How To Visit Legoland Windsor On A Budget
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Legoland Windsor is one of the largest family-friendly tourist attractions in England. However, visiting this theme park comes at a price, and that price can quickly surpass what you budgeted once you begin to factor in transport, accommodation, parking, food and souvenirs.
We spent £75 per person at Legoland, including transport, parking, park tickets, accommodation, food, drink & souvenirs. The price could have easily been higher; however, it could have also been lower because we learnt some essential money-saving lessons that I hope will help you during our visit.
Of course, it’s important to remember that everyone’s trip to Legoland Windsor will be different, and sadly, there will sometimes be factors outside of your control that mean that your trip may cost more than others.
These factors can include the proximity from your house to the park, whether or not you can drive or the time of year you have to visit (i.e. during the school holidays).
Luckily, however, there are some steps you can take to minimise the expenses that are within your control when visiting Legoland, and it’s those secrets I’m going to share here.
How To Save Money On Legoland Windsor Tickets
One of the most significant expenses when it comes to visiting Legoland Windsor is the tickets to the park. However, you can cut costs here in several ways, with the easiest one being to book tickets online in advance rather than buying them at the gate.
To buy tickets in advance, you need to book with at least one day’s notice, and by doing so, you’ll save up to 45% while also being eligible for additional promotions and discounts on meal deals and parking.
If you have the flexibility to visit during the week and your child is under the age of four, you might also benefit from the adult and pre-schooler ticket. This ticket saves you up to £81 and gets you free entry for any children under 90cm as there’s a limited number of rides for that height bracket.
If you plan to visit Legoland Windsor often, then an annual pass might well be a way for you to save money. While this does cost more upfront compared to regular tickets, it pays off, in the long run, giving you free entry to the park throughout the year.
Being an annual pass holder also gets you a discount on food, drink, parking and souvenirs, so it’s well worth calculating if you’ll benefit from these combined savings over the year.
Another upfront cost that might save you money, in the long run, is a Merlin annual pass. Merlin is the company that owns Legoland along with a variety of other attractions across the UK, including; Alton Towers, Thorpe Park, Bear Grylls Adventure, Sealife Center and more.
Being a Merlin Annual Passholder, you’ll be able to gain access to Legoland as well as all the other Merlin attractions across the UK completely free. However, blackout dates apply, and these vary depending on the pass level you have. Right now, there are three pass levels to choose from, starting at just £89 per person.
Some other ways you can save money on Legoland tickets include;
- Exchanging Tesco Clubcard vouchers and Nectar vouchers for tickets
- Using 2 for 1 promotions – these often appear on cereal packets and in newspapers
- Using an exclusive Legoland special offer – these are common around Easter and Halloween
- Going during weekdays and term time
- Buying tickets online in advance
- Buying a Legoland annual pass – ideal if you plan to visit more than once or twice in a year
- Buying a Merlin annual pass – ideal if you plan to visit other attractions
How To Save Money On Legoland Windsor Hotels
Depending on how far you’re travelling to visit Legoland Windsor, you may need to look at staying overnight.
In our case, we travelled from Wakefield in Yorkshire; it’s around three hours in the car and was therefore unfeasible or at least not very fun (for myself as the driver or the kids) to think that we could travel to Legoland and back in the day.
Of course, staying overnight near Legoland Windsor park is likely to increase the cost of your visit significantly.
In our case, we opted to stay at the Travelodge in Windsor city centre as it was on a promotional offer and was just a 10-minute drive to Legoland. The hotel cost us £86.99 for one double room and a further £90.99 for one family room.
It’s also worth remembering that it’s not just the cost of the hotel that you’ll need to factor in when staying overnight near Legoland Windsor. There’s also an evening meal, drinks, snacks and in some cases parking.
We had dinner at Five Guys, a popular US burger chain that cost us around £12 per person, including drinks, luckily that filled us for the evening, and no additional snacks were required.
However, parking overnight near the hotel was an additional £10 – this was a discounted rate for hotel guests. Based on our experience, here are some ideas for saving money on hotels near Legoland;
- Be flexible in when you can visit – some dates are cheaper than others
- Look for a hotel with free parking if you’re driving to save on additional costs
- Give yourself plenty of time to book a hotel so you can scout the best deals
- Consider cashing in vouchers such as Nectar or Tesco clubcard for hotel credit
- Use a cashback website to get cashback on your hotel booking
- Use a comparison website to see if you can get the same hotel cheaper
- Look for a hotel that offers free breakfast as it’ll save you money on food later in the day
How To Save Money On Transport & Parking At Legoland Windsor
Whether you’re travelling ten miles or hundreds of miles, it’s essential to factor in the additional cost of travelling to and from Legoland. There is also the additional cost of parking at Legoland if you are driving.
