On the last day of the Easter school holidays, we spontaneously decide to visit Legoland in Windsor. Here is how NOT to do Legoland with five mistakes we think you can avoid. We include costs and information on visiting the resort with children and under 3’s.
Summary of Contents
- 5 Things to Avoid
- Facilities and Costs
- Visiting With Under 3’s
One fine Saturday-morning we find ourselves with nothing to do and with the sole object of the children’s desire looming just around the corner from our Airbnb apartment in Ascot, we surprise them and go to Legoland in Windsor. Despite plans to visit later during the last weekend of April, the weather is great today. Plus the children nag everytime we drive past Legoland on the way to our Airbnb in Ascot so we can finally have some peace and quiet next time we pass.
Who said hindsight is a beautiful thing? It is a cruel thing, but I concur, a necessary evil to prevent the repetition of mistakes.
“On the last day of the easter school holidays, we spontaneously decide to visit Legoland in Windsor”
This intro reveals our first two mistakes: “school holidays” and “spontaneous”.
1. Do Not Go Spontaneously
Not with children. Good planning WILL make all the difference between a good or poor experience.
Deciding at 9am to go and leave home within the hour does not leave any time to plan, charge phones, remember the battery packs, research do’s and dont’s or even to properly dress yourself and get the kids ready! Just don’t do it.
One of the worst things for me of the whole day was not having my phone because it was not charged. One photo is all I got before it died and Brendan isn’t much of a snap-taker either. Many memories will be lost. I forget things over time and photo’s keep memories alive. They are important to me.
2. Avoid Legoland During School Holidays
This should be pretty obvious for a homeschooling travelling family who can go at any time of the year, but the sun is out today! There’s no telling if it will happen again this month so we chance it. Big mistake. We missed all the big rides because we had to queue for an hour or more. The tickets are also more expensive during school holidays.
3. Do Not Ignore The Q-Bot Device
If you can afford it, it will significantly improve your day. Cost varies from £20, £35 and £80 p/p depending on different levels of service.
Reduce your ride wait time with the Q-bot Ride Reservation System. With over 20 attractions available to choose from, the handheld device lets you make ride reservations from anywhere in the Park. You can make one reservation at a time and the device will let you know when it’s your turn to ride! Children under 3 don’t need one when going with a paying adult.
With the amount of money a family spend just to get in, it’s a shame to waste your time and money by standing in queues all day. Spend the extra £20 or £35 and make the most of your time, especially if you go in the busy peak times.
4. Do Not Buy Tickets At The Entrance
Skip the long queue to get in and buy tickets online. Often you will find good discounts and special offers online.
We got this one right at least. Buy cereal and keep the free ticket cut-outs. Brendan and I went free with our free-entry cereal box codes and he had time to claim them online before we left home. The tickets for the children were still £60 each online. Gutting when I saw them sold after the school holidays online for only £20 each.
5. Leave The Stroller At Home
Strollers are available to rent at £9 for a single and £14 for a double stroller. They look like the Little Tyke push cars with steering wheels and Kate really wanted one.
If going with a small child you definitely need a stroller. The area is big and little ones are guaranteed to get tired. We took our own, but Kate kept crying for the “cars”. I had to drag her from another kid’s stroller more than once. In hindsight, being two, she couldn’t go on any of the car rides so I wished we’d gotten her a push car. She would’ve enjoyed it so much more.
Facilities & Costs
Heartlake City offers a dedicated baby care centre for nursing/breastfeeding and all restrooms/toilets have baby changing facilities. They have first aid stations and assistance for visitors with disabilities. The phone app is useful for live updates. Their website is full of useful information including information about scheduled maintenance and what’s available to ride on the day, useful guides, directions and help with planning your visit.
Day Visit Cost Summary:
Tickets £120 (Easter school holiday)
We paid £60 per child. Adults went free with Buy one Get One cereal box tickets vouchers. Usually, tickets go for between £30 and £48 p/p depending on the day of the week.
Q-Bots £140 (£35 x 4 devices)
Meals & Treats £50 (what we spent)
Many families pack picnics and eat outside at the picnic area. The food is good and there’s a big variety to choose from, but it’s expensive with one-scoop-icecream and a hotdog more than £3 each.
Visiting With Under 3’s
Under 3’s go free and there is so much for them to do despite the height restrictions on many of the rides of over 90cm.
Get them measured at the Heartlake City Guest Centre where they will be issued with a wristband to confirm their height and save you from getting them measured at every ride.
These rides don’t have any height restrictions and are suitable for babies and toddlers:
Land of the Vikings
Brickville (interactive play village)
Fairy Tale Book (boat trip)
Orient Expedition (train ride)
Coastguard City (boat ride)
Balloon School (sky ride)
The Imagination Theatre
Atlantis Submarine Voyage
Kingdom of the Pharaohs
Desert Chase (merry go round)
Aero Nomad (Ferris wheel)
Refusing to queue for more than 20 minutes, we went on the other rides that were available and still got to do quite a bit. However, we still did not get through the whole park and completely missed the Viking World section at the back. I regret not starting from the back of the resort to work our way to the front. A strategy that worked great at Disney Land Paris.
It starts to rain just as everyone in the park gets ready to leave at 6pm. As we frantically run around to catch a few more rides on the way out Brendan and the children sneakily join the back of the much shorter queue than before to do the fire station race ride and they loved it.
Many of the displays are dated and faded and can really benefit from an upgrade. Some of the rides were closed on our visit, to our disappointment, including:
- The Splash Safari and Drench Towers in Duplo Valley
- The Hill Train that takes you from the beginning to the middle of the park.
Overall, we still have a great day despite our lack of preparation and planning. Get more pleasure for your pound and plan ahead.
A visit to Legoland remains firmly on our British Bucket List. Instead of ticking it off, we plan another visit where we will stay at the Legoland Resort hotel overnight to make the most of it and spend two full days enjoying pure lego pleasure to our hearts’ content.
We went with our children aged 9, 8 and 2 and we paid for everything ourselves. For up to date information, specials and services, please visit their website. The information provided in this post is correct at the time of posting.