Legoland Review – A Day at Legoland Windsor

Legoland seems to have become a yearly treat for us! This is our third trip, and this time I decided to write about it.

I adore theme parks of all kinds, and one of the best things about Legoland is that it is specifically designed for children and families.

The target age range is toddler to 12, and you are guaranteed to find something to keep everyone happy!

Before I launch into the stuff we did, a few practical notes:

Try to book midweek and out of the school holidays. 

It gets very crowded and wait times for the rides can be long. We were lucky that Little C’s Easter holiday started very early this year, and we went on a Thursday, so the lines were short.

Arrive early.

There is lots of parking, but it fills up fast, you don’t want to end up really far from the entrance, especially for tired little legs at the end of the day.

There can be a logjam at the gate, especially because bag searches are in operation.

 Buy parking online ahead of time, it’ll save you a quid.

If you forget to do this (I did, doh) pay for it as soon as you arrive at one of the ticket booths. There can be big lines at the end of the day, and you’ll really want to get in the car and leave as fast as possible.

Should you arrive before the gates open, grab a map and take some time to note the rides you want to go on.

Bring Food.

There are lots of food concessions, but they’re expensive, and not very inspiring. There are plenty of places to picnic instead.

Get a map.

They give them out free. It shows you the layout of the park, and lists all the rides, together with the appropriate age range and height requirements.

There’s also an app you can download. It’s good for the wait times for rides, but beware, it sucks battery like crazy, so make sure you’re got more than one phone! It’s probably more useful if you’re at the park on a busy day.

Legoland Windsor Review - A Day at Legoland Windsor

Here’s the map (rather scruffed up).

The park itself isn’t huge, but the paths are very winding, and sometimes counterintuitive.

There are signposts, but we often found it easier to look at where we were on the map and figure it out from there. Also, map-reading is an essential life skill.

The whole place is very stroller-friendly. The paths are wide, smooth, and well-maintained. Just don’t forget that the entrance gate is at the top of a hill, so be prepared for a bit of a climb when it’s time to go home!

The park is laid out in different themed sections. Each section has a variety of different rides, so you should find something that suits all members of your group.

The exception is Duplo Valley, which is specifically for the under-3s.

When you finally get through the gate, don’t forget to pay for parking.

There are the inevitable shops by the entrance, but try to resist being dragged in straight away, there’ll be plenty of time for shopping. There are several shops in the park itself.

Instead take a look at the fun Lego sculptures dotted around. Dinosaurs, Iron Man, a Lego family. They are all made from actual Lego, and they’re brilliant. There are tons of these all around the park.

Legoland Windsor Review - A Day at Legoland Windsor

Aren’t they amazing? You can see a couple of dinos in the background too.

Now, just down from the entrance is a Lego Star Wars exhibit. Even if you’re not a Star Wars fan (why not? Star Wars is awesome) go check it out.

Legoland Windsor Review - A Day at Legoland Windsor

I could have taken a million pictures in there (bad ones, the light is pretty low) but here are a couple. A life-size C-3PO and a Mos Eisley diorama. The Millenium Falcon rises up and down. There’s even a little Cantina Band that lights up and plays music.

There are lots more, including a huge Death Star that lights up, various battle scenes that move, and you can even fight Darth Vader.

Legoland Windsor Review - A Day at Legoland Windsor

Feel the Force!

Anyway, once you’ve dragged yourself away from that and resisted buying everything in the Lego Star Wars shop, make your way down the hill to the park proper.

If you’re not sure what will be suitable for your kids, the map has a colour-coded key so you can see exactly what will suit them. Each ride also has little metal height indicators to measure appropriate height, if you don’t know how tall your kid is.

(I have no idea how tall Little C is. Don’t judge. But she’s tall enough to ride everything, on her own if she wishes. So we weren’t restricted in any way.)

The first thing we headed to was the Lego City Driving School. It’s super popular, so we wanted to get there nice and early, because there can be a long wait if it’s busy.

This is only for kids age six and up, though there’s another version for littler ones.

Legoland Windsor Review - A Day at Legoland Windsor

It’s not so much a ride, as a drive!

Each child gets their own little car to drive around mini streets.

They don’t go fast, so no danger of tiny speed demons doing a Fast & Furious. Even if they crash – that is, bump – there’s no harm done. They definitely go slower than your average dodgems.

