When LEGOLAND Windsor first opened, the Wild Woods was a catch-all area for Pirates, Castle and similarly themed attractions. This included the classic Spinning Spider ride, Amazing Mazes, Goldwash, the Rat Trap play area, the Enchanted Forest and of course the Pirate Falls the log flume. Spinning Spider and the Rat Trap play area used the shields from the 1990s LEGO Castle line for themeing.
Over time however, the Wild Woods started to become less relevant. With the launch of the Castle area, which grew over time, Castle themed attractions were catered for. When Land of the Vikings launched, the maze was reduced and re-themed to become Loki's Labyrinth. The Enchanted Forest area had not been maintained for some years, and visitors seemed to think of it more as an open picnic area than an attraction. Unfortunately this seemed to be part of a trend for model focused attractions in the park. The most bizarre element of the Wild Woods was when coin-operated cars popped up in the area, completely killing off any attempt at this area being themed.
What had been the Wild Woods needed a refresh, which came in the form of Pirates Landing. In 2010, this was the big launch for LEGOLAND Windsor. Over the past few years, the LEGOLAND Windsor Resort has been gradually improving the themeing area by area, taking what had sometimes become a random selection of attractions and ensuring that they for togetehr again to improve the guest experience (although the Town area seems a lost cause). Whilst it is can be a shame to see a classic attraction lost or changed, it was a great relief to see Pirates Landing to create a cohesive area and pay tribute to such a loved LEGO line.
With the Pirates Landing launch, Pirate Falls was re-named Pirate Falls Dynamite Drench and the storyline was changed. The Jolly Rocker was introduced to the area, a huge swinging Pirate ship, and the play area was slightly changed and re-themed to become the Pirates Training Camp. This was also the same time that the popular Pirates of Skeleton Bay stunt show launched in the park. The Crossed Ribs had kept the same name since LEGOLAND Windsor opened.
It's surprising then, with the area re-themed just four years ago, that Pirates Landing will now become Pirate Shores. It makes sense that each year a degree of 'newness' is needed for the LEGOLAND Windsor Resort, and with expensive projects recently such as Atlantis, Star Wars Miniland and Duplo Valley a slightly smaller scale launch was neede for this year.
So here's what the folk at the LEGOLAND Windsor Resort have shared about this new area:
Guests at the LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort can expect plenty of pirate themed fun in 2014 as the hugely popular Pirates Landing gets a major re-vamp to become NEW Pirate Shores. Featuring Castaway Camp - an awesome totally new pirate adventure play area, more than 100 brand new LEGO® models and themed features on the Pirate Falls Treasure Quest log flume ride, plus a new themed restaurant, the rollicking Jolly Rocker Pirate Ship ride and Pirate Goldwash - Pirate Shores promises a swashbuckling family adventure.
Join Captain Good Brick on a quest to discover Captain Black Heart's hidden treasure on an exciting LEGO-tastic voyage on Pirate Falls Treasure Quest log flume ride - featuring more than 100 new LEGO models. Guided by Scallywag the Parrot, guests will set sail on a quest for the buried treasure in Black Heart’s hidden lagoon. After negotiating choppy crocodile infested waters, dodging mischievous monkeys and even witnessing a full scale sea battle with duelling pirates and firing canon, the boat takes the final climb to the pirate’s Treetop Lookout before plummeting towards an adrenaline fuelled finale. NB: waterproofs are recommended for even the most adventurous deckhands.
Daring buccaneers will also delight in the rigging, hideaways and turrets in Castaway Camp - a gigantic totally new adventure play area. Complete with a towering forgotten fortress and fearsome battleships children can act out pirate legends on the high ropes, nets and slides and defend their shipmates from invading enemies.
Also in Pirate Shores is the Jolly Rocker Pirate Ship ride promising to test sailor’s sea legs and their head for heights plus a Pirates Gold Panning area AND an all new quality family restaurant, Pirate Shores Burger Kitchen, serving a tasty menu of flame grilled pirate favourites. Meanwhile over in Skeleton Bay the pirate adventures continue as Captain Birdsnest and his crew battle with the dastardly Red Pirate in a high-octane stunt show on water.So the evolution of Pirates in the LEGOLAND Windsor Resort continues. It is a great relief to see that Gold Panning will remain, a popular and well remembered attraction from the very first day that LEGOLAND Windsor was open. Pirate Falls itself also seems irreplaceable, a classic icon of the theme park. What is great to see is that LEGO Pirates - such a loved and classic LEGO theme - continues to be a key part of the LEGOLAND Windsor Resort.
Do you have any digital images of LEGOLAND Windsor from its early days? Or good scans of old LEGOLAND Windsor leaflets or adverts? Please drop me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, if they are used then full credit will of course be provided.