Monday, 31 December 2018

Legoland Discovery Centre Manchester - A Review

I always find that after a couple of days at home over Christmas, the whole family are keen to get out and about. So when we received an invitation to visit The Legoland Discovery Centre in Manchester, this sounded like the perfect opportunity to enjoy some family fun and get creative. We therefore decided to spend a morning at the attraction on Friday and see some of the new additions and changes that have been made since our last visit in early 2017.


The Legoland Discovery Centre experience begins with an introductory factory tour where you are welcomed by a Lego professor. A fun interactive demonstration soon follows where we learnt about how lego bricks come to be created and the process involved. My youngest son Riley loved participating, as all the children (and adults) were encouraged to jump, shout and wave their arms to get the machinery working. We followed the action through two rooms and once we reached the end, all of the children were rewarded with a Lego Duplo brick to thank them for their help.


As we exited the factory tour, we immediately joined a queue for the Kingdom Quest Laser Ride. We remembered this from our previous visit, where we had enjoyed competing against one another for the best score. We were all able to fit into one car, which is a rarity at some attractions when visiting as a family of five, so we immediately liked the fact that we could enjoy the ride together. My children all really enjoyed this and my daughter managed to obtain the highest score, though I am convinced that I should have won! It is a great little ride for younger children as it isn't scary and the laser guns are quite light to hold, so my five year old was able to use his on his own without any assistance needed from me.


We then made our way into Miniland, which is an area packed full of recognisable landmarks, all built of Lego. I also found out from their website that this area is constructed from over 1.5 million bricks, which I think is incredible. My children enjoyed looking at them in great detail and we loved that there were some santa and elves figures peeping out of some of the windows. A Santa Dash had also been created near the Blackpool Tower which we thought was a lovely idea. My son Ben also spotted The Woolpack, docks and a yellow submarine. As we looked at all the creations, the lights began to dim and this provided the opportunity to see all the landmarks how they would appear at night time. The tower lit up lovely as a tram made its way up and down the tracks. It looked really beautiful and must have taken a very long time to build.


As we entered the main attraction area we came across the Space Mission Experience which had not been here on our previous visit, so it was fun to be able to enjoy a new activity that we had not seen before. Some of the creations looked absolutely superb and my children enjoyed pretending that they were astronauts navigating their spaceship. There were building areas where guests could create their own Lego rocket ships, planets or spacecraft and the mission control base offered a great opportunity for some pretend play. Riley really enjoyed this area, so we spent quite some time here getting creative with all the different Lego pieces on offer.



Once we had finally convinced Riley to explore the other activities on offer, we made our way over to the Merlin's Apprentice Ride where you could take to the skies by pedaling as fast as you can, which would then raise the vehicles up to the roof, whilst also spinning around. Each vehicle can seat two passengers and there are height restrictions which means that younger guests between 90cm to 120cm will need to be accompanied by an adult.


Riley then asked to go straight to the Lego City Forest Ranger Pursuit Ride where children can drive around in purpose built Lego police cars. Children have to be at least 4 years old to operate the vehicles and there are also height restrictions which apply. I think that this is because children need to be able to push the pedal down to make the vehicle move, as well as steer it around the course, so I can completely understand why the age and height restrictions have been implemented. There was only a short queue for this attraction, so my two boys didn't have to wait too long for their turn. Once you reached the beginning of the queue, a staff member provided the children with a safety briefing, before allowing them to enter the course and select their vehicle. Riley absolutely loved being able to drive his own car and because the road was in a simple oval shape, it was easy for younger guests to navigate their way around. It was also well supervised and we noticed that if any child appeared to be having difficulty operating the vehicle, then a staff member would go straight to them to assist.


After the excitement of driving his own vehicle, Riley decided that it was time to build one, so we moved over to the Lego Racers Build and Test in partnership with Jaguar Land Rover. This area allowed all my children to be both creative and competitive as they all challenged themselves to build the best Lego vehicle that was capable of taking on the ramps and the Land Rover Discovery Build Table. My son Ben really enjoyed this area and he was very pleased with his creation.



One area of the attraction that my children had really been looking forward to, was the Lego Ninjago City Adventure, which was under construction during our last visit. I had assumed that this would just be a soft play area, however it offered much more, with numerous activities being spread across three floors. Amongst the play zone was a build table, some ninja skill training areas, along with a reaction time board and a rotating climbing wall, though unfortunately the latter wasn't open on our visit. It was a great area to enjoy some interactive play as well as being able to let little ones imaginations run wild too, with lots of pretend play possibilities. Riley enjoyed pretending to be a ninja and imagined that he was in training to become the best ninja on the planet!


We followed this up nicely with a visit to the 4D Cinema Experience that was showing a Lego Ninjago movie featuring the Spinjitzu Master and his scroll. As we entered the screening area we were provided with a pair of 3D glasses each and we chose some seats central on the second row. This was perfect for families of all ages to enjoy and it was great hearing all the children in the audience laugh as the water and snow effects fell from the roof. The movie itself only lasted around ten minutes, so it was also the perfect length of time for smaller children to enjoy without becoming too restless. We had previously watched The Lego Movie so it was nice to be able to watch a different film which again added variation to our visit.


Unfortunately we ran out of time to check out the Creative Workshop as my children had been too busy enjoying all of the other areas, but from the outside this looked like a large classroom where guests could sit and be given top tips to help with their lego creations. We also didn't get to try out the new Great Lego Race VR Experience which was a shame as this looked fantastic and it is something that we would certainly try out when we return in the future. There is an additional cost for this of £5 per person, We finished our visit with a trip to the shop, where two of my children purchased some lego items with their Christmas money. There was a huge selection of products to choose from as well as some fantastic displays, including a huge Hagrid figure. This must have taken such a long time to build and I cannot imagine how many bricks it would have required. My daughter is a huge Harry Potter fan so she thought this was magnificent.


Overall we had an enjoyable few hours at the Legoland Discovery Centre and it was great to see all the changes that have been made since our last visit in 2017, which show that it is an attraction that is always looking to make improvements for its guests. The staff we came across were all really friendly and also showed a lot of enthusiasm throughout the attraction, encouraging guests to enjoy themselves and have a great time. We regularly saw the Lego creation areas being checked and staff would pick up any loose pieces of Lego off the floor, helping to make it a safe environment to play in. My children loved the Lego Ninjago City Adventure area, which offered a whole variety of different activities to enjoy and to help improve on your ninja skills. Our favourite though had to be the 4D cinema experience which is really enjoyable for families of all ages. We had plenty of fun and a very creative time during our visit and would definitely recommend it to others.

Tickets can be purchased online here and you can also view the different combi tickets which are available. Children under 3 can visit for free! There are also some advantages to booking online as you can save money on standard admission and also scan your mobile ticket for faster entry. The Sea Life Aquarium Manchester is also next door, so by purchasing a combi ticket you can enjoy a full day out enjoying both attractions. It is important to note that adults are not permitted to enter the attraction without being accompanied by a child under the age of 17. However, they do run Adult only evenings on certain dates throughout the year, to cater for older Lego loving guests!

Attraction Details

Attraction - Legoland Discovery Centre Manchester
Address - Legoland Discover Centre Manchester, Barton Square, The Trafford Centre, Manchester, M17 8AS
Website - https://manchester.legolanddiscoverycentre.co.uk/
Opening Times - Monday to Sunday 10am til 6pm with last entry at 5pm. Closing times may vary over the festive period. Closed on Christmas Day.


Disclaimer: We were invited as guests to Legoland Discovery Centre for the purpose of writing an honest review of our experience. All opinions and thoughts are my own unless otherwise stated.

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