The Old Fogies go to Legoland in Billund, Denmark

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Billund and Denmark is of course the homeland of LEGO (even Billund airport was once owned by LEGO) and it was only a short walk from Lalandia to Legoland. When we arrived at the large entrance, the girls began to get excited and we got in line.

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One of the great things about visiting a Legoland theme park is that they do allow access to the first part of the park before the main part is open. This allows the children to run around the various attractions rather then getting bored and restless standing in lines.

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We handed the oldest granddaughter, the map of the park and told her that it is always a good idea to go to the furthest part of the park first because the queues would be shorter.

She followed these instructions to the letter and when we arrived at the large water raft we were first in line, Mrs Nice is not a great fan of these types of rides but was game enough to try this one. It had a Viking theme and I am always amused that Vikings in the UK are viewed as plundering murderers and pillagers, whereas in Scandinavia, they are viewed as quite jolly explorers.

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The ride was quite gentle until we reached a large platform that transported our ride up to a great height before descended at some speed until we crashed with a splash into the finish. Only slightly damp we went to the next ride. This was in a castle and Mrs Nice decided to sit this one out. The first part of the ride involved a gentle meander through the castle looking at various jolly scenes, however the scene changed when you get outside and you realise you are on a massive rollercoaster. Just as we reached the top, the heavens opened and a torrential downpour soaked every one on the ride. If the ride was a little scary before, suddenly it became terrifying.

When we got the end, I was soaked and shaking, the girls were laughing and jumped off looking for the next ride. Mrs Nice had sheltered from the rain and said ‘are you wet’, I was tempted to throw her into the nearby pool.

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Of course, the fun never ends in these type of places and we made our way to another scary ride in the Arctic section.

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One of the joys of Legoland is that they only really cater for the 3 to 12 years old and there is plenty to keep that age group entertained. As we made our way back to the centre of the park, the crowds got larger and the queues got longer.

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As well as rides, there are plenty of imaginative Lego sculptures all around the park and various attractions that offers the chance to win prizes. Some of the prizes included very large doughnut toy and a life-size husky toy which you saw people carrying around the site.

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The only substantial queue was to go on the Ninjago ride but once again Lego think about the small details because in the queue the adults walk around the lines but the children can play with Lego bricks and other things provided. This takes away a lot of the stress of having excited children with nothing to do but wait.

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The only very disappointing attraction was the Sealife Atlantis Aquarium which was just a small aquarium with limited appeal.

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This was the first Legoland when it opened in and I suspect it was very different in those days, LEGO has been one of the great success stories with over 400 billion bricks sold since 1949. Part of their success is knowing their customers and the parks unlike many of competitors know that it is the small details that make all the difference. In Legoland, there is always something to see and look at and it is not a question of hours of queues and frustrated children.

Old Fogies Travels are the adventures of two elderly Londoners (The Old Fogies) as they explore their home town and travel around the world looking out for the strange, unusual and absurd.

Our articles are published on our blog but also listed on the website of our friends at Visiting London Guide.com here.

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The Old Fogies go to Lalandia in Billund, Denmark

As is traditional in our family, the grandparents always take the grandchildren on holiday during the long summer vacation.  This year Mr Curmudgeon asked our granddaughters what type of holiday they wanted to do.  The eldest quickly piped up that she would like to go to a water park with big slides and waves.  ‘OK said Mr Curmudgeon I will see what we can find’.

Having browsed the internet, Mr Curmudgeon looked a bit concerned, we could go to Billund in Denmark he said, there is a place called Lalandia that has a large indoor water park and something called Monky Tonky Land as well as a ski slope and ice rink and it is right next door to Billund Legoland, what do you think he asked me.

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I said what is the cost, you know Scandinavia is very expensive.  Not too much Mr Curmudgeon said, we have to fly from Heathrow (Oh I sighed) but we can stay at Lalandia which is only 3 kilometres away from the airport.  OK I said, let’s do it, go on book.

