Who reviewed Legoland and when?
We’ve had 3 different journalist families put this review together: Puneet visited on a sunny and warm Sunday in the summer with her children aged 4, 6, 11 and 13; Susie visited on a damp Saturday in mid-March with two children aged 4 and 8; and Emma went on a warm early summer weekend with her 2, 3 and 5 year olds.
What age and family is Legoland Windsor best for
- Best for: Children aged 4-10. They will likely meet the minimum height requirement (0.9m) and will enjoy most of the rides and attractions on offer.
- Still good fun for: Those aged 2-4. Their choice of rides is more limited but there’s still plenty to enjoy, particularly in Duplo valley. For those who are under 0.9m, there are fewer rides, although still some that have no age or height restriction – and they get free entry. Miniland is also very interesting for the whole family together.
- Avoid if: All your children are over the age of 11 and yearn for the thrilling delights of Chessington, Thorpe Park and Alton Towers. They won’t find too much in the way of wild rides.
How much does it cost?
Currently you need to pre-book tickets online. The key is to book at least one day in advance – you save 33% compared to booking on the day.
- Online prices: Adult and child are the same. They cost £50 on the day and from £33 in advance, although they go up to £53 and £35 from 8 August. That’s £140 for a family of 4 (it’s a bit cheaper than last year). It’s also cheaper in September (£26)
- Car park fee: £8 (£7 if you pre-book)
- Children under 90cm go free (that’s around age 2-3 years)
How long do families spend at Legoland Windsor?
If you, and your children, can manage it, you will definitely need a whole full day – and even then there’ll be some parts you won’t experience. On busy days (and let’s face it, most days at Legoland are busy), you could spend a lot of time in queues. It’s why it really pays to plan – there are areas and experiences where you won’t queue long if at all. Alternatively, you could invest in Reserve and Ride (see more on this below), which means you pay extra to avoid having to wait around in queues.
Legoland since Covid-19
What’s Legoland like since Covid-19
Legoland has announced it’s introduced a lot of safety measures since re-opening after lockdown. These include:
- Having your temperature checked at the entrance. You and all your family need to have a temperature of under 37.8. If you show a higher temperature, you’ll be asked to wait in a special area for 10 mins before your temperature is checked again. If it’s still 37.8 or higher, you and your party will not be able to enter
- There’s lots of signage and markers to ensure visitors are following social distancing guidelines. There will also be empty seats on rides and more space between dining tables in restaurants and at live shows
- Rides will be fully cleaned and disinfected every hour
- There are hand sanitiser dispensers across the park, including at the entry and exit of all ride queue lines
- Legoland staff will wear face masks
- The numbers of guests able to come to Legoland has been reduced per day – although visitors still talk of it being very busy
- You’ll need to pay with contactless or Apple pay rather than use cash
- Drivers are asked to park with more space between cars than usual
While Legoland has taken these precautions, a lot of reviews from families who’ve visited in the past month reveal that it’s difficult to maintain safe social distancing. Despite visitor numbers being reduced, Legoland is still very busy and queues are long, partly because of the safety measures.
Families report that it’s difficult to maintain social distancing while queuing where the queues snake back and forth – as it’s not always easy to keep the right distance from those in the next lane. Also, many family groups are 4 or more, making the group bigger than the floor markings and so difficult to keep to 2m apart.
Ultimately, many families report having a wonderful time. However, others feel that the difficulty in social distancing is very stressful. If you’re someone who’s worried about Covid and adhering to strict social distancing, this may not be the time to go to Legoland.
Which Legoland rides are open at the moment – and which are not?
When Legoland first reopened in July only some of the rides were open, but more have been added for August.
This means all the rides and attractions are now open EXCEPT:
- Raft Racers – may open later in August
- Dragon’s Apprentice (closed until 2021)
- S.Q.U.I.D. Surfer (closed until 2021)
- Return to Skeleton Bay live shows
- Lego Reef
- Sky Rider – this is open on some days
- Lego Education Centre
- Lego Games Zone
Drench Towers and Splash Safari (above) have been opening on some days in August but you need to pre-book free slots via EventBrite as numbers will be restricted. Slots are released around 2-3 days before the day of your visit and it appears they go very, very quickly – so you need to be organised and set expectations if you don’t manage to get a slot.
On which Legoland rides do you need wear a mask?
