The Legoland pass for preschool aged children offers unlimited off-peak visits a year for only £60. Could this be the best value annual pass for stay-at-home parents? I take Tilly to find out.

legoland_ldriversAs September becomes to loom I’m faced with the fact that I’ve got one year left with Tilly before she starts school. Looking after a preschooler can be damned hard work, with their threenager tantrums and seemingly inexhaustible supply of energy but we do have terrific fun too.

I’ve therefore set myself the challenge of making the absolute most of this last year when we can enjoy days out during the quiet of term time. When I looked at the annual passes on offer of local attractions, the Legoland preschooler pass seemed too good an opportunity to pass up. So off we set for our very first visit to the land of blocks.

Growing up, Legoland sounded like an amazing place but at that time it could only be visited in its home country of Denmark. By the time Legoland Windsor opened I was pushing 18 years of age and rather too old. At last, then, I have the opportunity to visit myself, enjoying it through three-year-old Tilly’s eyes.

Using the preschooler pass

At £60 the Legoland Windsor Preschooler Pass is a bargain when compared to normal ticket prices, which are just shy of £100 for an adult and child if you turn up on the day or £74 if you book online. The preschooler pass, which you can buy at the annual pass and ticket collection booths at the park entrance, is valid for a whole year, so there’s plenty of chance to get full value from it but its usage is strictly limited to term time weekdays and excludes peak summer.

As we’re nearing the summer holidays, the preschooler pass isn’t valid now until September. Still, it allows plenty of time to plan the trip and you know that it’ll be nice and quiet when you do visit.

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Rides

A lot of people recommend planning visits to Legoland in advance. I think this is probably more relevant for weekends and school holidays, as none of the rides we rushed for at the start of the day got all that busy later on.

Some rides are height restricted, at either 0.9, 1.0 or 1.3 metres. At just over 0.9 metres, Tilly was tall enough to go on the slightly faster rides. Nevertheless, on this, our first visit, I opted to introduce Tilly to Legoland on the more gentle preschooler friendly rides to see how she got on.

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Tilly takes the controls at Duplo Valley Airport

Atlantis Submarina Voyage
A ride combined with an aquarium, Tilly enjoyed spotting the sharks, the drama of the ride and the fish tanks children can climb inside the middle of after the end.

Coastguard HQ
Drive a boat around Lego City and spot various scenes. As Tilly hasn’t been in a small boat before it ticked that box and was a fun experience.

Heartlake City Express
An unexpectedly wet train ride around part of the park, providing good views over Lego City and Heartlake City areas in particular.

L-Drivers
A little more sedate than the electric tractor ride at our local farm and fete go kart rides, Tilly enjoyed the driving school style briefing and then lapping some of the back markers.

Duplo Valley Airport
Making a helicopter rise, fall and turn, albeit gently, made for a fairly good fun experience for Tilly.

Fairy Tale Brook
A waterborne ride through a range of fairytale scenes, recreated in Lego. It gave the opportunity to get Tilly to identify some of the stories we’ve read in the past.

Thunder Blazer
A rather dramatic name for a traditional ride, it’s nevertheless decent fun and Tilly was fine riding alone.

Scarab-Bounders
This last ride of the day proved to be something of a highlight. It’s a relatively gentle bouncing tower but the sensation of dropping was enough to delight Tilly who proclaimed “it’s my best thing!”, otherwise meaning it was her favourite ride of the day.

Next time I’m going to come better prepared for some of the water rides and we’ll step up the speed to some of the faster rides too.

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Tilly exploring Miniland

Other attractions

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The impressive Pirates of Skeleton Bay

Pirates of Skeleton Bay stunt show
A performance of acrobatics, water and explosions, it kept Tilly engrossed throughout. Make sure you check where you sit as there are splash and soak zones in the seating near the front. There’s also a performance by the Lego Friends girls but this was less impressive.

Brickville
A playground for preschoolers, Tilly was really keen to play here despite all of the rides available.

Splash Safari
Legoland’s splash park area for younger children, Tilly loved the surprise water sprays, some of which children can control. If you forget any swimming items, you can buy them from the shop next door.

Miniland
The world in miniature. We only saw parts of this but it was mightily impressive, recreating cities and other scenes from around the world.

Lego Star Wars Miniland
A must for Star Wars fans. Tilly has only recently started watching Star Wars programmes and films but wanted to visit. There’s a mix of lifesized characters made out of Lego as well as scale recreations of some of the scenes from the films.

