Yes, under 5s can have a lot of fun at Legoland, even if they can’t go on all of the rides. But the key is to plan ahead, so you can get the most out of your day.
We’ve picked our favourite 10 tried and tested Legoland highlights for toddlers and preschoolers. We’ve purposely chosen a mix of traditional rides and other attractions that you don’t have to queue for, because there are some great ways for little ones to enjoy themselves without having to strap them into a seat.
At peak times, some of the most popular rides can have very long queues, and we know preschoolers and long waits are not a happy mix, so we’ve included an insider guide to where the biggest queues are and how to beat them…
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1 Atlantis Submarine Voyage
Where is it: AdventureLand
What is it: A ride that takes you under water to see real fish and stingrays swimming alongside the yellow submarine you’re sitting in
Why it’s great: You can see fish close-up and it’s fun spotting the Lego figures among the sea-life. Plus there’s a bit in the ride where the children are asked to urgently press the buttons – a nice little interactive touch
Peak queues: Very long. If you really want to go on this ride, go at the beginning of the day and make it your first ride, when the queues are shortest
Suitable for: All ages – there are no height restrictions. However, it can be a bit scary if your baby, toddler or child doesn’t like enclosed spaces. You step down into the submarine and the door closes, which may worry some little ones
MFM tip: After the ride there’s an aquarium area – don’t be in a rush to leave. At peak times there may be marine keepers on hand to show you some of the sea-life close up
2 Coastguard HQ
Where is it: Lego City
What is it: A fun boat ride around a small boating lake where you can spot Lego animals
Why it’s great: The boat has a power pedal and steering – your child will love taking control, and it’s quite fun to put your foot down! It’s also been freshened up for 2015.
Peak queues: Huge! This ride gets one of the longest queues in Legoland, even in non-peak times. So if you want to go on it, make it your first ride – otherwise you could easily be queuing for 1.5-2 hours in peak season
Suitable for: All ages.
MFM tip: You can take 2 children on this ride, so it’s a good one if you have more little ones than adults
3 Heartlake City Express
Where is it: Heartlake City
What is it: A train ride around the park
Why it’s great: Not only does it give you a great view of Lego animals around the park, but at the beginning of the journey you’re at risk of hilarious water squirting. If you sit near the back of the train you can get a brief warning of when the water’s coming, and you can also duck
Peak queues: Pretty big and surprisingly long if only one train is running
Suitable for: All ages – your baby just needs to be able to sit up unaided
MFM tip: After the ride, you can go and find one of the water squirter pumps and give some of the next train travellers a soaking!
4 Live show – Lego Friends To The Rescue/Pirates Of Skeleton Bay Stunt Show
Where is it: Heartlake City Harbour
What is it: Choose from two live action shows based in the harbour area
Why it’s great: There’s lots of action to watch including acrobatics, jet ski chases and high tower stunts. Perfect for eating a picnic lunch and watching at the same time
Peak queues: There are no queues, but at peak times you’ll need to get there around 15 minutes before the start to bagsy a spot with a good view
Suitable for: All ages
MFM tip: There are some water squirter pumps on the right hand side of the action (as you look towards the water tower). If you get there early enough you can get involved by squirting water
5 Fairy Tale Brook
Where is it: DuploValley
What is it: Gentle water ride around giant Lego fairy tale scenes including Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Snow White and Goldilocks
Why it’s great: The boats take 4 people, so more of you can travel together. There’s lots of fun and creativity in the Lego scenes and it’s a lovely way to calm down over-excited children. Plus it’s perfect for all ages
Peak queues: Generally not too bad. Although it’s a popular ride, with 4 in each boat the queue moves really quickly
Suitable for: All ages – the only requirement is that your baby can sit up without help
MFM tip: The queuing area is quite wide without steps, so you can keep your buggy in the queue until near the start of the ride, where there’s a buggy park
6 Longboat Invader
Where is it: Land of the Vikings
What is it: Viking boat that swings up and down and revolves around – like a baby brother of the nearby Jolly Rocker
Why it’s great: It’s a good alternative if your preschooler doesn’t have the stomach for the Jolly Rocker
Peak queues: Not too bad. About 15-20 riders can go on at one time, so the queue moves at a reasonable rate
Suitable for: Preschoolers who are over 0.9m tall (most over-3s). Be aware it starts slowly and gently, and then swings around as well as up and down
MFM tip: A good ride if you have more children than adults, as you can have 1 adult with up to 3 children
7 Splash Safari and Drench Towers
Where is it: Duplo Valley
What is it: Two water-play areas with Duplo animals, towers, tipping bucket and water slides
Why it’s great: It’s instant fun and on hot days, it’s a brilliant way for preschoolers to cool off
Peak queues: Generally none but on busy hot days, entry to Drench Towers can be limited (called ‘timed play’) to avoid overcrowding. Timed play sessions last for 20 minutes and 300 visitors are allowed in at a time. Queues can form from around lunchtime
Suitable for: Splash Safari is perfect for under 5s, whereas Drench Towers is also for older children. Small green and red slides are for children over 0.9m, and the taller green and yellow slides are for older children who are over 1.1m. You need to supervise children under 6, but 1 adult can be responsible for 4 children.
