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Legoland Windsor



  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,837

    I wouldn't get too excited about the shop. You can much better bargains from Amazon or other online retailers. Even [email protected] can be cheaper than LLW! And don't even bother with the PAB.

    In terms of the rides, the busiest ones are the Atlantis sub., The Dragon rollercoaster, Viking rapids and Pirate log flume thingy. If you're taking kids, the additional ones are the driving and boating schools.

    Lol.....I live only 10 minutes away from LLW. Shame you're on a bus!! [private joke]
  • pricey73pricey73 UKMember Posts: 352
    Me and my wife are going on Monday, as we are camping in Oxfordshire, we have spare vouchers (2for1 and 2for1 on 1 day and 1p entrance the next day) if anybody is interested, we'll be getting there for 10am.
  • nerick906nerick906 Bristol, UKMember Posts: 427
    @James, so I'm staying at yours then ;)

    no I don't have kids, unnecessary hussle in my age !
    I can't share lego yet!

    what about exclusives? wanted to buy something just to get the Hulk minifig as I don't have it yet. What to get then there? Wanted to get the Camper Van.
  • LostInTranslationLostInTranslation UKMember Posts: 5,594
    ^ I don't think you'll get the Hulk minifig at LLW. The parks stores are not part of Lego Brand Retail and don't have the same offers. No VIP points either.
  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,837
    Mate, don't buy anything from LLW. The Hulk is a [email protected] promotion. LLW is managed by Merlin so no Hulk offered. I was there last Sunday. There were no promotions on at all - no surprise! They did have a few Exclusives, although if I'm honest I'm pretty sure the Camper Van wasn't there. You are far better off ordering online from [email protected] for a Hulk. Free delivery as well at the moment isn't it??
  • nerick906nerick906 Bristol, UKMember Posts: 427
    ok! thanks a lot guys !!
  • chaz13chaz13 UK/London,EssexMember Posts: 74
    I went with the family last week. Stayed at the Hotel in a pirate room. Brilliant decor , my son absolutely loved it. Very a expensive, but if you have a son that loves Lego. Its worth it. Did expect a little more on goodies front (only two poly bags). It gets get very busy on the rides and If your going in the school Holidays I would recomend getting there early and hiring a Q-Bot. One the shop front and my son made me go in all of them there's not much in the way of exclusives,special offers or hard to find items and I was suprised they didn't have any LOTR sets.
  • nerick906nerick906 Bristol, UKMember Posts: 427
    I was on the 6th of August and I'm pretty sure they had a lot of LOTR, Spiderman's set was disappearing from the shelves (and yeah, we know why our prices are so high...).
    They had some hard to find like fire brigade and other modulars, architecture as well.
    They have still some of the prince of persia sets upstairs as well, on discounted price.

    PAB is poor that I cannot describe it. Nobody was there either...
    build a minifig was quiet busy, plenty of kids, and mostly were trying to build their own CMFs but no accessories.
  • Firox5000Firox5000 Member Posts: 61
    Although the park closes early November, the hotel will still be open in November and December with themed weekends, Christmas stay overs and New year parties.
  • sidersddsidersdd USAMember Posts: 2,432
    Anyone been to LLW lately? I have a friend heading over there with his kids. He asked if I wanted anything picked up while he was there. Any exclusive items / trinkets worth getting? Do they ever get early polybag releases, like the Legoland California? Was hoping the Uruk-hai ballista polybag might show up. Wishful thinking?
  • Firox5000Firox5000 Member Posts: 61
    I'm not too sure at the moment but in recent years they're been selling exclusive sets however they have no pass discounts. I'm hoping to visit there again ext month so I wall let you know by then.
  • coachiecoachie South WalesMember Posts: 476
    I was there yesterday, and the only things I saw of note were half price (£4.99) on all magnet sets except LoTR, Christmas bauble decorations for £6.99 #853345, (the gold brick ones were disappearing fast) a Santa/reindeer poly and reduced PoP Ostrich Riders sets #7570. (£8.99)

    They still have Diagon Alley #10217 in the Big Shop, if you don't want to risk Tesco.