The actual driving is really cool. The streets are laid out properly, with road markings, stop lights, and even roundabouts.

I have to tell you that these kids drive worse than a nonagenarian with cataracts. But what the hell, they clearly all have a terrific time driving what they consider to be a real car.

At the end you have the opportunity to be parted with your money in the form of a little plastic driver’s licence, complete with a picture of your child. I can’t remember how much this costs, but it’s at least a tenner. Whether you buy one depends on how susceptible you are to pester power.

I have to admit that I bought one for Little C on our first ever trip to Legoland. Yes, I gave in. But she treasures it, she’s brought it along on each subsequent visit, and shows no desire to get a new one.

Right next to this ride is Coastguard HQ. It’s another ride where kids can have control.

You get in a boat (max three people, kids under 1.3m to be accompanied) and you get to steer it around a circular course. It goes nice and slow, and again, it doesn’t matter if you bump into the side. You’d have to work pretty hard to fall out of the boats.

Someone has to hold down a foot pedal to keep it moving, and I’m pretty sure your child will want to do this for about three seconds, at which point they will decide it’s too much like hard work so will ask tell an adult to push while they concentrate on steering the boat into the bank.

Legoland Windsor Review - A Day at Legoland Windsor

Between the car and the boat, this is a pleasingly calm way to start the day.

(We didn’t find it that calm as there were three tween boys in the boat ahead of us dicking about and being annoying. We debated ramming them with our boat, but you just can’t get up enough speed to make it worthwhile. But it was still fun.)

Next, we headed to one of the most exciting rides. Believe it or not, this is in Heartlake City.

Legoland Windsor Review - A Day at Legoland Windsor

Yes, the home of those lollipop-headed anorexic pink-obsessed twerps, the Lego Friends, contains the ride where you definitely get the most adrenaline for your buck.

(You are correct in thinking I do not like Lego Friends.)

Legoland Windsor Review - A Day at Legoland Windsor

Mia’s Riding Adventure. Mia is the coolest of the Friends according to Little C, because she wears trousers. I would have to agree.

And this is the ride to which she gives her name.

Legoland Windsor Review - A Day at Legoland Windsor

It’s one for the bigger kids, 1.2m minimum. You sit on little horses on a big circular platform and are swung side to side and round and round. It’s bloody brilliant.

Let me tell you, there are a fair few adults yelling their heads off as well as the kids.

The horses aren’t that comfortable. You’re held in by a brace that curves up and presses into your back, and I guarantee your kid will complain it’s too tight. (Tough shit, it has to be tight, it’s a safety thing.)

But once the ride starts they will forget all about it, as will you. It doesn’t last that long, but it feels splendidly thrilling and dangerous. You get great views over the park, and it’s definitely one for anyone who likes thrills. Both Little C and I agree this is the best ride.

Right by this ride is a nice patch of (alarmingly green and fake) grass, which is a really good spot for a picnic. There are some official picnic areas with tables and things, but we like it here.

Legoland Windsor Review - A Day at Legoland Windsor

It’s a nice sunny spot too.

While you’re in Heartlake City, check out the Harbour.

This is where they have live shows, which are generally pretty fun.

Legoland Windsor Review - A Day at Legoland Windsor

We saw Return to Skeleton Bay, a pirate show involving gymnastics, music, jetskiing, and if you’re sitting in the wrong place, quite a lot of water.

Legoland Windsor Review - A Day at Legoland Windsor

The show is a little cheesy for older kids, but it’s still fun. Plus it’s a great excuse to take a load off for 15 minutes or so.

And you see that tower? Some of the performers jump off it!

In high season there is also a proper Lego Friends show (we caught that last year) again with music and dancing, but this time the Friends were just making brief  appearances.

Legoland Windsor Review - A Day at Legoland Windsor

They came to a little side stage area, did a dance, and then did meet-and-greet for pictures.

Legoland Windsor Review - A Day at Legoland Windsor

Despite the huge wigs and lavish makeup, I wish the Friends figures looked more like these girls, because they look real.

I realise this is because they are real, being humans rather than plastic dolls, but nonetheless, they’re normally proportioned and aren’t underfed. Also, I saw the one playing Mia at the show last year, and let me tell you, that girl is hench.

