Disclosure: We have been given annual passes to LDC for the purpose of blogging about our visits and sharing what we get up to on social media.
The girls have been really eager to go to the new LEGOLAND Discovery Centre in Birmingham, so when we told them we were going to be annual pass holders they were delighted. They really adore going to Sea Life Centre, as regular readers of my blog will know, so being able to go to LDC just across the canal is super exciting for them – we’ll be able to do both in one day quite often, especially with LDC having a nice little cafe inside with a decently priced kids meal deal.
The first thing you do when you walk into LDC is go through a big minifigure shaped archway and down in the lifts to the centre. First up is the Kingdom Quest ride, but you can skip it if you want to.
Kingdom Quest is a fun laser shooter ride, where you get to help save the Princess by shooting trolls and skeletons with your laser guns.
Next up you walk through Miniland on your way to the main area. We spent ages in Miniland, which was decorated for Christmas. It was fascinating! The large room full of incredible LEGO models cycles between night time and day time with clever changing lighting.
We were there just a few days after Christmas so it was lovely to see all the different Christmas touches including this Christmas tree at the model NEC, the city centre areas full of the Christmas markets, and lots of reindeers dotted about – the girls had a lot of fun trying to spot them all.
Pretty much all of Birmingham’s iconic buildings can be found in LEGO miniature, with the Cube, Mailbox, Bullring, Grand Central, and more on show. The Library is brilliantly made, and I loved seeing the barges move around on the canal, and all the different fun moving parts of the models.
The girls loved getting in the middle of Spaghetti Junction! Some local landmarks are on show too, including Warwick Castle.
Once we were finished exploring Miniland, we headed into the main area and the girls made a beeline for one of the building areas, themed around the LEGO Friends, and had a blast coming up with all sorts of creations at the brick tables there.
After exploring some of the rest of the main area, and ooh-ing and aah-ing at all the different ways they have for you to build with and play with LEGO, the girls decided to take a masterclass in the workshop, following along with the member of staff who was building a model ice dragon. We had the option to purchase the model to take home, which was a nice touch. Screens either side of the room displayed a live top down video feed of the staff member’s hands so we could see what she was building up close.
We did enjoy this but our only criticism of it was that the staff member didn’t know what to call the different LEGO bricks. When I told her we were missing a 2×2 plate I just got a confused look, and had to say “the bit that goes on this other bit” – it would be nice if the “Master Model Builders” leading the workshops were a bit better educated themselves on the basics.
Once the girls had built some LEGO and then built a bit more, it was time to explore whatever else LDC had to offer. We tried to get into the 4D cinema but it was packed so both times we tried to queue it filled up before it got to us in the queue (it might be good on busy days for a staff member to count the queue and let people near the end know they’re unlikely to get into the next showing).
The LEGO City themed soft play, however, was a great success. The girls spent ages playing together in there while James and I enjoyed some lovely hot drinks from the cafe, sat on one of the handy benches by the entrance to the soft play frame. It’s a decent sized soft play, and the girls had a silly game of hide and seek.
The last thing we did before heading home was have a go on the Merlin’s Apprentice ride – well, James and the girls at least. Lydia isn’t quite tall enough to go on her own yet, as 90-120cm tall children have to be accompanied by an adult. They loved it!
Of course, we couldn’t leave without a visit to the shop to spend some Christmas money. Annual pass holders get a 10% discount which is really great for a LEGO loving family like ours! I have a shopping list ready for our next visit as Lydia’s birthday is in less than three weeks and all she wants is LEGO, books, and “unicorn stuff”.
Speaking of our next visit, we’re heading there tomorrow after school for a special launch preview of their new LEGO MOVIE 2 event! They’ve added an events page to their website so you can find all the details there, but its on from 09/02 to 28/04 so there is plenty of time to check it out. There were quite a few things we didn’t get a chance to explore last time we were there, so the girls are looking forward to their after school treat tomorrow! I’m sure I’ll be sharing our visit on social media and here on the blog so keep an eye out for that.