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Tilly fighting the naughty Darth Vader

Queue times

Undoubtedly the best thing about being able to visit during term time is just how quiet the park is. As it was the summer term there were several school groups on the site but nevertheless queues were largely non-existent.

The useful Legoland smart phone app includes queue times and as well as loads of other features for planning your visit and notifications of what’s on during your visit. It does eat up phone battery pretty quickly, so you might want to bring along a portable charger, but the app is really useful.

This screenshot of queue times taken a couple of hours after opening shows that with a couple of exceptions, queues were short and all of the other rides had queues of only 5 mins or shorter. Ideal when you’re there with an impatient preschooler.

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Other expenses

Visitors to Legoland often comment on how the accumulated costs build up. I have to say we didn’t find that too much. Parking is £5 but I brought a picnic to limit food costs, which can be pricey in places. Tilly wanted an ice cream and hot dog during the day but both were just a few pounds. The ice creams are enormous so one scoop suffices nicely. We did inevitably buy a gift at the shop on the way out, but all in all I didn’t think it bad.

10 Top tips for visiting Legoland

  1. Use the Legoland website and app to plan your visit and see which rides are appropriate for your child
  2. It’s fine to bring prams into the park, which are a great way to carry changing and food bags
  3. Buy your preschooler pass from the annual pass or ticket collection booths and get the parking ticket at the same time
  4. You can enter the first area at 9:30 to be ready to hit the rides when they open at 10
  5. Start with the most exciting popular rides first to avoid any queues
  6. Bring swimming costumes and towels for the splash park and a change of clothes for wet rides
  7. Be sure to pack sun hats and sun cream on sunny days as you’ll be outside a lot
  8. Bring a picnic to minimise food costs
  9. Take the funicular train back up the hill to the exit at the end of the day. There’s a carriage for buggies
  10. Leave before 5pm to avoid the worst of the queues. Look at getting home via Ascot to avoid queues if possible (turning right on exit from the park

Overall

We made a really full day at Legoland Windsor, entering the park just after opening at 10am and leaving at around 4.30pm to miss the worst of the traffic. Nevertheless there were whole areas of the park we didn’t even touch on, so I’m in no doubt we could fill several more days throughout the year.

£60 for a single trip would be pricey for a single trip but given that we’ll be using it I hope for several more visits, I reckon it provides excellent value. Of course it’s limited to weekday, term time visits, but if you’re a stay-at-home parent within fairly easy reach of Windsor, then it’s a no brainer.

Disclaimer: The preschooler pass was purchased ourselves and all views are our own honest opinions.

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26 thoughts on “Visiting Legoland Windsor with the preschool annual pass

  • 7 July 2016 at 12:49 pm
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    The preschool pass is amazing value – we’ve had one for the last two years and have made full use of it. There’s so much for little ones to do at Legoland and my girls never get bored of going there. I also have an annual pass which has meant I can use the preschool pass to take a grandparent or a friend with a child under 3 along for the day and have had lots of fab days out that way. Hope you enjoy making the most of yours over the next year. I have to say I’m not looking forward to now being restricted to school holidays and weekends – it’s been blissful being able to go when it’s quieter.

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    • 7 July 2016 at 8:44 pm
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      It does seem such a great deal. Happily Tilly is now just tall enough to go on the majority of rides now, so I’m looking forward to a few trips there over the year. Let me know if you have any tips or recommendations!

      Reply
  • 8 July 2016 at 12:45 pm
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    We love Legoland! I have to admit I’m a bit biased as I used to work there and I loved it then too, but my two year old is equally excited by it! We love the Laser Riders best, but the Pirate Show is a big hit too. And the Submarine too! The pre-school pass is a great deal, but we’ve not bought it yet, as I do want to be able to go with my husband at weekends too (and those £5 parking charges do add up, which you don’t get with a regular annual pass). #TheList

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    • 14 July 2016 at 9:10 pm
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      Working at Legoland must have been interesting. The staff did a great job from my experience. We didn’t try the Laser Raiders ride but I’ll check it out for our autumn visit if Tilly is tall enough. There are definitely pros and cons of preschool vs annual pass. As it was our first time I went for the preschool option but might go annual once Tilly is school age. Thanks for visiting.

