Last week I headed to Birmingham for the opening of the new LEGO® shop at the soon to be opened LEGOLAND® Discovery Centre Birmingham. Ahead of the shop opening its doors, I was given a personal tour of the centre, by Master Model Builder Michelle. The LEGOLAND Discovery Centre is located within Birmingham Arena, right next to the the city’s famous canals, with a life-sized LEGO giraffe standing outside, offering an easy way to find the centre from a distance.
The LEGO fun begins as soon as you step foot through the doors, with the reception area filled with a number of cool little LEGO builds. Once you have your tickets and optional Top Secret Activity Pack, you walk through a colourfully decorated corridor. Here is where you’ll come across your first official photo opportunity, before hopping into lift.
This takes you on a short ride down the main area of the centre and the Kingdom Quest ride. If you’ve been to LEGOLAND Windsor or LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Manchester, you’ll be familiar with this type of ride. Which tasks you with zapping bad guys in a laser-shooting adventure. These rides are always great fun, with Kingdom Quest combining target lights and video sections. Another photo is taken during the ride and once you exit, you have the chance to buy them. This includes a buildable brick wall, with your image printed directly onto the bricks.
But the main area of the centre is the most impressive. An open plan expanse which combines a number of different experiences, including Heartlake City, Miniland, LEGO City Soft Play zone, DUPLO Farm, Build & Test, LEGO City Tower Builder, Merlin’s Appreciate and a cool little Coffee Shop. Smack bang in the centre of all this is a huge brick-built clock. This was built by the Master Model Builders at LEGOLAND Windsor and is filled with animated characters, who dance to Rock Around The Clock, every hour.
One of the most impressive things about the main area of the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Birmingham, is all the little details dotted around, especially the over-sized LEGO elements, They are everywhere, but you don’t notice them at first. From LEGO benches, lights and awnings, to the more obvious things like LEGO trees and flowers, these are an impressive addition to the colourful LEGO filled space.
One of my favourite areas of the centre was the on-site cafe, where the focus on LEGO continues with bright colours and an awesome selection of food-based LEGO Minifigure posters on the wall. Which I would instantly purchase, if they were ever made available to buy. Here there is small seating area with the cafe and additional tables outside.
The second of the rides can be found in this area, which is a ‘merry-go-round’ type ride called Merlin’s Apprentice. But the main focus of the centre is LEGO play and there are plenty of opportunities to unleash your creativity. Younger builder can tackle DUPLO Farm, where there is a softplay slide and DUPLO brick pits. Older builders can add their creations to Heartlake City, build and race their own LEGO cars in the LEGO Racers zone or build a tower in the LEGO City Builder area.
You can also catch the latest LEGO 4D adventures in the 4D Cinema, where a trio of mini movies are shown on rotation. These include The LEGO Movie 4D, LEGO NINJAGO: Masters of the 4th Dimension and LEGO NEXO KNIGHTS: Book of Creativity movies. All of which combine a 3D mini-movie, with additional special effects, like fire, water and wind.
The centre will also be offering workshops and parties, with dedicated areas for both. The Party Zone is a colourful circus-themed area, in which any young LEGO fan would love to celebrate their big day. Next door is the Creativity Workshop, where Master Model Builder Michelle will give kids, various talks and build workshops. This filled with a number of fun LEGO creations, should you need a little inspiration.
If your young LEGO lovers fancy a little break from the bricks, they can explore the LEGO City Softplay Zone. The LEGO City-themed area, includes climbing walls, slides, tubes, bridges and a number of LEGO City folk to find as they explore.
There is also amazing Miniland, which unfortunately was still being kept a secret when we visited. But we’ll be covering that in more detail soon. What we can say is that it will feature a number of iconic local landmarks. With that the the only other place you are left to enjoy is the LEGO Shop. This is filled with all the latest LEGO sets and a number of LEGOLAND exclusive items and sets. You don’t have to buy a ticket to be able to visit the store and you can see more on the store here.
Tickets cost £20 per person and allow you to enjoy the centre and all its experiences for as long as you like. If you pre-order online, which is recommended as the attraction is expected to be extremely busy over the Summer holidays, then tickets are only £15. Merlin Annual Pass owners can also visit LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Birmingham as part of their ticket package. For all the Pop Badge collectors out there, the centre will be offer a large number of special badges to collect. You can also purchase a Top Secret Activity Pack, which allows you to mark your visit, by finding all the stamps dotted around the attractions. I’ll be working closely with the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Birmingham on future projects so stay tuned for more details on that and thanks to the staff at the centre for making BricksFanz feel welcome during our visit.