Visiting Denmark isn’t complete without paying tribute to the country’s signature export, the Lego. The best way is going to Legoland Billund, the country’s most beloved amusement park. Located to the northwest, in the Jutland peninsula, it’s well worth the short excursion into the Danish countryside. Legoland Billund goes beyond the expected (and no less extraordinary) Lego art, surprising you with exciting rides and great restaurants.
Since its beginnings, the Lego has been part of the lives of millions of families around the world. Still to this day, it connects with both young and old fans by appealing to the kid inside everyone. This success in delivering thrills for all ages reflects perfectly on the nine Legoland resorts scattered around the world. However, the one in Billund is a little more special because it’s the first Legoland park. In this article, we’ll break down what we found to be awesome and not so awesome during our visit.
A bit of Legoland Billund’s history
Before we start, you should know that the name Lego derives from the Danish “Leg godt“, which means “play well”. It was later discovered that it also means “I put together” in Latin. The original Legoland park opened in 1968 in the small town of Billund, right beside the original Lego factory. It was created by Godtfred, one of Lego’s founder Ole Kirk Christiansen’s sons, who directed the company after Ole’s death.
He wanted to further solidify his father’s toy business, which started in 1932 and skyrocketed in 1949. Almost instantly, the park became a success, attracting thousands of visitors and sparking a company expansion over nearby countries. In the subsequent years, the park added several new rides and even a private runway and hangar that would later become Billund Airport. A second park opened in England (1996), followed by more in the United States, Germany, Malasya, Japan and the UAE.
Getting to Billund
There are many options to get you from Copenhagen to Billund and one of those is by taking the metro. The ride takes a couple of hours from Copenhagen Central Station, with stops in Fredericia or Vejle. Another option is by flight, which takes around fifty minutes from the airport and costs a few hundred US dollars. The other option is driving yourself along the 265 km (164.6 mi) to Billund, which is what we did.
We recommed you this last option because it’ll give you more of the Danish ‘experience’ and its beautiful countryside. With excellent roads and a path that’s mainly freeways, driving is the cheapest, most exciting option. Whatever you choose, just remember that the driving route has tolls and, regarding to flights, they get pricey on summer. Having covered its history and how to get there, it’s time to tell you Legoland Billund’s awesome and not-so-awesome parts.
1. The Impressive Lego Art
Lego art is always impressive and it could easily be the only reason to visit Legoland Billund. After all, it’s the craddle of the Lego itself, which is an important part of Western culture. Here you’ll find all sorts of sculptures and decoration crafted with Lego, from human figures to animals and objects. The standouts are, without a doubt, the Mount Rushmore replica and the Native American statue because of their massiveness. One can only begin to imagine how much time and effort was invested in their crafting.
2. The Thrilling Rides
While most of the rides have little to do with Lego itself, they’re plentiful for a park of this size. Don’t expect the heights and intensity of larger parks, as most rides are very family-friendly. Even the roller coasters and other turbulent rides are toned down (but still thrilling) with mild drops and slower runs. Nevertheless, they still deliver the fun that adventure seekers want, just slightly tamed, and all come with minimum height requirements. For the best roller coaster experience (fastest and newest), head to the Polar X-plorer, which is part of Polar Land.
There’s an entire section dedicated to the smallest ones (6 years or under) called Duplo Land. Sometimes it’s difficult to know which rides are for those kids, because all the queues seem mostly filled with them. So even if you’re not in Duplo Land, pay close attention to the rides before boarding them.
Another observation is that, with so much vegetation throughout the park, many rides seem hidden from view. The multiple facades and queues also aren’t very helpful when you’re trying to figure out a ride. So we recommend keeping the map that’s handed at the entrance and using those available all over the park. You could also kick things off by riding Legotop, an observatory near the entrance that literally rises above the ground. It’ll give you lots of thrills, but also a birdseye view of how to navigate the park.
3. Mini Land
Mini Land’s what we all dreamed of building as kids, but never had enough Lego bricks to make come true. It’s actually not only made of Lego bricks, but there’s also water, vegetation and other artificial elements to recreate environments. In Legoland Billund’s Mini Land, you can find meticulous recreations of national landmarks like Nyhavn or the Kastrup airport.
You can also find many recreations of the fantastic Star Wars universe as seen in the movies. The immense attention to details has really brought life to the “more than 20 million” bricks that conform Mini Land. But now, let’s talk about what we didn’t like too much.
1. Finding Billund
Billund is a small rural town in the middle of the Jutland peninsula, which makes it hard to get to. The only thing that really puts it on the map is the airport, and of course, Legoland. But also, with millions of guests visiting the park every year, Legoland is the largest tourist attraction after Copenhagen. Nearby, there’s another big attraction that draws a lot of tourism: Lalandia, a local tropical holiday centre and waterpark. It basically offers the same as Legoland (family rides, restaurants and shops), but in a smaller, water-oriented way.
2. Who let the kids out?
While Legoland Billund has something for all ages, prepare yourself to be a minority as an adult. The place is a sea of small children so that it’s often difficult to walk in a straight line. Even though we visited during the off-peak Fall season, the park was pretty much crowded. Despite that, the ride queues were always reasonable with around 15-minute waits. Summer is short in Denmark and the biggest crowds are from June to September, so we recommend avoiding the peak-season.
3. The Lego Shop and other stores
If you’re looking for some rare Lego finds or Billund-themed souvenirs, you’re gonna be a little disappointed. There’s not much to discover in the Lego shop, since it has the same stuff you can find anywhere else. The same goes to the Lego Ninjago shop and, by extension, the Lego Wear shop (which offers family clothing). However, it’s worth mentioning that some stores offer standard shirts and souvenirs with Billund branding.
Legoland Billund is very close to the Billund Airport —which is absolutely beautiful and busier than you might expect, with direct flights throughout Europe everyday. Being right next to the park, you can get there in minutes, preferably by taxi or bus. Although you can stay at the Legoland Hotel, the Zleep Hotel is a cheaper option you should consider. It’s a two-minute walk from the terminal and a three-minute ride to Legoland Billund, with shuttle service during Summer.
Finally, make sure you check Legoland Billund’s website in advance to book tickets and get an overview of the park. This amusement mecca is a hundred percent worth investing your time and money. You don’t need to be a parent or go with your family to enjoy it, since it has something for everyone. It’s a beautiful place full of joy and with some surprises under its sleeve, just like Billund itself.