Legoland Windsor Resort facts for kids
Entrance to Legoland Windsor
|Location||Winkfield Road, Windsor, Berkshire, England|
|General manager||Helen Bull
|Opened||17 March 1996|
|Operating season||March to November|
|Visitors per annum||2.43 million (2019)|
|Area||150 acres (61 ha; 0.61 km2)|
Legoland Windsor Resort (/ /), styled and also known as LEGOLAND Windsor, is a theme park and resort in Windsor, Berkshire in England, themed around the Lego brand. The park opened on 17 March 1996 and is currently operated by Merlin Entertainments. The park's attractions consist of a mixture of Lego-themed rides, models, and building workshops targeted at children between three and twelve.
In 2019, the park had 2.43 million visitors, making it the most visited theme park in the United Kingdom and 9th-most visited theme park in Europe.
- Park operation
- Resort hotels
- Rides and Attractions
- Reserve & Ride (formerly Q-Bot)
In 1987, The Lego Group began research for the development of a second Legoland park after Legoland Billund with over 1000 sites considered.
In January 1992, Windsor Safari Park went into receivership and the 150-acre (0.61 km2) site was chosen for the second development.
Between 1992 and 1994, planning, design, site preparation and the design and construction of models began. New accommodations were created for the safari animals and services, foundations and infrastructures were installed at the park.
In 1995, a scale replica of Big Ben was installed in Miniland whilst other buildings and attractions were becoming established. In September, advance bookings were opened for entrance tickets. Final installations were completed by the beginning of 1996 and at this point, the Legoland Windsor staff-base was recruited.
Legoland Windsor opened on 17 March 1996. During its first season, the park attracted over 1.4 million guests.
In April 2005, The Lego Group decided to sell Legoland parks following losses across the company. On 13 July 2005, Legoland was acquired by the Blackstone Group and control of the parks passed to Merlin Entertainments.
During the 2020 season, the resort closed on 20 March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It reopened on the 4th July 2020 following a 'lockdown' in England. The resort remained open until 5 November when due to government guidance it was forced to close. It reopened for a shortened period over the Christmas period on 4 December 2020 however was again forced to close when the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, where the resort is located, was placed in Tier 4 restrictions on 19 December 2020 under which theme parks could not open.
The resort announced in January 2021 that the resort would not hold its 'Brick Week' event in February due to the continuing lockdown in England. It then was announced in February 2021 the resort would open on the 12th April 2021 when lockdown restrictions in England allowed theme parks to open. However, it announced its indoor rides and attractions would open later in the year due to government guidelines.
In May 2021, the resort will open a new land titled 'Lego Mythica: World of Mythical Creatures' which will include the United Kingdom's first Flying Theatre ride called 'Flight of the Sky Lion'. 'Mythica' will the first time a LEGOLAND resort launches a LEGO intellectual property not first released as a LEGO set. Also included in the land will be a drop tower ride called 'Fire and Ice Freefall' and the rebranded 'Hydra's Challenge' previously known as 'S.Q.U.I.D Surfer'. This land will see the Adventure Land name discontinued for this area of the resort.
The park is split into 12 themed lands, incorporating various attractions, restaurants and shops: The Beginning, DUPLO Valley, Knight's Kingdom, LEGO City, Miniland, LEGO NINJAGO World, Pirate Shores, Heartlake City, Kingdom of the Pharaohs, Land of the Vikings, Imagination, LEGO Mythica: World of Mythical Creatures.
The Beginning is the entrance area to the park. It is composed of a plaza area containing entrance turnstiles, ticket sales, guest services and toilets and stretches to contain a small part of the resort at the bottom of the funicular railway. It is notable for having a view of the area surrounding the resort including the nearby town of Windsor, Heathrow Airport & parts of London.
The main resort shop, The BIG Shop, can be found here which sells a number of Lego products as well as souvenirs. It holds the dubious distinction of being the largest Lego store in the UK. Also in the area is the Photo Shop which is where guests can collect photos taken on rides with cameras operated by Picsolve, a company contracted by a number of Merlin Entertainments resorts.
There are a number of food and beverage outlets here with the main site down cafe is the Hill Top Cafe. It is complemented by a smaller coffee outlet in the entrance plaza and the Sweet Stop which sells sweets and other treats.
