Chessington world of adventures is located near Leatherhead near London, about 15 minutes away from the M25, it’s part of the merlin group where you can also use your Merlin passes to enter.
We often use our Merlin passes and take advantage of days out, Chessington is one of those that we like to visit and take advantage of them. It’s relatively easy to drive to, subject to M25 being good, though the last bit can be very busy and delays.
It’s a traditional theme park but has a zoo located in its grounds, a hotel complex, with an integrated Tiger land to add some difference. Its also teemed up with Julia Donaldson books in recent years, with added character-based rides and attractions.
One of the small things I like about the park is it has more than one entrance, having a merlin pass allows us to park in a section of the car park (no idea why all the merlin parks don’t have this). We entered via the side entrance explorer gate near the land of the dragons and wild Asia. In the grand schemes of things, the park is easy to navigate and you could do the park in a route. But there are cross-sections in the middle should you want to direct. There are lots of toilets, these are OK standard, not the best we’ve seen but in a merlin attraction there pretty standard but adequate.
Across the park is a lodge gate entrance which is located near the sea life attraction, this entrance is far more open and lots more space. The hotel gate is also near here, the hotel guest can enter early and on the side Missing queues. The hotels are good, it’s split into 2, with themed rooms, function rooms, 2 big dining rooms, swimming pool, gym, and outdoor play area, views over the outdoor part of the zoo. If you wanted the whole experience of then the Hotels are a great edition. If you have the money or it’s a special celebration, or once in a lifetime experience then I would recommend them.
There are several types of attractions appealing to different ages. The older kids, teens to adults have a small selection to enjoy, this age has the least compared to some of the other parks. But Kobra, Rameses Revenge, Dragon fury, Rattlesnake and Vampire are all rides that they would still enjoy. They might not be the biggest and best in the country but still good. These can be busy though so worth taking into consideration.
The mid-range rides suitable for younger but also older include Monkey Swinger, Scorpion Express, Sea Storm, Tiger Rock, Tomb Blaster, and Tuk Tuk Turmoil. Its a good selection of rides and quite a variety, the Tiger rock, for example, is great, it’s a normal log flume type water ride but it goes around and through the Tiger Exhibition which is a great and novel idea. But as I said a lot do these rides are good for the all-round family together. The waits are not as long as others if you catch it right.
Unlike some of the other Theme parks it has a good selection of younger kids ride, Adventure Tree, Flying jumbos, Griffin’s Galleon, Jungle Bus, Sea Dragons, Tiny truckers, Toadies Crazy cars, and Treetop Hoppers, these are all good kids rides, again a mixed range and certainly can keep kids entertained for a while. However, there are also some additional play areas, Temple of Mayhem, Dragons playhouse, Canopy Capers, and Amazu Treetop Adventure.
The Room on the broom – a magical adventure and the Gruffalo River rise adventure are really good, they are going to be busy, very busy. So this like some of the other big rides has to be planned, this can affect your day so prep. However the rides are really good for the youngsters, especially if they have ever read the books or watched the programs, this will be an absolute must.
However I mentioned earlier there are some extras at there, the zoo adds depth to the day, the mini sea life, sea lion Bay, Penguin Bay, Monkey walkthrough, along with many others gives you a break and time to recover from rides. The new tiger area is fantastic with the ability to not only ride through it and see them but to also view them from many positions. They have a large area to walk around that is visible to see them during there day. There is also a Zufari a ride into Africa, this is limited and very busy, but gives you a chance to see the bigger animals while riding an open truck.
There are several food places, the usual merlin group restaurants are Pizza, Burger, fish and chips, chicken, as well as stands like Donuts, Nitrogenie, hotdogs, sandwiches, dirty fires, and refreshments like coffee and soft drinks. The smokehouse BBQ and bar offers adults something different, this is a little pricey but the food is higher standard etc. The centre of the park is some chairs etc… But is also the stage area where the put on themed shows throughout the year.
Overall the theme park is very good, in my opinion, its great for the whole family! And that’s my point, some cater for certain groups, more adults more kids etc.. But this caters a bit for everyone. If you are a family with multiple ages groups etc. Then this is the possibly one of the best places to visit, as you can do your separate things or as a group and there’s something for everyone separately or together. It could do with a couple more really big rides and more theming of old rides like the Gruffalo etc. As this adds more speciality to it. But in reality, it’s a must-visit place.