**The events on this and the follow post happened over a day and a half, it's just easier to group them together, to this extent they may not be in any particular order**
After leaving our bags at the hotel we hopped aboard the 201 green line bus to Legoland. Ben noticed the destination and said "oh this bus is going to Legoland" completely unfazed by it, so I asked him if he'd like to go and both said yes. Letting me know that they loved Legoland Discovery Centre and could they go to the Sealife Centre after. After explaining we weren't in Manchester (and how the train/ bus route was different) they wondered which Legoland I meant.
|taken in 2012|
As we pulled along the route we spotted little signs that I thought Ben at least would recognise (he went a couple of years ago in June 2012), Noah would have been too small to remember) but nope, not a flicker. He has told me since he STILL doesn't remember going so that was obviously a worthwhile experience.
And then we reached the entrance, even as Merlin Pass holders I expected some queue (it was about 1pm) but we sailed straight through. As we were getting peckish we decided to find somewhere to eat our picnic.
|taken in 2012|
The park itself is split into areas, based around Lego Themes, we headed to one of the timed attractions I remembered from my very very first visit (sometime around when the park first opened as I was small having gone with my auntie and cousins) which was the Pirates Of Skeleton Bay - Stunt Show, situated in "Lego City".
Set in a seated outdoor theatre area the live stunt show features acrobatics and swordplay from the Lego Pirates on a mission to get the gold key back from the baddies in order to open their treasure chest. With the usual booing, cheering and slapstick (alongside the possibility you may get a bit wet) the show was fantastic and kept us and the boys entertained. I was glad we had eaten the picnic while waiting before it began because as the hour drew closer the seating got busier and busier (I'm sure the person next to me wanted to sit on my lap!).
As you can see from the picture we did get wet during the show ... not because we were in the splash zone but due to the rain clouds. The weather was the most interchangeable on these 2 days I have ever known, no sooner did you get your coat on when the wind blew the clouds away and you were sat it blazing sunshine.
We payed a visit to 2 other Lego City attractions aimed at small children which were the 'Digger Challenge' and 'Orient Expedition'.
The 'Digger Challange' is aimed at children 3 and upwards with those under 5 needing to be accompanied by an adult. In this 'ride' (and I use the term loosely) kids get to take control of a full size mechanical digger (there are 10 so queue times aren't too bad) and operate it themselves (or take a grown-up to help). Before the ride starts you are taken into a cabin to watch an educational video from Digger Dave about how the controls work, which was very handy as they can be quite tricky! The boys enjoyed scooping up the boulder and we had mass tears from Noah when it was time to leave as "he didn't get a go" .... what makes me think Daddy's idea of 'helping' him was to do it himself??
The Orient Expedition is a nice gentle train ride through Lego wildlife perfect for when you need a rest from walking, or to let your stomach settle again. The boys loved the fact you got to cross pedestrian areas so they could wave at people waiting at the crossing.
As the song goes the beginning is a very good place to start and Legoland is no different. The minute you enter you are there.
This area holds just 2 attractions, the Lego Star Wars miniland and the Hill train.
Ever since they got the Lego Star Wars game both hubby and boys have loved the theme. The miniland features 7 scenes using lights, sounds and intractability. What I was less happy about was the fact you leave the land through the Star Wars shop.
We had heard about the Last Chance Marketplace where you can buy discontinued LEGO products and clothing, this is located about the Star Wars shop so we paid it a visit. We expected more than we received (bargains! or at least reductions) but it appeared the clothing etc is the same price as current lines so left empty handed.
The boys did, however enjoy having their photos taken with some of the more iconic characters from the series (and other themes) placed around the shop.
The Hill Train whilst perfectly placed for going downhill is even better placed for going back UPHILL with tired little legs!!!!
When you mention Legoland to anyone this is the iconic attraction that is brought to mind. Made with over 40 million Lego bricks it brings to life many of the famous attractions from UK, USA, Italy, France, Amsterdam and the rest of Europe. There are moving vehicles (including trains and boats), sounds and a rocket that blasts off.... well kind of .... Ben was disappointed that it didn't actually fly into space until we explained the logistics of that happening.
|NEW Safari Splash Zone|
On a warm day these areas will be amazing....... packed but amazing!!!
|Duplo Valley in 2012|
Fairytale brook is another serene ride where you can sit back and let the water take you though a valley of fairytale characters....
Somehow we bypassed this land completely which was a shame as Ben had seen Fire Academy and L-Drivers and we had said we'd go back later then forgot.
We did however have a trip on the Boating School where mummy had to tell daddy off for a touch of river rage.
Is the home to many of the attractions to build kids imagination such as Hero Factory, Mindstorms and Discovery Zone.
|borrowed from the Legoland website|
Having been to the 4D cinema at Legoland Discovery Centre (Manchester) we wanted to see a different movie here in the Imagination Theatre and opted for Spellbreaker. whilst not as good, in our opinion, as Chima and Clutch Powers the special effects were fantastic ... they don't always work in Manchester but from snow to wind to fire to bogie's this one was brilliant.
We were a bit concerned over Noah and the Space Tower ride.... small child.... long drop. .... we needn't have been. He was the one sat going "let go ....... weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee" and laughing the loudest out of everyone.
Still to come in "Holiday Time - Part 3 .... Legoland Windsor (part 2)" .... Land of the Vikings, Knights Kingdom, Pirate Shores, Kingdom of the Pharaohs and Adventure Land............gossh it may run into a 3rd part!!