The only ride located in The Beginning is the Hill Train, a funicular, 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) narrow gauge railway down a curved slope. The main purpose of the Hill Train is to transport guests from The Beginning to the lower parts of the resort leading to an area between LEGO City & LEGO NINJAGO World, which is still considered to be part of The Beginning. It is the only ride or attraction to be retained from Windsor Safari Park, being refurbished when the park opened with stained glass windows made from translucent Lego bricks by local school children. It travels 300 metres between two stations, with a height difference between the top and bottom stations of approximately 27 metres.
Previously located in The Beginning was the Creation Centre which opened in 2000. This building has housed a number of attractions since it has opened. The first main attraction it contained was LEGO Racers which opened with the Creation Centre. Here, guests could create their own virtual LEGO racer through an innovative system and went through a process which culminated in them being able to race their character against other guests. The original LEGO Racers attraction suffered from reliability issues and closed at the end of 2004. However, it was revived in 2009 by members of the original team and was able to reopen under the new name of Rocket Racers. However, reliability issues remained and it saw its final guests over the weekend of the 8–9 October 2011. The attraction space was repurposed for Star Wars Miniland which was based on the Star Wars franchise depicting a number of scenes in LEGO and opened in 2012. Unlike LEGO Racers & Rocket Racers it was classed as a walkthrough attraction with no queue. Instead, guests walked round much like the main Miniland land. In 2016, a large model of the Death Star was installed as the centrepiece of the attraction. However, the attraction closed on December 31, 2019 echoing other Legoland Resorts which all closed their Star Wars Miniland if they had them, rumoured due to a licensing deal between Lucasfilm and Merlin Entertainments ending. Currently the space is empty and Legoland Windsor have announced no plans for its future.
The Creation Centre is also home to Legoland Windsor's model makers who display busts of famous figures as well as a view of their studio in a space on the second floor of the centre. On the ground floor of the centre is Apocalypseburg which is part of the The Lego Movie 2 set used and shares space with a Movie Store.
DUPLO Valley is a land aimed at smaller children, with the majority of Rides being 'family rides'. Since the resort's opening the land has rotated through a number of different names including Explore Land, Duplo Gardens and Duplo Land.
At the beginning of the 2020 season, DUPLO Valley was reopened following a refurbishment and the construction of a new ride, the DUPLO Dino Coaster. The DUPLO Dino Coaster, originally planned to be called the DUPLO Dream Coaster became the resort's third rollercoaster (after The Dragon & Dragon's Apprentice). Aimed to be a 'My First Coaster' it saw a soft opening before the park's temporary closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was designed by Mack Rides but manufactured by ART Engineeing GmbH. Alongside the opening of the new ride was the re-theming of three rides and attractions: DUPLO Express (previously Duplo Train), DUPLO Airport (previously Duplo Valley Airport and before that, Chopper Squadron and Whirly Birds) and DUPLO Playtown (previously Brickville but it has gone by this name before). Also located in DUPLO Valley is Fairy Tale Brook, a boat ride which takes guests round a course which contains LEGO models of fairy tale characters.
DUPLO Valley is home to the resort's waterpark which consists of three separate rides and attractions: Raft Racers, Drench Towers and Splash Safari. Raft Racers (previously Extreme Team Challenge) begins outside of DUPLO Valley on a pathway starting in Imagination which bypasses Miniland and is a fast water chute ride consisting of two slides guests ride down in rafts. Raft Racers ends in DUPLO Valley next to Drench Towers. Drench Towers is a water splash area with multiple slides which was placed on land previously occupied by Mole-in-One Mini Golf. Splash Safari is a smaller splash area for toddlers which consists of water features made of DUPLO models and is located below Drench Towers.
Also in DUPLO Valley is the DUPLO Valley Theatre which is a puppet theatre which shows classic fairy tales. It is located adjacent to Fairy Tale Brook. One of the resort's family restaurants, Farmer's Joe Chicken Company, is found opposite the theatre.
Knights' Kingdom (originally Castleland and NEXO Knights' Kingdom) features The Dragon roller coaster, which starts inside the castle themed station, passing Lego tableaux, before travelling outside reaching a speed of around 30 mph (48 km/h). Other rides in the land are Merlin's Challenge (previously known as Knight's Quest), a flat carousel ride and Dragon's Apprentice, a smaller rollercoaster acting as an alternative for younger guests unable to ride The Dragon.