    The superhero magnets were nice, I got one of each for my boy, and an Indiana Jones set from 2009.

    There is also a competiton running until 2 Nov, where kids (aged 7-14) have to speed build Quinton Steele's Hot Rod from #9463

    The prize is every single set in the MF range! My kids managed 6 minutes after 2 tries and gave up. Apparently the record is 3 min 20 secs if you have any aspiring young builders. It runs until 5pm every day.
  • Firox5000Firox5000 Member Posts: 61
    Went to the gigabit Shop yesterday and they had all the Hobbit sets there which I bought most for the free pass availible. If any ones in the area it's worth going there to see and also the Star Wars mini lands open with the other two shops and sandwich place too.
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,179
    I thought it was closed now?
  • bluemoosebluemoose Member Posts: 1,716
    edited December 2012
    The main part of the park is closed, but the entrance area (Big Shop, Star Wars display and shop) has been open for Christmas shopping -
    - but today is the last day IIRC.
  • LosimagicLosimagic UKMember Posts: 397
    I went on Thursday and to be honest, I found it very disappointing.

    The main reason I went was because I had a gift voucher for a Merlin pass that I needed to exchange and LLW is the closest attraction to me. I was in a queue for 45 minutes whilst just 5 people in front of me were dealt with. When it was my turn, I gave the details of the 3 people I wanted to have cards and then had to repeat the process because the system was expecting 5 people and couldn't be amended. The whole process including queueing took an hour.

    Moving down to the Land of The Vikings/Knights Kingdom, several of the kiosks (food and activities) were closed, phone charging stations were out of order and there was more litter around than I'd seen there before.

    Construction of the Burger Kitchen - HOW/WHY was this not done during the closed season? I've been to plenty of other theme parks around the world and you can never get so close to a construction project as you could to this, the noise was terrible.

    Miniland - This was very, very tired looking last year - this year, a lot of it looks close to crumbling. Buildings no longer standing straight, Miniland figures legs floating in the rivers, buses/trains and other moving features not moving. The new Paris buildings did look good, if not a bit out of place compared to the state of the existing buildings, but even they weren't all there, just an empty space saying there was more to come - as with the Burger Kitchen, why weren't these already finished?

    I'm sure it's a lot of hard work running a park like Legoland but then so is any theme park, and most of them seem to do a better job of it. Visiting Legoland isn't cheap, the ticket prices aren't far off the Magic Kingdom in Disney World, it's probably a little unfair to compare Legoland to there but I guess the point I'm trying to make is that Merlin must be making a fortune at LLW, very little of which seems to be making it's way back to the park.

    I have to wonder if Merlin view their target market as JUST children and don't bother trying to please the ticket buying adults.
  • BrikingBriking Dorset, UKMember Posts: 763
    Thanks for the update. I remember that Miniland looked in a bad place last year (and that is our main reason for going), so sounds like I can save myself some money this year...
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    Yep miniland continues to get worse and worse not that my kids seemed to mind, they still loved it. As for the rest it seems par for the course for UK theme parks, we can never do them right and never cone close to complete immersion you get at universal or Disney etc, although perhaps it's unfair to compare.

    When we were there last weekend the burger kitchen construction wasn't really a problem, I guess the wet weather may have delayed it but then the hotel has had some issues the last few weeks with room refurbs as well.

    Overall we had a great time, although we were lucky with great weather and no queues.
  • legogallegogal USMember Posts: 755
    Wow, that sounds just terrible. Miniland is the only reason the Windsor park is on my list. They seem to keep the displays updated quite well at the four other LL parks I have visited in the past ten months, so it is hard to understand why they can't at the English park.

    Maybe they laid off their maintenance staff this winter and are behind in repairs? Maybe they should lower admission prices by one half if this is so.

