Good Evening Legoland
Following my comment on your Legoland Windsor Facebook page on Saturday 21 Sept, I am writing to explain my disappointment in relation to our weekend trip to Legoland.
Over the past few years, my family and I have been privileged to visit a number of popular family attractions and sadly, our opinion of Legoland was not positive.
The Lego brand and Merlin name and reputation go before you and as a result, we booked a weekend visit for 8 in good faith and confidence.
On arrival at the park, we had to queue for 40 mins to get in. This was subject to bag checks – absolutely understandable in this current climate.
There did, however, only seem to be a couple of tables active here which was rather surprising, given it was a Saturday and the weather had been forecast to be good, we had expected it to be busy, it would seem your team had not…
Our first stop was the Coffee concession at the top of the hill, here we waited 15 mins for two lattes as the two staff on duty were really struggling to take orders and make coffee to the correct order…this, it turns out, should have given us insight into the rest of the day…
We made our way through the park and down towards Mini Land. Mini Land was amazing but again, disappointing. It is very obvious which items had recently been replaced as they were bright and bold in colour, however, a good proportion of this fantastic display looked old and tired and in need of a good clean. The water in particular.
We headed towards the cars, which was the main event requested by my daughter. Having looked on the App and seen the queue was 40 mins, we willingly joined the queue. This was 11.30ish and so we expected to be free in time to feed the children.
What followed was, in fact, a queue which took 1 hour 40 mins to complete. This was obviously no-where near the predicted time we used to gauge our decision to enter the queue. At this point, we experienced our first inequality of the visit relating to Q Bots…
The Q Bots provide those who wish to enhance their visit with an opportunity to avoid the queues. We have experienced this at places like Disney and Alton Towers. However, we have never felt the balance was ‘out’ anywhere else before…
Rather than the same approach as other parks, were the fast track guests filter in with the main queue thus speeding their queue up and yet still meeting the needs of the regular quests, it seemed to be that we just reached the front and had to wait while a large group of ‘Q Botters’ got in front…I would really suggest this is looked at in more detail. With the regular family paying around £50 a ticket with the most advanced Q Bot option being £90 per person, this really does price the average family right out the market…it was so very sad that the children only managed to get on 2 rides during the whole of Saturday with well over 3 and a half hours spent in a queue…
maybe some sort of ‘Visitor Experience’ project may provide you with further insight into this…As a regular visitor to such attractions, I do often take the liberty of chatting to other families to gain their opinions and gauge my own, I can assure you this wasn’t an isolated experience…
Late to lunch after the long queue, we headed to Farmer Joe’s Chicken to feed the children. Again, there were only 2 staff manning the potential 4/5 tills and the queue was out the door. The young man on duty helpfully told me not to get a meal deal on the salad as it was cheaper to buy items separately (he was right!) and we waited for our order and tried to find a seat.
Again, only 2 staff were clearing tables and clearly struggling to keep up. The tables and floor were dirty (ketchup in pots seemed to be spilled all over the place!) and when the salad arrived, it only contained 2 pieces of cucumber and a tomato! We did manage to get this replaced but it took 10 mins and 2 reminders!
Our second day in the park was much more pleasant; it was pouring with rain and so incredibly quiet!
Armed with a plan of action, we managed to get the children on more rides than the previous day but again, this seemed a little like running the gauntlet!
We queued for Atlantis…only to be told after 15 mins in the queue the ride was shut! Several of the rides were also shut; Jolly Rocker (seemingly out the whole weekend), Pirate Falls, Scarab Bouncers and Sky Rider.
We also played the Coffee Challenge again – this time in Heartland where I felt so sorry for the young man who was attempting to take orders and make coffee at the same time, I left!
We watched the Pirate show coffee-less (this was a highlight!) and instead opted for our third Coffee Outlet of the weekend at the café next to the main shop…here, we witnessed another customer feel the need to ask ‘excuse me, why is no one making coffee?!’ which reassured us that again, it wasn’t just us!
Our son was absolutely desperate to do the Fire Academy and reassured us he was ‘happy to wait a long time’ (out of the mouths of babes indeed!).
Here, there seemed to be so few people let through at a time from the main queue (Q Bots strike again!) that again, despite the queue being rather short (we could actually see the whole queue in front of us and there seemed to be a reassuringly small amount of people) it took over an hour to gain access to the experience.
Surely there is a better way of organising people on and off the ride here? The staff seemed in no hurry at all and there was a great deal of ‘down time’ between each cycle.
The staff, I am sorry to say, seemed totally fed up…barking orders at the children (the lady at Coastguard who was more worried about sweeping water off the flooded floor than the filling of boats), the young man at Pirate Falls who entertained himself swinging his keys on his finger and absently day dreaming while people randomly merged the queues themselves, the lady on the Duplo Train who was rather grumpy at my 4 year olds innocent enquiry to drive the train a second time…
There were moments of loveliness; a brilliant young man on the Dragon Ride who made the children giggle as they waited in line and the wonderful lady in waders who rescued our boat at Coastguard. However, these stood out due to the sad, grumpy interactions from the other staff…
We love the Lego brand and Merlin Attractions, consequently we are so sad not to be able to sing the praises of the attraction. As an adventurous family, we have been asked by so many about our weekend. Sadly, I am struggling to sum up an enthusiastic and positive response in relation to our experience.
However it does appear that Rachel and family are not alone, following the publication of this post on Facebook many of you have joined in the discussion over on facebook.
Mum of 2 point 5 also sadly agrees with this Rant about Legoland
Why not PIN this post about Legoland
In contrast to this Mini Travellers LOVED their trip to Legoland Florida, albeit maybe a little far for a day trip from the UK