A big kid in Legoland

"That's the Statue of Liberty?" a child tells his mother.

Doesn't he know we're in Denmark? I think to myself.

But sure enough, just in front of my feet stands New York's most famous lady.

But this is not the colossal statue made out of copper and steel that stands on Liberty Island.

This is the statue made out of 400,000 Lego blocks that rises above Miniland in Legoland.

If there was a heaven on earth for kids, I've found it.

Legoland in Billund is three hours by train from Denmark's capital Copenhagen and consists of a 10 hectare park that has rides, entertainment and enough bricks to build an entire Lego-sized world.

It also has its own bank, post office, tourist office, hotel and even its own airport. Well, Denmark is the birthplace of Lego.

There are three other Legolands dotted around the world - in England, Germany and the United States - but Legoland Billund is the largest and the oldest.

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The park opened in 1968 and has over 1.6 million visitors annually, making it Denmark's largest tourist attraction outside of Copenhagen.

The one-off entry price into the park (DKK 259 adult, DKK 229 senior and child, free for children 0-2 years) covers the rides and access to all the different theme zones.

And there's a lot to cover if you only have one day the way I do.

I seem to be the only adult at the park without children, but luckily in Legoland there is something for all ages.

Duploland is for the little kids, the Mindstorms Robotics Centre, where you can build your own robot, is perfect for the teenagers and Miniland is an all-round crowd pleaser.

Miniland is the big world in miniature where you can see world-famous buildings and environments - all built of 20 million Lego bricks.

My first ride is on the Lego Safari in a zebra-striped jeep among the life-size Lego animals of the African savannah.

Usually each little truck takes two children, but I ride alone - my hips just squeezing into the jeep.

Knees around my ears, I nearly sprain my neck trying to photograph every giraffe, gorilla and elephant I whizz past.

Stepping up the adrenaline stakes I line up behind a few teenage boys for the Power Builder.

This ride would get just about anyone's heart pumping.

Reading the notice warning people with heart conditions to proceed with extreme caution, I grow increasingly nervous.

But soon enough I'm scrambling into one of the cages that hangs off the end of a giant mechanical arm.

Once locked into my seat brace I'm thrown around in all directions at 60km/h for several minutes. Delightful!

I emerge ghostly white with windswept hair.

The rest of the afternoon is spent on less-adrenaline pumping rides in Wild West land.

As I attempt to get on the canoe trip for the fifth time the friendly man supervising the ride turns me away.

"It's 6pm," he says.

"Where has the time gone?" I ask.

In Legoland when the rides finish for the evening you can still stroll around and enjoy the sites for another two hours before it closes.

Feeling like dinner I cross over the road to Hotel Legoland.

This is the park's official hotel and is so close that you can practically roll off the roller coaster into the bar.

Inside there are creations made out of bricks everywhere you look, from Darth Vader in the lobby to an assortment of firemen, pirates and knights in the corridors.

There are bricks on the wall paper and bricks in the light fittings.

The hotel staff is extremely friendly and the receptionist is most obliging each time I pass and ask her for another of the hotel's souvenir Lego pens.

She also kindly turns the sauna on for me so I can warm up before dinner.

After baking in the sauna I check out the bar - a sleek Scandinavian design with wooden floors, colourful chairs and a cosy log fire.

I enjoy a glass of wine as a life-size Lego pianist, dressed in a black Lego suit, hammers out some tunes on the grand piano.

The only drawback to a Lego pianist is that he doesn't take requests.

Moving to the dining room, with its glass walls that look out onto the Danish forest, I order from a stylish menu.

For desert I indulge in a Death-by-Chocolate creation.

Like everything else here, it comes in the shape of Lego. I put the blocks together to build a chocolate tower and then try to fit it in my mouth.

There is something magical about Legoland that can turn the most mature of adults into children.

IF YOU GO

Finding Legoland:

Once in London, fly from London Heathrow to Billund (the airport is right outside Legoland's main gates) or to Copenhagen with Scandinavian Airlines (www.flysas.com).

From Copenhagen hire a car and drive (four hours to Billund) or catch a train to Vejle (3 hours) and then a bus to Legoland (40 minutes).

For information on how to get to Legoland see the Legoland's website (www.legoland.dk).

When to go:

Legoland is open from April 4 to October 25, 2009 and then for select `Christmas in Miniland' days during weekends in November.

See Legoland's website (www.legoland.dk).

Where to stay:

Stay right in the middle of it all at Hotel Legoland or for cheaper hostel style accommodation try Legoland Village.

Legoland's website shows all the options for places to stay (www.legoland.dk).

There is also camping available at a large camping ground 500 metres from Legoland (www.billundcamping.dk).

Make sure you book accommodation beforehand if you are going at the height of the European summer.

Legoland entry prices:

DKK 259 adult ($A70)

DKK 229 senior and child ($A61)

Free for children 0-2 years.

AAP

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