    And the last thing I want to pay to see is construction in the park. If this kind of crap is going on, they do need to reduce prices or throw in some extras. This sounds insane.
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,742
    legogal said:

    They seem to keep the displays updated quite well at the four other LL parks I have visited in the past ten months, so it is hard to understand why they can't at the English park.

    I think it's a case of "won't" rather than "can't"....

    Much of the LEGOLAND Windsor Miniland is in a tired and dischevelled state - the models were never intended to last so long without being replaced; I suspect that Merlin don't see much value in Miniland and hence don't invest what's needed to keep it looking nice. My advice is to send feedback complaining about the state of Miniland; only if the punters complain is there any chance of Merlin doing anything about it.
  • legogallegogal USMember Posts: 755
    Thanks! And don't worry...they will hear from me after I spend too much moola getting in the door on May third. (If anyone else is going to be there on May 2 or 3, please PM me so we can meet up if possible.)

    Hard to understand how they can advertise Miniland as being a big deal without keeping it up to date. Maybe they need to borrow the groundkeepers from Gunzburg, who do a fine job of keeping all the parts updated and all the millions of tiny bonsai leaves bonsaied with tiny little scissors. It was flat out amazing watching them trim plants with tiny tweezers...worth the admission price for sure. And we know that labor is not cheap in Germany either.

    While the bricks have quickly faded in Florida, any missing or broken parts appear to be repaired relatively quickly. Plus the vegetation is lush and well kept. In California, likewise the bricks have faded, but it is sunny there most of the time as well. Same for Malaysia where the bricks were newer, and of course, everything appears well manicured.

    I feel that the state of the vegetation is almost as important as the quality of the bricks in Miniland because all cities need wonderful plants to shine. And that is where most of my time is spent inside a Park because it takes a long time to take photos of most of the builds in Miniland. And the rides do not interest me except for the Driving School, which would require me to be about a century younger to fit inside their tiny cars.

    Brick and set prices in the shops always are higher than at home in the US, and it is too expensive to bring home much on the airplane. So unless it is a Park-specific item such as a tee, hat or keychain, I usually pass on purchases in a Park.

    Holding my breath about Windsor... after which comes Billund and EB 2014.
  • ShibShib UKMember Posts: 5,484
    I've been given tickets to go next week (in the week not during the easter weekend fortunately) and have had low expectations. I haven't been since around the time it opened as a kid and everything I've seen leads me to believe that it's more of a day out geared towards kids so not expecting to be wowed as an AFOL. a little bit of me hopes that those low expectations will serve me to have a more enjoyable day than if I was expecting a lot. Either way though I'm not paying for the day so can't complain!
  • msandersmsanders Member Posts: 1,017

    It's funny that you are posting these comments. I went with the misses and the in-laws on the first day of opening. The guys to get into the park were really really bad and it wasn't even that busy. They said that they didn't have time to have a mock-run of opening, but its not like the park has never been open ever! We were all very very disappointed with Miniland. It was very tired and there was no water filling the 'lakes' for the boats etc. I was ashamed to show the in-laws because this was the first time that they had been and paid quite a bit of money to get in.

    I also can't understand why they can't complete the building work during closed season - the play area for the kids is also closed to make way for a Pirate play area but it doesn't look like its been touched at all. I'm not sure when its ever going to open.

    The queues for the ride were really short so at least we got to go on lots of things. This was the only good thing about the whole day.

  • LosimagicLosimagic UKMember Posts: 397
    msanders said:

    It was very tired and there was no water filling the 'lakes' for the boats etc.

    wow, that is bad, at least the boats were floating when I was there
  • ShibShib UKMember Posts: 5,484
    I've worked at a tourist attraction so I can completely sympathise with things not being ready as planned so I wouldn't necessarily judge them too harshly on things like that - although from what people have said it does seem like theres a little bit too much not done to just shrug off.
    msanders said:

    They said that they didn't have time to have a mock-run of opening, but its not like the park has never been open ever!