Anyway, the Friends girls are lovely, and clearly have the strongest smiling muscles ever, because they are unfailingly cheerful and friendly, and very sweet with shyer kids.

As an aside, I was impressed with how many little boys wanted their picture taken with the Friends.

No, I don’t mean it like that, don’t be rude. It was lovely to see little kids who hadn’t yet been told by some sexist idiot that Lego Friends are only for girls.

Moving on from my momentary slip into rant mode, let’s see some other fun stuff.

Heartlake City has, of course, an ice cream parlour.

It seems to be some kind of law that kids want ice cream at every opportunity, so when your kid inevitably says ‘Mummy, I want an ice cream‘ ‘Mummy, please may I have an ice cream’ this is where to come.

Legoland Windsor Review - A Day at Legoland Windsor

It is, of course, horribly overpriced. I also think it’s kind of grim, not half as charming as it looks from the outside, but what the hell, you can get coffee too.

Legoland Windsor Review - A Day at Legoland Windsor

This single Mr Whippy cost £3.29 plus 49p for a flake or fudge stick.

(You get sauce for free. Big whoop.)

What the hell, it’s the only thing we bought except for coffee, which was necessary to keep Big C properly caffeinated.

Legoland Windsor Review - A Day at Legoland Windsor

We also discovered this rather unprepossessing water fountain close to the ice cream parlour. These are good to know about as we bought water bottles that needed filling, but they’re not that easy to use.

(The UK is just not that great at providing drinking water. In the US water fountains are everywhere, very useful indeed.)

Time to leave Heartlake City and find some stuff that isn’t pink or purple.

This is the Scarab Bouncer in the Kingdom of the Pharaohs, and it’s another goodie. It’s supposed to be for kids age 3 – 6, but every kid I’ve seen, even the big ones, gets a huge kick out of it.

Even better, there’s only space for one adult per bouncer (there are two in total) so kids get to ride on their own and feel all grownup.

There’s seldom much of a line even when the park is busy, so it’s a good one for multiple rides.

(Just don’t go right after lunch.)

There’s another great ride in this section called Laser Raiders, where you travel in a car through a tomb and shoot at stuff with laser guns. Another one for all the family, it’s a lot of fun, but was annoyingly closed when we were there. 

Pirate Shores is right next door the the Pharaohs.

The log flume Pirate Falls is another brilliant ride (you WILL get wet) but again, it was closed today, boo.

There’s a traditional swinging Pirate Ship ride Jolly Rocker, I’m sure you’re familiar with the type. A big ship that swings back and forth, and the closer you sit to the end, the higher you go. Little C didn’t fancy it this time, so instead we headed to Castaway Camp.

Legoland Windsor Review - A Day at Legoland Windsor

This is just a small piece of it, but it’s an excellent adventure playground.

Slides, ladders, climbing wall bits, poles, tunnels, the whole shebang. There’s also a smaller section for younger kids who aren’t quite ready to climb really high.

You could actually spend a great deal of time here, but dammit, we paid good money to go on actual rides, so after a short time climbing and crawling we headed to Lego Ninjago World.

The main ride in this section – imaginatively called Lego Ninjago The Ride – has only been open for a year or so. When we went last year it was new, and the line was massive.

They do actually handle the long wait time pretty well. There is one section where the kids can play with Lego while their parents stand in line, and another section that has a bunch of screens showing the Ninjago cartoon.

Fortunately this time there was no line at all, so we ran through the aisles, up the steps, and all the way through to the ride itself.

They’re pretty strict about not taking pictures, but I can describe it.

Up to four people sit in a car, and you’re given 3D glasses to wear. When the ride starts, you travel through a tunnel and various fighting scenes present themselves.

You make chopping motions with your hands, and this makes little bolts of lights fly out at the screen and blow up baddies.

It sounds funny, but it’s incredibly cool. The 3D effect is fantastic, and somehow the car keeps score, though I’m not too convinced about the accuracy!

Finally, when it feels like your arms are going to fall off at the shoulder, the ride ends, and you come out the other side.

Of course you can get a picture:

Legoland Windsor Review - A Day at Legoland Windsor

Can you see how we’re all yelling and flailing our arms around?

(I’m pretty sure Big C’s long arms contributed to Little C’s high score…)

Great fun and utterly exhausting. It’s even worth it if you have a long wait.

