Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Visiting Legoland Discovery Centre with a Merlin Annual Pass

We are big fans of the Merlin Annual Pass, which lets you get into thirty one fantastic UK attractions for 12 whole months. It's brilliant when you have a family that enjoys days out and exciting adventures together, allowing you to visit places such as Thorpe Park, Alton Towers, Chessington, Dungeons, Legoland, Madame Tussauds, Blackpool Tower and SeaLife Centres all for one price.   If you order a Merlin Annual Pass in their January Sale, prices start at just £99 per person (for a standard pass for a family of 3, 4 or 5). It's the cheapest price they will be all year, making it a great time to buy.

We were invited to review one of the Merlin attractions that you can visit using a Merlin Annual Pass and we chose to go to Legoland Discovery Centre in Manchester.

Legoland Discovery Centre is a great indoor attraction located in Barton Square at the intu Trafford Centre, right next to the SeaLife Centre (another great Merlin attraction).  Its location makes it the perfect place for MAP holders to pop in for a quick play when out shopping in Manchester.

Merlin Annual Pass

We arrived just after the centre opened and were greeted at the door and shown through to the desk. You can buy fabulous activity packs filled with puzzles and LEGO facts that can be worn around the neck using a lanyard for just £3, so we treated Freddy to one.  You can collect stamps throughout the attraction, which is something Freddy enjoyed doing and ensures you get to see everything.  Going early meant we didn't have to do much queuing or waiting for rides or shows, so it was a really good time for a visit.

Merlin Annual PassMerlin Annual Pass

Before entering the main part of the LDC, you go through the fun factory tour guided by Professor Brick who gets the kids involved with working the machines to produce their very own souvenir LEGO bricks that they get to keep.  Freddy loves audience participation and is always first up to join in, so he was very happy to help Professor Brick make the pretend machines work by turning, jumping and shouting at the equipment!

Merlin Annual Pass

There are three rides at the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre. Kingdom Quest Laser Ride lets you climb aboard a chariot in order to save the princess by shooting the trolls and skeletons with laser guns.  There is also the Forest Pursuit ride where kids can become rookie cops and chase the bad guys around a LEGO City landscape.  Merlin's Apprentice is a pedal operated flying ride which takes riders into the air helping Merlin to conjure his magic.  Freddy went on all three of the rides and loved them all.  They are aimed at younger children, but grown-ups get to enjoy the fun on the Kingdom Quest and on Merlin's Apprentice!

Merlin Annual Pass, LEGOLAND Discovery Centre

Miniland brings to life the sights of Manchester and surrounding areas such as the Lake District, Birmingham, Blackpool and Alton Towers, in miniature built using LEGO bricks.  With the models going through a cycle of time, you can see Miniland by night and day.  When everything is all lit up it looks really effective.  The detail of the models is wonderful and there are so many things to spot. We loved the model of Alton Towers with the fully working Oblivion ride.  It made us look forward to visiting Alton Towers again when it reopens in March (using our Merlin Annual Passes!)

Merlin Annual Pass, LEGOLAND Discovery Centre

Miniature versions of the Man Utd and Man City stadiums and Aintree Race Course let little hands get interactive with the models as they try to score a winning goal or come first in a horse race.

Merlin Annual Pass, LEGOLAND Discovery Centre

There is a 100 seat LEGO Studio 4D cinema at LDC showing The Legends of Chima.  The fabulous 3D film and special effects, such as wind and bubbles, made a really entertaining show featuring the animals of Chima as they embarked on an exciting adventure.  Freddy was chuckling throughout, especially when the skunk let off his stinky smell, emitting a green cloud of gas!

Merlin Annual Pass, LEGOLAND Discovery Centre

Throughout the day, there are workshops for budding model builders to try their hand at making a model, assisted by a member of staff.  Each child is given a bag of bits and given step by step guidance to create a model.