Children aged 11 and over (except those exempt from wearing a mask due to disability or special need) – and therefore adults too – will need to wear a mask on the following rides:
- The Dragon
- Mia’s Riding Adventure
- Jolly Rocker
- Spinning Spider
- Lego City Deep Sea Adventure
- Merlin’s Challenge
- Lego Ninjago The Ride
- Haunted House Monster Party
- Lego Studios 4D
For those aged 11 and over, you’ll also need to wear a mask when you’re indoors – eg queuing for indoor rides, in the toilets, queuing for food, in the gift shops.
If you don’t have a mask you can buy a Legoland one for £5.
OK it’s a theme park, but what does Legoland really offer families?
It brings Lego and Duplo to life, with rides that have a magical feel and experiences that will capture imaginations and thrill young minds. It works as a very first theme park, and as a place to return to time and again as your children become pre-teens. One of the key features about Legoland is that it’s not just rides, so you can pace yourself, mixing high-octane thrills with the sheer delight of Miniland and other little Lego character nuggets or the simple pleasure of the Castaway Camp play area.
But the queues are big and long. We can’t stress enough, to get the most out of the day and out of the money you’ve paid, you need to plan before you go and also be flexible while you’re there (the Legoland app is a great way to do this). If you turn up and just move from ride to ride and queue to queue, you may come away feeling disappointed.
MFM tip: Check your children’s height before you come and help to set expectations. It’s heartbreaking to see children who’ve coped with a long queue only to be turned away because they’re not tall enough – and the staff are strict as they have to be for safety reasons. The children of reviewer Emma were particularly upset that they weren’t able to go on Mia’s Riding Adventure, when they found that even Emma’s eldest, Lola, wasn’t the required 1.2m.
Many of us have children of different heights and ages, so plan a day that enables all your family to enjoy some special rides, even if they can’t do everything they’d like to.
What’s new for 2020?
New for 2020 is a fantastic starter roller coaster, the Duplo Dino Coaster. Located in Duplo Valley, this gentle rollercoaster is designed for toddlers, pre-schoolers and early schoolers. With a minimum height of 0.9m, most 3 year olds and some taller 2 year olds will be able to ride. Children under 1.3m (around 8-9 years) must be accompanied by an adult, and as there are only two seats per row you’ll need an adult for each child.
It’s an elevated track, and you get two loops round, sitting in a dinosaur-styled coaster which thunders round giant Duplo dinos and scenery. It lasts over a minute and has one fast bend which thrills excitable pre-schoolers, while overall it’s steady enough for nervous toddlers. Reviewer Susie found both children – aged 4 and 8 – loved the ride, with the 4 year old naming it her favourite of the day.
MFM tip: The queues for Dino Coaster can be very long, but don’t be tempted to make it your first ride. It’s one of the rides that’s nearer to the entrance/exit and so queues are particularly long in the morning and also towards the end of the day, when families with pre-schoolers give it one last go before leaving. We found queues are slightly shorter at lunchtime, early afternoon or during the last hour (when lots of pre-schoolers have headed home).
The play area in Duplo Valley area has also been revamped as Duplo Playtown, and the Duplo Valley Airport has some new helicopters (it’s a fun ride as long as your toddler isn’t too scared of heights). Susie found the 4 year old absolutely loved it as she could influence the helicopter’s ‘flight path’.
There’s also a new show at the Duplo Valley Theatre – The Frog Prince – which proved a peaceful breather from a day of rides, walking and queuing.
Our favourite rides and attractions
According to our 3 reviewers and their families, their favourites were:
- Haunted House Monster Party Ride (below) – exhilarating sensory ride that entertains parents as much as children. So just how does it work?
- Fairy Tale Brook – enchanting water ride suitable for toddlers (and parents – we LOVE it) taking you through fairy tale adventures
- Miniland – the most incredible Lego brick experience, don’t overlook this for the big rides – no queues and a wealth of wonder
- Lego Ninjago The Ride (below) – put on the specs, aim high, aim low, and move your arms for a 4D immersive experience and see who gets the most points (no minimum height but little ones may find it a bit scary)
- Legoland Express – a colourful train ride around the park suitable for all heights – watch out for the squirty bits
- Duplo Dino Coaster – introduce your pre-schooler to the thrills of a rollercoaster
- Mia’s Riding Adventure – one for older children (1.2m minimum), this spinning ride lets you ride horses in the air
- Lego City Driving School – 6+ get their first driving lesson while proud parents watch their children drive beautifully/wreak havoc
- Coastguard HQ – No minimum height and allows pre-schoolers to steer a boat, but queues can be long
What the queues are like
Be prepared: at peak times, the queues can be very, very long – well over an hour for the most popular rides during weekends and school holidays. That’s a big ask for a young child, and even more so for a toddler. To get the most out of your visit, you MUST make a game plan. Some queues are longer than others (see our waiting times list below) so make a list at home of which rides you really want to go on (don’t miss our guides to best rides for 2-4 year olds and best rides for 5-9 year olds).
