Legoland Windsor Resort

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LEGOLAND Windsor Resort
Legoland Windsor Logo.svg

Entrance to Legoland Windsor.jpg
Entrance to Legoland Windsor
Slogan Awesome Awaits[1]
Location Windsor, Berkshire, England, UK
Coordinates 51°27′49″N 0°39′04″W / 51.46351°N 0.65114°W / 51.46351; -0.65114Coordinates: 51°27′49″N 0°39′04″W / 51.46351°N 0.65114°W / 51.46351; -0.65114
Owner Merlin Entertainments
General Manager Simon Lane
(Divisional Director)
Opened March 1996
Operating season March to November
Visitors per annum Decrease 2.138 million (2016)
Area 610,000 m2 (150 acres)
Rides
Total 55
Roller coasters 2
Water rides 6
Website www.legoland.co.uk
Legoland Windsor Resort is located in Berkshire
Legoland Windsor Resort
Map of Berkshire, UK, showing the location of Legoland Windsor at 51.46351°N, 0.65114°W (grid reference SU938747)

Legoland Windsor Resort, also known as Legoland Windsor, is a child-orentated theme park and resort in Windsor, Berkshire in England, themed around the Lego toy system. The park opened in 1996 on the former Windsor Safari Park site as the second Legoland after Legoland Billund in Denmark. In common with the other Legolands across the world, the park's attractions consist of a mixture of Lego-themed rides, models, and building workshops. The park was acquired by Merlin Entertainments in 2005, which now operates the park, with the Lego Group retaining part ownership (30%).[2][3] The facilities are mainly targeted at children between three and twelve.

The park had 2.138 million visitors in 2016, making it the most visited theme park in the United Kingdom and the 10th-most visited in Europe.[4]

History[edit]

From 1969 to 1992, the site of today´s Legoland Windsor belonged to Windsor Safari Park, which had been founded by the Billy Smart's Circus.

The Lego Group began research for the development of a second Legoland park after Legoland Billund in 1987, with over 1000 sites considered.[2] In January 1992, Windsor Safari Park went into receivership and the 150-acre (0.61 km2) site was chosen.[2] Throughout 1992 and 1993, planning, design, site preparation and the design and construction of models began,[2] and new homes were secured for all the safari animals.[5] 1994 saw the installation of services, foundations and infrastructures,[2] and in 1995, one year prior to opening, Big Ben was installed in Miniland. By this time, buildings and attractions were becoming established[2] and in September, advance bookings were opened for entrance tickets.[6] Final installations were completed by the beginning of 1996 and at this point, the Legoland Windsor staff-base was recruited.[5] Legoland Windsor opened in March 1996. During its first season, the park attracted over 1.4 million guests.[5]

In April 2005, Lego decided to sell the Legoland parks, owing to rising losses across the company.[7][8] On 13 July 2005, Legoland was acquired by the Blackstone Group and control of the parks passed to Merlin Entertainments.[2][3]

Areas[edit]

The park is split into 12 themed lands, incorporating various attractions, restaurants and shops: The Beginning, Imagination Centre, Duplo Valley, Miniland, Adventure Land, LEGO City, Pirate Shores, Heartlake City (New for 2015) , Knight´s Kingdom, Land of the Vikings and Kingdom of the pharaohs.

The Beginning[edit]

Hill Train
Creation Centre

The Beginning is the entrance to the park and is accessible before park opening. Also in the area is the Hill Train, a funicular, 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) narrow gauge[9] railway down a curved slope, using previously abandoned vehicles from Brazil. It is the only attraction retained from Windsor Safari Park, being revamped when the park opened with stained glass windows made from translucent Lego bricks by local school children.[5] It travels 300 metres between The Beginning and Lego City, with a height difference between the top and bottom stations of approximately 27 metres.[10] The Creation Centre closed and was converted into three new areas. The first area is a Lego Star Wars model display. The second area is the Lego Star Wars shop, and the third area is the Last Chance Marketplace, where discontinued Lego products are available for purchase.