Merlin Annual Pass, LEGOLAND Discovery Centre

Freddy made a really cute gingerbread house, complete with a candy cane and a marshmallow tree. He was very proud of himself and really enjoyed the workshop. He got lots of types about LEGO construction and I was really impressed with how well he followed the instructions to create his lovely little model.

Merlin Annual Pass, LEGOLAND Discovery Centre

Merlin Annual Pass, LEGOLAND Discovery Centre

Freddy and Ian both really loved the LEGO Racers where you can build a vehicle and test drive it on the various tracks.  They raced against other kids' and timed their cars as they whizzed down the slopes.

Merlin Annual Pass, LEGOLAND Discovery Centre

Other attractions include the huge, multi-levelled soft play area, LEGO Construction.  It gives parents a chance to sit down on the sofas and relax with a cup of coffee from the cafe whilst the kids let off some steam.  Big boxes of LEGO allow children to immerse themselves in bricks and get creative building anything they want to.  We all enjoyed making our own creations from the multi-coloured bricks.

The LEGO Friends area lets kids enter Olivia's House where everything is pink and somewhat girlie. With flower shaped tables where you can play with pastel coloured bricks, a full size LEGO kitchen and a pretty funky karaoke machine to sing favourite songs, it's a cool place to hang out.  Perfect for children who like things a little more feminine. Freddy was happy to get up on stage to sing a rendition on Incy Wincy Spider, even though he wasn't that keen on the pinkness of the area! However, I think it is good to appeal to all tastes and think that the LEGO Friends range offers something a bit different to children who prefer flowers and butterflies to racing cars and construction.

The DUPLO area is perfect for toddlers and includes a set of giant bricks for them to build with.  All ages are catered for so well and anyone who is a fan of LEGO will have a great time!

There is also a Star Wars Miniland Model Display featuring scenes from Episode III Attack of the Clones, with some interactive bits with buttons to press and some spectacular creations to view.  A NinjaGo Laser Training Camp lets kids practice their Ninja skills by making their way through a series of laser beams, trying to not set off the alarm.  Crawling, jumping and stepping over the red beams of light proved a lot of fun for my little Ninja!

There are lots of full size models around the centre including a cool F1 racing car, Harry Potter and Buzz Lightyear.  It is amazing what can be built out of LEGO!!

Merlin Annual Pass, LEGOLAND Discovery Centre

The LEGO shop is a fabulous store filled with all things LEGO, from clothing to accessories to full building sets.  The children each made their own LEGO mini figure using the mix and match body parts and accessories, which they really enjoyed doing.  At 2 for £4 it's not too expensive either. Merlin Annual Pass holders get 20% off purchases, making it another great reason to have one!

Merlin Annual Pass, LEGOLAND Discovery Centre

We had a really lovely time at the Legoland Discovery Centre.  We spent approximately two and a half hours there and did everything we wanted to.  The centre has good facilities including a family restroom, baby changing, pushchair park and cafe, plus there is a lift between floors.  It is open from 10am - 7pm daily and prices start from just £9.95 (for online booking) with under 2's free.  Merlin Annual Pass holders can enjoy unlimited access all year round!

Find out more by visiting the website:  Legoland Discovery Centre Manchester 

You can find out more about a Merlin Annual Pass, which gives you access to a year of family fun and awesome days out by visiting: I love the freedom it gives us a family to enjoy unlimited days out without worrying about the cost.

The MERLIN ANNUAL PASS January SALE is now on, so be sure to grab a Merlin Annual Pass at the YEAR’S LOWEST PRICES – from just £99*.

To buy your Merlin Annual Pass click here.

Merlin Annual Pass, LEGOLAND Discovery Centre

*The Merlin Annual Pass is just £99 per person when you buy a family set of four passes.

1 comment:

  1. The Legoland Discovery Centre sounds the perfect place for a family visit - there is so much to do and the pics say it all really - it is obvious that you had a great time and Freddy obviously enjoyed every minute of his "adventure". xxxxxx



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