Chessington - any top tips?

(53 Posts)
bodiddly Sun 08-Aug-10 15:49:52

I am thinking of taking ds to Chessington on our Merlin Pass this week. I know it is going to be stupidly busy but it is the only time I am off with him. We have never been before ... does anyone have any tips as to what rides to head for first etc? Ds is 5 and loves the big rides unfortunately!

Also, if I carry a bag with me am I going to be able to take it on the rides etc or is there anywhere to store them? I am new to going to these places without someone else so haven't got a clue!

bodiddly Sun 08-Aug-10 21:08:28

anyone?

Professor Bubbleworks gets stupidly long queues and breaks down lots, so I'd hit that early on. I
f he is tall enough then the Vampire is excellent - you do need to dump your bag on the platform.
Runaway mine train is also one to hit very early on. Probably first so you can fit in a few goes before it gets busy. Most rides you can take your bag on with you.

bodiddly Sun 08-Aug-10 21:15:13

so is it safe to leave bags do you think or do you just take money etc out of them? I was hoping to take some sandwiches etc but wont bother if it means I have to carry stuff. He is 117cm tall so not sure about the Vampire ride .. will check though. I am dreading some of the rides as I am not a rollercoaster type person ..

CarGirl Sun 08-Aug-10 21:20:36

I take a buggy and leave it with the picnic etc on, so far we've not had it stolen!

I'm hoping to go tomorrow - c u there????

Get there early ie 9.45 to get in and do the most popular rides first.

Bubbleworks has hideously loud music and is very busy

I think its safe, but I wouldn't leave anything valuable in it. Have you a money belt type thing?
Avoid the back of the runaway train if you don't like rollercoasters as it can get a bit rough and child squashing at the back.

The vampire is ok one steep climb and the rest is fast but not scary.

height restrictions

wouldnt go on rameses revenge if you paid me so its good hes not tall enough. Not been on Kobra which is new.

Don't forget when it gets too much you can go and look at the animals.

bodiddly Sun 08-Aug-10 21:25:50

was thinking of Tuesday CarGirl .. thats a shame - it wouldve been great to meet up. Ds has had a few late nights and I think he needs a fairly chilled out day tomorrow. Also I think the M25 will be a bit better at that time of the morning on Tuesday comapred to tomorrow. Which rides do you suggest first?

bodiddly Sun 08-Aug-10 21:28:52

Thats the plan with the animals OhYouBadBadKitten ... I will leave his Dad to take him to Legoland and do the bigger rides. I figured Chessington might be a little gentler.

CarGirl Sun 08-Aug-10 21:32:03

Bubbleworks, log flume, tomb blaster, vampire, sea storm, runaway train.

dd4 also likes the smaller rides elephants, bouncing berries, bus thing in asia land, the toad hall cars, carousel

Do not go on those tiny truckers ride next to the carousel - the queue looks tiny but it takes forever..........if it says 45 minutes it truly means it!

Love the indoor and outdoor play and watching the show.

I would suggest get in early do rides, then do animals, stay late and do more rides.

I'm away the rest of the week or would have moved days around - much more interesting with another adult there!

bodiddly Sun 08-Aug-10 21:39:12

maybe another time CarGirl? Do you have merlin passes? His dad is having him the week after but the week after that I am off again possibly. We went to legoland last year and he is desperate to go again but I will leave that one for my ex to do next week (looks like I may have persuaded him not to take him abroad!!!!). Is Thorpe Park any good?

bodiddly Sun 08-Aug-10 21:40:23

Also, is the food awful? My plan was to take our own but I dont really fancy being weighed down with bags if I can avoid it. I wondered if I might be able to avoid taking one altogether if I planned it well!

CarGirl Sun 08-Aug-10 21:45:41

The food is okay, the fish and chips are nice there is a BK or Macs, a pizza place and a few other things. We generally take one meal with us and then eat fish and chips later but obviously we live so close we don't often stay for a whole day so just take a picnic.

I live 5 mins from Thorpe Park and 20 from Chess and 30 from Legoland so have passes! The beach at thorpe is okay - we have a tiny garden so somewhere to go when it's hot. A few rides younger ones can go on so not as suitable as Chessington.

