Let's Go: Legoland Windsor
Family travel special
Legoland Windsor is full of wow moments, says Garry Toal. Just be sure to plan ahead...
Set the mood
"Are we going to Legoland tomorrow Daddy?"
The question was posed daily by our Lego-loopy four-year-old after we told him about the trip. Perhaps it was a bad idea to flag it three months in advance!
We couldn't help it, however. I was a huge fan of Lego as a kid, but never lucky enough to make it to Legoland, so the little boy in me had been just as eagerly counting down the days.
Legoland is situated near London, in the borough of Windsor, and features over 55 rides, live shows and attractions. The park is targeted mainly at children between the ages of three and 12, but we managed to find some attractions suitable for our nine-month-old daughter too, so no one was left out.
Planning in advance is key to getting it right.
Queues of over 45 minutes for the busiest attractions, and a four-year-old buzzing with more energy than Luke Skywalker's lightsaber, are a bad combination.
A Q-Bot (£20/€26) let us reserve our place in queues and return when it was time to get on the rides. This allowed us to visit some of the other, quieter attractions, while we waited.
Before booking a trip, check out Legoland's special events calendar. We visited the park during its Star Wars-themed days. Characters ranging from the mighty Chewbacca to the menacing Darth Maul mingled and posed for pictures with families.
This proved a massive hit with our young Padawan, whose obsession with Star Wars is now off the charts. Kids are encouraged to dress up for such occasions, and many did, with tiny Darth Vaders and Storm Troopers fighting mock battles with little Jedis and X-Wing pilots around the park!
Anyone who's been to a theme park knows that queueing for attractions comes with the territory. However, with Legoland particularly targeted towards young children, more could be done to provide distractions in the queues. Making Lego available for kids to build while they wait is one obvious suggestion.
Get me there
Stena Line (stenaline.ie/legoland) has packages including return ferry crossings (plus car) from Dublin or Rosslare, two nights in a four-star hotel and park tickets from €639 for a family of four.
We stayed a short drive away in Reading city centre - its shops and restaurants were a welcome change of scenery at the end of the day, for the adults at least.
For more on Legoland Windsor, see legoland.co.uk.