A mere 500 miles away from Legoland Windsor, there lies a park steeped in history located within the Danish town of Billund, the birthplace of the Lego brick.
A park created for the sole purpose of giving a place for fans making the pilgrimage to the home of the colourful bricks a place to go see various lego created models instead of bombarding the factory as at the time the factory was full of models used for various trade shows and exhibitions.
The original Legoland has been welcoming guests to the park since 1968, with the main attraction being Miniland, which attracted over 600,000 visitors in it’s the opening year and has grown since to become the third-most visited attraction in Denmark.
The park features nine themed areas, providing a variety of themes, from Ninjas to Knights, a few of which you would have seen in many of the other Legoland parks across the world, such as Windsor within the UK and Florida in the states, however, all these common areas in Billund tend to offer unique experiences, as well as attractions you will be well aware of.
As you walk into the main park and past the various shops and restaurants, the first area that greets you as you enter the park is Miniland, the original attraction at Legoland Billund and an area that has seen a lot of expansion over the past 51 years!
The models themselves in total are built out of twenty million Lego bricks and is the largest Miniland in the world and when our eyes first saw the area, we could definitely tell!
The area features several areas covering famous landmarks, one of which is based around large scale buildings including the incredibly tall, Burj Khalifa, as well as Danish landmarks such as the New Haven area of Copenhagen. The area also features small sections covering Sweden, Norway and even Scotland!
Throughout Miniland, there are many different interactive elements that cause various actions to happen around the different models, the array of movement within the models is probably the best we have seen as no matter where you looked within Miniland the scenes portrayed contained so much life and character.
Our favourite scene had to be the model of Billund Airport featuring several large, moving plane models as well as de-icer vehicles that sprayed water onto the wings of the planes. it was incredibly charming walking around all of Miniland and took us around an hour and a half to see everything it had to offer due to the sheer amount of detail each scene had.
As well as the main area of Miniland, around the area are various small flat rides, The Lego Train and LEGOTOP, a 36-meter observation tower providing great views across the whole park. The area also features the SEAT Traffic School (Driving School) and Mini Boats, a self steered boat ride that allows you to see some additional lego models.
Imagination Zone is just around the corner from Miniland and features no rides, however, you can take a journey under the sea at Atlantis by Sea Life. Unlike Atlantis at Legoland Windsor, this attraction is a walk through Sea Life, as opposed to a ride in a submarine which completely took us by surprise, especially as there was a Q-Bot line outside!
Atlantis is a rather well-themed sea life and was certainly very popular on our visit, so we didn’t get to admire it as much as we would have liked but this did feel very of a similar quality to other Sea Life attractions, with some additional Lego charm here and there.
Also in Imagination Zone is the Lego Studios 4D Cinema which is Scandinavia’s Largest theatre, showing two films periodically, a ‘Lego Ninjago’ 4D Movie and ‘Lego City - Officer In Pursuit’, which is also a 4D movie.
DUPLO Land is one of the smallest areas of the park sandwiched between Miniland and Imagination Zone and features a few small children flat rides, these being: DUPLO Express, a small train ride, DUPLO Planes, where guests can fly their own aeroplane, LEGONDOL, a small Ferris wheel and DUPLO Playhouses, a colourful play area.
As much as we didn’t experience any of the attractions ourselves, it certainly seemed like all the young guests were enjoying everything this area had to offer.
We head to the Dojo just next to DUPLO Land and experience the world of Ninjago. A small area that has been created to fit the theme of the large Ninjago attraction.
Around the area, there are activities for the young guests to enjoy such as rock climbing and a laser maze. Once you have explored the area itself it is time to step into the main attraction and prove that you can become the ultimate Ninjago master.
Ninjago: The Ride, is the same ride system to the one in Legoland Windsor, however, this version of the attraction was the original and features a more detailed, spacious queue line but the ride system is near identical. It’s a very fun ride and a good take on the interactive dark ride.
