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Five minute fun activities for busy people to do with little kids

Advice + Tips

Legoland

Below you will find some information from our trips to Legoland over the years - I hope you find it helpful if you’re planning a visit soon!

What ages did we go?

We first visited Legoland Windsor Resort the week before the first lockdown - 14 March 2020! We were invited as part of a press day when they opened the new DUPLO Valley which is designed for younger children. The children at this time were Ewan 5 and a half and Florence 3 and a half. We returned again the following year in August 2021 as paying customers, when the children were 7 and 5.

Did your children know what to expect?

Prior to the first Legoland trip we had visited other theme parks (CBeebies Land in Alton Towers a few times and the Thomas Land at Drayton Manor) and as we lived near to the Trafford Centre in Manchester we had gone to the Legoland Discovery Centre many times over the years for birthdays or days out (there’s one in Birmingham too), so we knew the children were happy in a theme park environment. I would say if Legoland is your first theme park trip it’s a good place to start as there is lots for them to do and there aren’t big rollercoasters flying overhead. However you will know your child best - theme parks are exhausting and a sensory overload at the best of times so it’s a good idea to prepare them as best you know how - showing them videos online or talking to them about what to expect.

Theme park tips

If you want to know my general theme park and big day out tips then I wrote about them all in my On The Go book linked here - suffice to say in the morning when we walked into the park I showed them what the staff were wearing and reminded them what to do if they became separated from us. They also had my phone number written on their arms.

How did you get tickets?

For our first visit we were invited as guests. However for our second visit we used vouchers from cereal packets and chocolate packets to get discounted tickets (don’t forget you need the code on the inside of the packet to use these!) It was buy one get one free for full priced tickets, so we used two of those for four tickets. There will be more information on the website about current ticket prices and group discounts etc. but essentially unless your child is smaller than 90cm you pay one set price for an entrance ticket. I think people have also previously used Tesco Clubcard vouchers to get Legoland tickets and I think they have special days for people with particular jobs - I know a friend of mine who is a police officer could visit on a particular services day.

Fast Track passes

Legoland have reserve and ride tickets you can buy at three different levels. We decided to upgrade our tickets on the day to the reserve and ride ultimate the second time we visited, because we realised upon arrival it was going to be particularly busy day in the park (a sunny day in the school summer holidays). We budgeted for this and saved elsewhere on our trip to factor in this extra cost.

For us, it is worth it, however I understand it is VERY expensive. Our children are thrill seekers and so want to go on all the biggest, fastest rides. The good thing about Legoland is that there are lots of attractions which don’t require a lot of queuing - things to see and do, play areas for them to run around in, lots of shows going on throughout the day, and spaces to play with Lego. So it really depends on what you think you will get the most from on the day. We also had been before so we knew the ultimate passes would be worth it for us as a family when it came to time spent queuing. We decided to buy ours on the day, however a friend of mine has been before and the reserve and ride passes had run out, so it’s worth getting there early if that is your plan.

For the big new ride when we visited, which was the Sky Lion ride, even with our reserve and ride ultimate passes we still had to queue around 20 minutes or so. It doesn’t mean you get on everything immediately.

If you are visiting outside of school holidays, it might well be much quieter and so reserve and ride passes aren’t necessary. If we were to visit again I would definitely buy the reserve and ride passes, as it meant we got on all the rides we wanted to.

Did you stay overnight?

Yes we booked a hotel because we were travelling from Manchester the first time, and the second time we decided to tag the visit on to the end of a holiday. But we only visited the theme park for one of the days both times. One day we felt was enough to see everything we wanted to, but obviously if you want to take your time there certainly is enough to see and do to cover two days and I think if you stay at the Legoland hotels on site you can get park tickets across two days.

On our second day of the visit we went into Windsor town and went into the castle which was also an interesting day out - probably more so for me and my husband than the kids but they enjoyed it. We also found a soft play in the heart of Windsor called The Jelly Lounge which was ideal for a quick visit before we put them in the car to travel the long journey home, as it was located really close to the car park too!

Did you stay at the Legoland hotel?

