On a recent trip to Denmark we embraced our inner child and visited one of the country’s top attractions, Legoland. After reading Helen Russell’s book, The Year of Living Danishly, we couldn’t resist the Legoland experience. Russell describes her year of adjusting to Danish culture when she accompanied her husband to Denmark, where he had a one-year assignment with Lego. We were intrigued and just had to check it out for ourselves.
Legoland is located in the small Danish city of Billund, which is essentially a company town centered around everything Lego. Billund only has about 6,000 people but because of Lego, it boasts the country’s second largest airport, directly adjacent to the Lego head offices and Legoland.
After having visited Disney World a few weeks previously, we found that Legoland is everything Disney World is not. Each of the two parks is a reflection of the culture of which it is a part. Disney World is big, noisy and full of artificiality designed to excite and to extract money from its customers. Legoland is small, polite and its attractions are designed more to entertain than to exploit. It’s genuinely family-friendly atmosphere and cute Lego designs would very likely never be enough to keep American youngsters, or their parents, entertained. Where Disney World is exhausting, Legoland is uplifting. Disney World is high-tech, Legoland is lo-tech. At Disney World it seemed like people were on a hell-bent quest to get in line for the next adrenaline-producing attraction. At Legoland, people sort of meander from one place to another. After all, figures made of Legos just aren’t quite as exciting as Star Wars.
Where Disney World has Tomorrow Land, Frontier Land, etc. Legoland has Pirate Land, Mainland, Adventure Land, Polar Land, Ninjago World and, our favorite, Legoredo Town, where a Danish version of the American West is portrayed.
We have been to Amsterdam, Kennedy Space Center and Washington. Why did we bother? It’s all here at Legoland.