The last week of the hols could be doable if I haven't started work by then hmm

bodiddly Sun 08-Aug-10 21:48:00

Thanks - McD will do him and isnt silly money. Im on the first month of my new budgeting post financial independence so am keen to be as sensible as possible.

CarGirl Sun 08-Aug-10 21:56:36

I'd take a backpack with drinks and a few snacks in - handy to have them in the queue. YOu can mostly take small bags on rides with you or there is somewhere safish to leave them.

bodiddly Sun 08-Aug-10 21:58:48

grrr cat has just brought another frog in ... thats the third since last night! I think the frogs are all out because the flying ants are about today!

CarGirl Sun 08-Aug-10 22:01:19

I have finally put in a cat flap for mine today - they've finally used it and are now completely confused as I've closed it for the night grin

bodiddly Sun 08-Aug-10 22:02:28

I think mine are out most of the night in this weather. We used to lock them in until the largest managed to break through 3 cat flaps! He won ... now they get to come and go at will!

CarGirl Sun 08-Aug-10 22:03:29

shock ours are having a go hmm we signed an agreement with the cat club to keep them in at night confused

bodiddly Sun 08-Aug-10 22:03:33

now I just need to decide what to do tomorrow!

CarGirl Sun 08-Aug-10 22:04:14

playground is always a good one.

bodiddly Sun 08-Aug-10 22:05:14

I would be happier that way to be honest ... I hate not knowing whether they are safe - our road is such a race track at times.

bodiddly Sun 08-Aug-10 22:06:28

I took him for a walk in the woods and to the playground today. I have a massive cardboard box that I have said we will make into a space ship or some such tomorrow ... may do an outing somewhere as well .. even if it is only to feed the ducks or perhaps a swim. I havent taken him for ages!

CarGirl Sun 08-Aug-10 22:07:20

You are telling me my future as a full time worker sad

bodiddly Sun 08-Aug-10 22:11:14

sorry CarGirl ... its horrible isnt it? Especially when you have so many little ones! I have to get my head around being a single mum now and get used to it. Days out as the only adult dont seem very appealing right now sad

CarGirl Sun 08-Aug-10 22:12:51

We can do some meet ups, I can leave dh to catch up on the housework on Saturdays grin

It's worse now they're all at school so little time to spend with them when they aren't tired and grumpy. It is getting better now they're a little older and are coping with school better IYSWIM

bodiddly Sun 08-Aug-10 22:16:14

your youngest is a year younger than mine isnt she? Ds is 5.5 now ... starting year 1 in September.

CarGirl Sun 08-Aug-10 22:18:18

Yes she's 4 but is an august born (as is dd3) so starts year 1 in Sept too sad

Being sterlised in Nov sadsadsad

bodiddly Sun 08-Aug-10 22:26:42

wow ... you have it all going on in the next few months. Did you want more? I still wish I had another but given the way things have turned out it is definitely better that I didn't. It must be hard having August children - I was in the year above from the age of 7 when I started school in Richmond and although it didnt matter so much academically - when I was older I was obviously less mature than the older kids in the year who were nearly 2 years older than me!

CarGirl Sun 08-Aug-10 22:29:46

Never say never grin - although the thought of another toddler makes me go pale!

DD3 is very academically able (birthday 28th Aug), not sure about dd4 yet - most importantly she now has perfect hearing and has learnt to talk so she can be understood, I've never much cared about how well they've achieved at school, ironic on many levels I guess.

bodiddly Sun 08-Aug-10 22:33:36

that is fantastic news about her speech etc. I was deaf in one ear when I was little ... but it was righted after minor ops.

I know what you mean about the academic side of things. As much as I would love ds to be bright, his happinesss is the most important thing. He is doing very well with his reading etc and does art/crafts/draws 24/7 ... with the occasional break for food and lego grin

bodiddly Sun 08-Aug-10 22:38:40

ok am off to bed .. have a great day out tomorrow. Let me know if you think of any more tips after your trip there.

Thanks everyone for the advice!

CarGirl Sun 08-Aug-10 22:41:30

reading - we haven't even attempted that yet shock dd3 didn't learn to read until then end of year 1, went on to free readers within 6 months!

