Wednesday 29 August 2018

A Family Day Out To LEGOLAND Windsor + Q-Bot Passes. **REVIEW**

James is obsessed with LEGO so it was only a matter of time before he would ask about going to Legoland. He has spotted several adverts on the TV and its clear why he was so desperate to go, it looks amazing for young and old and for anyone who loves this classic childhood toy, Lego!

So when we were invited along to Legoland last weekend we couldn't contain our excitement (myself and James!). As we arrived at the entrance we were led up a long driveway which had Lego figures and designs on both sides which only grew out excitement.

We arrived around 10am, 30 minutes after opening time and there were no queues, yes it was very busy in the entrance area as people were queuing to use toilets and get Q-bots etc but we got through the ticket turnstiles very quickly and couldn't wait to get on our first ride.

Its definitely worth mentioning that Legoland Windsor is quite hilly and there is a lot of walking to be done to get around the whole park. However the first thing we came across was the hill train which will take you up or down the main hill in the park so you can access the rides in both areas without too much walking. This was definitely a relief for little legs later on in the day and although the queue looked quite long it goes down very quickly as they can fit so many people on each carriage.

You are greeted by Lego figures as soon as you enter the park and you will spot them as you walk around. Some are huge, towering above you and some are iconic characters you will instantly recognise such as Iron man! These were definitely a highlight for James and Evelyn who loved seeing them all around the park and trying to guess how many bricks each one took to make.

When you enter the park you will be given a map which shows you where all of the rides are located and its definitely handy to have one of these to hand to make sure you don't miss anything. We decided to head to the bottom of the park first to try and avoid the crowds and queues and this seemed to work to some degree as our first few rides were relatively quiet. Throughout the day the queues do get long and therefore its worth working out which rides you really want to go on and head to these first to avoid disappointment if you can't fit everything in during your visit.

We chose the Vikings River Splash as our first ride and it was so much fun (if not a little wet!).

We had been a bit worried about how much Evelyn would get out of our visit and if one of us would be on the side lines with her watching her big brother on all the rides as she is only just 4 whilst her brother is almost 9. However we were pleasantly surprised to discover there was just one ride she couldn't go on (minimum height 1.2m). The rest of the rides she was able to go on with adult supervision and a few she could go on alone.

Evelyn's favourite rides were the Atlantis submarine ride and the Fairytale brook boat ride (unsurprising that they both involved water as shes such a water baby!). Both were lovely rides and perfect for younger children. The submarine is pretty awesome and definitely worth the slightly longer queues. You board a big yellow submarine and climb down a few steps. You really feel like you are inside a real submarine and around the bottom are large windows. Ad the submarine moves along you can see fish, sharks, sting rays and other marine life through the windows under the water, if you look carefully you will even see a few submerged Lego figures too! As you go along there is a voice played into the submarine which explains you are on a mission and talks about what you can see under the water.

The fairytale brook sees you board a boat and take a meandering trip along the river. As you follow the water around you will spot lots of Disney characters and stories recreated along the banks in Lego. Lots of them move, talk or light up and we had so much fun guessing which characters and stories each one was from. There is even an Aladdin's cave that you go through which is absolutely beautifully lit up. Its a really slow ride so again perfect for younger guests but still a lovely ride for older guests too.

 James favourite rides include the Squid Surfers and the Spinning Spider rides. The Squid Surfers were so much fun and involve you boarding one of the yellow surfers in the picture below. Each one holds two people with the smallest at the front. As the ride starts you begin to spin around you then you the steering wheel to "flick" the boat out as you spin around. It feels super fast as as you go around water sprays up from the pool below and if your unfortunate enough to be driving over it at the time your going to get wet... very wet! This was much to the delight of James who got me absolutely soaked on not one but two occasions.

The spinning spider ride is definitely eye catching, as you approach you are greeted by the giant spider below which actually moves! To ride you climb inside the round pods below the spider and his web and spin around, you can control how slow or fast you spin using the wheel inside each pod and believe me they go quick if you want them too! I had to take a moment or two when the ride stopped to balance before I go off but it had us all in fits of giggles.

One thing not to miss (aside from the rides of course) during your visit to Legoland in the Miniland. It honestly is so impressive and we could have spent hours looking at all the magnificent buildings, tracks, people and landmarks that have been built entirely from Lego in Miniland. There were places from all over the world including the Taj Mahal, Canary Wharf and the London Bridge. There is also a new miniland attraction which is miniland USA, including a very impressive statue of liberty.

There is so much detail within the Miniland attraction and its clear to see just how much goes into these models. Some move, some have lights and the NASA model even had smoke and a count down timer. There were trains, cars and even boats making their way along roads and tracks, we even potted some cable cars manoeuvring up and down a cliff side on a mining model. The more you looked the more you saw and I think its the kind of place that you would find something new every time you look no matter how many times you visit.

We did think that some of the older and original exhibits were looking a bit tired and dull now but this is expected with something that spends every day outdoors in all weather and didn't subtract from our enjoyment at looking at them.

