Mia's riding School - Legoland Windsor

Legoland Windsor invited us to visit their brand new Heartlake City area dedicated to the Friends LEGO that we love.

Fortunately for us the sun shone as we leapt out of our beds at 6.30 am to drive over, we had been asked to get there by 8.30am so we could visit the area before the park opened to the public.

The M25 played ball and we rolled up early before the press team had even set up, that is how eager we were. On our fist visit to Legoland a few years ago the girls burst in to tears at the end of the day and we told them we had to go home. On our second visit to check out the revamped Pirates Shores, which they both thoroughly enjoyed, they asked when there would be a Heartlake City or a Disney Princess area put in too? Maybe they knew something we didn’t?

Heartlake City LEGOLAND Windsor

Heartlake City has been placed over by the hotel part of the complex and the buildings that were there have been freshly painted in wonderful bright colours that match the Friends range, there is a Pet Salon, a Mall and lots of other fabulous Lego builds to spot like this cute puppy, this sweet bunny and the Friends themselves.

legoland friends windsor

We had a breakfast of smoothie and brioche (or croissant) just by the harbour where the shows take place. And talking of shows at 9.30 along came the gang of Friends and they put on a spectacular show for us.

Heartlake City Friends - legoland windsor

We sat mesmerised for a good 20 minutes watching as they played out a story of friendship and helping each other out. I liked it, it touched upon working as a team to help each other out and supporting one another in difficult moments.

I made a short video clip for you to get an idea but it didn’t capture the sound in parts. Once you go in a bit you can hear the show

After the show we got to meet all of the friends, here are Andrea the singer and musician of the group and Stephanie the confident natural leader who likes writing and ballet.

Andrea and Stephanie Lego Friends

And here we meet Emma the fashionista, Olivia the environmentalist and Mia the animal lover.

Emma Olivia Mia Lego friends

A very exciting moment was trying the new ride in Heartlake City, Mia’s Riding School which is a circle with ponies around the edge which you sit on facing outwards, a sturdy back rises to hold you firmly in your seat (see top photo) and the ride moved up and down a banana shaped course as it spins at the same time. You leave your tummy behind a few times but the girls loved it and went on it three times! You have to be 1.20 tall to go on.

Mia's Riding School Legoland windsor

We took some time to visit the entire park going back to our longtime favourites such as the Driving School which has a revamp and is looking great. 3 visits again!

LEGOLAND Windsor Driving School

And as I took the girls up the ramp home at the end of the day we passed through Miniland, one of my favourites. There was a huge picture of Taylor Swift made out of Lego but I’m sorry my photo didn’t come out, you’ll have to go see for yourself. Here’s a view with my beloved London in the distance.

Legoland windsor Miniland

A huge thank you to LEGOLAND for inviting us to spend the day with them.  We were given free entry and  fast track wristbands in return for this post.  All opinions and images are our own.  

Time Traveller time, if you are new to the Travel Blogger Linky then please nip over here to find the rules. I apologise for missing last week (half term and a broken laptop!) and I will catch up on your posts from then as soon as possible, thank you so much for joining in again, I look forward to reading about your travels and pinning them on my board.



legoland windsor

LEGOLAND have revamped their very popular Pirate Shores area for 2014 and we were invited along on Sunday to take a look and report back on our findings. If you’re planning a visit soon make sure you read our Top Tips first to make the most of your day

legoland windsor pirates

Pirate Shores

Pirate Shores has two main rides, Pirate Falls: Treasure Quest, you WILL get wet but there are dryers at the entrance to the ride which cost £2 and the Jolly Rocker which the girls enjoyed so much they went on it three times during the day. Check Legoland Windsor for height restrictions

legoland windsor jolly rocker

We weren’t able to check out the Castaway Camp and the Enchanted Forest as the bad weather this winter had delayed work but a peek through the building enclosure revealed an amazing play area that children are going to love, it’s due to open by May 2014 so keep an eye out for it.

legoland windsor pirate falls

For an additional charge the children can pan for gold at the Pirate’s Goldwash.