Time to enter the old west and the western town of Legoredo. As you step foot on the sand you are instantly transported to the times of cowboys and gunslingers. Sounds of western covers of popular music and smells of traditional barbeque fill the air and everything seems calm and serene.
However, at the other end of the town, there is the old rundown house of Old Pete, where everything feels dark and sinister and rumour has it, the building is haunted and full of all manner of monsters.
This is the location of Ghost: Haunted House, a family drop tower attraction that gave Legoland Windsor their inspiration for the recently opened Haunted House Monster Party, which originally was supposed to be a similar attraction to what we see in Billund before various planning permission rejected the proposition.
Your experience begins outside in the queue whereas you look around you notice more and more creatures hiding in the shadows. You are then let into the house and given free roam to explore the house and as you enter you notice that all is not what it seems. Creatures and wizards roam the halls of the house and once you head up the stairs it starts becoming more paranormal.
Guests are advised to follow the footsteps on the ground which leads you through some curtains and into a hall of mirrors. As you head through a rather large mirror maze, Lego ghosts appear in front of you unexpectedly and are watching your every movement.
After leaving the mirror maze you step back out into the main hall and can interact with various scenes within the haunted house. The main way to interact with the scenes is to use one of the many torches around the room and shining your light from the torch onto the blue ghosts cause different effects to occur around the scenes.
Once you’ve had your fun in the preshow areas, guests head downstairs and find themselves in the mad scientists' chamber where he has been conducting crazy experiments to make guests that visit float, however, it all goes wrong and suddenly the guests start rising and plummeting to the ground rather sporadically.
Ghost: Haunted House is a great family-friendly attraction that provides a fantastic introduction to drop towers.
Back in the calm area of Legoredo Town, there feature two western themed restaurants, featuring dishes such as steaks and ribs, as well as a few small children's rides, the parks refurbished log flume and Flying Eagle, a new rollercoaster for last year manufactured by Zierer and is a fun family coaster with some nice theming / landscaping.
When we visited, the sun was beating down and as the rides closed, we sat on the terrace of one of the main restaurants and relaxed whilst diving into our tasty meal, the food was great, the atmosphere was relaxing and it was possibly one of our favourite moments at the park and is something we seriously think should be more of a common practise in UK theme parks to open the park later than the rides with the main restaurants left open.
Avast ye Shipmates! Hoist the anchor at Pirate Land to experience this, understandably, water-heavy area of the park.
The area features two water-based rides, Pirate Splash Battle and Pirate Boats. Pirate Splash Battle is as it says, a pirate-themed variant of the ever-popular Splash Battle ride system, guests on the board the pirate ships can fire at targets around the course, as well as fighting those who dare to attack from on land!
Pirate Boats is a charming pirate-themed boat ride, where guests venture into the secret cave, filled with pirates partying or fighting over stolen treasure! The ride was fairly short, however, was incredibly charming with lots of detailed sets and we wished we had a similar version at a Legoland park closer to home!
As well as the two water-based rides, Pirate Land also features Lighthouse, a pull-up drop tower, Pirate carousel, a teacups ride and Pirate Wave Breaker, a Rockin’ Tug ride as well as a Coffee shop boasting the best coffee at the park.
Enter the Knights’ Kingdom and meet brave knights, beautiful princesses and savage Vikings as well as the odd mythical beast here and there. This area of the park features two rides, The Dragon and Vikings River Splash, both of which are featured at Legoland Windsor, however, the variants at Billund were the first and have some rather unique differences to their UK counterparts.
The Dragon is featured in the main castle in Knights’ Kingdom and as you enter the castle courtyard, you are greeted with a few mischievous characters. In the indoor queue area are miniature scenes featuring a familiar-looking dragon, one of the parks many mascots.
The ride is mainly different to the ones at many other parks, due to it being a powered coaster, as opposed to the other variants of The Dragon which are the traditional rollercoaster with lift hills and powered by gravity alone.
