My husband had a last minute day off and after much racking of our brains, we decided to try LEGOLAND Discovery Centre in Manchester.
We had such an awesome time at the one in Windsor and whilst I realise it was nowhere on the same scale coupled with Charlie’s reignited love of Lego since the Lego Movie was released, we thought we’d give it a go.
However, only WE could choose to go to Manchester on the Friday of V Festival, meaning the easiest route to get there was chocker block. But none the less, despite numerous other traffic jams, we arrived. I read to park on the Barton car park. But we parked the furthest away possible so it was a good walk to the centre. Once we got there, it was around 10.45am and despite me wanting to be there before it opened at 10, the traffic as against us and we were met with a huge queue.
The staff were there to warn you there was a 1hour 45 minute wait but as we had travelled specifically we decided we had to wait.
Luckily we had lots of snacks and my Dad had come with us as extra hands so whilst it sounded a long time it wasn’t -too- traumatic. I had looked on the internet and the website keeps telling you to pre-book and in hindsight I REALLY wish we had as you get an allocated time slot to enter & the people with these massively cut their waiting time. But as we had discount vouchers to use we didn’t pre-book as you couldn’t use them.
Despite having buy one get on free tickets, it still cost us best part of £40 to get in. As we walked through there’s a big buggy park by the lift which made us think we would have to leave it there which we did.
AS you enter you go to the Lego ‘tour’ which really consists of someone in a lab coat talking to you for about 3 minutes about making lego bricks. All the kids got a free LEGOLAND personalised brick which was a nice touch.
You then go into a small model village. There are some pretty good models, our favourite being the Oblivion at Alton Towers. Once through this small cave of models you are into the main (and pretty much only) room. Everything is in 1 place which on a school holiday is carnage! There are small areas filled with lego bricks which you can sit and make models. There’s also the 4D cinema screenings and 3 rides. At the back of the room is another building centre and a smaller children’s area with foam type bricks. This however is ridiculous as the floor is hard concrete so whilst they’ve designated it as a Duplo area for younger toddlers, you’re frightened to let them move for fear of going splat on the cold hard floor! Surely a but of foam flooring in a child purpose built area would be sensible?
The main ride is this room is the Merlin Apprentice ride. Only 12 people (6 couples) can get on this at one time so the queue is quite slow but it’s a good ride where you have to peddle to get higher – a good workout for all adults going on with kids!
The other main ride is just outside the display room and is the Kingdom Quest laser ride. You have a little gun and have to shoot the bad guys and it racks up your score. We waiting around 40 minutes for this and it lasted about 2 – but it is the school holidays and I was totally ready for queing.
There is a smaller ‘Pursuit Driving School’ which allows you to get a form of licence – but it’s £9 and is a very small driving type track which the kids drive one way around. There is a large soft play area in the middle of the room but it’s difficult to see your child once inside so with roaming 14 month old twins, Charlie didn’t stay in long.
Finally in the room is a café but we found it very expensive (£9 for a kids meal!) so opted out.
As you go to leave the main room, you walk through Star Wars miniland which Charlie loved. There’s also a Ninjago laser field which kids have to run through without breaking the laser beams otherwise they incur a time penalty – ironically, this was Charlie’s favourite part of the day.
And no day would be complete without having to walk out via the gift shop; cue children having tantrums to their parents who after paying an extortionate fee to get in now are expected to shell out more!
I’m sorry this is such a negative review but I was seriously disappointed. It felt like a complete rip off for what essentially was a large room. Even my husband as we walked in said ‘is this it?’ I’m glad we had discount vouchers as I would have felt even more aggrieved paying top whack for it. Perhaps it may have been a bit more enjoyable out of season but I feel there definitely isn’t enough to occupy a whole day.
Sorry to be so negative but I always said I’d be totally honest on my blog – so there you go!
I only took a handful of photos – apologies!
|The infamous hard floor|