MFM tip: Don’t forget to bring swimwear and a towel. Your little one will get very wet. Toddlers are not permitted to be in normal nappies – they’ll need swim nappies. There are heating areas to warm up cold little ones afterwards, but you’ll need to pay extra for these. Be aware, if the temperature drops below 50 degrees Splash Safari and Drench Towers will probably be closed
Where is it: Traffic
What is it: A junior version of the immensely popular Driving School so under 6s can enjoy a driving experience
Why it’s great: Little ones driving little electric cars around a small track, and at the end they earn their first Legoland driving licence.
Peak queues: Fairly long, but nothing like the Driving School queues
Suitable for: 3-5 year olds only
MFM tip: Warning – it’s good but it’s not Driving School, and you may find your preschooler gets very upset if he or she spies Driving School first. Try to prepare your child in advance and big up the fun of L-Drivers
Where is it: Miniland
What is it: Amazing Lego models of scenes from all around the world, including the new Paris scenes with a 4m tall EiffelTower and the Arc de Triomphe, plus brilliant London landmarks, a NASA rocket and a number of trains rushing around all of the sets
Why it’s great: Made from 40 million bricks, it’s just full of incredible detail with loads of trains to follow, boats, cars and vans to watch and even a funfair with a ferris wheel
Peak queues: None at all! Just walk around at your leisure – with plenty of room for buggies
Suitable for: All ages
MFM tip: Lego builders clearly have a great sense of humour – see if you can spot Marge Simpson waiting for the tube, the streaker at Wembley Stadium and a Scottish bagpiper whose kilt blown up in the wind
10 Imagination Theatre
Where is it: Imagination Centre
What is it: A ‘4D’ cinema, which offers 3D films with added water, wind and snow effects
Why it’s great: A chance to see some great short movies, and take time out from some of the more frenetic rides and long queues.
Peak queues: There are lots of performances throughout the day. At peak times, just make sure you’re there 15 minutes before the film starts
Suitable for: Even young ones, once they can sit comfortably through a 20 minute fun film
MFM tip: You’ll be warned at the beginning which seats are likely to get you wet – if you want to enjoy some sprinkling, sit in the middle
Why no Dragon’s Apprentice in the Top 10?
There’s no doubt that this is a great first introduction to the world of rollercoasters. It has a couple of surprisingly fast moments (take off any hats before you ride). But, and this is a big but, the queue is incredibly slow. What may look like a 40 minute queue is more likely to be double that. Although there are bricks to play with while you wait, it can be a long wait for little legs.
Why is the queue so slow?
There are 6 carriages that hold 1 adult and 1 child each, which means up to 12 passengers at a time. But it takes quite a while for riders to get on and off. Plus each rider under 1.3 metres has to travel with an adult, which can be a problem if you have more children than adults (like us with 3 children and 2 parents). In these cases, you can ask the ride operators to let one of your children wait while you take the other 2 round. Then one of you stays on and takes the other child on afterwards. Although it means all your children get a ride, it can make the queue slower. Finally, this is a Q-Bot ride, and in peak times, there could be a lot of riders getting on each time from the Q-Bot fast-track queue.
Best times to ride the Dragon’s Apprentice
If you really want to ride this, make it the first ride of your day, or visit at the end of the day, when a lot of the younger visitors may have headed home.
The Spinning Spider
Other attractions and rides that are good for toddlers and preschoolers
Spinning Spider – spin round and round in half barrel seats, below a giant spider. The speed of spin can be speeded up by you for more adventurous children
Knight’s Quest – an up-and-down circular ride that goes fairly fast and squashes anyone sitting on the outside
Scarab-Bouncers – a gentle drop and shot ride, that rises and then falls in stages, before heading back up again
DUPLO Theatre Puppet Show – two different shows, several times a day (the show times are printed on the Legoland map you get on entry)
DUPLO Valley Airport – gentle up-and-down ride for those who want a gentle thrill
DUPLO Train – the blue train that tootles round a very small track, but very little ones seem entranced
Brickville – an outdoor play area with tunnels to crawl into, slides and various themed playground contraptions
Loki’s Labrinth – a fun maze with a raised platform in the middle where you can watch everyone else get lost while you feel rightly proud for making it
Raft River Racers – for older, braver preschoolers, this is a water slide that they can go on with you. It’s definitely got a high thrill factor (scary factor 5/5 for preschoolers) and believe us, you’ll get very wet!