      Reply
  • 8 July 2016 at 2:02 pm
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    This sounds like great value and something we would definitely get if we lived nearer!! We still haven’t taken Mia as it would involve an overnight stay but its on the list as I went there as a child myself. We take advantage of passes at a couple of places we enjoy as they are good value especially when you can go in term-time. I love Tillys photo with Darth Vader!! 🙂

    #binkylinky

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  • 8 July 2016 at 3:02 pm
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    I have been thinking about getting an annual for Legoland and just can’t decide on the preschooler one or the normal pass. It does look like it has lots to offer for little ones X #TheList

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    • 14 July 2016 at 9:12 pm
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      If you visit a lot the parking saving might make the full pass a closer cost alternative. I’d be interested to know what you decide on.

      Reply
  • 10 July 2016 at 2:00 pm
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    I have never been to Legoland must make the effort it looks fab Thanks for linking to the #binkylinky come back next week please

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    • 14 July 2016 at 9:13 pm
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      Thanks Nige, I’m trying to make Binky Linky one of my regular linky go-to places.

      Reply
  • 11 July 2016 at 7:26 pm
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    It looks awesome. I remember going when I was younger, yet all I really remember was queueing up for ages to go on the rides! Thanks for linking up to the #BinkyLinky

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    • 14 July 2016 at 9:15 pm
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      I reckon queueing is a big issue at popular times, which is one reason I’m going to savour the time I have with my preschooler daughter. Thanks for visiting.

      Reply
  • 12 July 2016 at 6:37 am
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    I’ve not been to LEGOLAND since I was little, but I’m sure in a year or two m daughter will love it there! The pre-schooler pass sounds perfect if you live nearby 🙂 #TwinklyTuesday

    Helen x

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    • 14 July 2016 at 9:17 pm
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      Legoland was a wonderful experience to share, so I’d definitely recommend it when your daughter is old enough. Waiting until they’re over 90cm is a good tip! Thanks for visiting.

      Reply
  • 12 July 2016 at 12:14 pm
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    That’s a great deal, and definitely worth it if you live nearby. I took my kids last half term, and although really busy, they loved it, and there is loads to do, that are’t rides.

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    • 14 July 2016 at 9:20 pm
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      You’re absolutely right. We spent a lot of time at the playground and splash park plus there’s miniland and plenty else besides.

      Reply
    • 14 July 2016 at 9:21 pm
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      I’m glad I waited until I did. At 3 years old and over 90cm, Tilly was able to experience most of the rides and enjoy it for a full day

      Reply
    • 14 July 2016 at 9:24 pm
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      Yes it’s worth timing it right. We could have gone earlier but Tilly is tall enough for pretty much all the rides suitable for her age and we made a full day of it with plenty of enthusiasm to return again in the autumn.

      Reply
  • 12 July 2016 at 4:02 pm
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    I’m looking to visit so thank you for the tips about planning in advance. I can’t wait! #triedtested

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    • 14 July 2016 at 9:25 pm
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      Legoland is easily the largest attraction we’ve ever visited and it went down a treat. Thanks for visiting

      Reply
  • 13 July 2016 at 7:46 am
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    Ooh I never knew these existed! Such a good idea if you know you wouldn’t visit during term time anyway! I love the sound of the rides too, can’t wait to take my toddler 🙂 x

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    • 14 July 2016 at 9:26 pm
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      Legoland is definitely geared for younger visitors so it’s a good destination for a first visit to a big attraction

      Reply
  • 15 July 2016 at 7:41 pm
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    Legoland looks fab! I’ve not been there with my 3 year old before but I may have to now! We usually take a trip out to Drayton Manor as its closer to us. I think the pass sounds great value! #weekendblogshare

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    • 19 July 2016 at 3:44 pm
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      Ah, I’ve heard about Drayton from a few people. It’s a bit of drive from here but doable so might give it a go at some point, especially if Tilly is going through a phase of watching Thomas & Friends!

      Reply
  • 18 July 2016 at 10:02 am
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    What a brilliant post this is! I love that they have an app to help you plan the day whilst you’re there – absolutely great idea. I think I would be printing this post out too! We haven’t visited LegoLand as yet but it’s on our list. Good plan to go in term time – maybe one for Zach’s birthday in September! Thanks for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

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    • 19 July 2016 at 3:52 pm
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      Really glad you find the post useful. There’s a lot to Legoland so a few keen tips go a long way to make for a smooth trip and keep ahead of the crowds!

      Reply

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