Imagination Centre[edit]

The Imagination Centre is just above Miniland. It features educational attractions Build & Test Workshops, Lego Mindstorms NXT-based Lego Mindstorms Workshop and Robolab Workshop.

Miniland[edit]

A limousine within Miniland

Miniland is a miniature park in Lego form, depicting towns and cities from around the world, using nearly 40 million Lego bricks in models often at 1:20 scale. The area features a number of animated models, interacting with each other. Motor vehicles use cables under the paths emitting radio wave signals to steer and allow charging when required and overnight. The train system runs on tracks, slowing for stations using slow down bars and also charging, and the boats use rubber loops under the water driven by motors, with sensors to detect the boats for operating bridges and locks. The system, with lights and sounds, is run by 14 computers using 300 kilometres of underground cabling.[5]

Duplo Valley[edit]

Raft Racers

Duplo Valley, previously Explore Land, Duplo Gardens and "Duplo Land", is aimed at younger children. Featuring the Rides & Attractions: Fairy Tale Brook, DUPLO Valley airport (Previously known as Chopper Sqaudtron), Duplo Train, DUPLO Valley Theatre, Raft Racers, Splash Safari, Brickville and Drench Towers.

Lego City[edit]

Coastguard HQ as seen from the Heartlake Express

Lego City, formerly known as Traffic, is themed around transport. Balloon School: Experience the ups and downs of a hot air balloon ride. Coastguard HQ: a boat school ride for children Fire Academy: help the firefighters here participants are challenged with powering a LEGO fire engine and putting out a ‘burning’ building. L-Drivers: drive school for 3-5 children LEGO® City Driving School: drive school here children can drive their own car

Heartlake City[edit]

Heartlake City (formerly Lego City until redecoration in 2015), based on the LEGO Friends produce range, includes two rides that opened in May 2015: Heartlake Express, a railway ride round Land of the Pharaohs, and a Disk'O coaster called Mia's Riding Adventure. Also in the area is the "Return to Skeleton Bay" pirate stunt show (NEW for 2017), and "LEGO Friends to the Rescue", a live music concert around the harbour performed by the LEGO Friends.

Land of the Vikings[edit]

Viking's River Splash on its opening day

Land of the Vikings is situated behind the Hill Train; this was opened in 2007, and is based on the plunderings of Nordic Vikings.

Kingdom of the Pharaohs[edit]

Lego brick animals

The Kingdom of the Pharaohs contains "Laser Raiders", an interactive dark ride through an Egyptian tomb where visitors shoot targets to gain points.

Pirate Shores[edit]

Pirate Falls

Pirate Shores features a log flume, Pirate Falls, a play area and a pirate ship ride named the Jolly Rocker.

NEXO Knights' Kingdom[edit]

Knights' Kingdom

NEXO Knights' Kingdom (originally Knight's Kingdom and Castleland) features The Dragon roller coaster,[5] which starts inside the castle themed station, passing Lego tableaux, before travelling outside reaching a speed of around 30 mph (48 km/h).

Adventure Land[edit]

Adventure Land is situated around a lake at the bottom of the park. The main attraction is Atlantis Submarine Voyage by Sealife, which features "submarine" vehicles used to travel through the tank.

Park operation[edit]

Legoland Windsor typically opens from March to November, with closures on some days.

