It was really fun at Legoland discovery centre in Manchester… honestly… I was a big little kid in there and wanted to take photos of everything! I would really recommend it for lego fans or even if you just want to experience something different. We just got back from a spontaneous overnight trip where we stayed in Manchester and visited Legoland and Sealife Centre so I’m going to tell you all about it as I’m sure you’re curious! Legoland discovery centre in Manchester review
Legoland discovery centre in Manchester review
I’ve always wanted to go to Legoland and see what it’s all about, even though I’ve never been a big lego fan… when I was younger I just wasn’t crazy about it but even if you have never been massively into it, I think everyone can admit they love a bit of lego. Big things made out of lego are pretty cool and impressive. In the past when I’ve seen pictures before of Legoland people and animals made out of these little bricks, my reactions have been, “oh wow, it’s like real size lego!” lol, I think that pretty much sums it up…
We were staying overnight so ours plans were to do Legoland one day and Sealife the next with a combination ticket. Ours were booked online and Combination tickets include admission to both, for upto 12 months so you don’t have to visit them on the same day or even the same week. I thought this was really convenient. In hindsight, I would have just gone to both on the same day, but I’ll say why later on. The combination tickets aren’t cheap… it was £25 for me & Ollie with Eric free, with booking fee we paid over £50. It was one of those situations where you just think well we aren’t going to be coming here anytime in the near future so it’s a big treat, and let’s just go for it!
Just one thing… the lighting in there isn’t great. Some of the zones inside were darker than others so the photos are totally unusable.
There are 14 “zones” and things to do at Legoland Discovery Centre, Manchester
So the Legoland discovery centre is in Intu Trafford centre in Manchester so it’s very easy to get to and there’s good facilities all around. You can easily get the bus there from city centre of Manchester (they’re introducing a metro link soon, as well!). Signage is easy to find it and once you’re there it’s very straight forward. Family photos are taken upon arrival in front of a green screen which you can buy at the end, then you go upstairs to start the adventure.
The first room you get to has a TV screen, lego tables to play on and a “magic green door” which is where a special Lego introducer will come and talk about your visit and give you a tour of the factory lab. We only had to wait about 6 minutes for this to start and Eric was more than happy to play with the lego until the presenter started the mini show.
The show took us through into a experimental Lego lab, the lady talked about how Lego bricks are made and got the kids involved with pressing buttons and helping to create the Lego bricks. It was pretty cute. At the finishing stage all the kids got their very own Lego piece to take home with them… this was a really nice start to the day and I loved how it was interactive, Eric felt really special to get his own Lego piece 🙂
We were able to leave the pram in a buggy park so didn’t have to lug that around with us.
The first room to start in is “Miniland” is really impressive with all model villages and scenes with moving lego pieces. There was a Manchester City scene, trains and buses, night scene and Blackpool Pleasure Beach with a moving tram, fairground and little mini people. Me and Ollie were all “oooh” “woooow”… let me tell you, Ollie is a big lego fan since he was a kid so he was in heaven.
He even said “a visit here should be compulsory”, lol! Eric did like looking at these scenes but he soon got frustrated because he wanted to play with them… so we had to move on. You definitely need to take photos of these as they’re really impressive. There was even a lego Sheffield with the winter gardens!!
As you step into the “main” part of the discovery centre it’s really busy, loads going on, and it can be overwhelming as to know where to start. There’s different areas spread out on one level with building tables, playing zones, rides, adventure play, cafe and duplo corner. Everything is very close together so you can’t really lose your child. We went during school holidays just after Christmas time, it was very busy, but doable. Eric was still able to find spaces at building tables to play and didn’t have to wait long for his turn at places like duplo or the Lego racers.
There zones include 3 rides, 10 build and play zones and cinema…
Legoland Ninjago City Adventure
Lego 4d cinema
Lego Duplo Farm
Lego City Forest Ranger
Lego City Builder
Lego Factory Tour
Lego racers: build and test
Merlin Apprentice Ride
It’s worth noting that you definitely have a different experience depending on how old your child is. Eric is only 2, and he was not old enough to go on any of the rides. Most of them had height restrictions of 90cm.
