Newest Review: ... endless fizzy drinks. It is £9.99 for adults (over 11) and £5.99 for children. You get 20% if you have an annual pass. Picnics- There ar... more
A fabulous day out for families x
Chessington World of Adventures
Member Name: jazzypinkpuppet
Chessington World of Adventures
Advantages: Good fun, so many attractions, educational - something for everyone.
Disadvantages: Can be expensive
Ok I realise this is long, but I hope it will help someone planning a trip to chessington, don't feel obliged to read it <3
We are lucky enough to have Merlin passes and so enjoy Chessington World of adventures on a regular basis. I know planning a day out can be hard work, especially when you have to think of children. It costs a lot of money and you want to make sure you are choosing the right place and that it will have all the facilities you need and want.
I thought it would try and write a review to help you decide if Chessington is a good choice for you and how to make the most of your day if you do go there.
What is Chessington World of Adventures ? - Well it is a unique mix of theme park and zoo, there are so many rides and attractions I really feel that whatever your age and adrenalin junkie status you will find something for you.
The Theme part of the park is divided into 9 'lands', each land has it's own theme and is decorated as such. There is also the Zoo and Sealife centre. I will go through each section of the park in a little more detail at the end. But wanted to do the facilities and my top tips first.
First my top ten tips.
1) Get there early, the park opens half an hour before the advertised time, there are a few rides that start early too, usually vampire and Dragons fury but check when you get to the gate. Even if the ride you want is not open go to the queue line so you will be first on. The big rides queue times go from 0 -60 mins in seconds.
2) If you are thinking of buying the rides photos, don't buy them as soon as you get off the ride, take the number at get them at the end. You get a better deal for buying more than one and also it will save you from carrying them around.
3) Don't miss Lorikeet lagoon - it is hidden and easily missed but it is one of the best bits of the park.
4) When you get there get a map with the show times, so you don't miss a thing or if you are not into the shows you can plan to go to a 'big' ride at that time as the queues will be shorter.
5) The ride close time is when the queue line closes not when the ride closes so get there a few minutes before the close time and you can still ride.
6) Get your parking ticket when you arrive, the queues are huge at the end of the day.
7) Don't pay gate price for tickets. There are always buy one get one free deals, money off vouchers going around or at the very least book online for a saving.
8) If it rains keep your ticket - if it rains continuously for more than an hour whilst you are there, they will give you free entry another day.
9) Measure your child either before you go or as soon as you get there so you can plan what rides you can go on and ignore any unsuitable rides.
10) If Driving leave a bit early or a bit late otherwise you will just be sat in the car park waiting in a huge queue to leave.
Right facilities are fabulous in Chessington -
Toilets - Throughout the park you will find plenty of toilets and baby changing areas, they are all in pretty good shape and looked after with the exception of the ones by the log ride, these are always pretty disgusting so avoid if you can.
First Aid - There is a main first aid centre in forbidden kingdom, but there are plenty of mobile first aiders, if you need one just ask any member of staff and they will radio for one. I have seen first hand how quick and capable they are.
Drinks - There are loads of places selling tea and coffee and it is not overly priced for this sort of venue around the £2 mark. If fizzy drinks are your thing I really recommend buying an unlimited cup, it costs £6 for the day and you can fill it up as much as you want for the whole day and keep the cup at the end. Make sure you keep the reciept as you will need it. If you have an annual pass there is a similar cup for £16 which lasts the whole year.
Eating there - They no longer have a burger king or any branded food outlets, however there really is an abundance of eateries and you will not go hungry. There is a noodle bar, fish and chips, Pizza buffet, sandwich bar, general cafe selling jacket potatoes etc, Burger palace, mexican, a fried chicken place and main restaurant selling chicken, burgers, lasagne etc. There are also many 'stalls'selling popcorn, sweets, waffles, ice cream and donuts. I have not eaten in all of them but I have tried a few, the vampire burger kitchen, this is basically a glorified Mcdonalds for the four of us, three adult meals and one childs it cost in the region of £20. It was OK, nothing special and quite small portions. The sandwhich bar is nice but quite expensive for a sandwich. Our favourite place is the pizza bar, it is a help yourself, eat as much as you want salad, pizza and pasta and endless fizzy drinks. It is £9.99 for adults (over 11) and £5.99 for children. You get 20% if you have an annual pass.