In previous years, the land has assumed a role as Christmas Kingdom when open in the winter months and houses a grotto in the ride area of The Dragon.
LEGO City, formerly known as Traffic, is themed around transport. Balloon School: a simulated hot air balloon ride. Coastguard HQ: a boat school ride for children Fire Academy: L-Drivers: drive school for 3–5 children City Driving School: drive school here children can drive their own car. In 2019, a Vekoma 'mad-house' attraction called Haunted House Monster Party was added to the area and in 2020, Atlantis Submarine Voyage by Sealife, which features "submarine" vehicles used to travel through the tank, was rethemed to become LEGO City Deep Sea Adventure.
Miniland is a miniature park in Lego form, depicting towns and cities from around the world, using nearly 40 million Lego bricks, in models. The area features a number of animated models, interacting with each other. Motor vehicles use cables under the paths emitting radio wave signals to steer and allow charging when required and overnight. The train system runs on tracks, slowing for stations using slow down bars and also charging, and the boats use rubber loops under the water driven by motors, with sensors to detect the boats for operating bridges and locks. The system, with lights and sounds, is run by 14 computers using 300 kilometres of underground cabling.
The land is divided into different areas as they are depicted, these include: London, the Rest of England, Scotland, Wales and Europe (composed of the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Sweden, Denmark & France). In 2018, Miniland saw an expansion called 'Explore the World' which added more LEGO models of global sites including the Sydney Opera House, Forbidden Palace & Saint Basil's Cathedral. Also added in 2018 was Miniland USA, another expansion with detailed LEGO models and scenes depicting famous American sites.
LEGO NINJAGO World
LEGO NINJAGO World opened in May 2017 based upon the popular NINJAGO TV Series and LEGO brand. The centrepiece attraction is a 4D interactive ride, Ninjago: The Ride manufactured by Triotech. Also in the land is the relocated and rebranded ride 'Destiny's Bounty', a Rockin' Tug ride based on the ship in the TV series. The ride was previously known as 'Longboat Invader and opened in 2008.
Pirate Shores features a log flume, Pirate Falls, a play area and a pirate ship ride named the Jolly Rocker. From 1996 to 2010, this area was known as Wild Woods.
Heartlake City (formerly Lego City until redecoration in 2015), based on the LEGO Friends produce range, includes two rides: The LEGOLAND Express, a railway ride round Kingdom of the Pharaohs, and a Disk'O coaster called Mia's Riding Adventure. Also in the area is the "Return to Skeleton Bay" pirate stunt show, and "LEGO Friends to the Rescue", a live music concert around the harbour performed by the LEGO Friends.
Kingdom of the Pharaohs
The Kingdom of the Pharaohs contains "Laser Raiders", an interactive dark ride through an Egyptian tomb where visitors shoot targets to gain points. Also in this area is Scarab Bouncers, Aero Nomad, Desert Chase and Thunder Blazer. The latter three rides are fairground based attractions such as a carousel and a Ferris wheel ride.
Land of the Vikings
Land of the Vikings is situated behind the Hill Train; this was opened in 2007, and is based on the plunderings of Nordic Vikings. This land is home to two attractions, Vikings’ River Splash: An attraction manufactured by ABC Rides and features Lego models, water sprays and cannons along its course. The other attraction is Spinning Spider located at the bottom of the area, this ride is a spinning teacups style ride where guests ride in log-style gondolas as an animatronic LEGO spider gnashes its jaws and breathes smoke on a web above.
Imagination is an area themed around education through LEGO. The centre piece being the LEGO Education Centre which is where a dedicated Education team offers National Curriculum workshops. The Education team has been recognised nationally by the School Travel Awards as the 'Best Venue for STEM Learning (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths)' in 2019.
The only Ride in this land is Sky Rider, which is an elevated track ride opened in March 1996 and refurbished between the 2001 and 2002 seasons. The attraction of this ride is the views that can be seen of Miniland as it cruises over Imagination and also allows views of the surrounding area.