No, the prices for this hotel are particularly high we found, as they are part of an experience. Recently there is a new Woodland Village you can stay in but this wasn’t available when we visited. You can buy deals and packages at certain times of the year for less but for us, we wanted to save on the accommodation and food and spend our money on the reserve and ride passes to get the most out of our day. We instead stayed at the De Vere Beaumont Estate which is a partner hotel. It’s about a 10 minute drive from the Legoland Windsor Resort. We got a standard family room which had two double beds, and had our evening meal and breakfast in the hotel. It was perfectly set up for families - there is an outdoor nature trail and there were games set up near the dining room to play outside.

The buffet evening meal was really helpful as it meant we could immediately feed our hungry kids and they could just choose themselves without any waiting for staff, and once they had eaten they could play nearby which meant me and my husband could enjoy our meal and a drink before heading to bed! The rooms were spacious and comfortable. We stayed once as guests of Legoland for the press trip and then we booked again ourselves the second time we visited as we had enjoyed it.

Did you eat there?

We did a mixture. The second time we visited, we stopped at a petrol station between the De Vere Hotel and Legoland which has an M&S food shop, and stocked up on snacks and sandwiches for the day. However as we were still in the park at 5:30pm with the kids still going strong we got burger and chip dinners from a standard diner near DUPLO valley. The food was bog standard theme park stuff - burgers, chicken nuggets and chips - fast food basically. So I would take in an many snacks as you can manage and pack a picnic. There are plenty of places to sit.

Did your kids enjoy it?

My two absolutely loved it both times. This is where Florence rode her first rollercoaster in DUPLO valley - it’s a really sweet gentle one designed as a child’s first coaster experience. They both laughed hysterically when daddy got soaked on the log flume. Florence loved seeing the dancing and music show. We all enjoyed the aquarium ride very much (a favourite of many folks!). The Sky Lion ride was my personal highlight as the kids’ faces when it began were an absolute picture of magic and joy. They loved driving the cars around Lego city - both the tiny version as little kids and the bigger version a few year later. Me and their dad loved watching all the kids totally ignore the briefing instructions and just drive chaotically around! It’s fun to the see all the Lego cities (we did this near the end of the day when they were tired so just mooched around it slowly as we made our way back to the entrance - plus it was quiet, so we could see it all!)

It is a lot of walking and quite hilly. I would take a buggy for little ones, even those who are keener to walk but still little. It’s a huge number of steps. The first time there was a lot of carrying, but the second time they both had a lot of stamina and kept on going right up until it closed. We got the little train back up the hill - highly recommended.

Even now, at 7 and 9, my kids want to go back. I think it will probably be our last visit if we do go as Ewan is just about growing out of it as a thrill seeker (we’ve now been to Disneyland Paris so he wants bigger and faster rides). But it was a really fun day for us all and a lot of happy memories made.

Queuing

Yep, totally unavoidable in these sorts of places, even with any type of fast track passes. All of my queue games, tips and advice for keeping kids busy on the go can be found in this book.

Top Tips

  1. Get there early - as soon as the gates open. Make the most of the day.
  2. Take snacks and then when you think you’ve got enough take more.
  3. If you’re with someone and they don’t have a rucksack get them to take an empty rucksack for all the ‘stuff’ you inevitably end up holding - coats, souvenirs etc.
  4. There’s stuff to do inside too, when we first went it rained for a bit of the day but it didn’t spoil our fun. We still have our Legoland ponchos incase you forget waterproofs - don’t risk it like my husband did on the log flume!
  5. There is a sensory space - quiet area for those who with to go somewhere calmer for a while. You can find out more here.
  6. All the information on accessibility, rides, ticket prices, accommodation deals etc. can be found on the Legoland website.
  7. Head to the back of the park first, this is quieter earlier and then you can work your way forward the opposite direction to the crowds.
  8. Have a look at the map online first and the attraction descriptions and figure out what rides your children might want to do, or might want to avoid. We managed to avoid a meltdown by totally side stepping a ride that only Ewan could go on but Flo wasn’t tall enough for.
  9. If you’re doing to buy a refillable drink do it early in the day to get your money’s worth!
  10. Take tons of videos and photos - and go with the flow. It’s loud, busy and there will of course be meltdowns (from kids and grown ups alike!) but that all just part of it. Hopefully the moments of magic will more than make up for it!

Here is the original post i put up on Instagram with lots of good tips and advice in the comments from followers too!

Screens and Devices

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