So what exactly can you do with a 2 year old at Legoland Discovery Centre?
He did really enjoy the building table zones… they were scattered around the floor in different zones and he was happy enough to just play with those. His most favourite of the entire place was definitely the Lego Racers. This area had lots of lego to build up your own lego racing car, then car slides and ramps so you can test them out there and play with them.
Now Eric absolutely loves cars and slides so this was heaven for him. You don’t have to worry about not getting a car or lego for your kid, there’s soooo much lego there’s enough to go around. The ramps and slides are small, too, so even little kids like Eric didn’t need a hand to play on them, or we just sat him on top of them. He really enjoyed this and it was very interactive for him.
He found the play area “Ninjago City Adventure” too scary and asked to leave once we went inside there. For older kids, though, it looked really great… with a rotating climbing wall, interactive adventure playground, ninja skill training and ninjago build table. This was on the areas which Eric was too young for, so we didn’t even go in there. We did take him inside the adventure playground area, which is not soft floor like a soft play; it’s exactly like an indoor adventure playground so hard floors, you keep your shoes on, etc.. It was really dark and had lazers, sound effects, etc., and was too scary for him. It was awesome, though, and I haven’t seen anything like that before.
As he was too young to go on the rides, we didn’t try any of that, or the 4D cinema or workshop. Our visit was mostly spend at the Lego Racers area, looking at the lego towns and villages, sitting at the lego building areas and playing there, taking photos, and having fun in the Lego Duplo corner. The Lego Duplo corner is especially for toddlers and had tubs of duplo to play with, a curly slide and big duplo animals to sit on.
In total, we were inside probably about 3 hours and yet… we hardly did any of the actual Legoland discovery centre. There’s not much that Eric at his age can actually do now. But at the same time, there’s just do much around to look and play with that you can still have fun in there whatever age you are. If we spent 3 hours with Eric at this age without rides or the adventure playground area, can you imagine how much more would have been done if he was older?
The prices are expensive and it did feel as if we paid just for him to go somewhere to play with some lego, however, he really loved it in general… it was somewhere completely different to go and even adults enjoy being in there. I would definitely go back and I’m glad we went, it was a fun experience, the staff were lovely and nothing to complain about.
Our tickets were a combo-ticket with Sealife costing near £25 per adult. We just booked this online & got an E-ticket on mobile to show on the door. At this price, it definitely puts me off going again until Eric is older and can do more. I think it would be perfect if they could have a toddler day with reduced prices and quiet times, because they can’t experience half of it inside usually and it’s very busy. A return visit would sure be on the cards if they did something like that.
The Lego centre alone do annual passes and I think if you live close by, or are planning to go often, it’s definitely worth it because I can imagine kids spending all day there. We stayed overnight in Manchester and so spread our visits to Sealife and Legoland over 2 days.
I’ve since looked at Legoland Windsor, which looks absolutely amazing… I think we would definitely make a holiday out of that one because if you stay at the Legoland resort (can you imagine?!) you get free 2nd day passes included (book here).
If you’re not going to go there very often, I do recommend combing it with sealife and doing both. I think you could get away with both in one day, but we spread them out for an overnight trip away.
Take your own packed lunch or eat at Intu Trafford centre. Food in the Lego Cafe is nothing special and as you would expect is over priced. The good news is that there is a massive food court inside the Trafford centre, just minutes way; lego land discovery centre is part of the Intu so you don’t have to go far at all. There’s a lot of choice there or you could eat your own food.
It could be tricky if you have multiple kids of different ages and you go alone. Personally, I wouldn’t do it, because either the kid who is old enough for the rides would have to go on alone, or not go on at all if the other children are not over the height restrictions. Definitely something to think about.
Be prepared for a big lego shop on the way out. Yep… lots of toys… lots of lego… as you would expect… did you bring your credit card? Hahaha.
Definitely take a camera. There’s a lot of great photo opportunities, lighting is a bit tricky in there though.
If you have a younger child who gets easily overwhelmed, don’t go weekends or school holidays if you can help it.
Thank you for reading my review of our day out at Legoland discovery centre in Manchester. 🙂 Hope you liked it!
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