***image1***Having lived in Europe for most of my 13- and 10-year-olds’ lives, we’ve done much of our traveling to and from theme parks.
Our most recent link in this chain was Legoland, just east of Ulm on the A8 autobahn.
This is a great park for any family with children who can walk, but have not yet entered high school. It offers so many kinds of attractions, it’s hard to rate them all. My children, affectionately known as Thing 1 and Thing 2, offer their advice to families headed for Legoland.
Best attraction for up to age 5: Safari Tour boats, a gentle glide through Lego-sculpted animals.
Best ride for above age 5: Bionicle Power Builder, where riders sit at the end of an industrial robotic arm, self-programmed from gently swaying to radically flipping for 25 seconds.
Best roller coaster: Project X, lots of high back-and-forth, and some up-and-down, but no sideways or upside-down.
Best wet ride: Wave Racer, almost like water skiing, but beware of water bombs and cannons operated by observers on the sidewalk.
***image2***Most unique attraction: Audi driving school, with 10 minutes of instruction, 20 minutes on a mini-driving course, and concluding with a Legoland Audi Driving School license, complete with photo.
When registering for a class, ask for English instruction. The English class may be later in the day, but is usually offered.
Best non-ride attraction: Split. Thing 1, Lego workshops including Mindstorm robots and video games. Thing 2, panning for gold. Find fool’s gold in the sand trays, and trade it in for medals or gift certificates.
Best restaurant: City Restaurant, offering Lego-shaped fries in the kids’ meals, sundae bar and high quality meals with beer or wine for parents.
Best city in Mini-World: Berlin, and be sure to look in all the windows at the little people inside.
Best animal Lego sculpture: Snake in the tree at the log ride, which gives a refreshing splash on a warm day, but not a thorough soaking.
***image3***Best human Lego sculpture: Old man in a Hawaiian shirt on a bench, with his toe poking through his sagging socks.
Best shop: Split. Thing 1 said City Shop of Lego sculptures. Thing 2 said Lego Boutique of Click-it clothing for girls.
Best deal: Annual pass, only a few euro more per person than a two-day pass. Includes one-day visit to all other Legoland parks: England, Denmark or the United States.
Biggest disappointment: Both Things making sure they were first in to the park on the second day, to be first in line at Project X roller coaster, only to find it closed for inspection until noon.
The park is a three-and-a-half hour drive from the KMC, but overnight packages with local hotels are available at www.legoland.de (English option), or by calling the park tourist office, listed at the Web site. We stayed at the Weisses Ross hotel in Ichenhausen, just a five minute drive from the park.