The next time we saw the granddaughters we told them about Lalandia and showed them the internet page, they said it looked just what they were looking for, score 1 to Mr Curmudgeon.

The day eventually arrived that we would take the grandchildren to Lalandia in Denmark for our traditional summer break with them.

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Flying from Heathrow why is it so difficult ? The Piccadilly line is painfully slow, and Heathrow is some 20 stops from Green Park, but hey ho we are off. Our flight time was 4.00 pm a bit late for us, but never mind the grandchildren are very excited.  Arriving at Heathrow, there is a 24-minute delay on our flight, I looked at Mr Curmudgeon and raised my eyebrows, yet another nail in the coffin of easy travel.

Anyway, eventually we get on the plane and get ready for departure, we are travelling British Airways, and I was shocked and surprised that suddenly they are charging from coffee, drinks etc.  This is very bad, as British Airways was always our first choice, even though it is a bit more expensive you usually do get a coffee and biscuit.  The pilot appeared to make up a bit of time as we arrive at Billund airport just after 7.00 pm Danish time.  We find a taxi and we then drive for a few minutes to Lalandia holiday site. 

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Lalandia is an indoor complex with a number of different attractions and with an artificial bright blue sky above, everyday is a nice day ! Although the service centre is not open, we go to the sports bar and they ring through to alert the service desk staff to our arrival. 

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We then book in and are given our wrist bands for the park.  Our ‘chalet’ is number 215, so with suitcases and girls in tow, Mr Curmudgeon and I get on the small transport train, it is a bit of a tight squeeze and off we go to our chalet.

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At the trains last stop, we disembark and look to try to find our chalet, my first thought when I saw the accommodation was WOW, these look fabulous all wood of course but large and spacious. 

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Our youngest Grandchild when entering our particular chalet, uttered the word ‘Awesome’ and it was, two bedrooms, a large living space, which included, the kitchen area, seating area, dining area, as well a patio area, not forgetting the bathroom.  The chalet is not only spacious it is well designed and has everything you need, except as our eldest grandchild said, salt and pepper, this lost it a point in her eyes and she only gave the chalet a 9!

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One of the drawbacks, is that you have to make up the beds yourself, you can hire linen from the centre or bring your own, we had decided to bring our own, so the first thing we needed to do, bearing in mind that it was now nearly 9.00 pm was to make the beds up. 

It had been a long day, and after a drink and a small snack we all decided to retire for the night, so we would be ready for the big day at the Aquadome tomorrow. 

The morning arrived and after a going to the supermarket and getting some cereal for the children and milk for Mr Curmudgeon and my coffee, we sit down and have some breakfast.  Then donning our swimsuits under our clothing we catch the 9.30 am train from the terminus for the 10 minute very slow ride to the centre.

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Along the way the children play on the various small parks around the site, there is truly a lot to do around the Lalandia chalet sites, with lots of space for running and playing.

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Arriving at Lalandia main entrance, we all get off the train and then go into the centre.  The Aquadome is on the right at the top, we are a bit early so we look around Polar world, which is interesting, but at this time it is not really fully open, we will need to come back and look again.

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The wristbands that everyone wears are very good, they allow entrance (electronically) to all the areas and also will lock and unlock your chalet door, WOW the grandchildren feel that this is really High Tech.

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10.00 am and we use our wristbands to get into the Aquadome site, Mr Curmudgeon goes upstairs, and I take the girls downstairs.  Again the wristbands are used to lock your locker, we discard our clothing putting it in the locker and closing it with our wristband.

We then have to shower, they are very particular that you shower thoroughly I was sent back because I had not done my hair!  Oh dear, in trouble again.

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We go through to the actual water area, and all you can say is WOW, there are numerous pools, warm ones, cool ones and some in between, the  girls want to go to the centre slides, where there is just numerous water spouts tipping unexpectedly onto you, plus to biggish slides and a number of smaller ones.  The girls run up the stairs followed by Mr Curmudgeon and me at a more sedate pace, down we all go, I got a bit disconcerted as I slipped and went down on my back and landed at the end as Mr Curmudgeon said like a stranded whale, he does know how to compliment one doesn’t he!