Two attractions complete Imagination, LEGO Studios 4D & LEGO Reef. LEGO Studios 4D was previously known as the Imagination Theatre and now shows a number of Lego-themed films throughout the day. In the 2020 season, these were: LEGO City 4D - Officer in Pursuit; LEGO Ninjago - Master of the 4th Dimension & LEGO Movie 4D A New Adventure. The LEGO Reef is an interactive experience opened in 2018 which allows guests to create a digital LEGO fish which will then swim in front of them on a screen.
LEGO Mythica: World of Mythical Creatures
Mythica is a new land based on a new LEGO IP. This will open in May 2021 where Adventure Land was previously located. The centrepiece ride will be Flight of the Sky Lion, a Flying theatre ride. Also in the land will be a drop tower ride and the rethemed 'S.Q.U.I.D. Surfer' ride to be known as 'Hydra's Challenge'.
Legoland Windsor typically opens from March to November, with closures on some days.
Attendance has steadily risen since 2005. Legoland Windsor regularly draws more attendees than the original Legoland Billund Resort in Denmark; in 2011, it became the tenth-most popular theme park in Europe, a position it has held every year since.
Legoland Windsor Resort currently has two hotels.
The Legoland Hotel opened its doors in March 2012. The hotel is located at the back of the park, in the Adventure land section, on the old site of the Jungle Coaster. Guests enter the hotel on the ground floor but enter the park on the 2nd floor. The hotel is home to the Bricks Restaurant ( a buffet) and the Skyline Bar, both on the 2nd floor. The resort featured 6 different types of themed rooms, they were Pirate, Kingdom, Adventure, Premium Pirate, Premium Kingdom and Premium Adventure. Over the year's these room themes have changed, the hotel no longer offers Premium Kingdom rooms but now offers Ninjago and Lego friends rooms. Guests staying at both Hotels get access to the pirate-themed indoor pool and fitness facility (located at the Legoland Hotel) as well as a treasure hunt in each room and access to select attraction before the general public in the park. The second floor is not only home to the restaurants previously mentioned, but a loft where LEGO video games can be played on PlayStation 4 consoles. The ground floor features a Lego store and bins of bricks that can be built with. There is a castle themed baggage check area by the double doors.
The Legoland Castle Hotel opened its doors on 1 July 2017. The hotel was opened by competition winner James Waine who designed a model that was built by professional model makers and put outside the hotel. The hotel offers two different themes of rooms, Wizard and Knights. The hotel is only accessible from the park, guests must check-in at the Legoland Hotel and travel through the hotel and the park to reach the Castle Hotel. The Castle Hotel is located next to the Legoland Hotel. The hotel is home to the Tournament Tavern restaurant, which offers table service meals. Guests staying at both Hotels get access to the pirate-themed indoor pool and fitness facility (located at the Legoland Hotel) as well as a treasure hunt in each room and access to select attraction before the general public in the park.
In Legoland Windsor's ten-year plan, the park have expressed interest in building a holiday village that would consist of 450 Lodges that would be built in two phases. These lodges would range from barrel-style glamping to large family lodges. The majority of phase one (120 out of 150) would consist of Lodges that could sleep up to a family of five. The new Holiday Village is planned to be located near the front of the park.