Picnics- There are plenty of places for a picnic throughout the park, so if you want to save some money, don't really like eating out or have fussy eaters you will not find it difficult to find a spot to pitch up and enjoy your lunch. If we drive we leave the picnic in a cool bag in the car and pop out to get it when we are ready. If you don't have passes they will stamp your hand. There are lockers if you don't want to carry it around the park. For a small locker the prices are, £1 for up to 1 hour or £5 for the whole day.
Big lockers are £2 for up to 1 hour or £10 for the whole day. You can go back as many times as you want during the day. We sometimes use these when we take the train.
Guest services- Here is where you would go for lost children, wristbands with your details on, buggy hire etc. Also if you have a disabled or person with certain special needs in your group, make sure you go to guest services where they will give you a wrist band which will allow you to enter rides without queuing. I haven't used this facility so am unsure of the full details.
Fast track - you can pay for a fast track pass which will allow you to get on certain rides without queuing, the prices vary but it costs about £5 per person per ride or you can buy a one day unlimited fast track which costs £60 per person.
Seat sizes - This is something that genuinely worries me, I am a size 18 -20 and I have in the past avoided rides through fear of me not fitting in the restraints. I have been on every ride at chessington and can safely say I fit with ease even the kiddie rides, I have seen much much bigger people on the rides too. The guideline for most rides is that they will fit people with a torso under 51".
The zoo -
Like the park the zoo is split into sections, it is all very close by with the exception of the Wanyama Village & Reserve this is based next to the Zufari ride and you can see Zebras, hippos, giraffesand meerkats.
The rest of the zoo is all in one part of the park, it includes
Monkey trail where you will see spider monkeys, Tamirins and marmosets.
Childrens zoo, where you can stroke the goats and pigs.
Trail of the kings- you will all the big guns of the wild, lions, gorillas, tigers and leopards.
Penguins and otters - This is split into two spaces. There is two talks a day at the penguin pool.
Sea lions - Our favourite show there are four sea lions at the zoo, they are beautiful. There are two shows a day the content can vary depending on what sea lion does the show.
Creepy caves - a small walk through cave with all the usual creepy crawlies, spiders, snails, lizards etc.
Sealife centre - lots of underwater fun here there are loads ofgorgeous fish including Rays, jelly fish, star fish and amazing sea horses. There are loads of daily talks and feeding. Which are well worth a look
The lands and rides
Mystic East - This is home to the famous log ride, it is very oriental with lanterns, buddas and dragons decorating the pathways. In this land you will find two rides.
Dragon Falls - Log ride, with two 'drops'. This is one of my family's favourite rides. You don't get sopping wet so it is fine to go on at any time of day. They can fit five to a boat and children have to be 1.2 metres to ride.
Peeking heights - This is a big wheel. Beware they only fill three cages at a time, so a short queue doesn't necessarily mean a short wait. Any height can ride this but children under 1.1 metres need to ride with an adult.
There is also a arcade, digging for gold, a climbing wall and those big zorbing balls on water. All of these are all payable, I know the water balls are £5 for a five minute session. We do not do any of these things as I think it is expensive enough as it is.
Pirates cove - This is not a big land it is more of a gap filler, you will find two rides here.
Seastorm - This is little boats that go around like a merry go round but much faster. It looks like a 'baby' ride but is actually quite fast. Children nee to be 0.9 metres tall.
Black Buccaneer - Oh my life, this ride is stomach turning, it is a traditional 'mary rose' swinging boat, it goes high and fast. Minimum height is 1 metre but under 1.3 need an adult to ride.
