Last week our daughter Lois celebrated her 8th birthday. She has always been a huge Lego fan and has nagged at me all year to go to Legoland Windsor (again!). We’ve already been numerous times over the years but she was so desperate that I eventually gave in and agreed to do a day out rather than a party for her.
Now in the past I have always been organised and used Tesco Clubcard vouchers or the Sun newspaper tokens to pay for our tickets. This time though I didn’t have that option so we had to pay. I managed to catch the time right for Legoland’s online ‘flash sale’ which reduced the cost to £30 per person. Yes this was a saving on the normal fee but it was still £120 for the 4 of us. I knew I had to suck it up, after all she was having this instead of a party so……….
Her birthday arrives and Lois is really excited (and so is Cody who gets to tag along). We drive to Windsor then hit traffic and queue for the best part of an hour trying to reach our destination. What we didn’t realise was that the queue was in fact the queue of people trying to get in to Legoland. It was absolutely rammed. By 11am it was announced on the Legoland app that tickets were indeed sold out for that day. No kidding.
First stop the toilets and then a visit to Guest Services to get a birthday badge. If you didn’t already know you can get a free birthday badge if you visit on your birthday. You can also give your name and age to be displayed on the birthday board announcements around the park. This was the second year we have done this. Both times her name never appeared. Not once. We checked numerous boards throughout the day and her name never showed up. I can understand it happening once. Maybe they didn’t save the information correctly or made an error somewhere. But twice? To say it’s disappointing is an understatement. I do feel sad that she was let down yet again.
We decided to eat in the City Walk Pizza and Pasta buffet style restaurant. The pizzas were lovely and it was great to have a salad bar but it would have been good to have more variety of pasta dishes. You could either have bolognaise with penne pasta or a basic tomato based sauce with pasta. Lois isn’t a fan of tomato based sauces so with all the pizzas also having a tomato base she ate just garlic bread and cucumber. Wonderful. Well worth the £10 we paid for her.
Throughout the day we attempted to use the app to plan what rides to go on but we found it to be very inaccurate. We got to the Fairytale Brook ride which was showing as a 15 minute wait on the app only to discover it was in fact a 45 minute wait. Awesome. I can’t tell you how many times this happened.
Throughout the day we managed to go on 4 rides. Yes you read that right. 4. We were there 7.5 hours and spent most of that time in queues for those 4 rides. They were Skyrider, Spinning Spider, Lego Ninjago The Ride and The Dragon. Thank goodness we’ve been before and done the other rides previously because quite frankly if that was our one and only time to visit we would have been absolutely gutted.
Although there were disappointing parts of the day in all we did have a good time and Lois went home happy which is what mattered the most on her birthday. We had a walk around Miniland and Star Wars Miniland, done 2 new rides which we hadn’t been on before and generally enjoyed being out for the day. On the other hand though I do think it was a huge price to pay for the little amount that we got to do and I certainly wouldn’t pay it again. We aren’t in any hurry to visit the theme park again which is a shame. In the 7 or so years that we’ve been visiting I think the Lego Ninjago ride is the first new one we’ve seen. More investment is needed to attract people back again and again and I’m afraid a few new models in Miniland just isn’t going to cut it.