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.

gymnasticsOn to week 3 in our Mark Warner challenge and our prompt this week is Get Sporty we have managed this in a number of ways fitting it into our week as we went along.

First to mention is on Tuesdays, since September, the girls have been attending gymnastics at a club local to us. The club has high standards and an excellent reputation and although they’re not pushing 4 year olds, they do start training them. They use the beam, the trampoline, the bars and other apparatus in the gym strengthening their muscles and building confidence. Parents only get to watch them once every 6 weeks through an upstairs window, this is to avoid any distractions and to help the young gymnasts focus.

I have seen enormous benefits in the girls posture, in their lack of fear in playgrounds and their general well being overall since they started. They are very close to gaining their second badge, I think it’s the head stands and kick up to a handstand that’s holding them back but we hope to get the second badge before the end of this scolastic year.


We spent Sunday at Legoland enjoying rollercoasters, spinning spiders, activity playgrounds and there in the Duplo Valley on the Raft River Racers we had a competition, Dad and Bessie versus Mum and Alice. Each team sat in a raft and waited for the contraption underneath to lift and tip them down the slide with running water. The slide was a long curvy track and we had to hold on tightly as we slid down. Some of the curves were high and Alice and I were screeching along the top at one point (or it seemed so) then as we slid back down in the slide we managed to let gallons of water enter our raft which soaked me right through. Mum and Alice won but not without payment.

mum gets soaked at duplo valley

We wanted to hold a few Sports Day events in the garden, like egg and spoon race, jumping in a sack, three legged races but the weather has not been on our side and when it was the girls were plagued with poorly tummies so this part of our Get Sporty week will have to be put on hold until half term when we’re also very much looking forward to Week 4’s challenge – bring it on!

Week 4 (27th May – 2nd June)

Enjoy a splash about -active family in the water (swimming, watersports etc.)

Mari’s World has been selected to take part in the Mark Warner Active Family Blogger challenge along with another 9 bloggers. The idea is to inspire other families and encourage everyone to stay fit and healthy.

Active Family Blogger Challenge

Your challenge is to commit to spending a minimum of one hour per week taking part in a designated activity as a family. We’d like you to write a blog post about your experience each week, inspiring your readers with photos and maybe even asking your children to write about their experience.

Judging and Prizes

Judges will be looking for a creative and inspiring approach to family fitness and the winner will be awarded a family holiday for up to four at Mark Warner’s resort in San Lucianu, Corsica

Our challenges so far

Go for a spin

Active Playtime

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




London miniland LEGOLAND

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

Trafalgar Square LEGOLAND

Great Britain


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


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