitely will not be at a loss for things to do.
There are different worlds which are based on the various types of Lego, and the map you are given of the park shows each ride, who it is aimed at age-wise and its height restrictions.
There was plenty for my three year old (over 90cm) to go on and he wasn’t just restricted to the ‘baby’ rides in Duplo Valley.
The highlight for my son was Ninjago World. The main attraction, ‘Ninjago The Ride’ is an interactive one; you wear 3D glasses and have to karate chop the baddies on the big screen as you are taken around the ride.
My smallest is a huge Ninjago fan and of the six of us, he scored the second-highest points. After me, naturally.
My daughter’s favourite was The Dragon rollercoaster in the Nexus Knights Kingdom. Not one for very small kids the queue was the longest one we braved; we waited around an hour for this one!
She also enjoyed the Fairy Tale Brook in Duplo Valley, which was much better than the relatively short queue lead me to believe.
We also enjoyed the Lego Star Wars exhibition which looked a lot like my husband’s office, the Atlantis Submarine Voyage in Adventure Land and I liked the Laser Raiders in Kingdom of the Pharaohs although it pretty much terrified the children.
There were also a lot of other activities such as the adventure playgrounds and the Lego Reef which the kids enjoyed. There were shows including the Lego Friends dancing and the Duplo Valley Theatre puppet show which I thought was great fun!
To be honest the larger rides had queues that were just prohibitive to a three and four year old, not to mention me, so we didn’t bother. We did squeeze in a few right at the end as the part was beginning to quieten down a little.
The cost is eye-watering; a walk up ticket costs around £50-£60. Yes there are offers you can get if you buy the right cereal, and booking in advance is cheaper, but that is almost twice the on-the-door price of Paultons Park with no concessions for seniors or children. Paultons Park is slightly smaller, yes, but there is only so much you can physically do in a day.
Then, to add insult to injury, there is a £6 charge for parking, even though the car park isn’t in a great state or managed particularly well. None of the large family attractions we’ve visited have had additional charges for parking. This feels a lot like extortion and puts your back up before you’re even through the gates.
The queues for the rides are ridiculous.
I’ve been to a lot of attractions, many during school holidays, but I’ve never experienced anything like this before! We went on a Sunday so we didn’t expect them to be short but even for the small ‘fairground’ type rides for under 5s there were long waits.
The people who run Legoland Windsor are well aware that the queues are awful, and so they try and upsell ‘Q-BOT’ tickets so that you can skip the queues… At an additional price of NINETY POUNDS PER PERSON. This brings the total for fun day out for a family of four to over £500, which if you’re anything like me just made you make a sharp intake of breath before laughing your arse off.
In terms of staffing, on the smaller rides there was only one disinterested teenager manning each ride; I heard a LOT of people complain about this. Queues could be cut in half by simply having different members of staff operating the ride and managing the queue. It all gives the impression that once they have your money they don’t really care about the experience.
The place is not well signposted at all so it takes a long time to find your way around if you’re unfamiliar with it.
Sadly, when we visited Legoland Windsor in September 2018, much of it was looking tired and unloved.
The approach, which used to be enticing, has faded and instead of filling you with excitement, instils a sense of foreboding. The inside is not much better.
Going around the Miniland section where there are model replicas of famous buildings, there are large sections which are faded and broken. Nothing looks like it is cleaned.
They need to take a trip to Babbacombe Model Village; that’s how you present a mini world. Given it’s a much smaller attraction making a hell of a lot less money on the door, Legoland Windsor could really learn from them.
It is not just the outdoor Lego that doesn’t get cleaned; the indoor Lego Star Wars exhibit is covered thick with dust. Many of the animatronic figures you meet along the way no longer work properly. Some of the rides have peeling paint and missing buttons.
There are sections which are clean and in good order; the newer ones such as Ninjago World for instance, but I imagine in 5 to 10 years these too will be faded and falling apart. This is so different to Paultons Park/Peppa Pig World which is clearly so well maintained in comparison.
The impression you get from going around Legoland Windsor is that they have decided to make as much money as possible whilst spending as little as they can on outgoings like staffing, cleaning and maintenance.
I’ve played Theme Park, I know that doesn’t end well.
It’s a shame, because we really did have a great day once we’d got our bearings and the children absolutely loved it.
However, aside from the Lego theme, the rides are similar to what you’d find elsewhere, and I’m afraid that the parking charge was the nail in the coffin for me; given the choice, I’d go to visit a different theme park next time.
We were given four tickets to Legoland Windsor by 365Tickets. You can purchase tickets for this or other theme parks here. As you can probably guess, this has not affected the honesty of my Legoland Windsor review.