Rides and Attractions[edit]

Operating Rides[edit]

Name Park Area Opened Manufacturer Description
Aero Nomad Kingdom of the Pharaohs 2009 (as Aero Nomad)

1996 (as Brickadilly's Ferris Wheel)

Zamperla A small ferris wheel ride offering views over Kingdom of the Pharaohs and the centre of the park.
Atlantis Submarine Voyage Adventure Land 2011 MACK Rides An underwater submarine ride that takes riders on a journey through an aquarium.
Balloon School LEGO City 1999 WGH Transportation A ride containing six balloon gondolas (4 guests each), attached to arms linked to a central turning arm. Balloons can be raised or lowered at the riders command.
Brickville DUPLO Valley 2013 Unknown A playground for children based upon a town created from LEGO Duplo bricks.
Castaway Camp Pirate Shores 2014 Unknown A playground for children based upon a Pirate ship and features towers, slides and climbing nets. Replaced Pirates Training Camp (previously "The Rat Trap") which closed in 2013.
Coastguard HQ LEGO City 2015 (as Coastguard HQ)

1996 (as Boating School)

LEGOLAND (track/course)

Garmendale[11] (boats)

Guests can drive electric LEGO-style boats through a course, accompanied by a mixture of LEGO and plastic 3D models.
Desert Chase Kingdom of the Pharaohs 2009 (as Desert Chase)

1996 (as Brickadilly's Carousel)

Unknown A carousel located within the Kingdom of the Pharaohs area at LEGOLAND Windsor.
Discovery Zone featuring MINDSTORMS Imagination Centre Unknown LEGOLAND Home to the park's National Curriculum relevant Educational Workshops. In this attraction guests can construct LEGO models and program robots in various workshops.
Dragon's Apprentice NEXO Knight's Kingdom 1999 WGH Transportation A smaller companion to the park's larger coaster - The Dragon.
Drench Towers DUPLO Valley 2013 Unknown A water play structure themed to LEGO Duplo featuring a tipping water 'brick' and various coloured slides. Only open during summer months.
DUPLO Valley Airport DUPLO Valley 2013 (as DUPLO Valley Airport)

2006 (as Chopper Squadron)

1996 (as Whirly Birds)

Unknown A ride where guests can control a LEGO-style helicopter, by using a lever to guide it up or down. 2 guests per helicopter.
DUPLO Train DUPLO Valley 1996 Unknown A small train completing a small circuit.
Fairy Tale Brook DUPLO Valley 2013 (revamped)

1996 (original)

WGH Transportation A gentle boat ride where guests pass through LEGO depictions of fairytale scenes (such as Aladdin, Little Red Riding Hood, and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs) in a leaf-shaped boat.
Fire Academy LEGO City 2005 Unknown Groups of 4 can enter a fire engine to compete against other guests to extinguish the 'fire' in a building. Guests must use levers to power the truck down a track to the building, exit the truck and use water pumps to aim at 'fire' in the windows of said building. Guests must then power the truck back to the starting line, the first team back wins.
Heartlake City Express Heartlake City 2015 (as Heartlake Express)

2005 (as Orient Expedition)

2002 (as Adventurers' Express)

1996 (as I-Spy Express)

Severn Lamb (train) A train ride that seats 150 that begins in Heartlake City and travels past Kingdom of the Pharaohs (through the queue line of Laser Raiders), Miniland and travels through LEGO City before returning to Heartlake City, and features LEGO constructions of various animals (originally to represent LEGO character Johnny Thunder's expeditions), and Johnny Thunder himself. It also features areas where watching guests can push buttons to activate water sprays from the mouths of models, such as a tiger.
Hill Train The Beginning and Land of the Vikings/Kingdom of the Pharaohs Before 1996 (opened as part of Windsor Safari Park) Unknown A funicular railway shuttling guests between the top and centre of the park down a hill (hence the name). There are two trains, each feature three carriages (one red, one blue, one yellow) which pass each other on the journey.
Jolly Rocker Pirate Shores 2010 Huss Rides Originally situated at another park, Jolly Rocker is a rocking pirate ship that sits 35 and opened in 2010.
Knights' Quest NEXO Knight's Kingdom 2011 (as Knights' Quest)

2005 (as Dino Dipper)