Transylvania - This is where you will find two of the parks most famous rides -
Vampire ride - This is where you will fly through the air like a vampire. It is fast but not really scary and I am a bit of a scaredy cat. Minimum height is 1.1 metres, under 1.3 need an adult.
The Bubble works - My favourite ride, You sit in a tub which can seat up to five. Then ride through professor bubble works factory, see the ducks hard at work and play. Eventually end up in the waterfall lagoon, you will get a little bit wet. This is really a family favourite suitable for all and lts of fun- No height restriction but under 1.1 need an adult to ride with them.
Transylvania is where you can have you face painted or hair braided, there is also caricatures. I know a full face paint is £7. You can have eye designs for £5.
Mexicana - This is wild west with cowboy shooting and dusty paths. Home to two rides
The runaway train - this is a wild train that flies through the mountains, really quite fast,so hold on to your hats. This is my second favourite ride. It is good fun without making you feel sick. Minimum height 0.9 metres, so even younger children can enjoy this.
Rattlesnake - This is the scariest ride in Chessington, it is a fully fledged roller coaster with dips, twists and turns. I don't like it one little bit, but my husband and daughter love it. You need to be 1.4 metres to ride so not for little ones.
Wild Asia - This is the biggest of the lands, actually it is not the biggest but it has the most rides and attractions. You will find.
Monkey swingers - This is a great ride, you sit in a swing and fly high and fast around the park. I always feel really dizzy for about ten minutes after. Min height 1.2 metres.
Tuk tuk turmoil - This is traditional bumper cars, always great fun. Minimum height is 0.9 but anyone under 1.3 needs to be with an adult who has to drive.
Jungle bus - This looks like scooby doos magic bus, it is fairly slow and just goes round in a circle, my son says it makes his tummy jump. Ideal for little people. Min height 0.9 metres.
Temple of Mayhem - This is just for little kids, they can gather up lots of little foam balls and shoot them across the 'temple' using the cannons and guns. It is great for a bit of respite from queues and the sun.
Lorikeet Lagoon - DO NOT MISS !! We had been to Chessington about six times before we saw or noticed this attraction, it is amazing. It is hidden behind 'temple of mayhem'. Rainbow lorikeet birds just flying free. You can buy a pot of nectar for £1 and they come and feed of your hands. It is totally amazing and the best pound you will spend all day. You don't need to buy the food, you can walk through without feeding. They say when you buy the food that they may not feed, but we have been about ten times and they have always fed.
Kobra -This is a big snake ride, where you sit in a circle and it spins round really fast like a round about, then it goes up and down. When you look at it you would think it would be terrifying but it is actually not scary just fast, it is not stomach churning.
I will mention the shop here as it has real snakes in it, which are worth a look if you have a spare minute of two.
Land of the Dragons - This is the best land for little children with every thing suitable for very small children except the Dragons fury ride. Here you will find
Dragons play house - a soft play area, great for taking the little ones whilst bigger ones are queuing for the fast rides. Maximum height is 1.4 metres
Canopy Capers - This is a big tree house with slides and rope bridges, again only little children are allowed in and they are strict on this, which is great as they are safe from teens racing through etc. Max height 1.4 metres.
Sea dragons - little boat merry go round, very slow suitable for very small children, although under 1.1 need an adult.
Dragons Fury - This is my eight year old sons favourite ride, it is a roller coaster with so many spins and twists that it makes you feel like you are going to come of the track. Not for the faint hearted. Min height 1.2 metres.
Griffin's Galleon - this is like the Black Buccaneer but not as fast or height. Great for little children minimum height is 0.9 metres.
There is a cafe here which has talks on animals about three times a day, the animals are things like snakes, snails, spiders etc and last about twenty minutes. They are really interesting and worth going to if you are in the area.
This is home to the main stage and Madagasca live. There are meet and greets with most of the characters throughout the day.
