Showing posts with label Legoland. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Legoland. Show all posts

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.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Our Visit to the Legoland Discovery Centre Manchester

With the Christmas holidays now being a distant memory, we have been counting down the days to February half term so that we could spend some quality time together as a family. My husband works in a school in England, and our children attend a school in Wales and so a lot of the holidays unfortunately don't match up this year, so we have been really looking forward to getting out and about and finding some fun new things to do!

Despite only living 45 minutes away from Manchester, somehow we have never got round to visiting the Legoland Discovery Centre. We frequent the Trafford Centre quite regularly and have often seen it advertised but for some reason we have never quite made it through the doors to experience what it has to offer. I was therefore really excited to be invited along on Monday as a family to discover what it was all about, and my youngest son Riley was absolutely ecstatic to discover that someone else very special would be there that day too - Lego Batman!

We began our journey at 9am on the Monday morning, stopping for a cooked breakfast at a restaurant on the way. I often do this when heading out for the day, as it keeps the kids full and prevents those recurring questions and comments of "I'm hungry" and "When are we going to get something to eat?"echoing through my ears every few minutes as they take it in turn one by one to ask the same questions throughout the morning. We therefore arrived at The Trafford Centre at around 10:40am and parked in the Barton Square car park which is the nearest car park to both the Legoland Discovery Centre and Sea Life.


Riley became really excited as we made our way from the car park to the attraction, with him noticing a huge window display on the outside of the building. We knew that it would be a popular place however we were shocked to see the size of the queue when we first arrived. Therefore if you are not a fan of queues then I would recommend either getting there just before opening time so you are near the front, or making your way there later in the afternoon. You can also pre book your tickets online if you want to be sure of securing a specific time slot for entry. One piece of advice I would give is wrap up warm and take a brolly, as the queue is outside so it may get a little cold or wet.


Once inside my children declared that they were in Lego Paradise. We have visited Legoland Windsor before and knew that this would not be on the same scale, but my children were in their element right from the very beginning.

On entry to the attraction we were asked to sit down whilst a photographer took our picture against a green screen. We always have these photos done at attractions, sometimes I buy them and sometimes I don't, but I always have the photo taken just on the off chance that they somehow manage to capture a beautiful family photo where all three children are smiling and facing the camera at the same time, as believe me this is quite a challenge! We were asked to smile and pose in several ways so that the picture would fit the image that was later applied to the background. After our picture had been taken, we were given a ticket so that we could view our photograph at the end.

We then made our way up in the lift which took us to the entrance of the factory tour, where we were introduced to the Professor. He provided us with a short interactive demonstration of how lego bricks are created and invited the children to get involved in the process. There was lots of jumping and button pushing to get the machinery going and the children were rewarded for their help with an individual brick each.




As we then entered the main attraction area, we came across our first ride which was the Kingdom Quest Laser Ride. We were all able to fit in the one car which was great as we are so used to having to split up into separate seats on these kinds of rides so it was nice to be able to enjoy it all together and compete against one another in getting the highest score. We all really enjoyed this ride and there was no queue at all, we simply walked straight on, and were made to feel really welcome by the lovely gentleman running the ride. Riley who is 4 was able to hold his laser shooter with ease and was happy that it went at a gentle speed so he wasn't scared at all.

After the Kingdom Quest Laser Ride we carried on our adventure into Miniland, that featured a whole host of recognisable landmarks and structures all made out of Lego. I loved the Blackpool Tower display especially when the main lights dimmed and the tower then all lit up, it looked spectacular. There was even a mini Coronation Street!



Although I could have spent a fair amount of time wandering around the Miniworld area, the kids were keen to try out some more of the rides and so the next stop was the Lego City Forest Pursuit Ride where children can drive around in Lego police cars. Children need to be a minimum of 4 years of age to ride on this, and my son was so happy to be both old and tall enough to go for a drive. Unfortunately he wasn't the best at steering, but one of the staff members helped him round and made sure he had no bumps.


The vehicles are a great little design and look just like the Lego police cars you can build in the Lego City sets. They are operated by a one pedal system so it is easy for children to understand how to use it, and they simply need to keep their foot on the pedal whilst driving and steering around the course.


 The course is in a simple oval shape so there is nothing too complicated to try and manoeuvre around, and they are speed limited so there is no need to worry about anyone going too fast.


Next to the Lego City Forest Pursuit area was the Lego Racers Build and Test Area where this fabulous racing car was also located. The racing car looks fantastic and is big enough for children to sit in to pose for a picture, or pretend that they are speeding round a race track. The build and test area allows you to use your imagination to build a racing car creation that you can race down the speed test track.



After the fun and excitement of the Kingdom Quest Laser Ride, and the Lego City Forest Pursuit, Riley decided he wanted to rest and sit in one of the many lego pits that were full to the brim of lego to build and you could make anything you could think of. I genuinely believe that Riley could have sat here for hours, and he began to make a house on one of the built in boards around the edge.



Next up was the Merlin's Apprentice Ride. On this you have to pedal fast as you go round and round, which helps to raise your vehicle to the skies, so that you can help Merlin with his magic. Riley loves rides that go up and down, especially as he knows that I am not a big fan of heights, and so he often finds this hilarious. Emma and Ben also equally enjoyed this ride though, and thought that having to pedal was a fun feature.




