Legoland – the land that Lego built

Some of us may have been to Legoland in the summer.

For us living in Scandinavia, a trip to Legoland is almost a requirement for all families with small children,  because of its proximity to all Scandinavian countries its a place easily accessible by car, ferry or plane, but moreso because its a fun place for kids and the kids at heart.

Fun for big ones and small ones

I have been there with family and it would be nice to write about my experience there, but this time, I was more interested in the history of Legoland. So I opted to write a few things about it, so I did my research.  Read on if you would also like to know how this fun and interesting place started.

 

Entrance to Legoland Billund Denmark

Entrance to Legoland

There are 6 Legolands as of this writing around the world: Legoland Billund in Denmark (opened in 1968), Legoland Windsor (opened in 1996) Legoland California in the USA (opened in 1999), Legoland Gunzburg in Germany (opened in 2002), Legoland Florida in the USA (opened in 2011), and Legoland Malaysia (opened in 2012).

 

Legoland Malaysia

In his small workshop in Billund, Denmark, Ole Kirk Christiansen started creating wooden toys in 1932. He thought of combining the Danish words “leg godt” which meant “play well” and thus came up with the name Lego.

In 1947, the company acquired its first plastics injection-molding machine.  The first Lego brick was called “Automatic Binding Bricks”.  In 1958, they added the inner tubes on the bricks which increased the building combinations possible.

I always thought that Duplo came at a much later time, but it was in fact introduced in 1968 and since it was targeted to pre-school children, their sizes were larger.

Godtfred, the son of Ole Kirk Christiansen, originally envisioned just a garden with some Lego creations (both models and figures) displayed.  However, the initial plan on paper became a big construction on site. The garden became a 9 acre park which opened in June 1968.  What made it unique of course was that all the buildings, landscape, and vehicles on the park were made of standard Lego bricks.

 

Polar bear made of Lego

Polar Bear made of lego

Today, the company Lego Group is still owned by the Kirk Kristiansen family.  The parks, however, are now owned and operated by the Merlin Entertainment Group.

As for our trip to Legoland, we took a flight to Aalborg from Oslo. Alternatively, you can also take a flight to Billund.  One can also combine car/ferry.  Car/ferry will take the whole day, but if you are on holiday, this is a great opportunity to drive and enjoy the views along the way.

 

Some hard-working people

Some hard working people.

Please book your tickets online in advance.   There can be long lines if you still have to buy your own ticket.  Bring with you an extra set of clothes. You will get wet on some of the rides. Even better, don’t bring extra clothes so you have an excuse to buy a new one at their shops.

 

A lot of colorful prizes for both young and old.

A lot of colorful prizes for both young and old.

As for food, you can either bring your own or buy from one of the many restaurants, food stalls spread around the park. Of course, ice-cream abound everywhere.

For us living in Norway and driving by car home, do drop by Bilka, a gigantic shopping center that has everything.

A case of beer in cans cost only DKK99!!  All 24 cans! Meat, toys, dry goods, and some baking products made their way into the trunk of our car.

The ferry portion was with Stena Line. These guys have perfected their queuing system. When you arrive at the pier, you are met with a sea of vehicles in all sizes. From small cars to large and long container vans. You would think it will take them forever to unload and load all these vehicles and passengers. But it happens so systematic and swiftly.  That is, as long as you have booked everything online first.

 

On the deck of Stena Line

Back home, only good memories remain. It is always good to travel because we bring with us our experiences back home and talk about how it was.

If you do get a chance to visit Legoland, share with someone your adventure.   Tell me about your trip. Would love to hear from you.

 

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