    You have to keep in mind from the nature of the opening seasons that these places often have very high turnover of staff so most there were probably new with a lower percentage of long serving staff training the newer staff.

  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 7,017
    LEGOLAND Windsor is just a money-making machine now, with none of the profit being ploughed back into the park, except for creating more money-making opportunities.

    As DrDave said the only way they will do anything about miniland is if enough people complain about it via their feedback system.

    Thankfully, Billund still retains its pre-Merlin charm. I haven't been to Gunzburg for 10 years or so so I don't know what that's like nowadays.
  • legogallegogal USMember Posts: 755
    Wow, this is truly sad. I have recommended Windsor to many folks even though I have not yet been there. That will change, especially if I see it is in bad shape a month from now. Maybe everyone on the Forum who has been there recently should give feedback, so that our voice is heard.

    Gunzburg is in great shape as far as I could tell last June. It was my first LL Park, so I am still a novice as to evaluating these Parks in depth. And usually it is only Miniland that gets a close look on my visits.
  • ShibShib UKMember Posts: 5,484
    The funny thing I've noticed with a lot of reviews I've seen is that for the most part they are either 5/5 or 2/5 type ratings and the 5/5ers have all been people who have taken their kids as a treat for the kids - suggesting non AFOLs though one cannot always tell from review wording.

    I'll probably post a little review on a blog once i can have an honest opinion.
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    It's a kids theme park squarely aimed at young kids. As far as I can remember I've never seen advertising aimed at adults or even older children. As bad as parts are my kids still adore it and there faces light up when we arrive and stay like that throughput the day. Adults won't enjoy it but they're not really meant too. Apart from miniland and SW miniland there is nothing for adults as all the rides are for kids, so way calmer than Alton towers etc.
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    And whilst miniland is carp my oldest still loved it, still wanted to build his own, still checked out every boat and every train. He didn't notice the grubbiness nor the broken models. My youngest didn't even want to look at it.
  • AndyPolAndyPol UKMember Posts: 380
    edited April 2014
    I have just returned from Legoland Windsor after going there for the second time with my wife and children. I have to say that whilst the site is a money making enterprise, and the models do not make the money on their own, if you go with an open mind, it's not too bad. I will not go into the rides as I know that will not interest this community (all I will say is go early, start at the back and work forward, only going for the rides that you/your children really want to go on).

    We looked at the Star Wars Miniland and the traditional Miniland. The SW one was great, all indoors and rather like the main miniland, with models at the same scale as the outside miniland. There are some classic scenes from the movies, including my favourite the Cantina and the Battle on Hoth. Great models, new, well designed and great to look at. It isn't that big, but finishes with large minifigure models of some of the main characters.

    The main miniland is looking tired and whilst I agree that some of Merlin's enormous profits should go into making the place a bit more pristine, if you look beyond that, the site is not that bad. The designs are fantastic and the attention to detail is superb. My particular favourite is Buckingham Palace and the Italian Village (can't remember the name but it is the one with a Romeo and Juliet thing going on in one of the balconies).

    In the interests of balance, I have to say there was a member of the staff working on one of the trains. He was also tidying up the station areas, so it shows they do have staff paying attention to the models......occasionally!

    The photos are only a small selection of what I took, but they include a dodgy looking X-Wing made up in the shop, along with a selection of assorted other areas and the man fixing the train! The rather clean and bright photo with the Arc De Triumph in the background is obviously new or cleaned as it was bright and colourful compared to the rest. However, regardless of that, just appreciate the effort that went into making these and if you are like me, dream of having a house/garden/shed big enough to make just one of the models!

    In case you think I am just advertising the Merlin group, I am not, and I will be writing an e-mail to them to tell them to use some of their profits on what makes Legoland actually Legoland. Without maintaining their models, this is just a child's play area and I think they need to be reminded of that!