Of course, this cost will be different for everyone and likely depend on; how many people are travelling, what mode of transport you’re using and how far you’re travelling.
In our case it cost us £10 to park at the hotel overnight, an additional £10 to park at Legoland (we saved £2 by booking parking in advance when purchasing our Legoland tickets) and then used just over one tank of petrol which cost around £70.
That being said, with five of us in the car, the total cost for transport came out at just £18 each, which considering we covered over 400 miles in two days is at least in my opinion pretty impressive.
However, luckily there are some simple generic ways you can cut the cost of getting to and from Legoland Windsor, these include;
- Booking parking in advance (save £2)
- Travelling at off peak times
- Booking public transport in advance
- Using rail cards and discount programmes (Tesco Clubcard and Nectar) to save on public transport
How To Save Money On Food At Legoland
It’s no secret that food at theme parks can be expensive, and sadly, Legoland is no different.
We personally opted for breakfast at a local Costa Coffee and dinner that evening in a fast-food restaurant; as a result, we only had one meal (and a handful of snacks) at Legoland itself.
However, that one meal (sandwich and crisps) and a handful of snacks still ended up costing us around £12 a person. That being said, there are several ways you could get around this and save money on food when visiting Legoland, this includes;
- Having breakfast at the hotel or before getting to the park
- Bringing your own lunch and / or snacks
- Bringing a water bottle – and if your kids prefer a small squash to add flavour
- Have dinner outside of the park once you’ve left
- Book a meal deal online in advance (save 20%)
- Get a Coca-Cola Freestyle vessel and get unlimted free drinks all day
How To Save Money On Souvenirs At Legoland
It’s hard to gauge how much anyone will spend on souvenirs at Legoland because, let’s face it, Legofanatics could spend hundreds if not thousands of pounds; meanwhile, others might spend nothing at all.
In our case, none of the adults bought any souvenirs, and as the kids aren’t much into Lego, they weren’t too bothered either (although that doesn’t mean a trip to Legoland wasn’t worth it).
However, we wanted them to have something as a reminder of the day and perhaps play within the car on the long drive home.
So, in this case, we spent around £30 on souvenirs right at the end of the day. The cost was based on two kids, so roughly £15 each.
Unsurprisingly, there’s a lot you can buy at Legoland Windsor; however, we encouraged the kids to wait until the end of the day and used an hour before closing time to go to the large main store at the entrance. The kids then didn’t have to carry around their purchases for the majority of the day.
Lego sets, Minifigures and other souvenirs don’t come with an additional premium compared to buying directly at Lego.com or at a Lego store in person; however, some Lego sets will be cheaper in your local supermarket or toy store.
Therefore one way to save money on Lego before going to Legoland is to buy the sets in advance and surprise the kids with the gift at the end of the day. Although this might not work for everyone, you could save yourself 20% or more when compared to buying the set directly at Legoland Windsor.
With that being said, there are some Lego sets exclusive to Legoland Windsor and can’t be purchased anywhere else (except maybe eBay).
Therefore if you or your kids are huge Lego fans, the experience and variety in the store is going to be far more important than saving 20% buying from a supermarket instead – after all, these sets won’t be available there anyway.
One final note is that sadly Lego VIP points can not be spent or earned at Legoland Windsor. I’d saved around £20 in points to spend on the kids during our visit, so I personally was pretty gutted about that one.
A couple of final things to think about when it comes to saving money on souvenirs and gifts at Legoland Windsor include;
- Setting a budget on how much you plan to spend on souviners
- Thinking in advance about what you or the kids might like from Legoland as a souviner
- Bringing ponchos and raincoats so you don’t need to spend souviner money on essentials to keep you dry (I speak from experience)
- Consider buying sets in advance at discounted prices and suprising the kids with the sets at the end of the day
- Waiting until the end of the day to go to the shops so you’re not carrying around your purchases
- Deciding whether or not you’ll benefit from buying at Lego.com or at a Lego store to gain VIP points to use towards future Lego purchases
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Thanks for stopping by! Do you have experience with this trip or want to share some of your own tips? We’d love to hear about it! Comment below and let’s chat!