There are also a couple of restaurants, The Burger Kitchen and The Pirate BBQ all selling hot food and drinks.

Knights’ Kingdom

A short walk from Pirates Shores is Knights Kingdom another favourite LEGOLAND area of the girls. Check the pavements for dragon footprints and horseshoe marks left from the knights.

legoland windsor knights kingdom

 

There are three rides in this area the much loved The Dragon a mini roller coaster parting and arriving from the castle. Knights Quest a kind of runaway train on a very bumpy track and Dragon’s Apprentice a mini roller coaster which runs twice around the track.

The Land of the Vikings

A short walk from the Knights Kingdom and you’re in the Land of the Vikings with Viking Games at additional cost but included in your ticket another 4 rides the amazing Vikings’ River Splash (you will get wet on this one), Loki’s Labyrinth, Longboat Invader and the Spinning Spider 

legoland windsor spinning spider

 

Lego City

This is an area well worth a visit and an ‘appointment’ in your schedule as there is a fantastic Pirates of Skeleton Bay stunt show on throughout the day, it’s very entertaining and the children love it, a top tip would be to arrive early and sit on the top of the auditorium for a better view, also make note of the splash zone if you don’t want to get wet during the fun and games ;) We viewed this at midday and it takes about half an hour after which we ate at the City Walk Pizza and Pasta restaurant.

legoland windsor pirates stunt show

City Walk Pizza and Pasta restaurant

legoland windsor city walk pizza and pasta

Excellent value for money, adults £11.95 and children £5.95 for all you can eat. It’s a buffet and you are taken to your table where the waiter/ess hands over plates, cutlery and all the necessities for your meal then you go and help yourselves to salad, pizzas and pasta (there’s only one pasta and it’s Bolognese) You can refill your cups with fizzy drinks or soft drinks as many times as you want too. Don’t forget the children get a Legoland badge each with their meal and can swop them around the park with others from staff or guests (something of a hit with the kids)

legoland orient expedition

Also in Lego City is the arrival and departure of the Orient Expedition, a short train ride around the grounds with lots of fabulous Lego creations of animals to look at as you go, a good one for calming tired children down, there are a couple of water squirters at the beginning of the ride ;)

Digger Challenge was a bit of a tricky game for us as there are two handles to operate on the diggers and it takes a while to get the hang of by which time your told game over! However the kids love it.

L Traffic

What could possibly be more exciting than driving your own car on proper roads with traffic lights, Stop signs and everything kids see on our roads? The Driving School is for children aged 6 – 12

legoland windsor driving school

Kingdom of the Pharaohs

Laser Raiders is the ride inside the building, four people to a car which follows a track in the darkened caves, each person has a laser gun and as you ride you will find lights to shoot at, if you hit the light your gun makes a noise and your score is recorded, we all loved this ride and got very competitive.

Duplo Valley Splash & Play

We were able to visit Duplo Valley at the opening last year and the girls loved it Brickville is a fantastic play area that if you are tired and need a rest, this is the place to stop, there are plenty of structures to play on and it’s in a cordoned off area.

legoland windsor duplo valley

Also there are some great rides especially for the smaller children including Fairytale Brook, a boat takes you around the brook and you are greeted by your favourite fairy tale characters from the story books, a huge hit with our twins.

legoland windsor fairytale brook

 

There are a lot more areas to discover and before you go make sure you read my LEGOLAND Top Tips post so you’re prepared for the Best Day Out Ever. #Fact

Disclosure: We were invited to spend a day out at LEGOLAND to see the new Pirate Shores area

legoland windsor

This weekend saw the official opening of the DUPLO Valley Splash and Play area at LEGOLAND Windsor and we were lucky to be invited to test run it. We had a brilliant time and all our photos can be found on the Mari’s World Facebook page

LEGOLAND dog and picnic box

Top Ten Tips for visiting LEGOLAND

  1. Study the resort map before you go and work out a plan to make the most of your day
  2. Check any height restrictions in place, if the children are under the mark they will NOT be allowed on, save the tears and be prepared
  3. Consider investing in Q bot depending which time of year you are visiting, they will save serious time lost in queues.
  4. Work out pit stops for the children to let off steam like Brickville, Pirates Training Camp where they can run around and play
  5. Keep an eye on toilets and make sure they are used frequently.
  6. Take refillable water bottles as there are plenty of drinking water taps around the site
  7. There are plenty of restaurants but also green areas where you can eat a picnic too
  8. Work out show times and fit them into your schedule, they also make a nice break from walking
  9. Take costumes and towels for Duplo Valley Splash and Play area
  10. Look out for lockers to store bags, buggies to hire for the kids and what to do with under 4’s

What to do in LEGOLAND?