Queue times for Legoland rides
Long queues (often 60 minutes or more at peak times)
- Lego Ninjago The Ride
- The Dragon
- Lego City Deep Sea Adventure
- Viking River Splash
- Pirate Falls: Treasure Quest
- Fire Academy
Queues (often between 30-60 minutes)
- Duplo Dino Coaster
- Lego City Driving School
- Legoland Express Train
- Haunted House Monster Party
- Mia’s Riding School
- Jolly Rocker
- Coastguard HQ
- Laser Raiders
- Balloon School
- Destiny’s Bounty
Shorter queues (often 5-30 mins)
- Duplo Express
- Duplo Airport
- Fairy Tale Brook
- L Drivers
- Desert Chase
- Thunder Blazer
- Aero Nomad
- Spinning Spider
- Scarab Bouncers
- Merlin’s Challenge
8-step brilliant Legoland gameplan – to ensure you get the most out of your day
1 Pre-plan and choose which rides you really want to go on – don’t forget to check our handpicked tried and tested recommended rides for 2-4s and 5-9s.
2 Mix in attractions that have short queues or no queues at all – accept you might not be able to try all the top rides in a single day during school holidays or on weekends
3 It’s all about pace. It’s too tiring and unrelenting to do queue/thrill/queue/thrill/queue/thrill – you need some quieter activity too. The 4D cinema, Duplo theatre, Miniland and some of the little Lego models dotted around the park are fascinating and a great way to reduce the intensity while keeping energy up
4 Download the free Legoland app before you set off
5 Get there when the park opens or as early as you can. Remember, though, that the park may open 30 mins before the first ride starts – you don’t want to spend the first 30 mins standing in a non-moving queue
6 When you arrive, head straight to one of your top rides that has the longest queue times. Most visitors join queues at the first rides they encounter when they arrive, so the queues for the rides deeper in the park are shorter
7 Use the app to monitor queue times during the day so you can take advantage if one ride gets a little quieter
8 The park is busiest from 11 to 4 – so if your family has the stamina, leave some of the most popular rides until the last couple of hours, when the park will start to quieten down
Is it worth buying Reserve and Ride at Legoland Windsor?
Basically yes if you have the money, but it is very expensive (currently an additional £25 to £40 per person). Reserve and Ride has replaced the previous Legoland Q-Bot and enables you to jump the queues of the busiest rides or at its cheapest, it lets you reserve your place in a queue without physically having to do it – a bit like someone queuing for you while you do something else.
So if you have the money to spend, then it will enable you to pack in a lot more rides, but if you’re smart, it’s not essential. Use our gameplan, and you’ll still have a brilliant day out.
What to watch out for
There are very strict height rules for rides – no matter how much you might try to plead with the ride/height master, or your child tries to stand on their tiptoes, your child will not be allowed on the ride if they come under the measuring rod. Best to measure your child before you go, and prepare them for the rides they can’t yet go on.
Some of the rides are very wet – particularly Pirate Falls: Treasure Quest, Viking River Splash and Raft Racers. If it’s open, Drench Towers and Splash Safari require swimwear as they’re giant fountain splash areas – so don’t forget to bring a towel, plus a change of clothes. And remember, you HAVE to pre-book a free slot to have access to Drench Towers and Splash Safari.
There are driers close to the wettest rides, where the whole family can get a glorious blast of drying heat, but this comes at an additional cost.
While some rides, such as Laser Riders and Lego Ninjago The Ride don’t have minimum height restrictions, this doesn’t mean they’re suitable for very young children. “My 4 year old cried non-stop on Laser Raiders,” says reviewer Puneet, “because of the spooky elements.”
Don’t lose your child in Castaway Camp! Castaway Camp is a large climbing/play centre in Pirate Shores that can get extremely busy aimed at 5yrs+. While children are supposed to be ‘supervised’, it’s very easy to lose sight of your children (especially the younger ones) on the equipment and height may be an issue at times for some. Try to give your child a rough idea of how long they should disappear for! We saw parents calling high and low to try and locate their children.
For once, you also don’t have to exit through the gift shop. There are several Lego shops at various points in the grounds, including one right by the entrance/exit, but most of the products on offer are £10+. If you can set expectations at the beginning, with the treat being the day out at Legoland rather than a gift at the end, it will definitely save you money.
