Legolands are popping up all over the world. You’ll find Legoland Resorts or Discovery Centres at around thirty locations across the globe, from Malaysia to Japan, Florida to Dubai. It’s hard to miss the brick-themed tourist attraction. But Legoland Billund, in Denmark, was the original.
Like most children brought up in the western world, our two Pigeons love LEGO. And so do D and I. There’s something special about getting down onto the floor and concocting a pirate spaceship out of a heap of red, green, orange and silver bricks. Or from working as a team to follow fiddly instructions and piece together a girl’s bedroom, complete with skateboard ramp and pet rabbit. So on our trip to Denmark, we decided to visit the ‘home of the brick’ at Billund from our base at Landal Seawest in Nørre Nebel.
Here’s a video of our day:
Legoland at 50
Legoland Billund was built in 1968 next to the original LEGO factory, in Jutland on the west side of Denmark. Ole Kirk Christiansen, the man who invented LEGO, grew up nearby. After losing his wife and having to find ways to keep his four sons occupied, he came up with the small plastic bricks as a way to distract and entertain them. The name is a shortened version of leg godt, meaning “play well” in Danish.
And Legoland was a place that seemed to have play running through its bones. As well as fun rides, there were play areas, with climbing frames, swings and slides, and LEGO sculptures, lots of which the children could play on.
Starting our family day out at Legoland
We arrived at Legoland first thing in the morning, just after the park opened at 10am. As we drove past the signs for the Legoland House (which sounds well worth a visit in its own right, judging by this post by Globalmouse), the traffic became heavier. Despite the rainy start to the day, the car park was already filling up when we got there. People in banana yellow Legoland ponchos thronged under the jaunty resort arches, which still looked perky despite the drizzle. We were surprised to see people queueing at booths already, to pay for the car park. A top tip from us would be to join them. The queues to pay the charge of around £6 were much longer when we left Legoland at the end of the day.
We grabbed a Legoland Denmark map from the information booth, and began to plan our day.
Miniland at Legoland Billund
A friend advised me to start with the rides at the back of the resort, as they tended to get more and more busy as the day wore on. But the soft piping music coming from Miniland drew us off-course, and once inside the vast collection of LEGO models of different cities, and miniature countryside scenes from far-flung lands, we were captivated. We ended up staying inside Miniland for a good forty-five minutes, looking at the intricate train tracks, palaces, factories and streets built from thousands and thousands of little bricks.
A lot of Miniland’s LEGO buildings were Nordic. Metres and metres were given over to Sweden, Norway, and of course, Denmark itself. I felt pleased with myself for recognising Bergen, on Norway’s west coast, with its colourful row of waterfront houses at Bryggen, and its 320m-high funicular up to the top of Mount Fløyen. Like a lot of the mechanical constructions in Miniland, the funicular was in action, chugging its way up and down past LEGO bushes and trees. The only part of the UK we could find at Billund was Scotland – although there was a very large north sea oil rig, complete with a whale spouting water as it curved through the water.
The non-European LEGO landmarks were accessible via a boat ride, which we ran out of time for (there was so much to see and do, it was impossible to get it all covered in one day). From the edge of the ride, we could see an impressively collossal Statue of Liberty. Guess how many bricks they used to build it??
Rides at Legoland Billund
From the edge of Miniland our daughter spotted the LEGO Safari ride. This marked the beginning of our day-long adventure on Billund’s rides. They were varied enough to suit all ages. Even tiny children could enjoy themselves on the DUPLO planes. At six, our daughter was a good age for the Safari, and she squealed with delight as our little jeep trundled past LEGO elephants, zebras and flamingos.
In fact, there were very few rides that Gwen was too small for. Apart from the Polar X-Plorer, Ice Pilots School and X-Treme Racers, which needed riders to be over 120m, the rest were accessible. Her older brother is already a huge fan of rollercoasters and other rides that throw you around, and it was nice to also see Gwen raising her hands into the air on the Flying Eagle, Legoland Billund’s newest ride. Set in Wild Western-themed Legoredo Town, the rollercoaster sailed through a LEGO landscape of racoons, vultures and rattlesnakes, whizzing along at just enough velocity to give us all a thrill, adults included.
