“The original Legoland is considerably better than its successors”
Legoland theme parks are present in many different countries. The company currently owns parks in the United States, the United Arab Emirates, South Korea, Malaysia and Japan. There are three different Lego resorts in Europe as well, and it all started in Billund in the year 1968. Legoland certainly isn’t the most beloved amusement park for coaster enthusiasts. Parks in this chain are generally known to be busy, expensive and also quite uninteresting for anyone older than 12. When I visited my first Legoland in 2012, that cliché (unfortunately) seemed to be correct. Legoland California was the least fun part of our theme park trip at the American West Coast. Fortunately, the original Danish theme park turns out to be better. A lot better, in fact.
Attention to all coaster fanboys: Legoland’s 3 largest coasters are all built in the same corner of the park. And it’s good to know that this area is particularly uncrowded in the early morning. At the moment we enter powered coaster Dragen at Knight’s Kingdom, we have the ride almost entirely for ourselves. Please don’t expect too much of a thrill, since the layout mainly consists of wide and slow turns. Despite the non-convincing coaster part, Dragen is a great family ride with elaborate theming. The station was integrated in an impressive medieval castle and the ride starts with some surprisingly good dark ride scenes.
Up next is a ride that’s called X-treme Racers. With a name like this, you’d expect it to be one of the world’s most thrilling dueling coasters. Unfortunately, it’s nothing more than a standard wild mouse coaster with an exotic theme. The ride itself is everything but spectacular: this is a mirrored version of Europa-Park’s Matterhorn Blitz, minus that cool vertical elevator. Besides, the vehicles are braked to death, which results in a very slow ride. The Legoland website categorizes X-treme Racers as a thrill, but this doesn’t seem correct.
The most spectacular coaster at Legoland can be found in the Polar Land section and it was built by Zierer. That’s strange in a certain way, as this German manufacturer is mainly known for its simple kiddie coasters. Polar X-Plorer, however, is certainly in a different category. This coaster is comparable to Verbolten, a ride which blew my mind at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. Although this Danish version is obviously smaller in size, the ride offers quite an intense start. Unfortunately, the free fall element turns out to be a disappointment and the ride’s theming isn’t spectacular either. Don’t get me wrong: Polar X-Plorer is a fun ride, but this could’ve been so much more.
A 4th roller coaster was added to Legoland in 2018. Flying Eagle is a Zierer Force family coaster which looks stunning. The vehicle was shaped as an American eagle and landscaping is superb. It requires some patience to get this credit, though. Despite its small size, Flying Eagle appears to be the ride with the longest queues in the park. The wait time rarely drops under 45 minutes, which is largely due to some operational choices. Flying Eagle runs just one train and the park treats riders to 2 laps per cycle.
Danish theme parks don’t seem too fond of dark rides, but Legoland Billund makes up for this. The park’s two dark rides are interactive, by the way. The first one is called called Templet. The exterior looks promising, but the actual ride was quite underwhelming. The decoration inside the building isn’t that nice and the layout turned out to be very short. Ninjago – The Ride offers a particularly more interesting experience and you’ll find this attraction at a relatively new Asian section. I really don’t know the background of Ninjago, but it seems to be something like Power Rangers meets Mulan. This interactive dark ride is pretty cool because it doesn’t use classic laser guns. You don’t shoot with laser guns here, but you get to eliminate the bad guys with ninja-like hand movements. I’m usually not that much into interactive dark rides, but this one actually blew my mind. In fact, I even liked Ninjago better than Disney’s similar Spider-Man Web Slingers ride.
Other semi-dark rides are Ghost – The Haunted House (a scary walk-through with a family-friendly free fall attraction at the end) and Pirate Boats, a gentle boat ride past cute LEGO scenes.
The biggest thrill of Legoland Billund can be found at snowy Polar Land. Ice Pilots School is without a doubt the most unique ride Legoland has to offer: a moving robot arm! Before boarding, you get to compose your own experience on a touchscreen. By doing so, you’re able to make this ride as intense or lame as you wish. We created a moderately intense ride and I’m actually very happy that we didn’t go any further. I really wouldn’t want to experience such an intensive ride, as my head was already spinning after this medium ride.
Prepare to spend a full day at Legoland Billund, because it has a ton of attractions. The park offers a rapid river (which features a cool vertical lift and a tall drop), a stunning log flume, a panoramic tower and much, much more. Legoland even features its own aquarium. Atlantis by Sea-Life is included in park admission, so it’s definitely worth a look. The Atlantis theme is a perfect fit, but the aquariums are rather small in size.
Miniland is the centerpiece of every Legoland: it’s an area where famous monuments, cities and buildings are reconstructed with Lego bricks. They mainly focus on landmarks which can be found in the (very wide) surroundings of the park. That’s why we saw reproductions of San Francisco and Las Vegas at Legoland California, whereas this Miniland has been mainly built around Scandinavia, Germany and the Netherlands. The level of detail is amazing and I could watch these beautiful masterpieces for many hours. Windmills are turning, ships are sailing through the Dutch canals, cute Lego cars are driving along the roads and giant airplanes are taxiing at a replica of Billund Airport. It’s a great pleasure to wander through Miniland since you always notice new details and hidden gags. I’m also pleasantly surprised by the good shape of Miniland. This area looks tidy and very well maintained.
Miniland is one of the main draws of Legoland Billund and they regularly add a novelty. One of the latest additions is a massive display called World’s Tallest, with replicas of five super-tall buildings. Legoland built its own versions of Burj Khalifa, Shanghai Tower, Makkah Royal Clock Tower, One World Trade Center and Taipei 101. They needed lots of Lego bricks, 830.000 to be precise. The result is overwhelming and visually appealing.
WORTH A VISIT?
Capacity-wise, Legoland does a great job. The park was pretty busy, but queues were very manageable and we have been able to ride nearly every big attraction. In short, I’ve really enjoyed this day. Legoland is a theme park with a fine array of family-friendly rides and good theming. On top of that, staff are very friendly, as usual in Denmark. However, you should keep in mind that the park is focused on young children. So don’t expect any major thrills and please know that the existing coasters are quite soft. The only downside during our visit: lines for restaurants and snack outlets got ridiculously long.
Legoland Billund is known to be the best theme park of its kind in the world and I can imagine why. If I compare this park to the namesake in California, then I liked it a thousand times more. Nevertheless it didn’t amaze me like Fårup Sommerland and Djurs Sommerland did. Legoland is lacking the typical Scandinavian atmosphere and it looks way more international and commercial.
LEGOLAND RESORT & ENTRANCE
THE LEGO MOVIE WORLD
LEGO NINJAGO WORLD
Lego House in an interactive museum in Billund, near Legoland. Admission is not included in a standard Legoland ticket.
What’s your favourite Legoland theme park? Is your hometown represented in Miniland? And do you understand the park’s huge popularity? Share your opinion in the comments section at the bottom of this page.