To relax after our exertions, we scooted back to the Pharaohs section to ride Aero Nomad.

Legoland Windsor Review - A Day at Legoland Windsor

You’ve probably seen this kind of ride at other kids’ theme parks (like Peppa Pig World at Paulton’s Park) but it’s still fun. It goes up quite high so more nice views, though Big and Little C both complained that it stopped too often. But at least you could sit still.

Next, the Knight’s Kingdom.

The first thing we hit up was Knight’s Quest. 

Legoland Windsor Review - A Day at Legoland Windsor

You’d think this was like a caterpillar-type ride. Well, it sort of is, but it goes really fast! Little C insisted on riding this one alone, and she shrieked happily all the way round.

Time to go on our other favorite ride, The Dragon. This is a traditional roller coaster, and it’s brilliant.

We were so excited I totally forgot to get a picture. Anyway, the ride starts with a slow pass through a bunch of scenes all made from Lego. There’s a wizard, a dragon, and lots more. They’re all lit up and moving, with sound effects, and look splendid.

Then suddenly it’s out into the light, everything speeds up, and you whizz up, down, round and round at terrific speed with lots of screaming. It’s not a long ride, but again pleasingly thrilling. 

There was no line at all for this ride, so we went on twice, Little C insisting on sitting alone as she was tall enough to do so.

(Don’t they get independent fast?)

We didn’t get a chance to get soaked on the log flume, but there’s another option…

Legoland Windsor Review - A Day at Legoland Windsor

Over in Adventure Land is the S.Q.U.I.D. Surfer! 

These little boats go round and round the middle island, and you swing them out to make them go faster.

The best thing about these is that there are a couple of things in the pool that shoot water up into the air.

No, that’s not the best thing. The best thing is that those water shooters are controlled by pushing a button. And where are the buttons?

Legoland Windsor Review - A Day at Legoland Windsor

Where you stand watching the ride! If you time it right they go off right as someone is going past.

I got Big C a good one here. In fact, there are two buttons, and I used them both to great effect. Big C was rather damp by the time it finished, hee hee…

Time was passing, and we started wending our way in the vague direction of the exit.

There was one more cool ride right by the path, the Spinning Spider.

Legoland Windsor Review - A Day at Legoland Windsor

That Lego spider moves, it’s really quite alarming.

The ride itself is rather like a grownup teacup ride, and goes really rather fast. I was very proud of Big C for going on with Little C because he HATES teacups. As it turned out, he enjoyed himself, so no more excuses next time!

OK, so it was getting on for closing time, and it’s a steep path back up to the gate.

This trip was just as fun as the others. The weather was lovely, the park was quiet, and it was a splendid day out!

While we didn’t visit all the rides this time, here are a couple we did on previous visits, and are highly recommended.

Atlantis Submarine Voyage in Adventure Land is lovely. You get into a submarine, and it takes you under the ocean with lots of different undersea scenes to look at. It’s a quite a quiet ride, so great for smaller ones, or if you need a break from being thrown around. 

Vikings River Splash in Land of the Vikings. This one is definitely one of the bumpier rides, and like the log flume, you get wet. It’s a lot of fun, but might be alarming for younger kids, though there is a 1m height restriction.

Finally, visit Miniland. 

This is the area that has incredible Lego models of cities around the world. 

The details are incredible, lots of them have moving parts and water, and they are a magnificent feat of Lego engineering.

Legoland Windsor Review - A Day at Legoland Windsor

This is a view of Amsterdam.

We didn’t spend much time here this visit, but it’s magnificent. You may find the kids charge around way to fast for you to take it in properly, but try to fit in some time in this section. It really bring home just what an incredible thing Lego is!

I should say something about the prices.

We did not pay full price for our tickets. Every year The Times newspaper runs a promotion where you collect coupons and get two tickets for twenty quid. This is a bargain, and it’s what we have done every year. 

As for regular tickets, if you book online in advance you get the best deal. Right now that’s £29pp. 

You can pay £13 extra to get a meal for each person plus unlimited soft drinks.

Frankly, I don’t think this is worth it. The only way you’re going to get your money’s worth is if you fill you and your kids up with so much soda you’ll immediately develop Type 2 diabetes.

You can buy a lot of nice picnic food for the whole group for £13. You don’t need unlimited soda. Save your money.

