Park Review

8

 
Chessington World of Adventures
Dragon Falls
Dragon's Fury
Griffon's Galleon
Hocus Pocus Hall
Jungle Bus
Kobra
Monkey Swing
Peeking Heights
Professor Burps Bubbleworks
Ramesea's Revenge
The Rattlesnake
Runaway Mine Train
Safari Skyway

Sealife Centre

Seastorm
Smuggler's Galleon
Tomb Blaster
Tuk Tuk Turmoil
The Vampire

My most recent visit to Chessington took me to a park that felt noticeably different from my last visit. It's gone from a park that felt like one that was up and coming on it's way to being a world class family attraction to one that has stalled somewhere along the way. It wasn't in any way a bad park, but didn't provide on the level I would have expected it to. It probably didn't help that quite a few rides were closed.

Having fewer rides to do during the day didn't help the parks overall feel, but I think the main reason it felt like it had stalled was the lack of appealing new attractions. I think all the new additions where enhancements to the zoo area. To be fair some of these such as the Sealife Centre and the Squirrel Monkey walkthrough where pretty good. The problem is these haven't really made that much of a difference to the overall appeal of the park. It seems that Chessington have tried to turn the zoo in to a major attraction, in reality there currently isn't enough space allocated for a really appealing animal attraction to be built. Unless they are able to allocate more space to the zoo area to allow for some larger and appealing enclosures to be built attempts to push the zoo as more than a diversion from the rides seem like a waste of time.

 

The ride line up at Chessington is respectable. Top of the pyramid is Dragon's fury. It's a great coaster for family thrill seekers, and offers enough fun and thrills to mean that older groups will still find it a top ride. After Dragon's Fury there is a good family coaster line up with the likes of The Vampire and The Rattlesnake, and the roller coaster style Kobra. There are also the two dark rides I've already mentioned along with the Tomb Blaster.

The theming of the park does deserve a mention. It's something I find I sometimes overlook, but the theming of the park as a whole is of an excellent quality, on a good scale and does a great job of enhancing the experience of riding individual rides, in terms of effort gone in to the theming it is one of the best parks in the U.K.

Back to the subject of the park stalling. I think I got this feeling because the lack of excitement from a new attraction has put emphasis on a problem this park has. I wouldn't say it's a major one, it probably wouldn't even be an issue at a smaller park, but I think it does stop Chessington, a park billed and priced as one of the U.K.'s top family attractions achieving it's full potential. The trouble is that the ride line up is a pretty standard affair. If you take away Dragon's Fury, The Vampire and the dark rides your left with a collection of rides that are pretty standard fare. Yes they are all good and well themed examples of each particular ride, but it's a ride line up that is replicated at a lot of other family parks. Really Chessington needs one or two more unique and memorable rides in it's line up to solidify it's status as a great family park. Currently there are a lot of other family attractions that are almost as good as Chessington, but offer this at a cheaper price, and tend to be quieter than Chessington.

You may get the impression from that last paragraph that I wouldn't recommend Chessington. I think that would be going a bit far. Chessington is a very nice family attraction and I would say is worth a visit. I would put one proviso on this recommendation. When we went we had a deal on the tickets which meant it cost us less than 20.00 per adult to get in. There are a lot of deals and vouchers like this available and I would only recommend a visit if you get a deal like this before you visit. If you don't have a deal like this then I feel the current asking price of around 40.00 an adult is too much, especially when you compare it to a lot of other family parks. Overall it's a good park I'd recommend, but make sure you get some money of vouchers before you visit.