To say we had a great Easter break is an understatement. Emerson’s school was breaking up for the Easter two weeks, and with renewing our Merlin annual passes a few weeks earlier we knew we wanted to do as many day Merlin day trips as possible over the holiday.
We started the holidays off with a trip to Alton Towers with friends. With the park is just over an hours drive from us it’s fantastic for a day trip, the park was busy but with it being the school holidays we were expecting that. We did however get on the rides that the children wanted to go on so that was fantastic. The queues were not that long either, not as bad as in the summer so that was really nice, with all our children being under 1.4m we didnt have to queue for any of the larger thrill rides.
The Congo River Rapids and the Runaway Mine Train were the firm favorites of the day with Duel – The Haunted House had a mix reaction from the children. They also loved The Cuckoo Cars Driving School and The SeaLife Shark Bait Reef, especially after the lovely man at the entrance of the Shark Bait Reef showed our children the jaw of a tiger shark and gave them some facts about it before we went in. We finished the day with a few rides in CBeebies land before heading home with four very happy but very tired children.
After our Alton Towers trip Emerson wanted to go to the Birmingham Lego Discovery Centre. Emerson loves it there but you do need to pre book your tickets before going as it is still very popular at the moment. We booked a lunch time slot as this was the earliest slot I could get us in for the Thursday. The queues for the rides inside the discovery center were so long but thankfully Emerson didn’t want to go on them this time. We have been to the discovery center a few times before so he didn’t mind not going on them that day. It was a little sad to see a few of the children in the queues getting upset, but with it being school holidays we knew the queues would be long and the center would be really busy. We have been on Sunday’s before and the lines are much shorter.
After we walked around the Lego miniland and Emerson had finished taking photos of his favorite Lego buildings we went through to the main area where Emerson loved building in the Lego pit, played in the soft play area and we built a car each to drive down the test ramp (mine fell apart), I think I need a lesson on Lego car building. After a hour and a half Emerson had had enough and wanted to go home. It was a lovely few hours but I will make sure I pre book much more in advance next time to get into the center earlier in the day before so many people get in.
On Easter Sunday we decided to take a trip to Chessington World of Adventures and had a fantastic day! Emerson is just under 1.2m and one thing we love about Chessington is that there are still so many rides he can get on, one being The Vampire roller coaster. This is the first real roller coaster he has been on and he loves it! I’m so glad they have a coaster that he can get on at his height as he is quite short for his age (7 years old) and all his friends can get on the larger coasters, so for him to be able to get on this ride is amazing! He loves it!
It was really busy in the park but we didn’t have to queue for longer then an hour for any of the rides. We went on The Gruffalo River Ride, Scorpion Express, Tomb Blaster, The Vampire, The Safari ride, visited the Zoo and Sea Life Center just to mention a few things we did while we were there. We even sent Tom on Rameses Revenge to finish the day off. With the park being open until 7pm we didn’t feel rushed at all and loved how many rides we could get on. It did take over half an hour to get out of the car park but with it being Easter Sunday we all knew it was going to be like it but we didn’t mind, no one was being impatient or pushy in the car park as we all tried to leave the park.
Bank holiday Monday took us to Thorpe Park for the first time. We loved it. The only thing I will say is get there as early as you can as the line for the bag check is immense! If I could have, I would have left my bag in the car and not bothered taking anything with me, being a mum I can’t do this but if you can get away with not having to take a bag in, do it!
Once we were in the park we had a great time. The rides Emerson could get on had hardly any queuing times and we got on so many, most of them we went on twice just because we could. The only ride we had to queue for was Storm Surge and it was worth the hour wait, all of us in the rubber ring were laughing our heads off on the way down! This was our favorite ride of the day. We finished the day off on their man made beach, Emerson went for a dip in the water while me and Tom relaxed on the sand, it finished the day off lovely for us and I know I will take our swimming stuff with us every time we go from now on.
On the second week we decided to do a trip to Legoland and stay over in a hotel down near Windsor to get the most out of my two days off work, and with most of the schools in the country back at school the park was so much quieter then normal. The only time I’ve ever had known it like this was when we visited at Christmas. Starting the day with the new Haunted House Monster Party ride, Emerson loves this. Moving on to Coastguard HQ, Atlantis Submarine Voyage, The Dragon, Thunder Blaze, Valley Airport, Fairy Tail Brook, Destinies Bounty and finished with The Ninjago Ride. We have never got on so many rides in one day there before, it was fantastic!!
We met friends in the park there on the Friday and again we had a great time with very small queuing times and again getting on loads of rides.
All in all we had an amazing time over the school holidays using our Merlin Annual Passes. Without our passes I could not have done this in one year never mind a two week school holiday. This is the second year having these passes and they are by far one of the best I’ve ever brought for my family.
I understand a lot of people say they are expensive, but if you use them at your favorite parks they are a fantastic investment. I’ve brought our passes both years during a sale (their January sale) and picked them up at the end of March – you have up to 6 months to pick the passes up after purchasing them and they start on the date you pick them up, not the date you purchase. They truly are worth it as long as you make the most out of them. We had the best year last year using them and started this year off the same.
If you are wanting a Merlin Pass of your own to start your Merlin Pass adventures the link to their website is here. /https://www.merlinannualpass.co.uk/ I am not sponsored in anyway to say this, I just think they are an amazing pass to have.