I grew up building and playing with Lego, with the castle and knights set being one of my favourites. We don’t have a Legoland in Australia, so it was always in my plan to visit. Now, with Cara, I had an excuse to go! Although actual Lego is slightly fidgety for Cara, she did collect the Lego cards offered by Sainsbury’s. She also has a large box of Duplo that she enjoys building. So, with another half-term to entertain, Legoland Windsor was the ideal choice.
Date Visited: Friday and the weekend of 26th October, 2018
Location: Winkfield Road, Windsor, Berkshire, SL4 4AY
Getting There: We drove from SE London on the Friday evening after dinner, so it took roughly 2 hours via Central London. We checked in to the hotel, which had just about enough parking. The hotel is about 15 minutes from Legoland and Windsor town centre. There’s ample parking available at Legoland, which costs £6 per visit for standard parking.
Cost: £265 for the park tickets and accommodation package. Approximately £50 for add-ons for food, drinks and souvenirs on-site.
Review of Legoland Windsor Park:
Although Cara currently plays more with Playmobil than she does Lego, she still enjoys Duplo and her Frozen Lego Elsa set. Upon telling her the plan to visit Legoland, she was quite excited. After an eventful night at the hotel (see below) and a filling breakfast, we headed to Legoland. On turning into the car park, there was a wave of other cars queuing up for a spot. Staff were on hand to direct us into a rear field which at the time seemed a mile away from the actual entrance.
After a brief walk, bag inspection and ticket scan, we were in! Shame that Cara was napping in the buggy by then, must’ve been the rough night before. After a brief half hour nap, she woke up complaining of a headache. What to do?! Luckily, there’s a first-aid station where you can purchase Calpol / Nurofen. Sorted. After watching the Pirate Show for 15 minutes, Cara was feeling slightly better. So, we started wandering the park, stopping at various places that interested her.
On Saturday, we spent the day in the outdoor play areas at Pirate Shore and Duplo Valley. Other activities included an entertaining puppet show in Duplo Valley, walkaround Miniland, and a visit to the Imagination Centre (only to warm up because it was indoors). For lunch, there’s not a lot of options for kids. Being in Duplo Valley, there was a fried chicken restaurant. Although tasty, it wasn’t the healthiest.
On Sunday, we were allowed to park a lot closer and noticed there were significantly less patrons, most likely cause some schools were due to return the next day. Without as many people, it meant queue times were a lot less. So, we headed to Heartlake City where Cara went on the merry-go-round a couple of times. We then walked down to Duplo Valley where we had fun on the fairy tale boat (including a nice photo at the end) and helicopter rides, before spending more time at the playground. As we decided to head to lunch, there was enough time to visit the Lego Star Wars exhibition. Although a bit hesitant at first due to the darkness, Cara had fun pressing the buttons to make the models move and light up. I probably enjoyed it more than she did though. Pew pew.
It’s not a holiday if you don’t pick up a souvenir. Although I was tempted to purchase a £400 Lego Star Wars set, I thought it would be better to get Cara something. So, she ended up exiting the shop with a Belle (from Beauty & the Beast) Lego keyring, a Duplo animal set, and a Unikitty surprise kit. It was a fun weekend and I’m sure we’ll be back when Cara’s a little older (and taller) to enjoy the other attractions. Also, we will book when it’s slightly warmer!
Review of Holiday Inn, Heathrow T5:
Simple and easy check-in process, which was made sweeter by a milk and cookie voucher for Cara. The room itself was standard, clean and comfortable. It included all amenities like hairdryer, bath gel, shampoo, and tea/coffee facilities. After dumping the bags in the room, we headed down to collect Cara’s milk and cookie. I’ve never seen her so excited over something so simple. I guess she knew she was on holiday and enjoyed the treat. Unfortunately, she still had a slight cough which meant 2 hours later, I got to experience the milk and cookie for a second time when it came back up on the bed after a coughing fit. Thankfully, the hotel was able to provide additional bedding, and after a quick change, it was back to sleep.
Breakfast was included with the package and was more than ample. Plenty of options, ranging from cereal, hot food, and pastries to fuel up before heading to Legoland. It is a small area, so during peak breakfast time, there was a slight (5 minute) wait, but the staff were helpful and attentive. For dinner, we popped over to the Punch Bowl pub across the road, which had a Thai restaurant inside. Lovely, authentic food and very convenient.
All in all, it’s a good option if you wish to stay near Legoland. It’s about a quarter of the price of staying at the Legoland Hotels, and only a 15 minute drive to the fun park. Although there were no Leg-themed rooms, the money you save can be spent on actual Lego.
- If visiting during the Autumn/Winter season, layer up! There’s not a lot of indoor areas like Playmobil, everything is exposed.
- There’s plenty of areas to park yourself and enjoy a picnic. Obviously, it was slightly too cold for us but it would have been nice.
- Parking tickets can be bought online – although on Sunday, the exit gate was open and no one was checking after leaving early around lunchtime.
- For kids similar to Cara (3-4 years, roughly 1 metre tall), there’s:
- A ferris wheel and merry-go-round near Heartlake City and Kingdom of the Pharaohs
- Outdoor play area near Pirate Shores
- Imagination Centre to build your own digital Lego fish
- Miniland, where they can feel like giants and,
- Duplo Valley, which includes a fairy tale boat ride, helicopter ride, and play area. This is where Cara spent most her time
Burn Time: 4 out of 5 – Cara could have spent the entire day in Duplo Valley if she wanted to, and I’m sure if she was older she could enjoy the other rides and attractions. However, based on her age and height, there was a limited number of sites for her
Value: 3.5 out of 5 – Overall weekend was quite affordable, c.£265 for tickets and accommodation. Extras for food, drinks and souvenirs
Overall: 4 out of 5 – Unfortunately the weather turned during our time there, so we endured the cold outdoors. Nevertheless, we had an enjoyable time and I’ll be taking Cara back when she’s older and perhaps when it’s slightly warmer.