It’s been a busy few weeks (when is it ever not, I ask myself).
This weekend was especially hectic – on Saturday we headed off to Manchester for BlogCamp which went really well.
The day started well, with Flea and I arriving at the venue in plenty of time, then taking a left turn instead of a right and then finding ourselves back on the M56 heading home…we eventually had to give up on the idea of me finding my own way, ditching the car and taking a cab to BlogCamp instead.
Still the rest of the day was a textbook exercise in seamless professionalism. Well, so long as you overlook the moment where I inadvertently projected my slightly sweary desktop wallpaper onto a whole wall, or the bit where I almost had a nervous breakdown at having to log into my Facebook account in front of 100 strangers and prayed out loud there wouldn’t be anything inappropriate at the top of the screen…
Anyway, BlogCamp out of the way, we got back into the car and drove down to Legoland Windsor, where I’d been invited to go and check out the new Legoland Hotel and then spend a day at Legoland Windsor.
I had to do a quick meeting during my stay and rather than subject Flea to this torture, we took along her Dad for the ride – with the idea he could entertain Flea while I was working. Genius! My ex and I mostly get along fine.By which I mean, neither of us has actually attempted to stab the other despite the thought occurring to me on a daily basis, sometimes in really rather vivid detail.
In some respects, the trip went wonderfully.
We arrived in time for a slightly late dinner, and Flea adored our adventure theme room, which came complete with a little treasure hunt, her own personal TV, and lovely comfortable beds. The rooms at the Legoland Hotel are split into a bunk bed sleeping area (with a third, pull-out bed), then a bathroom and then a large double bedroom. This means the two sleeping areas are relatively private, although you can easily hear one another. Flea and her Dad took the bunk beds, while I made like a starfish in the double bed. Naturally.
The Legoland Hotel is lots of fun, with displays of Lego in the hotel lobby, and a large, buffet-style dining area with cartoon table cloths and lots of areas for the kids to run around and play. It’s not for you if you like a quiet dinner, but if you’re under 12, it’s possibly the best place on earth. On Sunday morning, we headed into Legoland Park – as guests of the hotel, you’re allowed to go in 30 minutes earlier to go on the new Atlantis ride, if you choose, and then the main park opens at 10am.
I really like Legoland as a theme park. There’s plenty of green space and trees, and this gives the place a slightly less manic feel than other theme parks. Most of the rides are suitable for younger children – I think there was only one ride Flea wasn’t quite tall enough to go on. Our top recommendations are the Driving School, which Flea loved, and the Dragon rollercoaster, which is fast, but short – hence we went on it four times in a row. Joy. There’s always a fun show at the LEGO City Harbour, with diving pirates and splashing of the audience, which Flea loves to see whenever we’re at Legoland.
To make the most of Legoland, our tips are:
- Definitely, definitely use a Q-Bot to reserve your spot in line for rides ahead of time – why spend so much on tickets then waste half the day standing in line?
- Head to the Driving School and Boating School first as you can’t use the Q-Bot on those rides and the queues are shortest at the start of the day
- Don’t bother buying food from the restaurants – it’s quite expensive and there are lots of spots that are great for picnics
- Arrive a good 10 minutes early if you want a seat at the harbour for one of the shows, especially at lunchtime
- Don’t spend £2 on the family dryers after the water rides – they don’t work. Just buy a poncho first, and carry spare shorts/shirts for the kids
And one more piece of advice, albeit not Legoland related:
If you do find yourself spending four hours in a car with your ex and then sharing a room (I don’t care if I couldn’t see him – I still knew he was there) for the night, remember that your ex’s nerves will be pretty much worn to a frazzle when she wakes up at 7am. I’d therefore strongly suggest that you don’t make the morning’s opening conversational gambit: “If I might make a suggestion, you could put some foundation on. Your face is a bit shiny.”
Just a tip.