We arrived to a busy car park and it was just gone 10am once in we were faced with where to go first??

lego family LEGOLAND

The resort is big and there’s lots to do, if you’re a bit like me this can be a bit overwhelming without a plan.

legoland windsor spinning spider

Our first ride was the Spinning Spider, we hadn’t quite figured out how the Q bot system works so we queued like the rest of the world and waited our turn. On the exit I spotted the Q bot ‘ers waiting and watched them all let in first before the others patiently waiting in the queue.

Viking's Splash River LEGOLAND

Next was the Viking’s Splash River and we used the Q bot – we walked straight on. The ride is great but you will get wet. You pass by a wall of spectators waiting for you with water cannons and they aim right at you so be prepared. There are dryers at the exit for £2

Pirate Falls Dynamite Drench

Next stop was Pirate Falls Dynamite Drench. A boat ride, this one slower with no spinning tub but still more spectators waiting to shoot water at you combined with the final plunge down into the pool of water below means you will get wet. There were more dryers available here but again we didn’t stop as the weather strangely was quite warm.

NB. Pirate Shores has been completely revamped for 2014 read more here

Treasure chest LEGOLAND

We tried the rollercoaster known as The Dragon which is in the castle, it was quite scary but the girls loved it and asked to repeat this later in the day

Knight's Kingdom LEGOLAND

Look mummy dragon footprints!

dragon's footprints

We had lunch in the Crossed Ribs BBQ we ordered four set meals, Steak baguettes for us and pasta for the girls, very nice and came to £30 in all with refillable drinks.

steak baguette LEGOLAND

I really wanted to see Miniland

LEGOLAND MINILAND

 

London

London miniland LEGOLAND

Trafalgar Square – Spot the smallest LEGO models, each pigeon is made out of 5 bricks

Trafalgar Square LEGOLAND

Great Britain

MIniland LEGOLAND

Then it was time for Duplo Valley. Our walk to this area led us straight past the Raft River Racers where we were told ‘YOU WILL GET WET’ I hadn’t realised how wet. A brilliant ride, you sit in a raft at the top of one of two slides. Both rafts set off together and it’s a race to the bottom. As you slide the corners water seeps into your raft. Alice and I won but we both got drenched.

Drench towers LEGOLAND

Drench Towers was rammed with kids having loads of fun. A red bucket at the very top fills with water and once full it tips and empties out on whoever is below. The kids LOVED it, mum or dad may be required to enter.

Duplo Valley Spalsh and Play

For smaller guests there’s the Duplo Safari Park with fountains, taps and large animals on Duplo bricks, a gorgeous play area. Easy to watch from the side.

Brickville LEGOLAND

We visited Brickville (above)

The Duplo theatre

Duplo Theatre LEGOLAND

Traffic where the girls had driving lessons and were awarded Driving Licenses at the end and Boating School where the kids get to drive the boats

L drivers LEGOLAND

Duplo Airport

Duplo airport LEGOLAND

Fairytale Brook was so lovely I forgot to take photos and Atlantis Sub Store – A. Maz. Ing.

Atlantic Sub Store LEGOLAND

Kingdom of the Pharaohs, Orient Expedition, another couple of goes on The Dragon before finishing at the Pirate Training Camp

Keep out LEGOLAND

What a day and we didn’t get to go on everything either as there were lots of toilet calls luckily there are facilities all over the site

Toilet sign LEGOLAND

Have a great time because when you tell the kids the park is closing you’ll most likely get a reaction like this one

crying girls