Fatherhood: Family Days Out – How to do Legoland UK, without breaking the bank
Despite having been to Legoland Windsor at least a dozen times, I’ve never written about it on the blog before – apart from a short review of a trip we made their at Christmas one year. This hasn’t been intentional – we love visiting Legoland, hence so many return trips! So with our next trip coming up next month, I thought it was high time I wrote about it. It is, after all, a great Family Day Out.
However, rather than just writing about what you can see and do at Legoland Windsor (which many, many people have written about) I thought I might share a few tips I’ve picked up over the years – many of which will help you to plan your visit cost-effectively. Because an unplanned trip to Legoland (much like any large theme park) can be an expensive affair.
Find a deal on your entry tickets
In all the times we’ve visited Legoland (and we’ve been going for 15 years now!), I’ve only ever paid full price for a ticket ONCE – and that was an accident. For some reason, Legoland don’t do discounted “Family” tickets – so when we took Freddie for his birthday last year, and I forgot the voucher we had, I had to pay £200 for the four of us to get in. Unbeknownst to me, if we had stopped on the way and bought a £1 packet of Chocolate buttons (which had a voucher for free child entry on), I could have saved myself £100!! Needless to say, I was gutted.
You can find discounts for Legoland (and other Merlin attractions) all over the place, from bus tickets to discount websites. Do a bit of research before you go – you’ll thank me when you see the regular entry prices!
Take your own packed lunch
Like the tickets tip, this probably goes for most theme parks these days. Taking a packed lunch / picnic with you can be a real money-saver. Packing copious drinks can also help you to save, though Legoland do have water station scattered around the park – as well as copious fizzy drink stands, obviously!
If you do take your own picnic, try to avoid taking a cool box or other bulky packaging that you’re then going to have to lug around the park all afternoon. Whilst you could theoretically send some unlucky soul back to the car with your lunch packaging, it’s a bit of a long walk – including having to walk up the hill to the entrance – so you might regret it!
Visit off-season for smaller queues
As I mentioned at the top of the post, we took a trip to Legoland’s “Meet Father Christmas” event a couple of years ago, in December. Whilst the main park closes in the winter time, events like this are an opportunity to see smaller areas of the park at a much lower price – and in a different setting to the usual summer crowds. We managed to ride on a bunch of rides that were more toddler-friendly (at least two “lands” were still open) and we got a trip to see the Big Man – and a gift – thrown in for the price!
Buy Lego from the Legoland Shop
I know this sounds a little counter-intuitive in a post about saving money, but buying Lego models from the shop can actually be a bit cheaper than buying them elsewhere – particularly if you are looking for rarer or more hard-to-find models. So if you do decide to take a trip to the park, consider checking out the shop rather than buying those gifts online beforehand.
Visit during a special event
Similarly to visiting during Christmas, you can get tickets to see Legoland for special events. For instance, we went to an event at Bonfire Night one year, where they played Star Wars music and had a variety of characters in the park. Tickets to that were much more cost-effective than the usual entry, and you got a lot more for your money.
Make the most of what the park has for free
Unlike a lot of theme parks, the majority of Legoland entry is included in your entrance tickets – so you won’t find yourself having to shell-out too much for extra rides or entry to certain places. There are lots of things going on in the park to enjoy for zero cost, especially during the busy summer months. Last time we went, they had a little theatre showing a play based on the Ninjago TV series, but there are plenty of things like this – including the hourly “big show” at the lighthouse water park area.
Buy your car park ticket in advance
Bit of a boring one to finish on, but it’ll save you money none-the-less. Getting your parking ticket in advance will save you a bit of money compared to buying it when you get there!
So those are my tips, gathered over the past few years – if I’ve missed any good ones, let me know in the comments!