Food and drink at Legoland Windsor
There’s plenty of choice when it comes to food at Legoland but as you’d expect from mass catering to a captive audience, it’s expensive. The City Walk Pizza & Pasta buffet restaurant in Heartlake City offers an all-you-can-eat deal – but it’s very expensive particularly if your children aren’t that hungry. To be honest the pizzas and pasta are very basic and not particularly enjoyable for parents. Puneet also found it wasn’t great for her little one who didn’t want any of it, but you still need to pay a set price. She also found it a little dimly lit and a bit sticky and grubby, but perhaps to be expected with so many children pouring in.
Baby food can be requested from a member of staff at the Hill Top Cafe, Knights Table Rotisserie & Heartlake City Cafe.
By far the cheapest way is to bring your own food. If it’s dry, there are plenty of green spaces throughout Legoland to have a family picnic. Come armed with snacks and water, especially on warm days.
What are the toilets like?
There are plenty of free toilets (all themed according to the area they are situated in) with sinks and hand dryers positioned lower down, perfect for smaller children. However, in some areas, the boys and girls toilets were located separately. In Heartlake City, Puneet’s son and daughter both needed to go, but the girls and boys’ toilets are at separate ends and when her son ran off to go, she took a little time finding him again. The loos are fairly clean, but not immaculate due to the large numbers of families using them throughout the day. Beware – towards the end of the day we found a distinct lack of toilet roll (a nightmare when you have a child who is mid number 2 and you realise too late!). We recommend coming prepared with tissues.
What to bring to Legoland
Lightweight pushchair – Bring a lightweight pushchair for under 4s, as there’s a lot of walking and even the most energetic toddlers will need a rest. The buggies are great for helping to carry your bags too. There are rails for parking your buggies against while you are on rides but these are not manned, so park and leave at your own risk. If you have a cheap stroller, bring this.
Weather-appropriate clothing – Prepare yourself for the British weather and check the forecast – bring sunscreen on warm days, waterproofs if there’s a hint of rain, thick tops/coats if it’s even a bit chilly. You’re going to be outside for most of the day. And don’t forget comfy shoes.
Spare clothes – Some spare clothes for children may come in handy – on some rides you do get very wet! There are waterproof ponchos for sale in the park – and if you’re planning to go to another theme park, you can keep them to reuse. There are also ‘drying stations’ for £1-2 to dry off after getting soaked – it’s almost like a hairdryer for your body.
It’s worth noting that if it pours with rain, Legoland doesn’t offer refunds. There are a number of indoor rides including Haunted House Monster Party Ride, Lego City Deep Sea Adventure, Laser Raiders, Lego Ninjago The Ride, Scarab Bouncers, Lego 4D movie theatre and Lego Education Centre but the majority are outdoors.
Bring adults as well as children – Finally, bring enough adults. Most rides require any child under 1.3m to be accompanied by an adult – so if grown-ups are massively outnumbered by young children you could face issues. Reviewer Puneet took her 4 children on her own and found certain rides tricky. “My two eldest children would choose a ride and while my third child was technically allowed on, she was just short of the 1.3m height you need to go on without an adult. And since my youngest was less than 1m, and not allowed on at all, 3 of us had to sit these rides out. We faced this issue with Viking River Splash, Pirate Falls: Treasure Quest and The Dragon.”
There is a Parent Swap facility on many rides where you queue as normal and then accompany one of your children, while the other waits with the Legoland ride supervisors. When the ride finishes, you swap children so the one that’s just ridden now waits with the supervisors, and as the adult you ride for the second time. Reviewer Susie has done this on many occasions, and it works well – as long as you can stomach ride-after-ride!
Pushchair/wheelchair access and special needs
The park is very pushchair and wheelchair friendly.
Normally Legoland offers buggies to hire as well as wheelchairs, subject to availability, but this has been suspended at the moment due to Covid.
Legoland also has a sensory space, located in Heartlake City, which offers a quiet, calming sensory environment for visitors with special needs, who require a little break from the hubbub of the park.
There are also facilities for visitors with physical or invisible disabilities, who are entitled to a Ride Access Pass enabling faster access to 10 chosen rides throughout your visit. Guests with disabilities will be charged the full admission price but full-time carers will be granted a free ticket if proof is presented at a ticket sales window. Guide dogs are also welcome but not allowed on rides.
The website has lots of information on how to plan your visit if you or your children have any disabilities and staff are on hand to help sort out any issues. A full list of all the rides in Legoland is available in the accessibility section, but with added information for guests with disabilities, including a ride safety guide.
All the shops, restaurants and toilets are wheelchair accessible, and there is a disabled car park close to the resort. Manual wheelchairs are also available to borrow, but on a first-come, first-served basis. Some wheelchair users may not be able to go on certain rides for safety reasons, so it’s worth speaking to Guest Services for full disclosure of what you may and may not be able to ride.
