Wednesday 18 May 2016

A tour of LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Manchester Spring 2016

If you haven't yet visited LEGOLAND Discovery Centre at The Trafford Centre, Manchester then you may wonder what it's all about and how all that gubbins fits inside the building. Last time we visited we were allowed early access before the general public arrived, so I took advantage of the lack of crowds to take some photos and I can show you the inside of the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre....

You start your visit by going up in a lift. Once upstairs there is a waiting area with screens before you are allowed in to the LEGO Factory Tour in limited numbers to prevent crowding. Here you find out how LEGO is made in a very simplistic and child-friendly way

You'll find it's very hands on, and the children will be required to help 'make' new LEGO bricks by turning cogs and jumping on special bits of floor. Don't miss out on taking your own Factory Tour souvenir brick as you leave the room! Occasionally there are special bricks which aren't around for long. In 3 years I think we've only ever had 3!

Out of the Factory Tour and you can leave pushchairs behind while you go on the Kingdom Quest Ride, shoot the trolls and spiders and save the Princess! My boys always love this, and my partner and I always battle to see who gets the best's nearly always me...ha

After Kingdom Quest you go through Miniland. Two areas of miniature buildings depicting famous UK landmarks local to the Northwest. Everything from Alton Towers to The Cavern Club, Blackpool Tower and Manchester Town Hall.

Once through Miniland you enter the main hall. Almost everything is in or beside this gigantic room. Click on the photo to expand it..

Directly ahead of you are the giant tubs of LEGO - which every child is desperate to get into! LEGO may be the most uncomfortable thing in the world, but they all lie in it...

There is masses of seating - comfy chairs around the edge of the gigantic climbing frame which makes up most of the Fire Academy and fills the centre of the space, and rows of benches and tables where you are welcome to eat and drink from the Cafe (which is very fairly priced) or eat cold food you have brought with you.

If you were then to walk clockwise around the room, you would first find the Master Model Builder Workshop, where regularly throughout the day you can join in a master-builder session taking around 20 minutes, building a small model which you can then pay a small fee to take home.

Hidden in his area is the office of Alex, the resident LEGO Master Builder. If you can find it, you can peep and see if you can tell what he's up to...

Next are the Birthday Party room and the cafe, and at the far end the LEGO DUPLO Farm area, which has very recently been completely rebuilt with a slide!

At the back window is the Earthquake Table where you can build a giant tower and see how long it lasts before it crashes to the ground - or make it competitive pitting your skills against someone else...

Then LEGO Friends. This is a giant 'house' complete with everything a Friend needs, including actual working Karaoke!  Some singers are better than others...

Beside the Friend's house is a photo opportunity area. Always excellent for creating some lovely photos. Watch little ones because mine always grazed their heads on the underside of the models by standing too close or randomly bending down...

In between the climbing frame of the Fire Academy and the photo area is nestled a ride everyone can enjoy, Merlin's Apprentice...

Around the corner the LEGO City Forest Pursuit car track runs the length of the room. Trickier than it looks, children have to be quite over 1m and 4 years old to ride, and my 6 year old can only just operate the cars properly!

Then the LEGO Racers: Build And Test area. This is my boys favourite part I think - build cars and race them on huge ramps and over gaps. Brilliant..

Beside the LEGO Racers is the LEGO Studios 4D Cinema. We visited a couple of months ago to see the first new movie for 2016 - The LEGO Movie 4D: A New Adventure, and we'll be back in a week to be among the very first to see another brand new 4D movie for 2016 starring the LEGO NEXO KNIGHTS!!  I've been excited about this for ages...more will follow...

Away from the main room we have a special builds area which is currently housing LEGO City buildings. You can create and add your own buildings to the displays, or just enjoy looking at all of the houses already in place.

There is a great photo opportunity in here!

As you leave you can choose to pass through the Ninjago Laser Training Camp - my youngest loves this bit, and he does pretty well, although he's never managed to get through without tripping at least a couple of the lasers!

LEGOLAND Discovery Centre is at Barton Square in the Trafford Centre. It's easy enough to walk to other parts, but if you have limited mobility or small children it is always best to use the Barton Square Car Park as it's much closer. It fills up with overflow when a large event is on at Event City, so arrive promptly or take your chances.

LEGOLAND Discovery Centre is open every day except Christmas and New Year from 10am-6.30pm. Tickets are much cheaper when bought in advance, and if you plan on visiting more than once an annual pass is incredibly reasonable and gives you a ticket to LEGOLAND Windsor among other benefits. Allow around 3 hours for your visit (more if your children are likely to want to sit and play with the LEGO), and team it with a visit to Sealife (almost next door!) to get better savings and fill a whole day.

All the information you could need is on the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre website.

We've written about the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre a few times and you can see more photos in my other posts. Please bear in mind prices and other details may no longer be correct in these older posts! 

03/2013 More about the LEGOLAND Studios 4D cinema
04/2013 Miniland and lying down in the LEGO
12/2013 Speed Racers vehicle building, the fabulous toilet doors and karaoke
10/2015 Special events and more interior photos

We have free family entry to the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre and Sealife, Manchester as Blogger Ambassadors...


  1. We've never managed to visit here, despite having two lego-mad children and a dad who's not far behind them. It looks like they've really tried to build a wide age range into the activities and I like that it isn't heavily focused on one particular lego brand. We'd never get out of the lego racers area! Definitely adding this one to our list for days out after reading this.

    1. It is definitely a good place to visit. Our first time we were there 8 hours and left with annual passes. There is something for any youngster, and you'll see all the parents building too :D

  2. I had no idea that this even existed! It looks and sounds like such a brilliant day out. I will have to visit sometime with my little ones as my my two love duplo xx

    1. I'm annoyed I didn't take any photos in the DUPLO area, because it's had a really nice revamp. They have giant sized soft bricks for the youngest children to play with - and a giant cow! :)

  3. Thank your for the brilliant write up, like others I never even knew this place excited. My little lad would love it.

    1. Thank you! That's a lovely comment :D I hope you get the chance to bring him some time :)

  4. Wow, this would be heaven for my son!

    1. My boys have always loved it there, they really have :)

  5. My Grandchildren are looking forward to visiting this attraction next year. We are saving like mad lol :D

  6. Thank you SO much for this review!! We have tickets to take my little man for his 3rd birthday in December because we couldn't afford Legoland and this seemed like a reasonable second choice. Tbh I hadn't got a clue what to expect, and I am really pleasantly surprised. It looks amazing! I am also mobility impaired, so knowing the set up and layout of somewhere before I go is really helpful Thanks for your interesting and honest review :-)

    1. That is really awesome to hear! Thank you so much for your comment - it makes the whole post worthwhile to know it's been helpful :) It is almost entirely accessible to wheelchairs, there's a disabled loo as you come out of the lift at the start (you can go back there anytime), and there are ramps and wide walkways everywhere. Have a great visit!

  7. It all looks very good but I wonder if I would get away with taking a 14 year old with a 3 year old.

    1. The first time we went we took 6 of the children, aged 18 months to 14, and we were there for 8 hours, so I don't see why not! :D The Trafford Centre is right there for anyone who'd rather be shopping!

    2. Time has moved on from my previous post.
      Our daughter took the (now 3) boys to Legoland Manchester this week.
      She says the staff were super, her 4 year old is Autistic & finds noise & crowds difficult but really enjoyed the experience, at times shaking with excitement.

    3. Oh I'm so pleased. The staff have always been really lovely there, I've always been impressed with that. I'm glad your Grandson had such a good time - it can be very loud at times when it's busy. Thank you so much for coming back to comment, I really appreciate it Mark. My best to you and your family :)


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