As part of the boys’ birthday this year we treated them with a trip to LEGOLAND, in Windsor. The boys and Elle hadn’t visited the UK before, and with the short time frames we had of just the weekend, this was not the trip for much of a visit. This trip was all about the boys having LEGO-themed fun.
We flew into Heathrow, on a sadly (or for a passenger, happily) half-full Emirates flight. With so many free seats, we could split up and spread out our stuff over a few taken-over rows. Our latest addition, six month old Owen was wonderful, sleeping for ages. And the other two were good like usual. Before takeoff they had already got the headphones on and switched on their favourite in-flight channel, sadly it’s The Family Guy at the moment.
We had a few walks of the awesome A380 plane, and had a nap here and there, and got a baby photo of Owen wearing the female cabin crew’s distinctive hat (she thought Owen was a girl). Then before we knew it, we were approaching London. As we were going thru customs, the official was a little suspicious of us flying in to the country for just two days. Tho his concerns seemed to vanish when he learned we were off to LEGOLAND.
We had a Windsor Car waiting for us, which we booked via email which made life easy, and was quite a lot chearper than a London taxi.
We knew it was a reasonably short drive. And we knew when we were getting close by spotting the magnificent sight of the Windsor Castle looking quite stoic, lit up on a hill in the distance.
From there we tracked the signs to LEGOLAND. And, OH! MY! GOD! As soon as we were a turn or two away I felt like the trip was all about my own childhood dreams. There were single LEGO blocks the size of cars, telling us where we were. The roundabouts were a natural habitat of life-sized LEGO animals. And the entrance had a LEGO dragon. The same dragon happened to scare a certain smoker when she unsuspectingly smoked beneath it, and the dragon hissed and spewed its own smoke.
We entered the Resort lobby, and Lewis immediately asked if he could buy some LEGO. The place wasn’t a hotel it was the kind of toy store I thought you only see in movies. It was awesome, literally.
Our room was on the Adventurers floor, we decided against the Pirates floor. The elevator had LEGO characters talking to us “Adventurers”.
In keeping with the theme, the room was even more amazing. The boys were welcomed by an adventure. They had to count the number of green lizards the fun carpet design had, and other challenges. Once they had the four answers, it turned out to be the secret code for the treasure chest where they got their welcome present of, you guessed it, LEGO!
The boys wanted to stay awake all night. They only agreed to go to bed after we mentioned the theme park was tomorrow.
Judging by the size of beds, the kings of England were a lot smaller than the kings of Dubai.
— Ryan B (@rbrink77) October 4, 2013
We had buffet breakfast at the aptly named BRICKS restaurant. Not only was there an impressive assortment of food, there were life-sized LEGO waiters and the largest LEGO ice cream sundae you’ll ever see.
Once b’fast was done, the boys had some play time in the indoor castle of X-Boxes. Such great product placement.
The park itself seemed to be all ours, because it practically was. Resort guests can access the park 30 mins before official opening. In that time we figured out the lay of the land, and enjoyed the serenity; or was it the calm before the storm?
The rides were awesome. We had two days to make the most of it. And on Thursday, day one, we managed probably 97% of all the rides. The boy’s favourite was the park’s scariest roller coaster, the Dragon. I was surprised that Lewis braved with hardly any prompting. The Atlantis submarine was nice. The Laser Tag was especially good. For it, you seem to have a kilometre or two to walk, then you’re put into these cars which take you around different LEGO exhibits, not too dissimilar to the ‘It’s a small world afterall’ you get at Disney Land, except for one key difference. At this one, you have laser guns, which you use to shoot the various targets you spot on the way through. This ride was particularly fun for the photos they take of the participants in mid-action.
Owen was only allowed to go on a few rides. For the others, Elle and I took turns going with the bigger boys. And since we had a couple of days, the boys would go on the good ones again, where we’d switch the parent. It worked out well.
One thing I’d say which seemed unique to LEGOLAND compared to other parks I’ve visited, is the great majority of staff really seemed to love what they were doing. It didn’t just seem like a job to them. They were genuinely keen to ensure the boys were enjoying the place to the maximum. I got talking to a few of them while waiting, and on learning that we were from Dubai, one girl complimented me on speaking English so well for an Arab.
Our day two coincided with the public changing of the guards ceremony at Windsor Castle. It seemed to make sense that the sky would open up and rain while we were standing outside the castle without shelter. It was only a drizzle, and this was England afterall. After determining that the castle tour of 1.5 hours was too long for the kids’ patience, we had a short wait on the roadside opposite the castle, then we heard the marching band. They got closer, and once I caught a glimpse I couldn’t help but admire this old institution. The bands and guards marched like they had for nearly 1000 years. The huge semi-automatic rifles they now hold, showed the weaponry has certainly evolved a lot in that time.
We missed the LEGOLAND shuttle bus, so we took a London Taxi back, before having a few final hours in the park. The boys did what they missed on day one, such as the Digger Challenge. And they managed quite a few turns of the good stuff they already knew.
— Ryan B (@rbrink77) October 5, 2013
Like clockwork the Windsor Car was waiting to take us back to the airport. Then we checked in at a very busy Heathrow airport, and caught our flight home.
On the way back, Owen had a bit of a tanty before takeoff. We finally managed to settle him down, then he was fine for the rest of the flight. We were split up between a couple of rows, though we had the bassinet. So it was easily manageable.
We landed in Dubai and drove home in a cab. Once home, Lewis just had to ask if we could go to LEGOLAND again tomorrow.
I thoroughly recommend LEGOLAND for anyone with kids, even for just a short stay. It’s very achievable to get a lot done. It’s thoroughly worth it for the attention to detail, the passion of the staff, and the variety of rides and attractions. 😀