MACK Rides A Mack Old Train ride, originally located in Adventure Land but moved to allow for construction of Atlantis Submarine Voyage. Riders spin quickly in a circle over bumps in a LEGO train.
Laser Raiders Kingdom of the Pharaohs 2009 Sally Corporation Guests travel in a cart through interactive scenes and user laser guns to shoot targets and earn points.
L-Drivers LEGO City 1996 Garmendale A smaller version of Driving School for younger guests (aged 3 to 5).
LEGO City Driving School LEGO City 1996 Garmendale Guests aged 6 to 13 can drive LEGO-style miniature electric cars through a series of roads featuring a range of LEGO models and 3D scenes.
Mia's Riding Adventure Heartlake City 2015 Zamperla A Zamperla Disko ride where guests can board LEGO horses and spin in to the air.
Miniland Miniland 1996 (often updated with new models) LEGOLAND Model Makers A showcase of LEGO recreations of world landmarks, made of over 40 million LEGO bricks. Scenes feature the Elizabeth Tower/Big Ben, The Eiffel Tower, Buckingham Palace, Notre Dame and many more.
Model Making Studio The Beginning N/A LEGOLAND Watch the LEGOLAND model makers complete LEGO creations.
Olivia's House Heartlake City 2015 LEGOLAND An interactive experience where guests can explore Olivia's house and meet the LEGO Friends.
Pirate Falls Treasure Quest Pirate Shores 2014 (as Pirate Falls Treasure Quest)

2010 (as Pirate Falls Dynamite Drench)

1996 (as Pirate Falls)

Zamperla A traditional log flume ride featuring various LEGO depictions of pirates based upon a story of a rivalry between two crews.
Pirate Goldwash Pirate Shores 1996 (assumed) N/A At an additional cost, guests can pan for 'gold', which can be traded for a souvenir medal.
Raft Racers DUPLO Valley 2013 (as Raft Racers)

1999 (as Extreme Team Challenge)

Unknown Guests can ride a rubber dinghy along one of two coloured slides down a bank.
Scarab Bouncers Kingdom of the Pharaohs 2009 S&S Power Two small frog-hopper style drop towers that can each sit 6 children and 1 adult.
Sky Rider Imagination Centre 2002 (powered)

1996 (pedal)

Premier Rides Originally opened in 1996, guests could pedal a LEGO-style cart around a track overlooking Miniland and the park, as well as travelling above Imagination Centre. Between the 2001 and 2002 seasons, the pedals were removed, a lap bar introduced and the ride was refurbished to be electronically powered.
Space Tower Imagination Centre 1997 SunKid Guests can hoist themselves to the top of the tower using a rope attached to a gondola of two seats as the tower slowly rotates, offering views of the park. There are 4 gondolas, allowing a total of 8 riders at any one time.
Splash Safari DUPLO Valley 2013 Unknown A small water playground featuring DUPLO characters, replacing the Waterworks attraction which occupied the area prior to 2012.
Spinning Spider Land of the Vikings 1996 Unknown A spinning teacups style ride where guests ride in log-style gondolas as an animatronic LEGO spider gnashes it's jaws and breathes smoke on a web above.
The Dragon NEXO Knight's Kingdom 1998 WGH Transportation Guests travel in a dragon rollercoaster train through a dark-ride section in a castle featuring scenes of animated LEGO models before accelerating up a lift hill and completing two figure-of-eight circuits before returning to the station.
Thunder Blazer Kingdom of the Pharaohs 2009 (as Thunder Blazer)

1996 (as Brickadilly's Chair-O-Plane)

Unknown A small chairswing ride.
Vikings River Splash Land of the Vikings late 2007 ABC Rides A river rapids ride. Guests travel through scenes featuring LEGO models of vikings and dragons and pass a viewing point where riders can squirt using pump water guns. The ride concludes with bucketfuls of water being tipped and a climb back to the station.
4D Cinema/Imagination Theatre Imagination 2003 (as a 4D cinema) Unknown A cinema hosted in a large tent featuring 4D effects. New shows are introduced and old shows removed every few park seasons. Since 2016, the cinema has been showing "The LEGO Movie: A 4D Adventure".

