Legoland Billund

(Click on any of the pictures to get a larger version of that image.)

Shelby and I spent our last day in Denmark at Legoland Billund -- the original, founded in 1968. (Subsequent Legolands have since popped up in Windsor, England, Carlsbad, Calfornia, and Günzburg, Germany.) Billund is pretty much in the middle of nowhere -- but the park is right down the street from Lego's corporate headquarters, which explains why it is where it is.

The Dogs of Legoland

We knew that Legoland was definitely our kind of place when we came through the front gate to see a Lego Beagle! He was the first of many dogs we saw that day (including real dogs; like in much of dog-tolerant Europe, dogs were welcome inside Legoland).


Sights from around the world were painstakingly reproduced in Lego form in "Miniland". A few months after our visit to the Netherlands, we had the chance to recap the attractions in miniature ...
In Miniland's Copenhagen section, we came across a replica of the restaurant where we'd had dinner the night before!
In Los Angeles, they were filming a movie ...
Castles in Germany ...

... and an oil platform in the North Sea.

The Rides

Outside of Miniland were the rides, all with a Lego theme or wrapped around a set of large-scale Lego tableaux.

We both wished that we could be ten years old again so that they'd let us into the Lego driving school.

A vaguely Pirates of the Carribean-ish boat ride ...
All ages could take a train ride through Africa and around Miniland.

One of our favorite rides was this really simple one: pull yourself to the top of the tower under your own (mechanically-assisted) power: let go of the rope, and you start sliding down to the bottom again.

Power Builder

Our favorite ride was Power Builder: compared to your average big-ticket amusement park ride, it must've cost the Lego folks about a hundred bucks and a couple of boxtops to put together, but it was really fun.

Basically, it was a large prefab building with a set of large industrial robotic arms inside; attached to each arm was a pair of seats. The "Lego" aspect came in the fact that you got to "design" your own ride, choosing how fast you wanted the arm to move (mild or wild?), and picking a sequence of motions you wanted your arm to perform -- do you want to swoop from the ceiling to the floor? Have the arm spin around in circles as it holds your seat upside down?  The ride was shorter than it felt, but it was a blast all the way through.

Legoland Village

After a full day at Legoland, we went a short distance away to spend the night at Legoland Village, a hostel with a relentlessly Lego-oriented theme. (You can also stay right next door to the park at Hotel Legoland, but their rates were stratospheric.) Between the usual cleanliness of most Scandanavian hostels I've stayed at, and the fact that this hostel was owned by the Lego organization, I think that we've found the only place where you have to rent your sheets and towels that's still nice enough to make Shelby say that she'd stay there again.

This page last modified on Sunday, July 04, 2004
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