I went to Legoland Friday evening for an Annual Passholder event (was very quiet, but largely because of the downpour of rain all day).
Flight of the Sky Lion was my first flying theatre and it was pretty decent. A very fast paced experience for the film. At times it would have been nice to just take things in a bit more a 'fly' around (which I hear other such rides do a bit more?). I sometimes struggle with a bit of a motion sickness of some motion simulators, but this was fine, though I felt a bit queazy about 3/4 of the way through.
My biggest pet peeve is the fact you can see the edge of the screen and the roof as a result. It's particularly jarring given the screen extends to the floor, so looking down to fine, but looking towards to top is a bit awkward. Not sure if this is a common problem with flying theatres though..? The queue line, as already pointed out, is pretty dreadful. I hate to think what it's like on a hot day..
The Mythica land is solid as well. Well presented and nice theming, plus bringing attention to a previously quieter part of the park. Definitely think it's much better than the originally planned Lego Movie World would have been too.
Rode yesterday and really enjoyed it - I wasn't blown away first ride but it grew on me over 3 rides during the day!
I agree about the top of the screen being visible even on the bottom row - It really would have been worth making the building a few meters taller to have the screen curve back - but ho-hum!
the music and sensory effects (smell and mist) were wonderful - the visual world of mythical was visually bold and exotic - and the motion was nicely more dynamic then the usually flying theatre - I especially liked an effect which simulated doing a heartline roll!
An older kid sat near me summed it up nicely afterwards with the phrase 'whoa - that was trippy'........yes....yes it was (in a magically palatable way).
Also I think the alien fantasy world of Mythica is imaginatively and atmospherically compelling, with a solid 'theme' - And so glad they went fo this and not 'Lego movie world' - more fantasy is needed in this world!
I experienced Mythica & Flight of the Sky Lion for myself today, and I’ve got to say, I was very impressed! Warning: This review will contain some spoilers in places. The Area
Mythica itself as an area is pretty well-themed, in my opinion, with some really nice detailing in places! As well as Flight of the Sky Lion, there’s also two Zierer Family Freefall Towers called Fire & Ice Freefall, as well as a rethemed water ride named Hydra’s Challenge and a play area, as well as some building areas. The support rides seemed pretty popular, with some large queues, and I’ve got to say that they had some quite nice theming applied to them! In terms of the wider area, a lot of the buildings have a very nice rock texture to them, and I like all the little blue lines carving themselves along through the paths! As well as that, there’s some very impressive Lego models within the area; some particularly impressive ones include the lion on the front of Flight of the Sky Lion and the big unicorn. On the whole, I think the area has been done very well; great work, Legoland! The Ride
The main ride in the area is Flight of the Sky Lion, the UK’s first flying theatre. Let’s start with the queue line; one thing I will say is that the queue line is a bit bland in comparison to some of Legoland’s others, in my opinion. The undercover element is admittedly useful for days where the weather’s not too good, but you’re quite caged in, and it mostly comprises of blue steel fences; it’s not the most interesting queue in the world, although I guess there is a glass cabinet with models inside it, as well as some Lego building opportunities. There’s also a screen telling a bit of the story, and in fairness, I’m not really sure how much more they could have done with the theme they chose. One thing I will say, though, is that it’s a reasonably high capacity ride; it takes 70 guests at a time, and while I couldn’t time an exact throughput figure, the line certainly seemed to move quickly in comparison to some of Legoland’s others. Great job on the throughputs, Legoland!
Things get more interesting once you get inside the building, however; when you’re admitted to the building, you go up a set of stairs and are batched onto numbers that dictate your seat on the actual ride. While you’re stood in this area, a pre-ride briefing plays that basically explains the story of the ride and introduces guests to some of the characters you encounter during the ride, as well as communicating safety information. I thought this was really good; it communicates the story very well, and is quite amusing in portions!
In terms of the ride itself; I was very impressed! The movements were smooth, yet convincing, and surprisingly intense in areas, and the ride uses smells very well, in my opinion! I’ll put a few more specific details & points within a spoiler tag:
In terms of the film, I thought it was quite reminiscent of Flight of Passage at Animal Kingdom, if any of you have ridden that; many of the environments look quite similar, and it has some similar movements in places.
I think the film is quite intense in places; I as a grown-up enthusiast didn’t find it remotely scary, but I can imagine it being quite intense/scary for a small child who’s just hitting the 1m height restriction.
Something I thought was particularly cool was when it did a barrel roll at the very start of the film; even though you don’t go upside down, I thought it was surprisingly convincing!