Rides and Attractions
|Aero Nomad||Kingdom of the Pharaohs||1996||Zamperla||A small ferris wheel ride offering views over Kingdom of the Pharaohs and the centre of the park. Originally named Brickadilly's Ferris Wheel when opened in 1996; rebranded Aero Nomad in 2009.|
|Balloon School||LEGO City||1999||WGH Transportation||A ride containing six balloon gondolas (4 guests each), attached to arms linked to a central turning arm. Balloons can be raised or lowered at the riders command.|
|Castaway Camp||Pirate Shores||1996||Unknown||A large adventure playground for children based upon a Pirate ship and features towers, slides and climbing nets. Formerly named Pirates Training Camp / The Rat Trap.|
|Desert Chase||Kingdom of the Pharaohs||1996||Bertazzon||A carousel located within the Kingdom of the Pharaohs area at LEGOLAND Windsor. Originally named Brickadilly's Carousel at the park's opening in 1996, renamed Desert Chase in 2009.|
|Destiny's Bounty||Ninjago World||2008||Zamperla||A Rockin' Tug ride originally located in Land of the Vikings as Longboat Invaders, which opened in 2008. Renamed to Destiny's Bounty in 2017.|
|Dragon's Apprentice||Knight's Kingdom||1999||WGH Transportation||A smaller companion to the park's larger coaster - The Dragon.|
|Drench Towers||DUPLO Valley||2013||Unknown||A water play structure themed to LEGO Duplo featuring a tipping water 'brick' and various coloured slides. Only open during summer months.|
|DUPLO Airport||DUPLO Valley||1996 (rethemed 2020)||Unknown||A ride where guests can control a LEGO-style helicopter, by using a lever to guide it up or down. 2 guests per helicopter. Originally named Whirly Birds at the park's opening in 1996; renamed to Chopper Squadron (2006) and then DUPLO Valley Airport (2013).|
|DUPLO Dino Coaster||DUPLO Valley||2020||ART Engineering||A DUPLO themed roller coaster for younger guests.|
|DUPLO Express||DUPLO Valley||1996 (rethemed 2020)||Unknown||A small train completing a small circuit.|
|DUPLO Playtown||DUPLO Valley||2013 (rethemed 2020)||Unknown||A playground for children based upon a town created from LEGO Duplo bricks.|
|Fairy Tale Brook||DUPLO Valley||1996||WGH Transportation||A gentle boat ride where guests pass through LEGO depictions of fairytale scenes (such as Aladdin, Little Red Riding Hood, and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs) in a leaf-shaped boat. Revised in 2013.|
|Fire Academy||LEGO City||2005||Metallbau Emmeln||Groups of 4 can enter a fire engine to compete against other guests to extinguish the 'fire' in a building. Guests must use levers to power the truck down a track to the building, exit the truck and use water pumps to aim at 'fire' in the windows of said building. Guests must then power the truck back to the starting line, the first team back wins.|
|Fire and Ice Freefall||LEGO Mythica: World of Mythical Creatures||2021||Unknown||Two drop towers|
|Flight of the Sky Lion||LEGO Mythica: World of Mythical Creatures||2021||UK's first Flying theater|
|Haunted House Monster Party||LEGO City||2019||Vekoma||A madhouse attraction. There is no gift shop for this ride.|
|Hill Train||The Beginning
Land of the Vikings/Kingdom of the Pharaohs
|Before 1996 (opened as part of Windsor Safari Park)||Unknown||A funicular railway shuttling guests between the top and centre of the park down a hill (hence the name). There are two trains, each feature three carriages (one red, one blue, one yellow) which pass each other on the journey. This feature was carried over from Windsor Safari Park.|
|Hydra's Challenge||LEGO Mythica: World of Mythical Creatures||2000 (rethemed 2021)||Zierer||Dual water carousel|
|Jolly Rocker||Pirate Shores||2010||Huss||Originally situated at another park, Jolly Rocker is a rocking pirate ship that seats 35 people and opened in 2010.|
|Laser Raiders||Kingdom of the Pharaohs||2009||Sally Corporation||Guests travel in a cart through interactive scenes and user laser guns to shoot targets and earn points.|
|L-Drivers||LEGO City||1996||Garmendale||A smaller version of Driving School for younger guests between the heights of 0.9m and 1.1m.|
|LEGO City Coastguard HQ||LEGO City||1996||LEGOLAND (track/course)
|Guests can drive electric LEGO-style boats through a course, accompanied by a mixture of LEGO and plastic 3D models. Originally named Boating School at the park's opening in 1996, renamed Coastguard HQ in 2015.|
|LEGO City Deep Sea Adventure||LEGO City||2011 (rethemed 2020)||Mack Rides||An underwater submarine ride that takes riders on a journey through an aquarium. The ride was refurbished and renamed from Atlantis Submarine Voyage to LEGO City Deep Sea Adventure in 2020.|
