As a theme park fanatic, I was thrilled when Dan's parents treated us to a day at Legoland Windsor on our March trip. Next to visiting Historical landmarks, there is nothing that I love more than visiting a theme park. Although we live in Southern California, I've never visited Legoland in Carlsbad.
We went to Legoland on the opening day of their 2013 Season. It was cold, rainy and mercifully quiet. We didn't wait more than ten minutes for any attraction and most we were able to walk right on.
As one might expect, Legoland Windsor is located within view of Windsor Castle. I found this to be a bit of a marvel. Windsor Castle is such an iconic structure and it was hard to believe that it was so close to a theme park. I soaked in its view every time it came into sight.
Here is a picture of the castle that I took while driving through the town of Windsor.
The first sign that Legoland was near.
The long driveway up to Legoland was dotted with Lego creations welcoming us to the park.
We finally made to the park entrance and proceeded with our tickets that had been pre-purchased tickets. A huge THANK YOU to Dan's parents!
Naturally, as a complete theme park geek, I had to take pictures of the park map and digital wait time sign. I spent many, many years at Universal Studios Hollywood updating the digital wait time signs.
The park doesn't look like much when you first enter it, because the entrance is at the top of a hill and much like Universal Studios Hollywood, the rides are tucked away on different levels of the hill. The park is actually enormous. We visited on a slow day and although we did a lot, including multiple rides on favorites, we still couldn't manage to see the entire park. There is so much to do.
Here is the view of Windsor Castle from the top level of Legoland.
We headed straight down to the lower levels and as a consequence ran out of time before we could do the things at the top, such as this cool looking building.
Dan loves to take Panoramas and took this one from the top of the park. Looking out over the park, we still had no clue that Legoland was so huge. It was deceptive!
I love Disney, but visiting Legoland made me realize that Legoland is a vastly superior theme park experience for little kids. Our group included Dan's parents and Dan's two kids, ages three and five. The kids absolutely loved the park. I've visited Disneyland with various toddlers (kids of my friends) and there are many attractions, even in Fantasyland, that are just too scary. Practically all of the rides at Legoland are toddler friendly and even the most scary, like The Dragon coaster, are mild in comparison to Disney's offerings. This is an ideal first park for children.
One of the kid friendly touches were tunnel slides located next to the stairs on the hillside. It's much more fun to slide than it is to walk!
Our first stop was Miniland. Miniland was my favorite part of the park. The land houses an amazing collection of famous landmarks recreated out of Lego. It became a running joke that now we don't need to travel anywhere, because we saw it at Miniland.
Although Miniland was mostly filled with recreations of European landmarks, one of the first things that we encountered was America's Mount Rushmore. Dan and I have been wanting to make a trip to South Dakota to see the real thing, but now that we have seen the Lego version, maybe we can skip it?
Dan took another one of his panorama shots. Like the rest of Legoland, Miniland is much larger than it appears.
This place is so big that it needs it own mayor!
Dan took a panorama of London.
On this, my first trip to England, it was too cloudy to see London when we flew into Heathrow. No worries, I still managed to take in all of the sights!
Next trip, I hope to visit the real Stonehenge.
I also want to visit the Minack Theatre. I had never heard of it prior to seeing the Lego version, but it looks like an utterly amazing place to experience live theater.
Sporting Events in Lego
Castles in Lego
Miniland had so many places in Europe in miniature, that it almost felt like going on a whirlwind tour of the World Showcase in EPCOT... except of just of Europe and Mount Rushmore.
I will finish the tour of our trip to Miniland with Dan's panorama shot of a mini town with running train.
Stay tuned for Part Two of my Legoland Windsor trip report, where I bring you Pirates, Dragons and Penny Manglers!