After we had been on Merlin's Apprentice ride, it was the moment that Riley had been excitedly waiting for. It was time to meet..........Lego Batman!


Riley absolutely loves Lego Batman at the moment, and has been collecting the mini figures in the blind bags with his pocket money. He waited patiently in the short queue and when the moment arrived he ran straight to Lego Batman and gave him a huge hug. That moment alone literally made my day, as he was just so so happy. All my children then posed for a picture which we were able to take ourselves and Riley then gave Lego Batman a further big cuddle before heading back to play with the Lego again. 


The costume was fantastic, and Riley is now insistent on me either buying or creating the very same costume for him to wear to school!

After another play in the Lego we visited the 4D cinema and watched a great short film that followed Emmet, Wyldstyle, Unikitty, Metalbeard and Benny on an adventure in a strange theme park that is actually part of an evil secret plot. The 4D film features some great effects, however we had squeezed into the last 5 seats that were together on the back row, and so we didn't feel the full effects of some of these. If you want to get the full effect then I would recommend sitting in the first couple of rows, however you get a good 4D view from wherever you are sat, and my children were more than happy with this. I kept watching Riley trying to reach out for objects that came out of the screen, and when asked what he thought of it after the show, he described it as being magic!


The 4D films run regularly throughout the day, so if you miss one showing, don't worry, just enjoy one of the many other activities and keep an eye on the countdown board which will tell you when the next show starts.

After the show, Riley had become thirsty and so I purchased a Capri Sun juice drink from the cafe for him which cost £1.40. There was also a range of sandwiches, snacks, fruit and cakes available if you were feeling hungry, and there was a meal deal available for £5. Even though I was only purchasing a drink, the lady on the till was so friendly and took the time to ask my son whether he had enjoyed his day so far, and asked what is favourite part had been. It is so easy to take the time to be friendly and polite to customers, but it is something that many people forget to do, but not in the Legoland Discovery Centre! Every single member of staff we spoke to came across as really friendly and enthusiastic, and I think that this always helps to improve the experience for guests. At one point I asked a staff member for directions to the toilets, and rather than just tell me, she said "Come with me, I will show you the way". Again this may seem like a little thing, but I appreciate the fact that she took the time to help out.

At present, some of the attractions are currently closed, but if you visit during this time then you will receive a ticket to return once the work has been completed which seems very reasonable as there is still plenty to do in my opinion. The area where work is taking place is all boarded off, and pictures have been placed up on the boards to try and divert you from the fact that work is taking place. The pictures are really cool and based on the Lego Batman characters which look like they have been spray painted onto the wall. 


After nearly two and half hours here, we decided to make our way out, stopping by Miniland again on the way to take a look at some of the amazing creations once more. Whilst leaving we came across a fun spy activity where you had to try and pass through laser beams, Riley was a pro at this, as he was able to pretty much fit under the lowest one and so simply crawled under on his belly. This made him feel like he was capable of being Batman's sidekick and was really pleased to have managed the task! 

There was also a fantastic batman themed mural board where you could add lego to the design. This looked fabulous, and I wish I could get something like this for Riley's bedroom.


Like most attractions nowadays, the exit is via the shop, which has a huge range of lego available to purchase. I always set my children a limit before we visit anywhere, so that they know exactly how much to spend and saves any awkward demands for money at the end of a trip. They each purchased a small memento, and Riley also bought a Lego Batman minifigure blind bag to add to his ever expanding collection.

Overall we had an absolutely fantastic morning at the Legoland Discovery Centre in Manchester, and seeing Riley's face when he met Lego Batman was amazing, and has definitely created a lovely family memory for us. In total we were in the attraction for nearly 3 hours, however had we not been limited on time that day, we could have quite happily stayed another couple of hours. I feel that the staff are a credit to the attraction, and were more than happy to help customers and always with a smile. The facilities were all clean and tidy, and I regularly saw staff walking round checking all the lego building areas and tidying up any bricks that had fallen on the floor. We visited the Legoland Discovery Centre, not quite sure what to expect, and came away with some fantastic family memories. We can't wait to return when the other attractions reopen, and I would definitely recommend to others.

Tickets are available online here and cost £15 for an adult entry, and £11 for a child aged 3-17. Under 3's are admitted free of charge. Adults are not permitted to enter the attraction without being accompanied by a child under the age of 17, however the attraction does run Adult only evenings on certain dates to cater for their older Lego loving guests too. Tickets are also available on arrival at the attraction, however these cost slightly more than the online saver rate, and are subject to availability.

For extra value, you can also buy combination tickets which combine your trip to the Legoland Discovery Centre with a trip to Sea Life Manchester, so you can enjoy both attractions on the same day. However should you run out of time the Sea Life entry is valid for 90 days from the date of purchase meaning you can come back at a more convenient time if need be. These tickets cost £25 for an adult and £16 for a child aged 3-17. Under 3's are admitted free of charge.

If you would like to learn more about the Legoland Discovery Centre then please visit their website which can be found here: Legoland Discovery Centre Manchester


Disclaimer: We were provided with a complimentary family admission for the purpose of providing an honest review of our experience. We hope to return when the refurbishments have taken place and will update the blog post accordingly with the other available attractions at the point. All opinions and photos are my own. Any entry prices, opening times, or attractions stated are correct at time of writing.