One of our favourite UK family days out is Legoland Windsor. We’ve been a few times now starting when our eldest was just 18 months old. I thought I would share my tips for visiting Legoland Windsor with under 4’s. We’ve also taken a baby and a 4 year old when we were so grateful for the Legoland Parent swap policy so we were both able to go on the rides with our eldest and she got two turns in the process.
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Why visit Legoland Windsor with preschool children?
There is plenty to do for preschool and toddlers at Legoland so don’t be put off by the bigger rides that get advertised more. We’ve also found that at busy times most of the rides with the shortest ques are the ones for little ones. Even better, if you visit in term times the queues are a lot shorter. The last time we visited before our eldest started school we counted that she went on over 20 rides (some of these were the same ride multiple times) due to parent swap and short queues.
Another reason to visit with young children is that in term times you can get some fantastic deals on staying at the resort hotels. Find out how we stayed at Legoland Windsor resort hotel for less than £100. We book a splash and stay deal. The park was not open on the day we checked in but it was the following day. It was a lot more expensive to stay on the day the park was open. Now we are stuck to school holidays, a stay at the hotel is out of our budget. It’s an amazing hotel for young children and so magical for them. The swimming pool, restaurant and themed rooms are all so amazing for kids. You also get in the park 30 minutes earlier than the other guests and there are evening activities for kids too.
The minimum height for some rides is 0.9 meters so I’d say it’s worth waiting until your oldest child is that height to really enjoy the park. That said there are some rides that children under this height can go on which is worth noting if you are taking a younger sibling. There are even a few rides that babies can go on too.
Legoland parent swap
This is such a useful feature if you are visiting Legoland with a baby and an older child. Basically, ask the staff on the ride if they offer parent swap for that ride. Parent swap means that you only queue the once, your child gets to ride twice and both parents get to take it in turns to go on the ride whilst the other stays with the baby. It’s not available on all rides and there’s no list that I can find on their website. We used it on two different visits on Coastguard HQ and Knight’s quest.
Duplo Valley is specifically designed for children under 5’s but there are rides in other areas they can ride on too (see below for more details). The Duplo area is fantastic for little ones though. There are a number of attractions and rides in this area. There is a large lego themed playground (Brickville), a shop selling Duplo and other Lego items for young children, toilets, Duplo valley theatre and changing rooms for the splash parks.
In terms of rides in this area, there is Fairy Tale brook (a gentle boat ride), Duplo train (a very small train ride), Duplo Valley airport (a small helicopter ride) and raft racers (a water slide).
Safari splash and drench towers
Safari Splash is a water play area for under 5’s (this is next to a much bigger drench towers area for children over 0.9 m). What child doesn’t love water play? Safari splash is the perfect water play area for young children to explore. Duplo themed and full of sprinklers, buckets and other water features.
Drench towers includes water slides and is only an option if your child is over 90 cm (1 m for some of the slides). We’ve not personally explored Drench towers and have stuck to Safari splash so far.
Duplo valley theatre
This is the perfect show for young children. Classic fairy tales are brought to life with a storyteller and a selection of unique and loveable puppets. Shows are on regularly throughout the day and the Legoland app will update you with which show is on when.
Which rides can children under 90 cm ride on in Duplo valley?
Fairy tale brook, Duplo train, Brickville (the playground) and Safari splash. They must be accompanied by an adult. Duplo valley theatre is perfect for this age group too.
Which rides can children over 90 cm ride on in Duplo valley?
In addition to the ones listed above, children over 90 cm can ride Duplo airport, Raft racers and some of the water slides in Drench towers (for some of the slides they need to be over 1 m). All children under 16 must be supervised by an adult in Safari splash and Drench towers. If they are under 1.3 m they will need to accompanied by an adult on Duplo airport, Raft racers and Fairy train brook but they can ride alone on Duplo train.
Rides for toddlers and preschool children at Legoland Windsor
Other rides that F enjoyed both at aged 2 and 4 were Coast Guard HQ, Balloon school and a classic merry go round.
Since she was over 0.9 meters this time she was able to go on more rides, accompanied by one of us. Her favourites were squid squirters and the learner driver school. She went on the dragon’s apprentice, a children’s roller coaster but she didn’t enjoy it.
Rides for babies at Legoland Windsor
We took our 11-month-old on Atlantis Submarine Voyage, Heartlake City Express and Fairy Tale Brook. On the day we visited this year, the hill train was not working but it is good for getting up the hill to the entrance to Legoland. As you can see from the list there are more rides we could have taken her on but she slept quite a bit in her pram. When we first visited and F was 2, these were the only rides we used. It was a slightly busier day in September so we did queue a bit more than last week and she had a nap in her pram. Even so, we managed to fill the day and all had fun.