    Anyway, enjoy the photos and if you have children, they will love it, if not, then go with an offer as it is a great deal of money just to look at the models.
  • legogallegogal USMember Posts: 755
    AndyPol, Thanks for the comments and photos of LL Windsor!
    Any suggestions as to where to find offers for adults only that are good in early May? A two for one or half off would be wonderful.
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    edited April 2014
    ^^ IMG_0505 is the perfect example of Miniland's poor maintenance. Just look at that castle wall and turret its just completely falling down!


    Miniland is a tricky one. The biggest issue is probably the grubbiness which just makes it look tired. But thats also the hardest to deal with, especially with the UK weather and probably not helped by our recent saharan dust (my car was covered with it after parking at Legoland for the day). But there are things that they could do straight away. Any broken models should be fixed straight away. The last few times I've been, so both this year and last year, theres been at least one train bogey riding around without its LEGO top. Theres often derailments too and they should be sorted sooner than they are. I probably couldn't count how many of the bandsmen at buckingham palace aren't working. Not to mention bits of car missing etc.

    When doing renovations they should put a bit more time and effort to make it look good for visitors. I just missed the new eifel tower going in and the bases for those were all done well, little scenes and messages saying something new was coming. The trouble was the near by train track had just been pulled up and left lying around, much like when my kids are half way through building a track and have to stop for dinner. It looked rubbish. If you have to just leave it like that then at least have a little box of ready made construction workers and a digger or something to make it look a little better.

    In some ways, SW miniland is harder to excuse - its indoor, its new and its not exposed to the elements. Yet how many droids are missing/fallen over leaving just their floating blaster LEDs? Even if just at the end of each day someone walked through, identified what was wrong and fixed it would make a huge improvement.

    I suspect if it was america each area would have a supervisor/manager and if it wasn't just about perfect they'd be in for it and they know it. Here its like nobody really gives a crap.
  • ShibShib UKMember Posts: 5,484
    ^I call this the 'not my job' effect. I used to work at a bird of prey centre and I wound up being the person who went around fixing gates or wonky signs or picking up litter that everyone else had the attitude of "that's not my job so I'm not going to do it." Part of the reason I left is it becomes soul destroying being the only person to car about general presentation!

    Difference with Legoland's mini land tho is that it's an advertised attraction, so if this is why stuff isn't being done its a bit of an embarrassment to everyone there,
  • flecskiflecski Member Posts: 81
    Much of LLW miniland is hit and miss.
    For the last two seasons, everytime we went (every other weekend) the trains that you were meant to press a button to control were not working. When we went at the start of this season they had been fixed.
    We also saw the area for Paris as just foundations. I like the idea of putting in a construction crew as a temporary measure - its not like Lego dont have off the shelf stuff that could just be scaled up. They had the plans for the Paris area available to view up in the shop above SW.
    They seem to have been involved with the local roads / planning office, as there are now dedicated lanes to get into the park. It seems sometimes they do try, but just dont try on enough things at once.
    The fact they are still doing construction work in season seems ridiculous.
    I just hope our trip to Gunzberg on Tuesday goes well. . .

  • plasmodiumplasmodium UKMember Posts: 1,950
    This is all quite a shame, as LLW used to be a (relatively) regular family day out when I was younger, and I have fond memories of the place (we used to live in Africa, but we'd come home for summers and often end up visiting at some point or another). To be fair, my fond memories might just be because I was a kid and didn't notice the grimy stuff (when exactly was it that Merlin took over, BTW?). I saw an offer on the back of a cereal box recently (2 for 1 or something) and thought it'd be nice just to visit for nostalgia's sake, but not so enthusiastic now, as Miniland is the main attraction, due to it being a part which I never really explored as a kid (though I have not been since they put in the SW miniland). I guess eventually I'll rediscover my souvenir guidebook from way back when and re-live my memories through that. :-P

