We’ve been planning the visit to Legoland for ages, but we thought that Bobcat might be just too young being under three. Both mummy and daddy are hardcore Lego fans (even granddad!) so we also really looked forward to the day since we we booked the tickets.
Upon arrival, at 10 am on a Saturday morning, term time, we were already directed to the overflow parking area, which is a long walk to the entrance, around 10-15 minutes (you can pay double the price to park closer of course, now we know what that means). We booked tickets online and collected them at the cashier when we got there, another 25-30 minutes queuing. We managed to actually get inside just after 11 am. When you have a young (freshly toilet trained) child (and a baby) on a day out with you, you really need to be time conscious, and plan your visit. Well, next time.
Since we were late arriving, we decided just to spend our time around Mini Land and Duplo Valley, they are located next to each other in the otherwise vast place. Man. Miniland was the biggest hit. In case, you haven’t been, this is the bit often identified as the True Legoland: famous UK and global land marks are built of Lego bricks. Mini London, Mini Scotland, Mini Eiffel Tower. Bobcat marvelled all the details: “oh look, a red double decker bus! Oh look, they’re playing cricket!” It’s truly amaizing, and needless to say, this was the grown ups’ favourite too. It was an absolute blast and he spent about an hour checking out all the sites (occasionally trying to climb over). We had to drag him away to move over to Duplo Valley which has been resulted in the first tantrum of the day. (He did so well until that point!)
Second tantrum closely followed when he wasn’t allowed in the splash area in Duplo Valley. To be honest, parents were badly prepared and didn’t do their homework. We didn’t know about the mini water park, so we had nothing with us. (Although, there’s a shop right there selling everything you might need plus a zillion of other things you don’t.) Also, we wouldn’t let him to go on his own anyway. It would have been too dangerous as he still doesn’t follow instructions. Never mind, qickly took him to the playground for a bit, then did all the rides around there, which were designed for young children and the queuing was minimal. We went twice on the little gondola ride themed around classic children stories like Three Little Piggies, Cinderella and others. His other favourite was a mini car driving experience.
After this we stopped for a lunch as it was 1 pm and picked the only pizza restaurant. Oh my gosh it was so so so rubbish, but it was hassle free and the children ate something. It’s a “buffet style” and all you can eat (for £12.95) but all you can get is pizza (same thick base plus different but very basic toppings) pasta with meaty sauce, coleslaw and Coca Cola products. Never mind, after queuing for another 10-15 minutes at least we got food immediately. At this point, frankly, all you care about is that the kids need to eat something and you just eat quickly whatever you get.
Nearing 2 pm after finishing lunch we decided to have an icecream – and I badly needed a coffee – next door (queuing again for 15 minutes, read emails, posted pics to Instagram) and slowly make our way back to the car as Bobcat was getting tired and we had to make sure he won’t nap after 4 pm (which didn’t matter in the end, he was up till 10 pm that night). Babi was also a bit grumpy because she just started to walk a few weeks ago and now that’s another reason why she doesn’t want to sit in the buggy. Which she had to do most of the time during that day. But she also dislikes wearing shoes at the moment (ha! Wait for it girl!) so we can’t just let her walk around everywhere.
So, after a little extra playground time we headed home (tantrum number three), all of us being exhausted. I can’t imagine spending the whole day there, but we will surely have to, when they are bigger.
What we have learned:
- 3 hours of Legoland plus lunch is what a three-year-old can manage
- Until they are under five, Mini Land and Duplo Valley seems to be the most suitable and avoid the other big rides
- Both kids and parents need swimming clothes and towels for the water park
- Worth investing into Q-Bots, a queue jumping device
- Lots of food options, but maybe picking next time
Read about another day out experience in the UK: The Wonderfully Quirky Bekonscot