Madagasca live - I won't give the story line away but it is a great interactive show with songs, dancing and all the characters from Madagasca, lasts about fifteen minutes and is shown three times a day. There is one at one o'clock and if we bring a picnic we sometimes go and watch it whilst we eat our sarnies.
Toadies cars - A fab little car ride around Mr moles garden. two children can 'drive' at the front and two adults sit as the back as passengers. - No minimum height.
Jungle Bouncers - This is a great little ride for children - they sit in and it jumps up and down. Not really suitable for adults. minimum height 0.9 metres.
Forbidden kingdom -
The Egyptian themed land which is home to my daughters favourite ride - Ramses revenge you will also find.
Tomb blaster - this is a great laser shooting game ride where you go through the tunnels and pyramids to fight the evil mummies. It is good fun and can be quite competitive as it shows you your score, I am the family champion at the moment - whoop whoop !!
The big first aid centre is here too, should you need it.
Zufari - This is the newest land in chessington and home to the brand new safari ride.
Flying Dumbo - The original flying elephants, great fun for all the family, you control how high you go by pushing the button. No minimum.
Zufari - ride into Africa - Well this is really hit and miss and as it is a new ride the queues are extreamly long even at the start of the day. We queued for 75 mins one day and we only saw some giraffes in the distance, but other times we have been we have seen hippos, zebras and flamingos, it obviously depends on if the animals are close or in their huts etc. On a good day it is a brilliant safari ride but on a bad day it is really bad and a waste of time queuing for so long. So I would suggest asking people who have just got off what animals they saw so you can decide.
Market Square -
The central hub of chessington, it has the main shops, resturants, toilets and a few rides
Tiny truckers - A car ride for small children, they don't actually drive but it makes them feel like they are. No height limit.
Carousel -A magical lovely experience for all the family,choose from the traditional horses or a princess carriage, lasts a good five minutes.
Hocus Pocus Hall - you are given 3D glasses as you enter and then take a disorientating walk through this weird house there are mirrors, glow in the dark and spinning walkways - you will be dizzy when you come out.
Safari skyway - I think this is a must, it is a sky tram ride around the park, it goes over the zoo so you will get to see the animals as you go past. There is a commentary as you go round but it is very quiet. -No min height.
Ticket prices - there are plenty of ticket choices from family, student, child etc. Gate prices at present are
Family Saver for 2
1 Adult + 1 Child £60.00
Family Saver for 3
Minimum 1 Adult + 1 Child £90.00
Family Saver for 4
Minimum 1 Adult + 1 Child £120.00
Family Saver for 5
Minimum 1 Adult + 1 Child £150.00
Family Saver for 6
Minimum 1 Adult + 1 Child £180.00
12+ years £43.20
Young Adventurers (Child)
Aged under 12 and taller than 0.9 metres. £31.20
Valid Student ID card required £31.20
Aged 60 years and over £31.20
Includes 1 free helper £43.20
Includes 1 free helper £31.20
Additional Disabled Helpers £21.60
But if you book online at least 7 days in advance you can save 25%. They also accept Tesco Vouchers.
Where is it -
Chessington is situated on the A243, just two miles from the A3 and M25 (junction 9 or 10).
It is about a ten minute walk from Chessington South train station, we often go by train and it is a really straightforward walk. There are also lots of bus stops right outside the gate.
Final words - I would say Chessington world of adventures is aimed at families with young children, as said previously there is something for everyone to do but I think the majority of the rides are aimed at children. My children are 8 and 13 and love it, we go a LOT and they never get bored, sometimes we don't go on any of the rides but spend our time going to all the animal talks and shows and other times we don't see any animals. I would say if your child is under 0.9 then apart from the play area and animals there isn't that much to do for them. Equally if your child is a thrill seeker I think nearby Thorpe park would be a better option. I would say it would take more than a day to enjoy everything Chessington has to offer, but if you are clever and use your time wisely you should get all the main attractions done.
Summary: A great day out for all the family.