|LEGO City Driving School||LEGO City||1996||Garmendale||Guests between 1.1m and 1.5m can drive LEGO-style miniature electric cars through a series of roads featuring a range of LEGO models and 3D scenes.|
|LEGOLAND Express||Heartlake City||1996||Severn Lamb||A train ride that seats 150 that begins in Heartlake City and travels past Kingdom of the Pharaohs (through the queue line of Laser Raiders) and travels through LEGO City before returning to Heartlake City, and features LEGO constructions of various animals (originally to represent LEGO character Johnny Thunder's expeditions), and Johnny Thunder himself. It also features areas where watching guests can push buttons to activate water sprays from the mouths of models, such as a tiger. Originally named I-Spy Express at the park's opening in 1996; subsequently renamed Adventurers' Express (2002), Orient Expedition (2005), and Heartlake Express (2015).|
|Merlin's Challenge||Knight's Kingdom||2005||Mack Rides||A Mack Old Train ride, originally located in Adventure Land (opened in 2005 as Dino Dipper) but moved to allow for construction of Atlantis Submarine Voyage. Renamed to Knight's Quest in 2011. Renamed to Merlin's Challenge in 2020. Riders spin quickly in a circle over bumps in a LEGO train.|
|Mia's Riding Adventure||Heartlake City||2015||Zamperla||A Zamperla Disko ride where guests can board LEGO horses and spin in to the air.|
|Ninjago: The Ride||Ninjago World||2017||Triotech||A dark ride where riders use their hands to shoot. Themed around the popular kids TV show, Lego Ninjago Masters of spinjitzu.|
|Pirate Falls: Treasure Quest||Pirate Shores||1996||Zamperla||A traditional log flume ride featuring various LEGO depictions of pirates based upon a story of a rivalry between two crews. Originally named Pirate Falls at the park's opening in 1996; renamed to Pirate Falls Dynamite Drench (2010) and then Pirate Falls Treasure Quest (2014). Treasure Quest is the name of the play area within the queue line of the ride.|
|Raft Racers||DUPLO Valley||1999||WhiteWater West||Guests can ride a rubber dinghy along one of two coloured slides down a bank. Originally named Extreme Team Challenge when the ride opened in 1999; subsequently renamed to Raft Racers in 2013.|
|Scarab Bouncers||Kingdom of the Pharaohs||2009||S&S Worldwide||Two small frog-hopper style drop towers that can each sit 6 children and 1 adult.|
|Sky Rider||Imagination Centre||1996||Premier Rides||Originally opened in 1996, guests could pedal a LEGO-style cart around a track overlooking Miniland and the park, as well as travelling above Imagination Centre. Between the 2001 and 2002 seasons, the pedals were removed, a lap bar introduced and the ride was refurbished to be electronically powered.|
|Splash Safari||DUPLO Valley||2013||Unknown||A small water playground featuring DUPLO characters, replacing the Waterworks attraction which occupied the area prior to 2012.|
|Spinning Spider||Land of the Vikings||1996||Intamin||A spinning teacups style ride where guests ride in log-style gondolas as an animatronic LEGO spider gnashes its jaws and breathes smoke on a web above.|
|The Dragon||Knight's Kingdom||1998||WGH Transportation||Guests travel in a dragon rollercoaster train through a dark-ride section in a castle featuring scenes of animated LEGO models before accelerating up a lift hill and completing two figure-of-eight circuits before returning to the station.|
|Thunder Blazer||Kingdom of the Pharaohs||1996||Unknown||A small chairswing ride. Originally named Brickadilly's Chair-O-Plane in 1996 when the park opened; renamed to Thunder Blazer in 2009.|
|Vikings' River Splash||Land of the Vikings||2007||ABC Rides||A river rapids ride. Guests travel through scenes featuring LEGO models of Vikings and dragons and pass a viewing point where riders can squirt using pump water guns. The ride concludes with bucketfuls of water being tipped and a climb back to the station.|
Former rides and attractions
Reserve & Ride (formerly Q-Bot)
For the 2008 season, the Q-Bot queuing system (now called Reserve & Ride) was introduced. For a per-person fee, guests are provided with a small pager-like device to "reserve" places in queues virtually, allowing guests to use their queuing time elsewhere in the park. The initial contract between Q-Bot developers Lo-Q was for 1 year from 8 April 2008. This contract was extended for 2009 before a new 3-year contract was signed on 26 March 2010. Three tiers of the device are available at different prices which reduce the queue time by different proportions.
Since opening in 1996, the park has won a number of awards:
- Voted UK's Number One Family Attraction by Group Leisure Magazine, 1999.
Legoland Windsor Resort Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.