Atlantis Submarine Voyage is an indoor boat ride which is meant to seem like you are going underwater in a submarine. The submarines do not go underwater but the only windows are low down under the water so it feels like it. Underwater are lots of Lego models and also a variety of fish and small sharks. We all enjoyed this ride, even our 11-month-old as it’s quite sensory. I have no photos of the ride as it is dark and flash photography is not permitted.
Heartlake City Express is a train that goes around some of the park and Fairy Tale Brook is a slow moving boat ride with lots of large Lego sculptures of different fairy tale characters around it (and music and narrative playing). For both rides, babies cannot sit on your lap and need to sit unaided on the seat next to an adult. At 11 months E could do this (obviously, one of us was holding on to her, more to stop her moving off than to support her).
We love lego and lego sculptures so the first time we visited we spent a lot of time looking around all the miniature lego sculptures of all over the world. I found my children like the ones with moving parts like boats, trains etc best.
We enjoyed the pirates of skeleton bay stunt show on all our visits. This features gymnastics, explosions, slapstick fights, water sprays and jet skies. It is on several times a day at the Heartlake marina. Arrive early as even on the quiet days we visited it got quite busy. This area is in full sun so make sure you have sun cream and hats for little ones if required. There are signs around the edge showing which areas are splash zones and which are drench zones so it worth picking where you sit carefully. We’ve sat in a splash zone at the top of the steps and never felt more than a little spray of water.
There is also a Lego friends show some days. We caught a bit of it last time (lots of singing and dancing) but it was not on the day we visited most recently. The following photo was taken in September 2015. The burger kitchen in the background is now a Fish and chip cafe.
There is also a 4D cinema showing short films but we’ve never been to this.
Food and drink
Food prices were high and the quality is as you would expect for a theme park. There are lots of outlets for both around the park. Note that when we have visited in low season, not all outlets are open. However, there is still plenty of choices. If you can take a picnic, there are plenty of places to enjoy it. Our favourite place to eat is on the marina steps, watching the pirates of skeleton bay show.
Shopping at Legoland Windsor
There are lots of shops selling Lego throughout the park. We have bought Duplo and lego sets before and they are generally the same price as the high street but there is so much more choice than you can imagine. I love this pick a brick wall, just look at all the colours.
Where to stay when visiting Legoland Windsor
If you need somewhere to stay over then consider Legoland hotel or a travelodge, premier inn or similar. If you are visiting Legoland Windsor with under 4’s make the most of visiting in term time and see if you can find a good deal at Legoland hotel. We paid £90 for one night at the Legoland hotel as part of a splash and stay deal. We’ve also stayed in a premier inn, a short 30 minute drive away.
We’ve also stayed in a travelodge in the centre of Windsor. Not only did we find Travelodge to be a very affordable overnight stay but we also enjoyed exploring Windsor with a toddler. There is a wide range of places to eat and there is a small waitrose directly below where we purchased a picnic for our day at Legoland. Family rooms at travel lodge or premier inns are very affordable and perfect for our needs on short stopovers.
The Legoland website allows you to search for short breaks at their hotel and nearby cheaper options. They also offer an exclusive 2nd day in the park for free (for both bookings made for the resort hotel and local more budget friendly options).
Top tips for visiting Legoland Windsor with under 4’s
- Visit during the week in term time if you can. The park will be a lot quieter so you’ll have to queue a lot less.
- You can usually find a 2 for 1 ticket deal on Kellogs cereal packets. These 2 for 1 tickets need to be purchased through their special website.
- Take swimwear and towels if you plan to go in Safari Splash or Drench Towers. All children under 6 years require a supervising adult (also in swimwear).
- Download the Legoland app for show times, ride queue times and much more.
- Ride queue times are shown around the park on digital display boards (as well as on the app) so you can plan where to head next.
- If like us you take along a baby who is not able to go on the majority of the rides ask about parent swap. We didn’t need to use it on this visit as there were hardly any queues but at busy times it means that both parents get a go on the ride without you having to queue twice and the child gets to go on twice.
- If you do stay nearby, you might find my post on visiting Windsor with a toddler helpful.
- Visit Legoland holidays to see different accommodation options for different budgets.
Have you visited Legoland Windsor with under 4’s? Have you got any tips to add? I’d love to hear in the comments.
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