05:09PM, Monday 31 May 2021
Having fun on the Hydra’s Challenge ride at Legoland Mythica
Legoland Windsor Resort’s new land, Mythica: World of Mythical Creatures - which opened this week in time for the May half-term holiday - was created by kids for kids, and judging by the joyful look on my son’s face as he buzzed from attraction to attraction, they’ve got it spot on.
My family were invited to a preview of the new land, which Legoland have invested £20m on for the new summer season, and for a few exhilarating hours at least it felt like we’d been transported away to a parallel universe.
With just a hint of the fantasy drama Game of Thrones, Mythica features exciting rides such as ‘Hydra’s Challenge’ and ‘Fire and Ice Freefall’, but the undoubted highlight is the UK’s first flying theatre ride, The Flight of the Sky Lion, an immersive IMAX style flight through the land of Mythica under the protective wing of Maximus, the Sky Lion.
The attraction sees riders hurtle through an amazing land of rainforests, mountains and exploding volcanos battling against mysterious creatures at a dizzying pace.
Alex, my three-year-old son, who at just over 1m is now tall enough to go on most rides at the resort, squealed with delight as we travelled through the Lego portal into this new universe, his mind completely blown by the experience.
The ride is synchronised with immersive effects, so you feel the water mist as you swoop over the ocean and wind rush past your ears as you dive down from mountain tops, narrowly avoiding jagged rocky outcrops to escape the clutches of a frightening four-headed beast, part shark, lion, eagle, and snake. Alex may not be in the target age group for this ride, but his journey into a parallel universe certainly made an impression on him. In fact, he is still talking about it nearly a week on.
Theo Papadopoulos, the Creative Lead at Merlin Magic Making behind the new land said: “LEGO MYTHICA is an alternative universe that is powered by imaginations. When kids build LEGO creations, unbeknown to them these creations come to life in this parallel world. It has been an amazing experience for us all creating the epic universe of LEGO MYTHICA and we hope to capture our guests’ imaginations in this one-of-a-kind, UK first ride.”
After the year we’ve had of COVID restrictions and lockdowns visiting Legoland Windsor Resort last week felt like a much-needed release for me and my family. It was emotional to see Alex giggling away as we spun through the water on the Hydra’s Challenge ride, my partner Caroline and our one-year-old daughter Millie pushing buttons located around the perimeter to try and soak us with a jet of water as Hydra the sea monster threatened to burst from the depths below.
The Fire and Ice Freefall drop tower ride, which stands at 13m tall – the equivalent of 325 Lego Minifigures – is also perfect for mini thrill-seekers such as Alex, who gripped my hand as we bounced up and down, our stomachs lurching in a deliciously fun way.
But Mythica is more than just the rides because it allows children’s imaginations to run wild. They can build and create their very own Lego creatures in a ‘Creature Creation’ area. Thirteen new Lego Mythica models have also been created by the park’s model makers and, using the Legoland App several of them come to life in an Augmented Reality Experience. Guests scan the models using their phone to open a portal and watch the creatures come to life. The 685,000 Lego brick model Sky Lion, which stands 25m tall, is the largest model in the land – it took more than 3,000 hours to build. In fact, a whopping 1.76 million Lego bricks were used to build the myriad of creatures in Mythica.
Alex and Millie were also charmed by a loveable character called ‘Bits and Bobs’ in an adventure play area called Lava Dragon Play and, before we tried out the rides, we first had to tear them away from a dragon-themed play area and slide located just outside the Hungry Troll restaurant which serves fish and chips, Beastly Bites and a menu of moreish Mythica inspired doughnuts.
Helen Bull, divisional director at Legoland Windsor Resort, is understandably proud of the park’s new attractions: “We are so excited to welcome children and their families into the incredible world of Lego Mythica, the first and only land of its kind on earth. Guests can build, create and let their imaginations run wild, whilst making incredible memories together as a family once again.
“We are really proud to launch Lego Mythica during our 25th anniversary year, which is a huge achievement for all of the team who have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to bring this magnificent world to life.”
Launching just in time for what promises to be another UK staycation boom, Lego Mythica is the result of a partnership with Kids’ Industries. The Resort team spent over a year working with children, discussing and testing ideas and concepts with six to 11-year-olds and their parents, who influenced everything from the final ride experiences to the names and characters.
Legoland Mythica opened on Saturday (May 29). Day tickets for Legoland Windsor Resort start from £29 per person, with children under 90cms going free.
Tickets can be pre-booked at www.legoland.co.uk
Prices for an overnight stay at the Legoland Windsor Resort Hotel or the Legoland Castle Hotel start from £401* for a family of four. Visit www.legolandholidays.co.uk to book.
* Price includes bed, breakfast, one day Park entry and is based on two adults and two children staying on selected dates in June 2021.
Billy Presbury, 21, of Moray Drive, and Kai Warwick, 19, of Whiteford Road, targeted a trio of teenage boys in Farnham Park on June 1, 2019.