How to prepare for a trip to Legoland Windsor? There are a few things you can do to make the most out of your day.
When Little Bear decided he wanted to go to Legoland for his 7th birthday in December, I was sceptical.
Was it open in the winter? Would it be cold, wet and miserable? Would Little Bear even enjoy it? The last time we went – for Big Bear’s 7th birthday – a four-year-old Little Bear was completely overwhelmed, had a meltdown and spent most of the day asleep in the double buggy we hired.
Then I saw a Black Friday deal that I couldn’t ignore. Legoland Windsor were selling tickets for £20 each if you went in the week between Christmas and New Year. Bearing in mind that my husband and I would get in free as carers, it was an absolute bargain. We found a £30 family room at a nearby Premier Inn and booked it right away.
So, how to prepare for a trip to Legoland Windsor? If you have children with additional needs, here are my top tips to ensure the day runs a bit smoother.
Before you go:
Decide when to go
If you haven’t booked your tickets yet, think carefully about when to go. Having visited Legoland both in May half term and the end of December, winter now gets my vote every time. Yes, it’s colder and the water rides aren’t open but there are still more than 25 rides to choose from alongside lots of other activities. It’s a lot cheaper, quieter and less overwhelming for children with additional needs. Don’t forget, carers get in free too (one carer per person with additional needs).
Apply for a ride access pass
The ride access pass is a virtual queuing system designed to make reasonable adjustments to assist guests who have a physical disability or medical condition that prevents them standing for extended periods of time, permanently non-ambulant guests and guests who do not understand the concept of queuing.
You can apply for a ride access pass on Legoland’s website. They accept the following documentation as proof of eligibility:
- Disability Living Allowance or Attendance Allowance award letter (dated within the last 24 months) showing that you receive the higher rate mobility component.
- Personal Independence Payment letter (dated within the last 24 months) showing that you receive enhanced mobility component.
- A current and valid Blue Badge.
- A current and valid Access Card including the queuing logo on it. These cards are available here.
- A doctors letter clearly stating that you are unable to queue and why.
Book accommodation if needed
There are hotels at Legoland. There are also plenty of Premier Inns within a 10-20 minute drive from Legoland.
Parking is free in the winter until March. At all other times, it’s £7 if you pay in advance and £8 on the day (2021 prices). You can also book priority parking (£13 in advance and £16 on the day) which gets you nearer to the entrance. However, the standard car parks are still pretty close to the entrance – especially if you get there early – so I personally don’t think the priority parking is worth the extra money unless you really feel you need to be that extra inch closer to the entrance.
Download the free Legoland app
This shows live queue times and enables you to plan your day a little better. There’s an interactive map and a day planner so you can plan your time there more easily.
Check for ride closures to avoid disappointment
Sometimes rides are closed for maintenance and during the winter all the water rides are closed, so we had to prepare the boys for that.
Decide how you’ll get around the park
You can hire single (£10) double (£15) buggies at the entrance to Legoland. We hired a double buggy the first time we went when the boys were 7 and 4 and it’s one of the best £15s I’ve ever spent. The attraction is vast and for us to enjoy the whole day there, it was essential to have something the boys could sit in when their legs became tired as they wouldn’t have managed it otherwise. This time the boys were a bit older (9 and 7) so we didn’t need it.
Familiarise yourself with the rides & make a rough plan
There are height restrictions on some rides so if you have young children, you’ll need to know which rides they will be able to go on. The website has pictures and information for the rides, which is also great for showing the kids so they can visualise what’s there before you go.
Make a rough plan before you go. You can walk down into the main park from the entrance or get the hill train. Because it was quiet when we went, we got the hill train and just worked our way around the park anti-clockwise, starting with Lego Ninjago World.
At busier times, I’d suggest heading for the most popular rides first. At the time of writing, Lego Mythica is the newest area of the theme park and so most likely to be busiest later in the day.
It’s worth noting that there is a sensory room in Heartlake City if it all gets a bit much.
Things to take with you
- Fast pass documents
- GP letter/DLA award letter
- Ear defenders (The music on some of the rides is quite loud)
- Waterproofs or ponchos and a small towel for wiping wet benches
- Spare pants/trousers/socks for the kids
- Water, snacks and lunch. The food options aren’t great and at peak times the queues for food and drink are looong.
- A mobile with a full battery and a portable charging bank as the app, ride access pass and all the pictures and videos you’ll take will drain your battery.
TOP TIP: You can’t use Lego vouchers in the shop at Legoland because the attraction is owned by Merlin. We learned this the hard way.
Read more: If you enjoyed How to prepare for a trip to Legoland Windsor, read An autism guide to Thomas Land