Thursday, 11 April 2013

A trip to Legoland (Discovery Centre, Manchester)

Somehow our holiday plans are always a little bit last minute. So in an attempt to get away for a few days with minimal hassle, we went on a little trip to Dumfries and Galloway and then Legoland Discovery Centre Manchester, keeping the latter as a surprise for Cubling.

Everything was booked ahead online, which was good because online tickets are cheaper. We stayed in the Trafford Centre Premier Inn, which is truly a child friendly place (pre children I never expected that it can actually be difficult finding any accommodation that will allow a family of 4 in a room) with great service and good food. So convenient too for Legoland and the price tag was very decent too.

The Trafford Shopping Centre is quite remarkable with its Greek/Roman feel to it, it's nice and spacious but this does translate to longer walks and multiple signs for Legoland so that eventually a P1 child spotted the word "Legoland". Ah well, a surprise it was nonetheless!

Although we had missed our allocated entry slot, we still got priority entry because we had prepaid tickets - just as well because the other queue was impressive. Cubling was totally in awe by the amount of lego and the lifesize things made from lego, and loved everything about it, and her sister clearly joined in.

However. Now, it needs to be said we were there during Easter holidays, so it was probably a bit busier than usual (I hope), but my experience of the day was that we went from one queue to the next. First a queue to get in (and we were lucky it was the shorter one), then a queue for the intro talk, then a queue for the first ride, and another 5 queues for other attractions. Most queues involved about half an hour standing, which is difficult with a 2 1/2 year old. What annoyed me too was that the queues were very well hidden, so you only realised the length when it was too late to turn back.

The rides were all mediocre - now I say that because I've seen much better, but for a 6 year old they were all she could wish for, and she was totally happy and loved the whole day. For a 42 year old, well, she had a splitting headache, got very grumpy and was only saved by the kindness and helpfulness of the centre staff whom she couldn't but feel very sorry for. It occurred to me that I wasn't sure how they would evacuate the masses in case of a fire.

I was disappointed by the size of the centre, it was much smaller than I expected - again, this is not something that the kids noticed, they were very happy and didn't complain once (ok, they did make the mistake of exiting the soft play not realising that you'd have to queue again to get back in but they did take it in their stride) but I would have expected a bigger and more spectacular attraction. I did wonder how it compares with Legoland Windsor, or Legoland in Denmark for that matter.

So personally, I wouldn't go again or recommend it. If you live in Scotland, it is easier to get to than Windsor (which is why we made the trip) with just a 3.5 hour car journey from Glasgow.

1 comment:

sustainablemum said...

I was going to visit this place but when I looked up reviews on the net they were terrible all exactly as you described. We will visit Windsor one day I expect but only when my youngest can remember it as it is so expensive. In the course of my research I discovered that the Manchester place is not run by the Lego company as the one in Windsor is, it another company entirely.



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