    Just out of interest, when you guys say that Billund is better, is it still owned by Lego? Or is the owner (Merlin or whoever) just more influenced by Lego?
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 7,017
    Merlin took over in 2004-ish I think. Billund is owned in the same way as the rest of the parks but maybe because of its proximity to the spiritual home of LEGO, and is visited by more LEGO employees than the other parks, they are taking more care of it.
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    Is legoland any worse than any other theme park in the UK? I haven't been to many recently but they've always been pretty amazingly crap iirc when compared to Disney etc.
  • flecskiflecski Member Posts: 81
    legogal said:

    Maybe they need to borrow the groundkeepers from Gunzburg, who do a fine job of keeping all the parts updated and all the millions of tiny bonsai leaves bonsaied with tiny little scissors. It was flat out amazing watching them trim plants with tiny tweezers...worth the admission price for sure. And we know that labor is not cheap in Germany either.

    After reading this I thought you may be joking, then I saw the two women carefully cleaning the ground round the runway, and the guy working at the tree.

  • snowhitiesnowhitie BelgiumMember Posts: 3,060

    we are going to see my in-laws in the first week of the Easter holiday and were thinking of going to Legoland for 1 or 2 days.

    Reading these coments, it seems like miniland is not that great, but the rides are fun. My son is 5 and as LEgo-obsessed as his mummy. The thing is that I am not a very helathy person and probably won't be able to do that many rides, so I hope there will be things I can enjoy. Anybody got experience with disabled assistance etc?

    Did anybody stay in other hotels than the resort? That seems a bit pricy, I've seen a travellodge nearby and on the Legoland website they also talk about the beaumont estate.

    Other tips or ideas about promotions?


  • plasmodiumplasmodium UKMember Posts: 1,950
    Most of Miniland can be seen on Google Earth/Maps Streetview, for what it's worth. It's certainly not the same as seeing it in real life (though last time I went it was pretty shabby, and that was at least 6 years ago), but it's something.

    I always quite liked the 'atmosphere' of the park as a child (ie, 6-12 years ago), but I haven't been recently, so I have no idea what it's like now.

    As I remember, there are plenty of benches and the usual disabled provisions (though I never really looked for them specifically, so my apologies for vagueness). If you can get hold of a map/brochure (I think you can get them online), they have little info thingies for each ride with age limits, warnings, disabled access and so on.

    As for actual assistance, the staff always struck me mostly as a motley crew of teenagers doing summer jobs, so some were very helpful, others bored or unpleasant.
  • legogallegogal USMember Posts: 755
    It seems to me that Windsor is probably the least accessible of the six Legoland Parks due to the very steep hill it rests on.; the other five parks tend to be flatter. You will want to take the train up and down the hill several times if you stay all day, so avoiding school holidays and weekends would seem imperative. You can board the train without waiting long at the front of the line (look for the handicapped signs) if you are disabled.  There are quite a few benches within the park, but they will all be occupied if there is a large crowd. And it is hard marching between themes because they are so spread out.

    I did not do any of the rides and found enough to entertain me for four hours; I would have stayed longer but realized that it could take hours to leave the Park if one has to take a bus. So I departed at 4PM and only had to wait 45 minutes to get on a bus back to Slough, where I stayed in the Marriott, which may be affordable on certain weekdays. 
    Getting a bus in Slough to the park took me over two hours including a stop in Tesco for the half off entrance coupon on a box of cereal. 

    Hope you have a great visit on a sunny day with small crowds. Your son should have a blast at his age!
  • snowhitiesnowhitie BelgiumMember Posts: 3,060
    Cheers. I do have a wheelchair although I can walk on my own for short bits. So I was wondering about the practicality. There is some info on their website about getting on to rides (although I don't think there will be much I am actually allowed on) but thanks for the tips about the benches and steep hills. I would like to go along even if it's just for the atmosphere and spending time with my boys.

    We are travelling by car from Kent so still debating the need for hotel/two day stay. It's all pricy, especially now the pound has picked up so rapidly.
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