When we visit Legoland Windsor we use the ride access pass to reduce Ethan’s distress when queuing. As it states on the Legoland Windsor website the ride access pass is available to guests who do not understand the concept of queuing. Have difficulties with everyday social interaction. Have a limited capacity to follow instruction or to understand others’ emotional feelings or expressions. They may therefore become agitated or distressed if they had to queue for a ride for an extended period of time.
This year Legoland Windsor decided that they needed to update the ride access pass. It has been merged into the Q-Bot system they use. The Q-Bot system also had an overhaul and is now managed through the web browser on your smart phone.
How Did We Register For The Ride Access Pass?
As before as soon as we arrived at Legoland Windsor our first stop was at Guest Services. There are two guest services at legoland. One just after the main entrance of the park and one in Heartlake city. This guest service location is perfect if you are staying at the hotel. We explained our reasons for needing the ride access pass for our son and presented our documentation as required.
This time we were asked for an email address to set up an account for this season. We were told the web address that we needed to load on our smart phone. We logged into that page using our email address and a password that we then created. This then gave us access to the list of rides that accepted the ride access pass in legoland that day. As this was set up I also received an email with our case number. If we were to return to legoland this year all we would need is this number. This means we wouldn’t need to produce our documentation again. Our hands were then stamped, a red stamp for Ethan and a black stamp for the rest of the family. After this we were then free to enjoy our day in the park.
How Does The New Ride Access Pass Work?
When the website is loaded and your account is activated you can then see the list of rides. Underneath the ride name is the waiting time for each one.
When you have decided which ride you would like to ride you press on the yellow arrow. This takes you to the booking page. You can then select this ride by pressing the red button that states your virtual queuing time.
When this is pressed the countdown is activated. You are free to switch your phone to sleep mode and the clock will continue to countdown in the background.
When your waiting time is over a QR code then replaces the countdown. You are then free to make your way to your chosen ride. You enter the ride through the Q-Bot Entrance. This means you will still have to queue for the ride but in theory it should be a minimal wait. There is no rush to get there, this QR code will stay there until you are ready to use it. You can not book another ride until you have used this pass.
Did The New Ride Access Pass Work Well For Our Family?
When I found out that they were changing the system I was worried that it might cause meltdowns. We had used the old system a few times before and it had worked well. I knew that we would have to plan our day more. In an autism household we are pros at forward planning!
We used the ride access pass on a term time Friday and the following Saturday. The Saturday wasn’t as busy as a peak day in August but it was clearly busier than the Friday. On the Friday every ride only had a five-minute wait before you could enter the Q-Bot entrance. This made it easy for us to hang around in an area without Ethan getting distressed. We were even able to queue up some of our next rides before we had got off of the current one.
A big positive for us was, as far as we could tell, the ride limit was lifted on the new ride access pass. On the old version you were only allowed ten rides per day. There was no mention of a limit when we registered for the new pass.
Will The New Ride Access Pass Work Well For Our Family On A Very Busy Day?
On the Saturday the waiting times were a little longer, the picture taken above was on the Saturday afternoon. Ethan wanted to ride the Dragon and it was a 40 minute wait when we booked it. We knew we wanted to go and look at the Star Wars section which we did on route. If you plan your day a long wait could perhaps be booked whilst you stop for lunch.
On a busy day you would possibly only get to virtually queue for a few rides with the wait being an hour each. Would the ride access pass work well for us if each ride had an hour wait?! Probably not. We would need to entertain Ethan for an hour hoping that we wouldn’t express that he wanted to go on another ride. This could cause him great distress. I can only assume that the main rides would really have waits that long. It could cause some issues in the summer as you can’t even fill that wait time with a smaller ride. This is because you won’t have the access pass to help you with the queuing.
Changes That We Noticed At The Q-Bot Entrances?
We noticed that some of the rides had changes made to their Q-Bot entrances. The Balloon School was an obvious change as you used to enter at the exit. This now had a dedicated entrance. We thought this was a great improvement as it always felt like a fight to get on that ride. It felt like there was more order to it now. I also think that the Laser Raiders entrance has changed. You used to be able to join that ride at the exit with the ride access pass. This time you joined where they take the family photo. This meant there was still quite a bit of a queue to join. I could also see this causing some distress is busier months.
The new ride access pass did work well for us on this trip. I can see where potential problems could arise. I also know that we are used to accommodating Ethan’s needs. Visiting Legoland in the summer holidays would probably be something that we would look to avoid.