Rides for which wheelchair users can stay in their chairs include: Miniland, Hill Train, The Lego 4D Movie Theatre and Aero Nomad.
Access for wheelchair users varies from ride to ride, sometimes via the Ride & Reserve entrance, the exit or via a lift. Some rides still require some standing or walking for a few minutes as pushchairs and wheelchairs have to be left outside the entry gate.
How to save money on Legoland tickets
Legoland is an expensive day out but you can find ways to make it more cost-effective.
- Take your own lunch – as at all attractions, food outlets are not cheap (see our food section below for more details). Legoland features lots of grassy areas where you can sit and have picnics, including in view of Miniland.
- School holidays are the most expensive time to visit. Legoland tickets are cheaper in September.
- If you live close enough to Legoland to make it easy to return, you may want to buy a Legoland annual pass. It’s not cheap – £89 per person (adult or child) for a standard annual pass but it gives you free entry at both peak and non-peak times – but not ‘super peak’ times (some Easter holiday days, May half term and most of August). If you want to be able to use your annual pass at any time, you need to buy a Premium annual pass, costing £119 per person (you’d only start saving money on the 4th visit within a year).
- Legoland is owned by a company called Merlin, which also owns 30 UK attractions including Chessington, SeaLife, Madame Tussauds and London Eye. A Merlin Annual Pass is a big investment (from £139 per person for off-peak, and from £189 per person for peak) but it will save you money if you’re planning to visit several of these in the space of a year.
How to get a cheap Legoland ticket or discount
Because of reduced entry due to Covid-19, some of the normal offers (such as 2-for-1 deals) aren’t available this year. But there are other ways to save money on tickets:
For many attractions, you can use Tesco Clubcard vouchers. These turn every 50p in vouchers into £1.50 against the cost of an entry ticket or, for some attractions, an annual pass.
Piqniq is a trusted days out ticket site where you can find deals on hundreds of attractions. Piqniq sources the best deals for a range of family days out, and offers a price promise – if you find the same ‘family ticket’ for the same date at a cheaper price within 48 hours of purchasing, Piqniq will refund the difference. It’s worth doing your research though – the discount may be the same as the attraction itself is offering when you book online.
If you plan to visit several attractions, you could save using a Pass from either KidsPass or LittleBird. Both offer up to 50% off major attractions when you subscribe (KidsPass currently £29.99, LittleBird £34.99) and both are currently offering a 30-day trial for £1.
Where is Legoland Windsor?
Nestled in the Berkshire countryside, 2 miles from Windsor city centre, you can travel by train to Windsor & Eton Central/Riverside Train Stations and there’s then a regular shuttle bus to the park. If you’re driving, the postcode for sat navs is SL4 4AY. However, make sure you follow the brown tourist info road signs directing you to Legoland, as some sat nav systems may direct you to a residential street.
Is Legoland Windsor worth a long car journey?
If your kids adore Lego, it can be a dream come true. It offers a full day’s value and if you live far away, it is worth planning a two-day visit and staying overnight in one of the Lego hotels. Offers, such as second day at the Park for free, ride priority hour and a free Legoland gift in the room, are available, so keep an eye out.
Tips for getting to Legoland Windsor
Driving to Legoland Windsor is fairly easy – from the M4 it’s approximately 10-15 minutes by car if there are no tailbacks. There are plenty of signposts along the way and ample car parking space, although you will be walking around 10 minutes from your car to the entrance. Make a note of where you are parked – it all looks the same on the way back!
Is there a hotel at the Legoland Windsor resort?
Yes, there are two – the Legoland Resort Hotel and the Legoland Castle Hotel.
The Castle hotel offers a slightly more premium option than its sister hotel, Legoland Resort, which is next door. With an incredible knights and wizards theme throughout, it makes for a magical (but pricey!) experience.
Nearby attractions for a longer day out
You’re likely to spend a full day or more at Legoland, but if you’re staying in the area for longer then other days out include Windsor Castle, Windsor Duck Tours and Extreme Motion adventure playground.
Opening dates and times
Legoland is seasonal: it’s closed during Jan, Feb and some of March. Opening hours get longer through the summer but often the rides will close up to an hour before official closing time and won’t open until 30 mins after official opening time. Always best to check the website before planning your visit.
MFM verdict on Legoland Windsor
Legoland Windsor offers a thrilling day for 3 to 10 year olds – magical enough to become a treasured family memory – but you do NEED to plan ahead and download the app.