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I take the little one to a set of slides in the corner, these are quite safe and I feel confident that little one will be okay here, so I can just sit at the bottom and watch.  Mr Curmudgeon takes the eldest grandchild on the bigger slides, these look quite frightening to me, but the grandchildren show no fear.  In the end even little one went on them whilst Mr Curmudgeon came off quite green the girls showed no such issues, and played constantly up and down these enormous slides.

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The bell sounded for the waves to start, so we all pile into the wave pool and enjoy 15 minutes bouncing up and down, even I enjoyed that, and the eldest grandchild was in her element.

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After about 2 hours we all had enough, so we went to change and met up outside the Aquadome, I then went to the supermarket, which is well stocked and reasonably priced, well you need to remember that Scandinavia is expensive compared to British prices, I picked up something for lunch and we went back to the chalet for a bit of down time.  The girls were running and jumping and still full of beans, maybe Mr Curmudgeon and I are a bit too old for this type of holiday but never mind only 3 big sleeps to go.

After lunch, we decide to walk back to the Lalandia site, this takes about 20 minutes, but the girls insisted that they try every play area on the way, they have a great time, running up and down the circular coloured hills, the sand and swings, the climbing frames, so it probably takes us about ½ an hour to finally reach the entrance.

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We are now going to the indoor play area that is called Monky Tonky Land, this is a large space filled with different play areas and is completely safe and secure we spongy flooring and netting to protect the children.  Again, access is via a barrier which your wristband gains you entry. 

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The girls immediately take off their footwear and run into the play area with no concerns, Mr Curmudgeon and I take to a table and chairs at the side, and start to relax a bit, knowing that the girls will be safe whilst enjoying themselves.

There is a great rule at Lalandia, that you can only take photos of your own children, so it is quite fun but very secure.  Denmark appears not to be such a nanny state as Britain, while there is staff about, they are not intrusive, and responsibility really is in the hands of the parent (or in our case grandparent) I feel this is a good thing.

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They play for a little while they appear to especially like the trampolines which are very good and allow children to bounce quite high.  The eldest especially liked these, but she also like the challenge of going around the whole complex in a timed way, Mr Curmudgeon is very good at this sort of activity encouraging and getting the best time possible. 

After a couple of hours, they are quite exhausted, and it is time for a drink of juice for them and a coffee for Mr Curmudgeon and me. 

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There are some activities that are not included in the price of a Lalandia ticket (is anyone surprised, Mr Curmudgeon and I certainly wasn’t).  One such activity is the bungy trampolines, of course they had such a great time in Monky Tonky Land, they wanted to experience the bigger trampolines.  OK I said but this is the only time, you will not go on again.

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After collecting more food from the supermarket, I must really do a bigger shop, we went round to Little Vegas which is a game machine area, they are allowed the small change we have from our shopping trips which they play with for approximately 20 minutes then it is time to go back to the chalet for dinner.

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We walk back to the chalet going into the goat enclosure.  These goats are very tame, and are the small variety the girls really enjoyed stroking the goats and watching there funny leaps and bounds over the ground. Lalandia is a great place for families and has the added bonus of Legoland being next door. It does have a few idiosyncratic rules and regulations like bringing your own bedding but we think that this is because most people travel to the resort by car. If you are flying into Lalandia, it may be easier if you arrive earlier than we did, The Service center closes around 6pm and it is a bit of fuss to get your wristband. Both Lalandia and Legoland tend to cater for the 3 to 12 age group, although there is plenty for younger and older children as well. 

Old Fogies Travels are the adventures of two elderly Londoners (The Old Fogies) as they explore their home town and travel around the world looking out for the strange, unusual and absurd.

Our articles are published on our blog but also listed on the website of our friends at Visiting London Guide.com here.