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LEGOLAND DISCOVERY CENTRE
 

Star date: 21st March 2010 

SALFORD KIDS DISCOVER LEGOLAND

Children from Barton Moss Primary School in Eccles previewed the new Legoland Discovery Centre at the Trafford Centre last Friday and gave it the thumbs up.

The new attraction, which features a 4-D cinema, a laser shooting game and two million Lego bricks, opens tomorrow and is the first Legoland Discovery Centre in the UK.

More info and review here…


Legoland Discovery Centre Legoland Discovery Centre Legoland Discovery Centre
Legoland Discovery Centre Legoland Discovery Centre
click image to enlarge

The kids from Barton Moss Primary loved the Legoland Discovery Centre with the cinema and laser shooting ride coming out top.

"I loved the 4-D cinema" said Sarah, celebrating her 8th birthday on the school trip "and the game, where you had to shoot all the baddies and save the baby dragon. I've really enjoyed myself."

Her views were backed up by Kyran, also 8…

"It was fantastic" he said "In the cinema I almost fell off my chair as things were coming out of the screen. And I liked shooting all the zombies and skulls in the shooting game."

Barton Moss pupils were amongst those from five schools around Greater Manchester invited to launch the Centre with a parade, followed by a special preview of what's on offer. Meanwhile, older hacks from the media were also invited to try out the joys of Legoland. So how did it shape up?

The first thing to say is that it's not comparable in the slightest to the huge Legoland in Windsor which has huge rides, Lego art galleries and enough attractions to occupy a full weekend. This is more Legoland lite, a few hours of fun and games in what is essentially a big converted shop. Expectations should be kept well in check.

It is, however, very interactive, and any kids seriously into Lego will be in heaven. There's Earthquake Tower, where freshly built Lego `skyscapers' can be gauged for sturdiness with differing degrees of shaking; there's Racers Build and Test where kids can build Lego cars and try them out on ramps and tracks; and there's the Master Model Builder area, where a friendly bloke called Alex shows kids how to build top Lego models.

Ex postman Alex was chosen by children to be their Lego champ in a series of X Factor type auditions and it was his model of Salford star Ryan Giggs that got him through to the ultimate final. To finally get the job Alex had to impress another sixty kids by leading a model workshop in a school, and now he's installed at the Discovery Centre as a full time Lego `agony uncle', helping kids to build better, while also designing and building new Lego features.
 
"I've always had the nickname Lego nerd" he recalled "I remember getting my first Lego set when I was three years old which was the pirate ship, I loved it and have been a fan of Lego ever since. I've always been collecting, even through high school, even when friends would ridicule me – `Do you play with Lego when you go home?' …`You not coming out for a drink?' Well now it's paid off."

To encourage future Lego nerds, there's a section for early years kids who are into Duplo, and a Miniland which features `iconic buildings from the North West'. Unfortunately Miniland is the weakest attraction at the Discovery Centre, with models crammed next to each other, so that the Salford bridge near the Lowry Hotel is next to Urbis, Coronation Street and Manchester Cathedral, with a river running past Central Library.

And in the Liverpool section the Liver Bird looks like it's been built by a Man United supporter or a two year old. Meanwhile, Old Trafford and City's stadium are kind of merged into one horrid mess, and the Trafford Centre is transported next to Manchester's big wheel. Unimpressive and totally third rate compared to the real Legoland, where almost every detail is perfection. But that didn't seem to put the kids off, while they were busy pushing buttons making things happen.

The kids favourites will be Kingdom Quest – a kind of ghost trainy ride with laser guns to shoot baddy Lego characters who appear on screens – and the 4-D cinema on which we saw a Bob The Builder episode where the planks of wood come out of the screen and virtually crack you on the head. Fab.

With a `Wacky Warehouse' type soft play area on top of all the other stuff, a café and a huge Lego shop, kids will easily spend a good few hours in the Discovery Centre, only the fourth such Lego Centre in the world. With tickets costing £9.30 for kids and £11.85 for adults it's pricey (although there are afternoon tickets for £7 and special offers) but it's a special treat kind of place. The kids from Barton Moss Primary certainly thought so…

Legoland Discovery Centre is based at Barton Square in the Trafford Centre and opens on 22nd March 2010 from 10am 7 days a week.

Further details at www.legolanddiscoverycentre.co.uk

Barry W wrote
at 12:20:32 on 19 April 2010
First of all i should start by saying we have been to legoland windsor so our expectations may have been a little high, but children say it how it is and my six year old daughter wanted to know where the rest of 'it'(legoland) was? The map you get on the way in was not necessary and a elevator to the attractions should not be shown on the map as a ride whoopee! I thought the staff where very good, though how one lad kept a straight face when my wife asked him would we be able to get back in later if we don't see it all was brilliant.
 
Andy D wrote
at 17:32:05 on 01 April 2010
Me, my 8 year old son and his 7 year old friend couldn't have been more disappointed. For a place themed around one of the most imaginative toys ever invented, this place was less stimulating and less interactive than Ikea (which it bears a scary resemblance to). Shockingly over priced - No, the boys said they would have been disappointed even if it was free admission. Whoever planned this place has never been a little boy - it's a poorly dressed, over-sized Lego shop. Oh - and the shop was dreadful and over-priced. Very sad times for those planning to visit. :(
 
jemma wrote
at 17:39:33 on 27 March 2010
cool - i cant wait to go am a big kid at heart and the 4D cinema looks good
 
jason wrote
at 16:38:14 on 23 March 2010
we went here on monday it is way too pricey 40 quid for two adults and child only enough content for 1 hours worth and even that isnt very good, but a lego set and take your children to the creche play area in the centre itself and have the same experience and save yourself allot of money
 
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