Billund, Denmark is where Lego all began. My favourite toy as a child and probably one of the things that inspired me to become an engineer. I’d always wanted to come to Legoland and I wasn’t sure if my dreams and expectations would be met. Billund is not a big place, the airport is next to Legoland and my hotel was visible on one side of the plane as we landed and Legoland was visible on the other side. The airport gets quite a lot of flights coming in for such a small town.
It is also not a cheap place. The breakfast buffet seemed reasonable for $20, but dinner buffet ended up costing me $50. Despite Billund being a small place, the Zleep Hotel is nowhere near any restaurants either. A taxi would have offset any savings.
I walked the 2 km to Legoland, past one end of the runway of the airport and arrived a minute before 10 where the hoards of visitors were already gathered. Legoland opened a minute later and people started to pour in. It turns out today was pretty quiet, at no stage did I have to wait more than 5 minutes to do anything. I’m sure I saw a few parents sitting in the shade as their older kids just kept riding the same roller coaster every 5 minutes or so depending on the queue.
The first part of Legoland is the bit I’ve always wanted to see. The miniature villages, harbours, trains etc. all built in lego. This is how Legoland started, but its become more of a theme park now, although you are never too far from something built out of lego. Though some of the older built lego displays show a definite sign of the plastic wearing under the weather. Its interesting to note the scale of everything build is much bigger than what you’d typically buy. As a result instead of the typical size lego minifigure all the people themselves are made from separate lego blocks.
They also must do a lot of bonsai it seems, while many of the plants are oversized for the scale of the Lego displays, many that are closer to the display have a more realistic scale to them, although not quite bonsai. After I finished browsing miniature world I started to explore the theme park side to Legoland. My first mistake was thinking the Flying Eagle doesn’t look too big or bad and the queue is short so why not. The G forces on this thing are horrific in the turns and not only that, but it goes around twice! There is no horrifying dip and the first turn is not too bad, but the second turn is a killer in the opposite direction. I needed a good 30 minute sit down after riding it. There is maybe half a dozen roller coaster type rides here and none of them a bit and scary looking, but what they make up for in height, seems to be replaced with high speed turns!
I wandered around all the themes, like castle, adventure, wild west and polar explorers where I found something less stressful and all the more wonderful. A display of Gentoo Penguins, many of which love coming up to the glass to see what the visitors were up to! It was harder to get a spot beside the glass to watch the penguins than it was to get a ride on the Flying Eagle.
They seem to love buffets in Denmark. Lunch was another rather expensive all you can eat buffet. I guess some people see it as a bargain, but I see it as paying for someone else to eat a lot of food that I’m not eating. Being a hot day I made use of the all you can drink portion of the buffet. After lunch I tried a somewhat tamer rollercoaster, that wasn’t too tame. The Temple, however, was a bit easier to stomach. It was a ride through an “Indiana Jones” style temple and you had a light gun to shoot targets with. I won the ride with a massive score. The kids and their parents needed to read the sign that said purple targets are worth 1000 points. That’s what I did and that is why I won the ride 🙂 We won’t talk about the ninja thing I attempted to do because I’m not even sure what was going on, except I had 3D glasses on.
By 3 pm I’d had enough of Legoland. Its definitely not that much fun by yourself, but today would have been a perfect day, the weather was good, it is before the major European school holidays and the queues for the rides were shorter. I finished it off on the Lego Tower of Terror, except it was called LegoTop and it wasn’t terrifying either, but you got a view of the park from up there.
So did Legoland fulfil my childhood dreams? Yes, it did, but I’m sure it is more fun with other people. Tomorrow I head to Copenhagen to see how much money I can spend there, before coming home to cheapo (compared to Denmark) Canberra, mid next week.