It may be the worlds largest LEGOLAND® park and the second oldest after Billund, but it’s fair to say that LEGOLAND Windsor has seen better days. Built on the former site of Windsor Safari Park, LEGOLAND Windsor Resort has seen a few changes over its 20 year history but unfortunately due to numerous planning issues with local residents, Merlin Entertainment haven’t really given it the TLC the park deserves. However thanks to a rise in popularity of the LEGO brand and on the back of the success of The LEGO® Movie, it seems LEGOLAND Windsor is finally moving with the times.
Many of the parks attractions are too distant from current LEGO themes, with some areas of the park being completely irrelevant to the LEGO brand today. In fact many of them have been there since the safari park days. But real effort is being put into bringing the park up to scratch. After refreshing LEGO City to match current sub-themes, Heartlake City has sprung to life around the Lighthouse area bringing with it the LEGO Friends girls. Younger LEGO fans can have a splashing time in Duplo Valley and the LEGO Star Wars Miniland area has been given an update with an all-new section themed around the Death Star attack from A New Hope.
Even the Castle area of the park is slowly becoming NEXO KNIGHTS Kingdom, although this is merely a rebranding with few token NEXO KNIGHTS signs put up for good measure. But the most recent and surprising new addition to the park is the Model Maker’s Workshop. This new area is located upstairs in the Star Wars store and has been given an impressive makeover, that’s part museum, part art gallery, with the Model Maker’s workshop at its heart. For many years this area has been largely unused but now you’re greeted with a giant display wall, featuring a number of Miniland-scale figures and builds.
The best part of the new area is the historical items from The LEGO Group’s long history and a few interesting facts about the brand. Some early LEGO toys are on display including their famous wooden duck and there’s also a LEGO element mould on display. These are all complemented by a timeline of LEGOLAND Windsor Resorts history, nicely timed to accompany the park’s 20th anniversary. It charts some of the park’s key highlights since it opened in 1996.
But the real changes will start appearing next year and beyond. Work has already begun on the new LEGOLAND Castle Hotel extension. This is now being built next to the current hotel on the site of the now removed Dino Safari. It will be a completely castle themed hotel, with a castle appearance on the outside and medieval themed rooms and a restaurant inside, tying nicely Windsor’s royal history.
Additionally a brand new Haunted House attraction will appear on the opposite side of the lake just over from the Coast Guard HQ Boat Ride. This will be similar to the Ghost attraction at LEGOLAND Billund and will be themed around the Monster Fighters characters. Within it’s hunted walls will be a 10m drop ride, similar to Nemesis Sub-Terra at Alton Towers. The building itself will have more than a passing resemblance to set 10228 Haunted House, complete with boarded up windows and broken shutters. The area around the new attraction will feature plenty of brick built monsters and other such spooky goings on.
But the biggest change will be the arrival of the new NINJAGO World. This will replace a large section of the Land of Vikings and will see Loki’s Labyrinth removed and a number of other rides moved and rebranded to fit in with the new area of the park. This will be similar to those seen in the LEGOLAND Billund and California parks, with an oriental-type courtyard and building, joined by various NINJAGO themed attractions including a climbing wall, balance spinners, reflex training game and a building area. The main attraction will be the all new 4D NINJAGO The Ride. This uses cutting-edge gesture technology, to allow budding Ninja to summon up the power of NINJAGO and fire animated elemental powers at various bad guys before entering the final epic battle. This new tech is combined with an new animated 3D movie and 4D effects such as heat, wind, water and smoke.
It’s great to see the park finally getting some new attractions and hopefully the rest of the resort will continue to get some TLC, so it will be a fitting companion to the LEGO brand as a whole.
Awesome Awaits at LEGOLAND Windsor Resort to book tickets visit: www.legoland.co.uk