Another thing to buy online is unlimited downloads of your ride pictures for £30pp. This is pretty steep, though of course much cheaper than buying them individually.

I’m not convinced by theme park pictures. There’s a good chance they’ll be crap. You’re closing your eyes, or the kids are looking looking grumpy, miserable, or terrified. Seriously, do you ever look at them again? And if you’re getting the download, are you really going to go to the trouble of printing them out?

If you really want a picture, choose one where hopefully everyone’s eyes are open and they’re looking like they’re having a good time. Pay the tenner and take home just that one. Now you have a nice souvenir of your trip.

Now that mini-rant is over with, do I think this is worth it? Top tips perhaps?

I think yes it’s worth it, as long as you plan your day to visit wisely. £29 per person is a lot to spend shuffling long slowly in a line. (But be sensible, avoid August Bank Holiday or similar.)

If you arrive early and hit the popular rides as soon as they open, you’ll have much better luck. 

Same when closing time is approaching and most people are heading back to the gate.

The app is useful for checking wait times.

Rides can be a little quieter at conventional mealtimes, so maybe have your picnic early or late.

You can rent a thing called a Q-Bot, which allows you to jump the line and book ride times, but it’s from £25 per person. If you’re feeling flush, why not, but it’ll end up a very expensive day!

The staff are friendly, and the park looks pretty neat and clean. There are lots of bins, which is a great measure of how well a park is organized.

There are also lots of loos. Everyone who has anything to do with children knows that this is essential.

Legoland Windsor Review - A Day at Legoland Windsor

Yes, it’s a picture of a loo. This was at the end of the day, and it was impressively clean. As you can see, they have those neat child-size loo seats you can flip down. Very thoughtful, because a kid falling into the loo because the seat is too big is going to put a real damper on your day.

There are various funfair game concessions dotted around the park. Ignore them, and ignore your child’s pleading for the opportunity to play a rigged game for a prize worth a fraction of the cost to play. Be strong. Say no. These games are crap.

If you want to part with more money, the big shop by the entrance is pretty good. And your child will drag you in there. (Unless you’ve left it too late at the end of the day, so think of the money you will have saved! Though the giant tantrum might be a problem. Pick your battles.)

There are lots of souvenirs. Most are things like overpriced plastic tumblers or erasers with Legoland on them, but the one I buy is the Christmas ornament. This is a little festive Lego thing such as a tree or train to assemble. It comes with a plastic ball to hang on the tree. I collect Christmas ornaments, so I think this is a perfect thing to remember our trip.

More importantly, the shop contains actual Lego sets.

(There isn’t that much in the way of small sets, so if you’re going to buy Lego be prepared to spend a bit.)

Legoland Windsor Review - A Day at Legoland Windsor

On the cheap end of the Lego options, there’s a display where you can make three minifigures to take home for £6.99. The range of heads and bodies available isn’t actually that great, but if you feel like you don’t have enough minifigures already, go ahead. It’ll keep the kids away from the enticing and epic (both in size and price) sets. 

And while they’re distracted, you can gaze at these…

Legoland Windsor Review - A Day at Legoland Windsor

I want all of them.

We did actually find a pretty nice and inexpensive souvenir for Little C.

Legoland Windsor Review - A Day at Legoland Windsor

It’s four little rings with a whole bunch of different jewels and accessories to decorate them.

Legoland Windsor Review - A Day at Legoland Windsor

It was pretty damn good value for £6.99, and kept her occupied the whole way home in the car.

(By the way, we have a fantastic travel tray that is invaluable on long journeys. There are loads of different ones on Amazon, but it’s a super-handy thing to keep in the car, especially when there’s food or games going on.)


And that was our day (with additional opinionated commentary and occasional swearing).

Legoland is really a lovely day out for families. There’s something for everyone, whether you like bouncing around or sailing calmly along . 

We’ll  definitely be going back next year!


Thanks for reading! Feel free to pin this for later. Leave me a comment if you’ve been to Legoland, or if you’re planning to!

Legoland Windsor Review - A Day at Legoland Windsor

Legoland Windsor Review - A Day at Legoland Windsor

Read about out trip to Paultons Park at Christmas here.

You can read more reviews of stuff, like kids’ subscription boxes, here

There’s some parenting stuff here.