There are over 50 rides, attractions and interactive games on the park not including Miniland and in reality you really need more than one day to cover it all. We didn't get to try out the new Ninjago section at all during our visit as there was already a 1hr30m wait within half an hour of the park opening and there was so much we wanted to see we couldn't justify the wait. We will definitely be back to check it out again though as it looked pretty amazing and if your kids are Ninjago fans its a must see!

The handy thing about Legoland is that each ride has an estimated queue time placard at the beginning of the queue so you know roughly how long you will be waiting when you join the queue. I really liked this as it meant we could see whether a ride was worth waiting for or not and pre warn the kids how long we would be waiting. There are also photo opportunities on lots of the bigger rides such as the rollercoasters and log flume which are great if you want to capture those family memories without taking along your own camera.

(The sky rail ride which gives you great rides all across the park!)

The last thing I want to mention is the pirate shows you will find going on in the park every hour on the hour. The shows are fantastic and take place on the water in front of a large stage area with steps and a balcony area for you to watch from. The show is absolutely fantastic and packed full of action and excitement, both James and Evelyn were mesmerized from start to finish. The shows are included in your entry fee. 


During our visit on this occasion we were very kindly offered the chance to try out the Legoland Q-Bot which acts as a ride "fast track" as such and means you can cut down your queueing time. Evelyn is only 4 and we knew she would struggle with the long queues so couldn't wait to try out the Q-Bot gadget. 

Q-Bot is available is three tiers -

- Q-Bot Regular - This allows you to book your rides in advance and then when your ride time is up your simply head to the Q-Bot line and jump on the ride. Your queue time will still be the same as everyone else however with the Q-Bot you don't need to stand in the line, you will be alerted when its your time to ride and you can go ahead and explore the rest of the park whilst you wait. This is priced at £25 per person. 

- Q-Bot Express - This cuts your ride time in half. So if a queue time is 1 hour you will only have to wait 30 minutes from the time you book your slot until the time you ride. Once you book the ride a countdown timer will begin on your Q-Bot and you will again be alerted when it is your ride time and you can head straight to the Q-Bot line to ride. This is priced at £40 per person.

- Q-Bot Ultimate - This gives you near instant access to the rides with no queueing at all. You simply select which ride you want to get on and then head straight to the Q-bot line and get on. The Q-Bot ultimate also includes an add on for Laser Raiders which the other Q-Bot options do not.

With all the Q-Bot options you can only select one ride at a time and cannot book further rides until you have used the original ride you booked to get on. However there is no time limit to the rides, once you have booked a ride you can use it whenever you want (however you can't book another ride until that one is used or cancelled). So if you book a ride but then want to stop for lunch you can just head over to that ride after lunch and you will still have your space on the ride available. 

Whilst we absolutely loved Q-Bot and can't deny it made our day so much easier, also meaning we got to ride almost everything in the park that we had wanted to we did have a few issues. 

Firstly was the price £90 for Q-Bot ultimate is in my opinion a crazy price. As a family of four that would make it an extra £360 on top of our entry tickets which simply isn't something we (or many) families could afford. We actually priced it up and worked out that it would be cheaper to do 2 nights in a nearby hotel and (taking advantage of the second day free entry offer that is usually on) 4 days in the park for less than the price of one day in the park and Q-Bot. 

Secondly we had a few issues with the app. With Q-bot you can either use a Q-Bot gadget or an app on your phone. We opted for the app on our phone for ease (you are connected to the free Legoland wifi for the app to work) and to begin with it was great. Super easy to use and navigate and we booked out first few rides easily. However as we ventured further into the park our wifi kept dropping out and therefore the Q-Bot app wouldn't work. We had to then keep finding Q-Bot stands to get us reconnected and this did waste some of our time as it meant we couldn't book rides whilst the app was down. 

Finally we were disappointed to discover that despite the pretty big price tag of the Q-Bot not all of the rides are even included! There is an extra charge for the laser raiders ride, the new Ninjago ride and the Coast Guard ride too. There was an extra £24 charge for the Laser Raiders and Ninjago ride for the four of us to use Q-Bot on it which seemed excessive to me considering you will have already paid for entry and for Q-Bot in the first place.

We used the Q-Bot express ourselves and as I mentioned above I really can't deny how helpful it was. Its just a shame the price is so high and that we encountered a few niggling issues with it. I think if the price was slightly lower it is definitely something I would use every time as it made our day so much easier and more enjoyable thanks to the limited queueing. 

Legoland is definitely a fantastic family day out as there really is something for everyone. Whether its thrill rides, gentle rides or just admiring the Lego you won't be disappointed. You could easily spend several days here really taking in every little bit of the park (there is even a Legoland hotel within the park you can stay at if you want to).

Have you ever been to Legoland Windsor before or would you love to go?


** We received free entry tickets as well as free Q-Bot passes for the purpose of this review. However all words, opinions and images are my own and I retain full control of tis post.**

1 comment:

  1. I loved legoland as a kid! Holds some great memories. Looks like you had a great time!