Legoland Windsor Resort have submitted a major planning application seeking permission for eight projects, including four new rides, a holiday village (to be built in three phases), an extension to ‘The Beginning’ which includes an extension to the ‘Big Shop’, and a reconfiguration of the car parking. SouthParks takes a look at all the details at the Resort’s Long Term Plan.
Rides and Attractions
One of the most intriguing developments the plan details is the addition of a ‘2019 attraction’. Located near to the LEGO City area of the theme park, the proposed addition for 2019 will comprise of three attraction zones. Zone 1 will comprise of a new indoor attraction, which is referred to in some of the planning documents as a potential roller coaster, and will cover an area of 1,200 sqm, with the building having a height of 13.2m at its highest point. Zones 2 & 3 will both feature what are described as ‘fairground style rides’ which will each include their own queueline areas and may be enclosed or covered. The ride in zone 3, which will be located next to Fire Academy, will be the larger of the two fairground rides with a height of 12.5m compared to the attraction in zone 2, which will be located towards the bottom end of the development area, which will have a maximum height of 6m. These three new attractions will form a new land within the theme park with the area being enclosed by an 8m high themed wall to help distinguish it from the other areas of the park. If approved, construction could begin as early as the end of this year (2017).
A further new attraction is also proposed for the site which currently has permission for the Haunted House ride. Whilst at this stage it is unclear whether this attraction will be the planned Haunted House attraction, the documents do confirm it will be an indoor attraction with the parameters for the new ride being in line with the current permissions for the site.
Having received only minor changes since the Resort first opened in 1996 the Resort plan to give the main entrance area known as ‘The Beginning’ a major refresh to modernise and refurbish the area.
As part of these plans a new, 10m high, LEGOLAND Windsor entrance portal is proposed in order to provide and ‘enhanced arrival experience’ and help guide guests towards the ticket sales and turnstiles area. This new portal will be positioned further forward than the current entrance and will be aligned to frame the entrance to the Resort from the main pedestrian walkway.
The current ticket sales and collection building will be extended to provide new ticket sales facilities, including the addition of two new covered queue line areas. Existing toilet facilities will also be extended. It is currently anticipated that construction for these changes will begin later in 2017.
Also set to receive an extension is the Resort’s largest retail outlet, The Big Shop, which will have up to 365sqm added to its floor space. Full details on this extension are expected to be submitted in a subsequent planning application with construction expected to commence in 2018.
As part of their long term plan, the Resort are also proposing to construct a Holiday Village located to the west of the theme park. Planned to be built in three phases, the Holiday Village will eventually consist of 450 room – 150 as part of phase 1, and 300 in phases 2 and 3.
Phase 1 of the Village will contain a mix of 65 lodges, with each lodge being semi-detached making a total of 130 rooms, and 20 ‘Lego Barrels’ similar to those seen in Legoland Deutschland. Of the 130 lodge units, 115 of these will be offered as ‘standard lodges’ sleeping up to 5 people, 10 will be ‘premium lodges’ sleeping up to 7 people, whilst 5 will be ‘standard accessible’ lodges. Each lodge will be set across a single story with an adults’ bedroom, children’s bedroom, and a bathroom, as well as an external terrace – similar to the layout used in the Alton Towers Enchanted Village. The 20 ‘barrels’ will be set on their own timber deck and sleep up to 4 guests, however they will not include their own bathroom meaning guests will have to use a purpose built ‘amenities block’ which will contain the bathroom and showering facilities.
As in Alton Towers Resort’s Enchanted Village, the lodges for Legoland Resort Windsor’s Holiday Village will be arranged in clusters of four to nine lodges surrounding a central point which will include play equipment. Each building will be constructed of wood and will be stained in what is described as ‘the muted tones of the LEGO palette’ to keep the lodges in-keeping with the surrounding area. The 20 barrels will be clad in stained timber with timber shingled style roofs.
Guests will be able to approach the Holiday Village either from ‘The Beginning’ area of the Theme Park, or from the Village car park. Access to the Holiday Village will be via the LEGO Club House, a central facilities building situated to the north of the Village. This building will include the reception for the Village, restaurant, shop, and entertainment facilities. The Holiday Village will also have its own dedicated parking located on what is currently car park C, as well as seven disabled car parking spaces within the village itself which will be found adjacent to the LEGO Club House and accessible lodges. If given the go ahead, construction on phase 1 will commence in 2018.
Phases 2 and 3 of the Holiday Village will see up to a further 300 rooms added to the accommodation alongside two further central ‘facilities hubs’. A dedicated car park with space for up to 450 cars will also be created. It is currently anticipated that phase two will commence construction in 2021, whilst phase three will begin to be built in 2023.
A number of other projects have also been outlined in the planning application which relate to various infrastructure and behind the scenes facilities.
In order to help improve the flow of traffic into the Resort, it is proposed that the car parks will undergo a reconfiguration to enable visitors to park more easily and safely. These changes will include a change to the configuration of spaces in car parks A and B to enable drivers to drive easily into spaces; to surface car park E so that it can be used year round; allocate a great proportion of spaces in car park C as disabled spaces; and utilise car park NE as a grassed overflow car park.
The Resort also want to change the use of St Leonards Farm to enable the buildings to be re-used as back of house facilities, including storage, maintenance areas and workshops. This would also include creating a new access route between the farm and the existing internal access road.
What are your thoughts on the Long Term Development Plan for Legoland Windsor Resort? Are you excited at the prospect of the proposed new attractions? Share your thoughts over on the TowersTimes and SouthParks Forum. SouthParks will be keeping a close eye on all the proposed developments and will bring you the latest as we get it.
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