Yes, you’re right. It was in fact AGES ago that family Gammon & Chips went to Legoland Windsor as part of the MAD Blog Awards Finalist’s Family Fun Day. But I’ve been pretty flat out with Maddie Sinclair Proofreading ever since, and I’m only now getting the chance to write and tell you all about it.
We had a Legotastic day and enjoyed every minute of it – especially nearly 4 year old Gammon. He’s a huge Lego fan – in fact, he had a Lego birthday cake for his first birthday party! Here are our top 10 best bits:
We decided to make a weekend of it and stayed in the Legoland Hotel the night before our Fun Day. It wasn’t cheap, but we figured it was a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity, so we went for it. We weren’t disappointed. Everyone knows I love a good ‘theming’, and every floor in the hotel was kitted out according to its particular Lego motif. You could stay in Pirate, Adventure or Kingdom themed rooms, there was a Pirate swimming pool and spurty water play area (complete with mini waterslides), an outdoor playground, Lego walkaround characters, and a buffet breakfast was included at Bricks Family Restaurant.
We opted for a Pirate room, complete with pirate bedding, curtains, wallpaper and even Polly, our own Lego parrot. There was a double bunk with TV for the kids, although Chips slept in a cot. I was very pleased to find out that the toilet wasn’t made of Lego, and even more pleased that the same could be said of the toilet paper.
2. Lego Treasure Hunt
In our pirate room at the Lego Hotel, we had a cheeky Lego monkey guarding what looked like a bountiful treasure chest. Gammon & Chips found a treasure map and had to answer clues found on the ship deck carpet which formed a code. Gammon took charge, cracking the treasure chest open to find Lego bounty for both of them. Gammon was chuffed with his Lego City helicopter and Freya hasn’t stopped meowing since she opened up her Duplo kitty cat set.
3. Chima 4D
“4D?”, I hear you ask. “What’s 4D?”
Well, it’s like 3D with another dimension added – a bit like Smellovision.
We headed to the Imagination Theatre for the premier of ‘Lego Legends of Chima 4D Movie Experience’, donned our 3D glasses and prepared to be amazed. It was a 12-minute animated film, based on the Lego Chima franchise, set in the fantasy world of Chima where tribes of animal warriors compete in epic battles for Chi – a mystical energy source that is pretty much the Lego dog’s b*llocks. I’d never seen anything Chima-related before, but it didn’t matter. It was full of high-impact special effects with fire, water, foam and smoke literally (and I mean literally) engulfing you. We now have a Chima-obsessed nearly 4 year old. Although he gets a bit confused and thinks it’s a country bordering Mongolia and Russia.
4. Lego chips
I love Lego. I love potatoes. Connect these two concepts together (pun intended), whack ‘em in a deep fryer and voilà… Lego chips. They were served throughout the park and at Bricks Family Restaurant at the Legoland Resort Hotel, and my two couldn’t get enough of their quirky styling. Boom!
5. Lego Brighton in Miniland
To me, Miniland is what Lego is all about. None of these ‘themed kits’ you can buy. Just a whole world made out of normal Lego bricks which, when you place a couple of million of them one on top of another, actually form the shape of something pretty damn cool. The whole thing absolutely blew me away. All these brilliantly accurate representations of buildings and hundreds of moving cars, boats, trains… Fantastic! But the one part that got my nostalgia gland palpitating was the reproduction of the Brighton Pier – there’s no place like Lego home.
6. Laser Raiders in Kingdom of the Pharaohs
Ever imagined you were in Indiana Jones? Well, I have! (As Mum in a Hurry can vouch from my insistence after BritMums Live that I down shots and slam them upside down on the table once done, making one hell of a punctuated ‘clunk’. I was channelling Indie’s love interest, Marion, in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Very unsuccessfully… anyway, I digress.)
This ride was my favourite. You hop in a 4-seater train carriage. You pick up the laser gun attached to your seat. You shoot the bejesus out of the Lego pharaohs, mummies and other creepy crawlies that jump out at you on your travels. You genuinely consider retraining as an archeologist. You get to the end where your laser scores are displayed. You realise that you’ve just been beaten by a 3 year old. Might stick with proofreading after all.
7. The new Duplo Valley Splash & Play
If the weather on our MAD Family Fun Day had been like the stinkers we’ve had these past 3 weeks, I don’t think we would’ve managed to see anything else in the park. Duplo Valley is new for 2013 and is made up of the Splash Safari (a splash park for the littlens featuring a whole array of Lego jungle animals) and Drench Towers (the largest water play structure in the UK, with 5 waterslides, lots of squirters, and a giant brick which, once full, unceremoniously tips water onto unsuspecting families below. Cool in every sense of the word.
8. Dino Safari in Adventure Land
Gammon is well into his dinosaurs. And he knows all their names too – apart from the Pterodactyl, which he pronounces with a ‘P’ rather than a ‘T’. That’s my fault though – I panicked when he put me on the spot.
So, Dino Safari was the thing Gammon was really looking forward to at Legoland. It’s pretty much Jurassic Park without the bloke being eaten by the T-rex when sitting on the toilet. It’s a (pretty quick) train ride which takes you through a primordial swamp-type landscape dotted with Lego dinosaurs. I’d love to tell you which types they were, but I’d have to ask Gammon, and he’s at nursery at the moment. Anyway, we thought it was dinotastic (although Chips was too young, so we had to take it in turns – thankfully we had magic golden wristbands courtesy of the MAD Blog Awards – so could zip on and off without having to queue – phew!)
9. Lego Star Wars Miniland Model Display
Star Wars. Made of Lego. Nuff said.
I think this Miniland display has been around for a while, but new for 2013 is the Star Wars Gallery with 12 characters from the films built around 3 feet tall from normal Lego bricks, including Chewbacca, Yoda, Anakin Skywalker and Princess Leia. We definitely felt the Force.
10. Gammon getting his Lego driving licence
My first ever memory as a child was going to the original Legoland in Denmark and hopping in a Lego car. I’m pretty sure it was the Danish equivalent of the Windsor ‘L-Drivers’ ride. I was 3 years old. I remember clicking my seatbelt on, pushing my foot down on the accelerator, turning the steering wheel… and plowing right into a Lego bollard. I immediately started to cry and my dad had to come and rescue me. My husband would probably say that not much has changed in the subsequent thirty-odd years.
Three year old Gammon, on the other hand, handled himself with aplomb. He listened carefully in his race briefing, followed all safety instructions, and bombed it round the track like Mark Webber chasing Sebastian Vettel with a packet of drawing pins.
At the end he was presented with his Lego driving licence and I was a teary proud mum – fulfilled by what he’d achieved, but lamenting on what my life could’ve been like if I hadn’t had that formative stack all those years ago in Billund.