Since Sam started travelling loads for work, we’ve become pretty obsessive Avios points collectors. But did you know Avios isn’t just for frequent flyers? Our BA American Express card has become our default card for purchases and supermarket shops, as you can accumulate Avios points on virtually every pound spent on the card.
And did you know that Avios points don’t just have to be spent on flights? A glance at the Avios website will give you an idea of the sorts of experiences and purchases you can cash your points in for. (Hint – all of the big attractions are on there, plus theatre tickets, pampering experiences, etc).
Avios asked us to pick an experience and write about it. We chose to have a fun day out at Legoland Windsor, somewhere Sam and I had never been before, let alone the kids.
Here are our top Legoland tips:
Favourite rides / attractions
Arlo (5) – Sky Rider
Rory (2) – All of the train rides (lucky for this locomotive fan, there are THREE train rides to choose from at Legoland)
Chloe – Atlantis Submarine Voyage
Sam – The Star Wars exhibit (specifically the cantina band display)
Make time for Miniland
The attention to detail in this mini city is amazing. There are lots of little surprises to be found / bits that suddenly start moving every now and again. Miniland is in the centre of the park, so you do end up passing through on more than one occasion, but it is well worth scheduling in some time to properly experience it.
The height rules
There is a 90 cm height limit for many rides. Rory, on the small side for two and a quarter, JUST reached the measuring stick if he stretched up tall. It wouldn’t have been particularly fun if he wasn’t allowed on the dino ride or the helicopters with his big brother. Rory was itching to go on EVERY SINGLE RIDE, and it’s hard to explain to a two year old why they can’t ride. If you have a child that’s not quite at 90cms yet, I’d say it’s worth holding off until they reach the magic number.
Bring a picnic
Not only does it save money, but it’s also going to save you vital time. Less time spent perusing eateries and queuing for food / a table is more time gained for exploring the site on an already tight schedule – you’d be hard-pressed to see everything in a day at Legoland (we pretty much skipped Land of the Vikings and Knight’s Kingdom entirely).
The best age for Legoland?
There was a lot at Legoland that two year old Rory enjoyed, but if he were an only child I’d definitely be waiting until he was at least three at least to take him. Of coruse, the flipside of this argument is that under threes go free, so a trip just before a third birthday could work out very well. Five year old Arlo was able to enjoy the majority of rides and attractions at Legoland, with the exception of a couple of big thrill rides that he wasn’t keen on anyway. I’d say 5 – 8 years is the prime age range for Legoland. I can imagine some of the rides seeming a bit babyish or underwhelming to a thrill-seeking 10+ year old.
I know I probably shouldn’t compare, but with our recent visit to Disneyland fresh in our minds, the rides at Legoland didn’t provide me with quite the same immersive experience. However, what is really cool at Legoland are the smaller details – the intricate Lego creations everywhere, and the hands-on rides where children get to learn to drive, or take part in a the fire academy experience. The Star Wars exhibit is a total must for any fans, Sam was fanboying all over the place and even a halfhearted fan like me was impressed. There is something just so exciting about seeing well known scenes / things recreated in Lego form.
Buying Lego at Legoland
The Lego Shop is vast, and that’s not including the separate store for all the Star Wars Lego. If you decide you might like to buy something, go in with a plan of what you want to purchase, or you will quickly find yourself stumped. We promised the boys a Lego item each, but there was just so much to choose from that we ended up leaving empty handed – resolving to look online rather than make a hurried decision in-store. I believe some sets are exclusive to Legoland and can’t be bought elsewhere, so it’s worth researching this beforehand too.
The Avios Experience
Booking through Avios was really simple. Printing off our emailed tickets meant we could be scanned at the gates, allowing for immediate access to the park rather than having to join a separate queue to collect tickets or buy them on the door.
I am the first person to baulk at the full price cost of theme parks and popular attractions. I would never even dream of paying full price, preferring to wait until a decent promotion or discount offer makes the price a lot more enticing.
It didn’t actually occur to me that we could use Avios points for tickets to popular attractions until we spoke to Avios about this blog opportunity, but it’s a system I am completely happy with – the points have already accumulated, you aren’t spending any extra money on tickets, it doesn’t feel like you are paying full whack for a very expensive treat, it feels like a free-of-charge bonus. It makes opportunities possible that we otherwise wouldn’t consider.
Check out the video highlights of our trip to Legoland Windsor below:
Avios provided our Legoland tickets.