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Non-Disney Theme Parks
Topic: Halloween Legoland Windsor, Hampton Court & CWOA

Wed 10/26/2011 5:07a
I have been working like a mad man, and winter is coming near. As the kids have the week off, we decided to take a four day mini break making using of our annual passes, free hotel rooms and other loyalty perks to have a budget break. But of course, being halloween, it means there is a lot going on to make life more enjoyable. Thankfully a very different picture from when i came to the UK 25 years ago and people looked at me blankly when I asked how they were celebrating the best holiday of the year.

We got to legoland and the kids did not know where we were going, the whole trip, every part of it, was a surprise. When we arrived, there was a Scooby Doo funhouse, the theme for the events this week. The kids would wait until next time.

We were expecting crowds and therefore decided to concentrate on the Halloween testivities. We enjoyed exploring the decorations, booked Mikey in for the 3pm robotics workshop, made some lego Halloween decorations, took part in a mad scientist workshop, met Scobby Doo, and then tried the new Atlantis attraction.

I have to say, I fell in love with this. It beats the subs at Disneyland or the old 20k attraction in WDW. You get into a submarine (like the underwater boats in the Caymans) and travel through a massive sea life aquarium filled with lego models and real sea life including sharks and rays. We thought it was fantastic and well worth the long wait (which moved continually thanks to no fast pass rubbish - well some pay for it, but it is an upcharge that many do not take). I thought this was a wonderful attraction.

We enjoyed mini land, and then Mikey and I did the robotics workshop, while the girls enjoyed Bob the Builder 3D and some character meet and greets.

We then decided a little food was in order, so enjoyed a meal of bbq spare ribs and fries, and then a spin on the Spinning Spider (think tea cups but not as restricted as Disney's neutered version).

We headed to Miniland to get a view of the fireworks as nornally it is a good area, but people were facing in all sorts of directions. I asked a security guard which way to face. We had a little chat, and he said if we did not mind walking, the best area is the patio over the lake near the wave racer, mexican cantina and the new hotel. They shoot them off from this area. And the view was fantastic.

The fireworks were spectacular, better than Disney's offerings (though Legoland does only fire them off 7 nights a year - so not much more than Disneyland Paris, but a lot less than Disneyland or WDW). The music was Scooby Doo/Halloween themed and they were great. I had to laugh though, as afterwards they played an instrumental version of Disney's Haunted Mansion's version of Grimm Grinning Ghosts follwed by some of the Halloween music written for Disneyland Paris. Even in the main fireworks, the finale was set to the score from the Incredibles. Lol.

After the fireworks, several attractions were open for at least an hour, so we took advantage of the much shorter queues for Lego Lazer Raiders (Sarah and I tied with 17,000 points on this lego/indiana jone type version of Buzz/Men In Black). Then the kids enjoyed a couple of rides on the Scarab Bouncers.

WE took the hill train back up toe the Beginning and explored the shops breaking down and buying the very cool Lego Star wars and Lego City Advent Calendars for this year.

Exhausted, we got a refill of drink (we have AP refillable mugs we can use all year in Merlin parks) and headed to the car (as APers we were parking in priority - making it easier to leave.

WE drove to Slough where we were booked into the Holiday Inn Express and between road works and a nightmare to get parked, the kids were away with the fairies. In bed for midnight, as the next 3 days would require rest - another day in Legoland with dear friends, Hampton Court Palace, Swimming and Chessington World of Adventures.

All times are Pacific Time (US)

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