With over thirty rides to choose from, there’s no way we’d have managed to cover them all in one day. We split up a couple of times. D took Austin over to the Haunted House and to see the Star-Wars X-wing starfighter. But most of the time we rode together. Ninjago the ride, one of the busiest attractions in Windsor, was quiet a Billund, so we took the opportunity to go on the interactive shoot-em-up twice. I’d have liked to also have had a second shot at the Canoe ride in Legoredo Town. The run-up to the drenching flume finale was spectacular, with howling LEGO wolves, coyotes, raccoons and grizzly bears. As it was, we didn’t have time to even poke our noses into Atlantis by Sealife, or the SEAT Traffic School, for 7-13 year olds. There was just so much to do.
Is Legoland just for kids?
I spotted a lot of adults who’d come to the theme park without kids. And I didn’t blame them. The park was cleverly put together, and outside the pre-school DUPLO area, Billund had plenty to attract adults as well as kids. Phenomenal as the rides were, I could have spent the day just gawping at the clever sculptures. LEGO wrens perched on signs, enormous vipers rose out of waters, and inside the Knight’s Kingdom Castle, we met a whole court full of LEGO jesters, buxom maids and medieval rapscallions.
I was surprised that the LEGO Friends section, so enormous in Legoland Windsor, was only a small room with a pre-built display inside. Instead, there seemed to be more focus on themed zones with more general appeal, like pirates, adventure, and polar land.
Although she didn’t have an entire zone tailored to her favourite LEGO, Gwen was very excited to find a cluster of life-sized Friends models, and to meet a ‘real-life’ Princess.
How long are the queues at Legoland Billund?
We went to Legoland Billund mid-week, during termtime for Danish children, so it’s perhaps not representative of school holidays, or weekends. But the queues were much shorter than we’d been expecting. Most of the time, the wait time indicator was set at between 10 and 20 minutes. A few times, we just walked straight onto the rides, and the longest we had to wait was just over 20 minutes. The Billund Resort designers had made a big effort to make sure people were entertained while waiting. The queue for the Dragon roller coaster, for instance, snaked through the inside of the Knights’ Kingdom castle, past dancing LEGO knights and a large LEGO hand that beckoned us towards it. It was all a lot of fun.
Food and drink at Legoland Billund
Like the rest of Denmark, the cost of food and drink at Legoland wasn’t as high as we’d imagined it might be. Although some items were expensive – a coffee, for instance, cost the equivalent of £5-6 – a burger meal in the Imagination Zone restaurant was around £10 for adults, £7 for kids. There were a few resturants to choose from, including an all-you-can eat pizza and pasta buffet overlooking real penguins, and a Blacksmiths Grill House serving steaks.
We took a picnic, and sat eating our apples and baguettes on one of ten or twelve picnic benches in Ninjago World. Before we said goodbye to Legoland, though, we couldn’t resist buying a couple of yummy hot dogs from the booth near the entrance.
Legoland Denmark prices
Like Legoland Windsor, if you do some scouting around there are lots of offers for Legoland Billund Resort. But a standard online one-day adult ticket currently costs 323 DKK (around £37). More ticket prices are on the Legoland website.
Legoland Billund opening hours
Legoland Billund opens from 10am, until 6pm off-season, or 9pm at peak season (summer months and school holidays). The resort shuts down in November, and then re-opens at the end of March.
Where is Legoland in Denmark?
Family trips to Legoland Denmark are easy because it’s right next to Lego Billund airport, with direct flights from the UK via Ryanair.
Places to stay near Legoland Billund
This part of Denmark is well set-up for tourists, and there are many hotels close to Legoland. People wanting to stay on-site can try the Lego Hotel Billund. In 2019, a new Legoland Billund hotel, the Castle hotel, will open to guests.
We stayed with Landal GreenParks in a beautiful spot on the Jutland coast, an hour’s drive from Legoland. Our resort, Landal Seawest, ran special offers for Legoland tickets.
Have you been to Legoland Billund? Or any of the other Legolands? What did you think?
Our day at Legoland Billund Resort was included as part of a press package. Landal GreenParks hosted us for the week at Seawest. All views are my own.
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