In January we wrote a list of things we wanted to do this year. High on the list was to take Olive to Nottingham this year to enjoy the Robin Hood Festival (and spend time with our extended family) Secondly was of course The Harry Potter Studio Tour as regular readers will know we are borderline on an obsession here! In March M&M were lucky enough to see the Hogwarts Express at The Studio Tour before anyone else and meet Percy! We didn't take Olive with us and instead asked her what did she really want to do. Her reply took us all by surprise – Lego World (or Legoland to you and I).
I knew my debit card was already contemplating suicide so I spent sometime researching the cheapest way for the 5 of us to go. There are so many, by booking online you can get up to 30% off if you book far in advance. The best way to save money though is to go with a friend who has a Merlin pass you save 50%. We decided we wanted to go the weekend after Olive's 4th Birthday. I set up an eBay and Paypal account for the children and we set to work selling toys, games, books and clothing we no longer needed. The children managed to raise £100 and Olive had £40 birthday money which we put towards the trip. We had 2 #GrownUpsGoFree vouchers from Kellogg's cereal (which was a saving of £96) and packed a picnic for tea time. We planned to eat lunch at Legoland and allow the children up to £15 each in the shop. Daddy Moo had a backpack with drinks and snacks and we didn't buy any photos on the rides. The total cost of the day was £220. * faints a little *
OK so I'm going to get my moans out now! Days out for 5 of us are expensive. We know that BUT when you have a large private carpark just for Legoland you should NOT have to pay £5 to park there! As soon as we walked through the gate we were harassed by sales people trying to sell us a photo pass thing for the day. There were a few rides that Olive couldn't ride as she is under 1 metre. Which meant we had to split up on occasion. Also I felt like children under 1 metre NOT 3 years should have a discount. Olive had to pay full whack being 4 years old but she's only 93cm we watched many a 2 year old get on rides she couldn't and knowing they'd got in free annoyed me A LOT! The queues were ridiculous some rides a waiting time of 45 minutes! I can't bear queuing and I don't personally see the point so we missed out some rides (we did managed to hop on a few later in the day). The children were disappointed not to have got their driving licenses or go on the submarine due to the queue time so if we were to return again I would definitely head straight to these rides first.
BUT not being one to let this sort of thing spoil our day and ruin it for the children here's what we did do.
Took a tour of miniland which is excellent! Loved the moving pieces and attention to detail. Buckingham Palace had a stork and baby on the roof! This was probably my favourite part of the park and definately not something to be missed.
We helped to make a piece of Taylor Swift! I'd now like a large poster of my own face making from Lego squares!
The girls loved Heartlake City and meeting the characters. The interactive village was really cool and the rabbit, cat and puppy Lego animals just sat in the bushes were fab! We didn't see their show but we did see the pirate one.
We decided to watch the pirate show at lunchtime. I went to the burger bar and bought 2 adults meals and 3 children's which came to £33. I know people mentioned that it's expensive to buy food at Legoland but I thought this was reasonable and the children got a pop badge too = happy faces. We sat and ate our lunch waiting on the steps for the pirate show. I'm really glad we took the time out to enjoy lunch and see the show. It was so good! Megan now wants to do gymnastics and high diving! Olive noticed a child wearing a birthday Legoland badge and I felt a bit bad for not mentioning it at the ticket booth.
Daddy Moo and Megan rode the pirate ship not once but twice whilst Olive and Moo played in the park. We also took the children's swimming things and they loved playing in the Duplo water park.
There is a lot more to Legoland than just the rides which considering the queue times I was grateful for! Daddy Moo is a keen carp fisherman so we did spend sometime on the bridge feeding the massive carps in the lake. The children all bought some Lego in the shop on the way out. The next day fuelled by excitement of what you can make from Lego they did spend hours building and playing. Now if only I can get them to build me one of these for the garden!