Q-Bot[edit]

For the 2008 season, the Q-Bot queuing system was introduced.[12] For a per-person fee, guests are provided with a small pager-like device to "reserve" places in queues virtually, allowing guests to use their queuing time elsewhere in the park. The initial contract between Q-Bot developers Lo-Q was for 1 year from 8 April 2008.[12] This contract was extended for 2009 before a new 3-year contract was signed on 26 March 2010. Three tiers of the device are available at different prices which reduce the queue time by different proportions. Most rides can be selected with Q Bot, with the exception of those which boast large or thin alleyways.

Incidents[edit]

  • In 2006, a fire broke out in a storage barn onsite during the end of season fireworks on 28 October, with no injuries.[13]
  • In 2008, after noise complaints, Jungle Coaster plastic housing was placed over the cars, leading to reduced capacity to two adults per car, due to weight restrictions. However, at the end of the 2009 season, the ride was removed [14] and the site used for hotel construction.
  • In May 2009, a 9-year-old girl got her hand trapped in Pirate falls- The Log Flume. The police, ambulance and fire brigade were all called. The ride remained closed the next day as health and safety checks were done and the ride has since been altered.
  • In September 2010, the park's high quantity of wasps during the season was featured on Watchdog, with general manager Sue Kemp appearing with host Anne Robinson and confirming new signage, actions and details on the website.[15][16]
  • In February 2014, the park cancelled a private event organised by Islamic cleric Haitham al-Haddad due to safety reasons following a backlash and threats by nationalist groups.[17]
  • In August 2016, two six year old girls were sexually assaulted while at the resort. Police are investigating the incident.[18]

Awards[edit]

Since opening in 1996, the park has won a number of awards:

  • Voted UK's Number One Family Attraction by Group Leisure Magazine, 1999.[19]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ShJCjTVgqVc
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "The History of the Legoland Parks" (PDF). Windsor: Legoland. 2006. 
  3. ^ a b "Troubled Lego Sells Theme Parks". News. BBC. 13 July 2005. Retrieved 6 January 2010. 
  4. ^ The Global Attractions Attendance Report (PDF), Themed Entertainment Association, 2012, retrieved 16 June 2013 
  5. ^ a b c d e f Souvenir Guidebook, Windsor: Legoland, 1997 .
  6. ^ Where the Fun is Building (brochure), Windsor: Legoland, 1995 .
  7. ^ "Lego to Sell Parks as Losses Rise". News. BBC. 6 April 2005. Retrieved 6 January 2010. 
  8. ^ "Ailing Lego nears Theme-park Sale". News. BBC. 1 June 2005. Retrieved 6 January 2010. 
  9. ^ Lego Hill Train Stats, UK: Hows .
  10. ^ Google Earth
  11. ^ "Electric Boats and Cars | Theme Park Ride Manufacturers | Garmendale p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 11.0px Helvetica; color: #000000; -webkit-text-stroke: #000000} span.s1 {font-kerning: none} Electric Boats and Cars | Theme Park Ride Manufacturers | Garmendale". Garmendale UK. Retrieved 2017-04-22. 
  12. ^ a b "Legoland Windsor selects Lo-Q to reduce physical waiting time". Blooloop.com. 17 February 2008. Retrieved 18 March 2008. 
  13. ^ "Fire at Legoland during Fireworks". News. BBC. 28 October 2006. Retrieved 6 January 2010. 
  14. ^ "Legoland Parks". Screamscape. 15 March 2013. Retrieved 26 March 2013. 
  15. ^ "Wasps create an unfriendly buzz at Legoland". BBC. September 2010. Retrieved 29 September 2010. 
  16. ^ "Buzz Off Watchdog! Legoland's Wasp Problem Makes it to TV". Completely Legoland Windsor. September 2010. Retrieved 29 September 2010. 
  17. ^ "Berkshire", News, England, UK: BBC .
  18. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-berkshire-37057854
  19. ^ Legoland Windsor Park Brochure, 2000

External links[edit]