LEGOLAND Windsor Resort have submitted a planning application for a large-scale overhaul of the park entrance experience. The documents show an intention to completely re-imagine The Beginning and the park entrance infrastructure.

This project is being undertaken to ensure that LEGOLAND Windsor has a ‘contemporary appearance’ that is ‘vibrant and welcoming’. It is noted within the application that The Beginning area of the park is ‘dated, both in appearance and operation’, necessitating a refresh in order to provide an up-to-date guest experience. It is acknowledged that the current guest entry experience is poor, and is unduly functional in its appearance. Changes in both the need for security and the need for ticket booths are also noted, with the changing requirements for each dictating a significant alteration in entrance infrastructure.

Although plans to refresh The Beginning formed part of LEGOLAND Windsor’s long term plan, approved in April 2019, it is noted that design proposals have since evolved. Therefore, it is now proposed to reconfigure the existing floorspace rather than creating new buildings, hence the submission of a separate planning application.

The proposed works will significantly alter the way in which guests first experience LEGOLAND Windsor. The largest change to the guest experience will be the relocation of the park’s turnstiles. Where ‘The Beginning’ currently forms a land within the theme park itself, the new entrance will see the turnstiles move to the other side of the plaza, beyond The Big Shop and LEGOLAND Coffee Co. In this way, the new ‘Brick Street’ will all form part of an entrance plaza rather than a land within the core theme park.

The first change guests will encounter in the new area will be an altered road, and landscaping, in front of the entrance. The walkway from the main car park will have its existing lime trees removed in order to widen the pathway and improve the flow of guests into the resort. The road that guests must cross to access the entrance plaza from LEGOLAND Adventure Golf will also be narrowed to improve guest safety.

Before entering security, guests will pass a new LEGO welcome sign amongst new landscaping. The current temporary security buildings will be removed, to be replaced with permanent, themed security infrastructure. These structures will incorporate ‘new technology’ to again aid guest flow into the resort.

On passing through security, guests will encounter what is noted on plans as a ‘Wow Model’, suggesting we may be greeted by a particularly impressive LEGO build. Nearby, new trees will be planted inside LEGO themed planters, framing the brand new entrance portal.

This impressive structure replaces the existing portal, as well as the existing ticket booths which are set for removal. The removal of the ticket booths will open up the area, creating a spacious plaza and a clear focal point in the portal. This portal will be heavily themed, featuring giant LEGO recreations of key attractions within the park. Notable on the plans are recreations of The Dragon and LEGO Ninjago at the top of the two pillars on either side of the walkway.

Passing under the new entrance portal, the guest experience will begin to alter significantly, with the current ticket barriers being removed. Here instead, guests will pass under a digital display that will provide park information for guests arriving at the resort. This sign will span the gap between the existing toilet block and guest services. This too will be themed, appearing as though constructed from giant LEGO bricks.

On the left of Brick Street, the existing toilets will remain but will receive enhanced theming. The toilets are currently set to be themed to a gigantic LEGO brick, built of many smaller bricks. Outside of the block, a new theming piece will be added.

Adjacent to the toilets, the current LEGOLAND Coffee Co. will receive a major rehaul in order to become the new Guest Services building. This building will encompass Guest Services, RAP enquiries and ticket sales. The building itself will receive a new themed portico, as well as a new themed entrance portal with an extended canopy to protect guests waiting to enter.

On the opposite side of Brick Street, the current guest services building will be converted into Brick Street Café, a new park entrance café. The existing guest services building will be retained, with a new themed façade added to its entrance. The building will be bright, colourful and again appear as though constructed from giant LEGO bricks.

Next door at The Big Shop, there are no planned changes for this outlet, with the resort’s flagship retail location having recently received a re-theme and expansion.

The centre of Brick Street will be dominated by a brick build that is set to change seasonally. Behind this will sit the new ticket barriers. Existing theming elements in this area are set to be moved to facilitate the installation of these new barriers. The planning applications show a very dinosaur-like shape being set for removal from this area, meaning it’s likely we will see the removal of the popular dinosaur build that currently occupies this part of The Beginning. The large scientist build in this area is also marked for removal. The new barriers will be brightly coloured and themed, topped with LEGO turrets and flags. Like the central brick build, the barriers will receive seasonal enhancements.

In addition to the proposed updates around the park’s entrance, LEGOLAND Windsor is also looking to continue its development of DUPLO Valley, with a new DUPLO Valley Theatre. The park have recently filed a separate planning application for the demolition of the existing theatre and the subsequent construction of a replacement. In the documentation, it is noted that the current theatre has reached end of life and a replacement is necessary, should the park intend to retain a theatre within DUPLO Valley.

The new DUPLO Valley theatre appears to be very similar in style to the existing theatre, with sloped bench-style seating protected by a canopy structure. The canopy will be supported by steel columns around the perimeter of the theatre. Notably, the new theatre will see a sizeable increase in capacity, with the ability to seat over 200 guests (an increase of 68 guests on the current theatre). As expected, it is noted that the theatre will be themed to the LEGO brand, in order to complement the existing theming in the area.

What are your thoughts on the upcoming changes to LEGOLAND Windsor? Do you think The Beginning is in need of this overhaul? Let us know via our social media channels!
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