Monday, May 7, 2012

Windsor Legoland Theme Park and Hotel - your kids will adore you for this



"Mummy, I never ever want to leave Legoland!" A boy clutched his Mother's arm while watching Ollie the dragon prancing around the stage on a catchy tune. I can safely assume that he spoke for all the mersmerised kids sitting round the mockup castle that is transformed into a stage every evening with its own music mixer tucked in one of the towers.

Legoland Hotel - making your visit more enjoyable

Previously, unless you have booked a room in a local hotel or B&B in Windsor, you would most likely be going on a day trip to Legoland Windsor. It's quite a rush considering that the park normally opens from 10am-6pm. With the opening of the Legoland Hotel at the edge of the theme park, you can easily access Legoland through a private entrance. To add icing to the cake, Legoland hotel guests are allowed into the park 30min before the rest so that they can probably squeeze in a couple of rides before the queues get long.

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The hotel room itself comes with Pirates, Kingdom and Adventure themes. Other than a double bed, there's a kids' enclave, right across the room where the double bed is. With a three (!) bed bunker and its own TV (!!), the kids can entertain themselves to sleep they've not expended all their energy in the park earlier in the day.

Despite what Legoland's brochures say, this part of the world do get frequent drizzle. The good news is that all rides in Legoland will carry on functioning even when it pours (ponchos are for sale for under £4). It helps that a good number of the rides are wet anyway. Fortunately, there's a decent size water play pool with slides, water cannons and even a seesaw within the hotel for guests. If the adults fancy a swim, there's a 13m long pool lying alongside.

Other than the many short rides in the park, the main attraction would have to be Legoland's Mini Land. With world's iconic buildings scaled down and constructed fully with Lego bricks, it's definitely something for both children and adults alike. Throw in moving trains, trucks and boats, it's an absolute deal clincher. Taking centre stage is of course Big Ben's clock tower, Westminster, London Eye, Trafalgar Square, Wembly Stadium and Buckingham Palace. Even Swiss Re's "Gherkin", One Canada Square and even the HSBC building is on show.


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How much does it cost?

A one day pass to Legoland costs £43.20 for an adult and £34.20 for a child. For a bit more, you can extend your day pass by another day (see updated prices). As the queues for popular rides can be pretty long, you might want to take it easy and go for a two day pass instead. If so, I'd recommend staying a night at Legoland hotel, which currently include two day passes when you stay for a night. That itself is well worth the room rate.

How do I get to Windsor Legoland from London?

The fastest way to get to Windsor from London would be via train from London Paddington to Windsor & Eton Central. The ride takes around half an hour and requires a change at Slough. Tickets can be booked at National Rail or purchased at the station ticket counter itself. At the time of writing, there is no discount for getting return tickets so you might wish to get the return ticket when you are actually coming back for maximum flexibility.

This 150 acre theme park that is located just a short distance away from Windsor Castle is easily accessible by buses or cars. A metered cab ride from Windsor Castle costs around £11 one way, if you were to call Windsor Radio Cars at +44(0)1753 677677, it'll costs just £7. The ride shouldn't take more than 10 min if there are no jams along the way. For more information, refer to Legoland's website.

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