It is the summer vacation and I had a week off from work. That gave me the chance to do some fun things with my family! Both my boys are, just like me, into Lego. For next year we are even planning a vacation in Denmark with a visit to Legoland. A real vacation was not an option this summer but we did get to do some nice day trips. One of those was to Oberhausen Germany. Specifically the Legoland Discovery Centre.
Legoland Discovery Centre
The entrance was quite impressive. There is a life size Giraffe. My youngest son thought it was really scary. Left of the Giraffe is the Discovery Cenre entrance, on the right the entrance for the Lego shop. Entrance to the Discovery Centre requires tickets which we purchased the day before on the internet. We received a pdf file by mail which can be printed. The website however also stated we could just show it on a phone or tablet, so we did that.
After showing the tickets we were led into a waiting room where an animation film with the history of Lego was showing. Every five minutes a new group is let in. Once inside the production process of Lego bricks is explained (in German). At the end of the story a special Lego Duplo brick of the Discovery Centre is handed out to every child.
After that, the doors open and you are practically in line for the first of the three attractions in the Discovery Centre, The Royal Adventure. You get in and get to shoot a laser at Lego targets. You get points for each hit. For the people that went to Disneyland, it is very similar to the Buzz Lightyear ride.
Once you’re out of the attraction you are guided to a room displaying various Lego (City like) builds. Many of the displays have buttons that trigger movement, light and sound effects. It was a real magnet for our kids. The center of the middle display has a dome where kids can view the display. It is accessible through a short tunnel. Below are some pictures of the displays. Lighting might be a little off since it was continually changing to mimic day and night cycles.
The big hall
Next, we got to the biggest space. There is a café where you can buy food and drinks. Then there was Merlins adventure, A ride my youngest couldn’t ride because he is too short. You have to pedal to make the cart fly and my oldest son loved it.
My youngest was allowed in Pirate Island where the giant Duplo slide was. The kids went all out in the playground, all in Lego style.
Then there was a Star Wars room. It had a giant Darth Vader and R2D2 as well as several big displays of movie sets all built in Lego
Discover and build
No big surprise, there was ample opportunity to built with Lego. The kids were challenged to build race cars which could then be tested and raced on various tracks. There was also a Lego friends corner where kids could get their faces painted.
We did not take pictures of the 4D movie theatre. It was showing a 4D Lego Chima film. 4D meant that it was a 3D movie, we watched with glasses, augmented with real world effects. Heavy wind in the room when they were flying, and when the movie showed the plane near a waterfall the room was raining tiny water droplets as if we were very close ourselves.
There were also workshops and a Ninjago laser survival track. Once you are ready to leave you can do so through the shop where you can buy all kinds of stuff. I took the opportunity to build three minifigs. I must say, I had expected mor choice. Also, I seemed to be having some bad luck. There was a pick a brick kind of display where I would have loved to look around, but it was boxed in with newly delivered boxes. So I couldn’t get in.
Next to the Discovery Center is a huge mall with many stores. And what do you know, it had an actual Lego Store with a pick a brick wall. Needless to say I took some time picking bricks and managed to annoy my wife some more.
We had an awesome day and the kids enjoyed themselves a lot. A trip to the Discovery Centre was worth it, but it is rather pricy. The entrance fees on the website are starting prices. When buying tickets online you have to enter the timeslot you want to enter. The later you enter the cheaper the tickets get. Our youngest still had free entrance, tickets have to be bought for persons age three and up. For three people we paid €56.85, that is €18.95 each. We chose the 11-12 o’clock slot. Once inside you get to stay until closing if you want.
The Legoland Discovery Centre was great, but a lot smaller than we thought. Pictures on the site show everything larger than they really are. The entrance fee made us think there would be more. If the money is not an issue it is definitly worth going. Lego fans till about 12 years of age will have a great time.
Before planning a visit, it is worth noting that adults are only allowed entrance if they are with a child. Adults alone will not be allowed to enter. I can also tell you that it is especially good for kids. As an adult I liked the displays and shop the most. While my kids enjoyed pretty much everything.
The Discovery Centre opens every day at 10 and depending on the time of the year closes at 17:30 or 18:30.
If you plan your trip on the internet, tickets are available from €12.60 per person. We chose Express tickets which meant shorter waits. As it turned out there were no wait times. So that was a waist of money. I don’t think I would recommend Express tickets anyway. We went in the middle of the vacation period and it was not that busy. Perhaps they have their use in the weekends but I would not pay for Express tickets again.
Legoland Discovery Centre is at Promenade 10 in Oberhausen, and is directly next to the CentrO mall, parking is free, you can just use the parking spaces for CentrO. You can’t miss those. More information can be found on their website.