New for the 2009 season along with the whole of Kingdom of the Pharaohs, Laser Raiders is LEGOLAND Windsor's largest build since Vikings' River Splash.
What is it?
- A 7,000 square foot (650 m2) indoor dark ride with laser guns, built by Sally Corporation
- Very similar to 'Lost Kingdom Adventure' in LEGOLAND California (case study)
- Opened 20th March 2009
- 4 guests per car (10 cars), 600+ guests per hour, ride time ~4 minutes
- Q-Bot reservations available
What does it do?
Riders queue in what was Brickadilly's Circus Tent. Now, queuing is not fun, and queues for this ride often extend beyond 90 minutes. Whilst queuing, you might like to know that at opening, this was easily the best queue line in the park, with great attention to detail, a good soundtrack, and a whole host of LEGO models (most scavenged from the now closed Explorers' Institute) to keep you interested.
The models are still there, but during the summer of 2009 (just months after opening), the queue was sadly ruined somewhat by the addition of a number of plasma screens showing EgyptAir adverts, along with the briefing video and some comic scenes filmed around LEGOLAND. I personally find that this somewhat ruins the immersion of the queue.
Once at the end of this queue, guests were shown a short briefing video (now shown earlier during queuing), before being directed through a door and down a marquee-like tunnel to the ride building. After hopefully not too much more queuing, you board your laser-gun-equipped buggy, and are sent into the dark.
The buggies pass through ten scenes involving the wrong-doings of Sam Sinister...
...with the aim to help Johnny Thunder, Miss Pippin Reed and Dr. Kilroy defeat him and his henchmen.
By firing at green and red targets (of which there are 90 - in the picture below, you can see a pair of targets under the bat figures, as well as on the light fittings), guests trigger certain events whilst racking up points. At the end of the ride, these points are displayed on the on-ride photo, which is shown on a screen before disembarking.
- Guests under 1.3m tall must be accompanied by an adult
- Upper and/or lower body control is needed
- Not recommended for guests with: back or neck complaints; heart conditions; high blood pressure; broken limbs; pregnant guests.
A stunning addition to the park, and huge fun as well! I rode Laser Raiders three times on opening day, and at least two of those I aimed to pay more attention to the detail and mechanics of the ride, but for all three I ended up shooting away like there was no tomorrow - it's truly imersive (it could of course be argued that this is a bad thing, as it's nice to be able to pay attention to detail).
That does not mean that this ride is without it's faults - firstly, the linking tunnel between the tent and the ride building: the tunnel (which passes over the Orient Expedition) is not great. Secondly, although the theming throughout the ride is good, once on the ride LEGO isn't actually used that much. Most of the models are fiberglass, which just screams of cutting corners. Finally, loading is slow, and as a result a second queue tends to form through the connecting tunnel. It is also sad that, barely a few months after opening, the queuing experience was spoilt somewhat by sponsorship.
Queues for this ride are always remarkably long (often 90 minutes plus), so utilise Q-Bot wherever possible.
While the ride is very similar to the Sally-built Lost Kingdom Adventure at LEGOLAND California, one big difference is the inclusion of a secret bonus target.
Ray Dominey, Sally Corporation's vice-president of technical services, installed the secret bonus target as an exciting added surprise for guests. “When a guest hits the special bonus target, an additional 7,007 points will show up on their score ... when you see the final number, seven, on the console, you know you hit it: every other target score ends in zero.”
Firing at this target is likely to propel the guest in question to a clear victory over those sharing the buggy!
“There are ninety targets in the ride,” Dominey says, “and there's no way to tell which is the special one - until you hit it.” He does offer one hint: “The score is assigned to a red target ... but then [he smiles], remember that if you hit a green target, it could turn red.”
I am yet to find this target, but I will keep searching... it's in there somewhere...
Completely LEGOLAND Windsor would like to thank Sally Corporation and LEGOLAND Windsor for kindly allowing the photographs from within Laser Raiders (those of Miss Pippin Reed, Sam Sinister, and the Skeleton Band) to be reproduced on this website.