“Right, it’s Saturday and the weather is beautiful. What shall we do today that no-one else will think of?”
“I know, why don't we go to Legoland, Windsor? How busy can it be?”
No, not really. We did go to Legoland but we had been planning it for a while so we get up, get ready, make a picnic lunch and get on the road. We managed a very respectable 8.45am “on the road” and before we knew it, we were sat in fairly heavy traffic leaving the A4 at the Legoland turnoff.
Now luckily, my wife had the foresight to have a quick read on the website for advice on getting there and, whaddya know, it said, “in case of heavy traffic, follow the alternative route signs for Legoland.
Of course, you fully expect everyone else to be doing the same thing.
We watched in amazement as every single car veered off to the right, following the Legoland signpost. Can this be happening? Are we really about to bypass all this traffic and find an honest shortcut to this hugely popular park?
Well, not to put too fine a point on it – yes.
Apparently the “shortcut” takes you 2 miles out of your way but personally, I would drive 20 extra miles at (the legal) 50mph, rather than sit in traffic for at least the same amount of time.
So, super quick journey to the park? 1 - 0 to us.
Park car, walk to the queue to get in (the first queue of many that day), tot up the entrance fee - £125 for a family of four.
But, thanks to some vouchers which I (luckily) won nearly two years ago, we got in for nothing.
Avoiding unbelievably expensive entrance fee? 2 - 0 to us.
The park operates this system called Q-Bot whereby you pay an extra £10 per person and receive a small hand held PDA which allocates you a time for each ride that you want to visit. You then just turn up at each ride without having to queue.
Unfortunately we didn’t find out about this until half way through the day meaning we queued for an average of 1 hour for each ride we went on.
Stupidity at not purchasing a Q-Bot at the start of the day? Legoland scrapes a point back, 2 - 1.
On top of the entrance prices, the greasy food being sold in the park was, unsurprisingly, also incredibly expensive.
We however, took ample picnic type foods, thus avoiding this expense.
Not forking out (see what I did there) for greasy park food? 3 - 1 to us.
As the beautiful hot afternoon heat turned slowly into a beautifully warm evening, you could feel the place emptying out, with crowds trying to beat the inevitable jams.
No, we thought this would be the ideal time to run round and get some of the smaller rides under our belt. Merry go rounds; one with swings on long chains, another with horses, a mini-ferris wheel and a very sedate train ride with the added bonus of getting squirted with water before taking the final train ride up the hill to the exit.
I make that 4 - 1.
Even with the 15 minutes of traffic getting out to the motorway (couldn’t find our shortcut in the dark) pulling a point back for the park, we still ended the day with a butt kicking score of 4 - 2.
Oh hang on, I forgot that we qualified for a free entrance day in September, all because we purchased full price tickets in August
Final word? Go to Legoland, but put some planning into it.