As I mentioned in the non-spoilered section, I felt that smells were used extremely well within the attraction; for instance, I liked the ocean smell they pumped in when you passed over the sea, and the smoky smell they pumped in when you passed over the volcano was also really good, in my opinion!
I do feel that there were a couple of missed opportunities to integrate physical effects within the film. For instance, there’s bits where you get splashed with water in the film where I was possibly expecting a water spray, or bits where I was expecting a blast of hot air or some smoke.
Also, while I’m unsure on the practicality of integrating it onto a flying theatre, I feel like 3D glasses would work quite well on it, and add to the immersion.
In terms of the FoP comparison, I do prefer FoP by a little bit, as I feel like the 3D and the effects on that one do add to the immersion, as well as the more exposed seating position, but I was never expecting an FoP beater out of Legoland, and I think Sky Lion is certainly an extremely respectable effort from Legoland that works really well, and it certainly bears a surprisingly good likeness to FoP in certain elements!
Overall, I think Legoland have done a smashing job on Mythica & Flight of the Sky Lion, and I really hope the investment is successful for them! They certainly deserve success, as Sky Lion is an excellent dark ride that I thoroughly enjoyed; controversially, I’d say that it and the excellent Ninjago elsewhere in the park are possibly two of my very favourite UK dark rides! The area itself is also really nice, and I like how original the theme is; as much as I did like the Lego Movies, I like the originality behind Mythica, and I think it works well as a concept! To conclude, here are a few photos I took:
So overall, I think Mythica is an excellent addition that’s definitely worth checking out if you haven’t seen it, especially if you’re a dark ride fan!
In terms of the rest of the park; it was my first visit since 2017, and my first time riding all the rides bar Dragon, and I’ll admit I thoroughly enjoyed myself! I have written a longer trip report in the Trip Reports section, if you want a more detailed account of our day, but some quick points of interest I’ll mention include:
I thought Ninjago was absolutely excellent; the hand gesture technology worked a lot better than I was expecting (even though it was perhaps a tad tiring for the hands), the ride felt very dynamic, the 3D worked incredibly well and added another element to the experience, in my opinion, and there were also some nice physical effects, such as air blows, smoke effects and smell pods! An absolutely stellar interactive dark ride, in my opinion; it and Sky Lion are a very strong one-two punch of dark rides, and I wouldn’t object to Duel at Towers being replaced by something similar to Ninjago.
Although Haunted House Monster Party lacks the raw drama & ambience of Hex, it is very whimsical and works brilliantly for the young audience the ride is aimed at, in my opinion, and I think comparing it to Hex is somewhat unfair as it’s really good fun in its own right. The soundtrack is very catchy, smells are used very well within the ride (good use of smells seems to be somewhat of a trend at Legoland!), and the facade and queue are also really nice!
The park has some excellent Lego models; the sky lion facade in Mythica and some of the scenes in Miniland are particularly impressive!
Although the park was by no means quiet, it seemed much less crowded on the pathways than in 2017, making my experience far more pleasant!
The park as a whole is very green, very pleasant to walk around, and very well themed throughout; while the scale is of course vastly different, I dare say it’s the closest park we have here in the UK to an Orlando-style theme park, with the large quantity of dark rides and heavy theming giving off a very similar vibe.
Another potentially controversial opinion I have is that I personally think Legoland quite possibly has the strongest lineup of non-coaster attractions in the UK. In terms of dark rides, Sky Lion and Ninjago are easily two of my very favourite UK dark rides, Monster Party is a really solid Madhouse, and they also have Deep Sea Adventure and Laser Raiders. In terms of water rides, they have 2 substantial water rides in Pirate Falls and Viking River Splash, as well as Hydra’s Challenge & probably more I’m forgetting, and they also have a fair number of family flat rides. I think they could possibly do with a really solid family thrill coaster to make their lineup even stronger, but I guess Legoland isn’t really very coaster-orientated.
On a COVID front; today was my first theme park visit after the 19th July removal of restrictions, and I probably wouldn’t recommend visiting a park right now if you’re very nervous about COVID. I was wearing a mask for most of the day, but was one of the very few who was, and distancing isn’t really being strongly adhered to anymore. While it’s of course down to personal responsibility now, so I respect the choices of others, and I didn’t feel too uncomfortable as I’m fully vaccinated and was wearing a mask, I feel like it’s my duty to point these things out for those who might be more nervous about COVID so that they can make decisions about visiting these places.