The ride starts going through the castle gates and traversing through the various dark ride scenes, which are extremely similar to that at Windsor, however, when you meet the large dragon your ride vehicle is launched outside at fast pace. The ride then makes it way through various helixes before making its way back into the station.
Near to the castle, lives a gang of Vikings, who are travelling through the perilous waters at Vikings River Splash. This rapids ride is out on a mission to get you soaked, if you manage to get around the majority of the ride dry, the final drop will ensure you don’t. Vikings River Splash features a vertical lift, followed by a large, eight-metre drop to ensure that any that ride, come off soaked!
As well as the two rides within Knights’ Kingdom, the area also features Princess Garden, a meet and greet area, Knights’ Restaurant, a buffet-style restaurant and ‘An adventurous stunt show’, a high intensity stunt show around a small scale version of the main castle which looked like a lot of fun!
Just past Knights’ Kingdom is Adventure Land, an area that wouldn’t look out of place in an Indiana Jones film!
Speaking of Indiana Jones, ever wondered what it would be like to be a great explorer? Within the land is The Temple, where all is not what it seems. This ride is very similar to Laser Raiders at Legoland Windsor however is a continuous vehicle system meaning vastly improved throughput.
The ride features some set pieces that can be found in Laser Raiders and others that are not that feature some rather impressive effects including projection mapping.
A ride that appears at Billund that has since been removed from Windsor is X-treme Racers (Known as Jungle Coaster at Windsor), a Mack wild mouse style coaster that is very enjoyable and well worth a ride, it even made us miss the Windsor equivalent that was removed from the park in 2009 and was an exact clone of X-treme Racers that we can thankfully still enjoy today.
Did it just get colder? In Polar Land, you can explore the polar landscape. Admire the penguins, learn to pilot your own plane or take an expedition on your own snowmobile.
Penguin Bay allows you to watch a handful of live penguins at close quarters, as well as being able to see what they get up to underwater as well. There are also talks throughout the day where you can learn more about these amazing creatures.
Ever wanted to know how it feels being in the cockpit of high flying, fast manoeuvring aeroplane? At the Ice Pilots School, you can create your own ride and see how that experience would feel.
Once you sit in your seat on top of one of the many robot arms you hand your card to the staff member who then programs your ride into the system and sends you on your unique experience.
We skipped then ride creation portion and was given a highly intense setting which really threw you around, creating some… interesting forces, we certainly would recommend giving it a go, however, it is not for the faint of heart or for those who have recently just eaten!
The main attraction within Polar Land is Polar X-Plorer. Board your snowmobile and embark on an exhibition across the polar landscape, however, once you enter the ice cave, hold on tight as your vehicle drops five-meters through the ice and directly into a polar bear den.
The ride is manufactured by Zierer and is certainly a more... basic version of the free-fall rollercoaster and seems much older technology than Thirteen at Alton Towers, despite opening after it. Despite that, the ride offers a fun experience, featuring some good little pockets of airtime and the drop element is no less impressive and was one of our favourite rides of the trip.
Polar Land also has an all you can eat pizza restaurant called Polar Pizza & Pasta providing unlimited pizza and pasta, as well as non-alcoholic drinks and soft-serve ice cream.
Behind Polar Land is the event area and during our trip, the park was offering a jousting style show known as “Battle of the Brick”, that was new for 2019. The show was a fairly formulaic jousting show where two teams battled to win the competition by competing against each other in activities based on horseback, this included javelin throwing, as well as a joust between the two combatants. The story was pretty easy to follow (there is a slight twist at the end of the show), despite us not understanding the language and was a rather enjoyable show!
To summarise, we had an amazing lego based weekend at Billund and with its close proximity to the airport and frequent flights from the UK it is a great place for a quick weekend getaway. The park is extremely well maintained and reignited our love for the plastic brick. Our love progressed to the Lego House experience to buts that’s another review for another time!
We can’t wait till the time we are back visiting this park again!