We are big fans of the LEGOLAND Windsor theme park so when we had a chance to visit the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre during our visit to Manchester we were all really looking forward to checking it out.
LEGOLAND Discovery Centre is an attraction conveniently located at the Trafford Centre in Manchester. There was plenty of free parking, and the girls were extremely excited when they spotted the LEGOLAND sign.
We visited during February half term and the queues were starting to build but we didn’t have to wait long with priority entry into the attraction. After watching the Lego Batman Movie last week the girls were so excited to meet him in person at Legoland Discovery Centre in Manchester, which is running Batman themed events until the 12th March.
The children were given a lovely gift pack containing a Batman mask, mini LEGO pack, keyring, games and a LEGO lanyard with 3 toggles. They loved wearing their LEGO lanyard as it had sections that they had to stamp as they made their way through the attraction. This treasure hunt made our visit even more exciting as we were on the lookout for the next LEGO stamp to collect.
You begin your tour with a short journey in a LEGO themed lift to the Lego factory. After a short wait we were greeted by Professor Brick-a-Brack who shows how Lego bricks are made in an engaging and child friendly way. The room was full of colourful machinery and giant tubes filled with thousands of LEGO bricks, you could see the excitement starting to build in the girls faces.
The interactive tour involves children pushing the buttons, listening to the bells ring and watching out for the lights to change. It was really interactive and involved lots of jumping up and down from the children on the tour to help make the LEGO bricks. At the end of the tour the machine produces a batch of LEGO Batman bricks, which each child takes home as a souvenir of their visit.
Following the factory tour we arrived at the Kingdom Quest Laser Ride. This was a moving 4 seater chariot complete with laser guns. As you travel, you use your laser gun to shoot skeletons and trolls and help rescue the captured Princess. The girls loved this ride and said it was one of the favourite parts of our visit, and brought out the competitive side of each of us as we looked to see who had the highest score. As we visited early in the morning there was no queue for this ride but during the day it got really busy.
Next on your journey is MiniLand which was a recreation of popular UK landmarks such as Manchester, Birmingham, The Lake District and more, created with over 1.5 million LEGO bricks. The attention to detail was just incredible and it was fantastic to see many of the buildings lit up as the scene changed from day to night. The Batman theme continued in MiniLand as many of the buildings had been taken over by characters from the movie, this made it even more interesting for the girls trying to spot which characters were on each building.
I particularly loved the Blackpool scene as it brought back memories of family holidays in the 1980s. The girls have been to London several times and were familiar with the iconic London buildings such as Big Ben.
Leaving MiniLand the centre opens up into the huge main hall which houses a 4D cinema, 2 more rides, a café and giant tubs of LEGO dotted at different activity stations.
We headed to the rides as the girls were so excited. The first of which that caught their attention was the Merlin’s Apprentice ride. The ride seats 2 together, 1 adult and 1 child and was so much fun for all the family as it involved pedalling as fast as you can to make the ride go higher as you circled around the attraction. There was so much laughter between us all as we tried to keep our vehicle up as high as we could.
The LEGO City Forest Pursuit was fantastic and the girls really enjoyed practising their driving skills in their LEGO police car. After a quick safety briefing you head off around the large LEGO themed circuit that runs the length of the room.
The girls and their daddy loved LEGO Racers: Build And Test zone where they created a LEGO car and tested it on steep ramps to see how strong and fast it was. There were a few collisions, lots of remodelling and plenty of laughter. My youngest daughter absolutely loved this part and it took the lure of the 4D LEGO movie to coax her away.
Right next to the LEGO racers was the LEGO studios 4D movie theatre. There are two shows on offer The LEGO Movie 4D: A New Adventure and Nexo Knights which are shown on rotation, starting around every half hour. I was surprised just how big the cinema was, seating 100 people, with very comfortable seats to enjoy the movie.
We managed to watch both 12 minute movies during our visit, The LEGO Movie 4D: A New Adventure and Nexo Knights. Both movies were fantastic, but if we had to pick a favourite it would be the LEGO Movie 4D: A New Adventure. The 4D effects of wind, water and imagery work very well all adding to the immersive experience.
One of the highlights for the girls was the meet and greet with Lego Batman himself and have a photograph with the hero of the movie.
For younger children ( aged up to age 5) there was a small Duplo Farm area consisting of lots of oversized soft LEGO bricks and a slide.
In the middle of the room were four huge play pits full of LEGO in various colours. This was one of their favourite areas, they couldn’t believe the amount of LEGO bricks that they could choose from when building their LEGO creations.
Unfortunately the LEGO® Fire Academy soft play area is now closed but from March 23rd 2017 a brand new LEGO® Ninjago City Adventure soft play will open.
As you leave the main attractions the excitement levels shot up again as the girls spotted the LEGO Friends and the LEGO City Builder area. This was great fun for them constructing their own LEGO buildings to go alongside the impressive buildings on display.
Just before the exit was the Ninjago Laser Training Camp. The girls thought this was really cool as you had to test your agility by climbing over lasers and sliding across the floor trying not to break the beam of light.
As you leave the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre you walk through the large LEGO store which had a fantastic range of the latest LEGO products on display.
We had a really fantastic family day out and one that we won’t forget for a long while. It offers a totally different experience to that at LEGOLAND Windsor and we enjoyed the different attractions, shows and building lots of things with LEGO.
As the girls left they summed the day perfectly singing “Everything is awesome”, we can’t wait to go back!
Location and Pricing
LEGOLAND Discovery Centre is located in Barton Square at the Trafford Centre in Manchester and is open every day except Christmas Day from 10am until 6.30pm.
If you are planning a visit it is cheaper to book your tickets in advance online at https://manchester.legolanddiscoverycentre.co.uk It is also worth looking at the combi ticket which is excellent value and includes entry to the excellent Sea Life Manchester next door.
For the latest ticket prices and more information please visit the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre website: https://manchester.legolanddiscoverycentre.co.uk
Alternatively you can use Tesco Clubcard vouchers for tickets. By exchanging £5.00 in Clubcard vouchers gets you your entry ticket.
We were guests of LEGOLAND Discovery Centre for the purpose of the review.