Posted by: vikingsinspace | August 16, 2010

I.4.01.1.22. Visit Legoland

Date Accomplished: 1 April 2010

Legoland Windsor

I am still a small child at heart.  I admit it.  And with that, I have also wanted to go to Legoland for years.  When I was growing up, I was a huge fan of Legos, and had all sorts stored in giant tub in my house.  My favorite sets were the castle Legos, pirates, and space Legos.  I was such a huge nerd for Legos, that I even had a subscription to the Lego newsletter (I cannot remember what the name of it was) that would have little supplementary building instructions and Lego news.  I remember there being several articles featuring Legoland and the models built there, and I was desperate to go when I was younger.  The problem with that plan was that Legoland was in Denmark, which is a bit of a trip from Colorado.

Now, I haven’t visited the Legoland in Denmark.  Maybe one day I’ll make it out to that one, but this trip was to a Legoland built later just outside of Windsor.  Legoland Windsor was built in 1996 and is the second Legoland after the original in Denmark (third if you include the one in Germany which both opened and closed in the seventies).  This Legoland seemed like the one I would most likely be able to visit, since I am currently living in England (and the American one is in California, which I am not likely to be near anytime soon).

St. Paul's Cathedral in Lego

The park was overpriced (£38 entry per adult!) and obviously geared towards children.  Luckily, I had a 2-for-1 coupon which helped with the cost, and the children rides weren’t what I wanted to see, but the mini-land Lego models.  At the Windsor Legoland, there was a recreation of the city of London, and many other attractions in Britain.  The first thing one notices are the large replicas of some of the skyscrapers from Canary Wharf – all of them taller than me.  While these are impressive in their size, for me they didn’t really compare to the recreations of some of the smaller well-known landmarks.  The building just needed square bricks, but these other buildings, such as the neo-gothic parliament building, required some design and ingenuity to recreate in Lego.  There were also a surprising number of moving cars, busses, trains, and even a working Underground going throughout the mini-London.

Walled Italian Town in Lego

Of course, mini-land didn’t stop with just London.  There was a tour of Western Europe in Lego, with Monte-St. Michel and Sacre Coeur in France (no Eiffel tower, sadly), a walled city in Italy, fjords with working locks for Norway and Sweden, Gothic structures of Belgium, and many windmills for the Netherlands.  There was even a NASA display to have a representation of the United States.  After roaming through the European area, we ended back up with more England models, which had Welsh and Scottish Castles, Stonehenge, and other little landmarks.

Giant Egyptian Statue in Lego

Mini-land is clearly the highlight.  While I had no interest in the childrens’ rides in the park, I decided to wander through just to see the various statue models placed throughout the park.  These are just as impressive creations, standing several feet high in many cases, sometimes being serious representations of animals or other things, to being whimsical creatures or larger creations of Lego minifigures.

Getting out to Legoland Windsor without a car was a little annoying and limiting, and a bit expensive, but I have a very enjoyable day.  I have since learned that in addition to Legolands, there are also Legoland Discovery Centres, which appear to be less of an amusement park, and more of a space to show off more mini-lands and so forth.  There is one in Manchester, so perhaps I will have to visit there before I finally leave England…

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