Will try and think of things but go so often it's hard to imagine doing it as a one day event.

bodiddly Mon 09-Aug-10 20:20:14

did you have a good time today CarGirl? We are still planning on going tomorrow despite the fact I hear it is going to rain. I am hoping it will just be a few showers. I was told by someone that worked at Legoland it was best to come when its going to be showery as people tend to stay away! So fingers crossed we have a couple of light showers and the place to ourselves .... cant see my luck holding for that though!

nannynick Mon 09-Aug-10 20:37:13

Legoland and Chessington are both doable in the rain. You just need to go prepared. I've been known to be wearing waterproof trousers and top.

At Legoland there are not a lot of places to hide from the rain... though good places are the Puppet Show, Harbourside Coffee, Imagination Theatre and the imagination centre buildings (where you build things with bricks).

Oh and remember Rocket Racers - lots of people still don't really know where it is, so it can be fairly quiet.

bodiddly Mon 09-Aug-10 20:40:49

thanks nannynick ... will definitely give Chessington a go tomorrow. Ds has a waterproof and I will just have to get wet but I dont really mind a bit of rain ... so long as it isnt torrential I am sure we will be fine!

CarGirl Mon 09-Aug-10 21:49:02

It was heaving today! AT 5.50pm there was an hour + queue for the log flume!

We've always found Chessington fine in showery weather - the puppet show, soft play, tomb blaster, bubble works, bumper cars, carousel are all indoors/under cover as is sea life centre.

Kids eat free with an adult meal from 3pm everywhere apart from Burger Kind and Cafe Nero - worth remembering.

bodiddly Mon 09-Aug-10 22:16:44

so basically head in as soon as they open, go straight to either log flume or vampire as they are likely to be the busiest later? thanks for the food tip ... sounds like a plan!

CarGirl Mon 09-Aug-10 22:25:39

Get to the car park for 9.30 grin

Do vampire and then bubbleworks then log flume.

Then do tomb blaster & run away train.

bodiddly Mon 09-Aug-10 22:27:30

will leave home at 8 and hopefully get there 9.30/9.45 depending on traffic on M25. Will try and do them in that order .. sounds like a military operation - I hope none of them are too scary .. I am a ride-wuss!

Is tomb blaster like the Legoland Indiana Jones ride? If so will give it a miss as ds really didnt like it last year there!

CarGirl Mon 09-Aug-10 22:34:15

Tomb blaster is shoot the targets thing.

There are some nice little used toilets in s small portacabing near the carousel/sea storm.

If you both like little rides then the elephants are great, sea storm is great too, around the back of the soft play/mini boats things is griffons galleon which and lovely and quiet.

bodiddly Mon 09-Aug-10 22:46:31

Thanks cargirl! Unfortunately ds loves the scary rides, it's me that is the wuss. Hence I picked chessington over legoland. His dad can take him on the rollercoasters there! I'm sure we will have a great day, thanks for all the advice!

nannynick Mon 09-Aug-10 22:50:18

Tomb Blaster is like the Indiana Jones ride.

I tend to park in the main carpark (the one by the hotel) even if the rear carpark is open... as I prefer parking on a surface rather than a grass hill.

If approaching from M25, watch for the speed cameras. It's a 30 zone by CWoA.

Toilets - just don't go there! They are all horrible at Chessington. Wish they would get rid of some of those tacky throw the ball in the bucket games and put in some decent toilet blocks.

The Galleon is a nice ride and it's quiet as it's at the end of a dead end street. Bad planning, though guess there must have been a walk through at some point in the past.

The new bird walkway (near the Cobra ride) is nice... think it's £1 for a feeding cup - though you don't have to get one... the birds come up to you even without you having nectar for them.

nannynick Mon 09-Aug-10 22:51:51

Chessington has the bigger rollercoasters. Dragons Revenge is a spining type, so definitely let DH do that one.

nannynick Mon 09-Aug-10 22:53:40

Think toilets in goblin pub are the best. At least they are a little bit bigger and even the mens one has a drop down baby changing table.

bodiddly Mon 09-Aug-10 22:54:25

Good tip nannynick, think ds is too short for it luckily! He is under 120cm!

CarGirl Tue 10-Aug-10 20:49:03

Have you dried out yet shock

bodiddly Tue 10-Aug-10 21:04:58

just about! to be honest it was ironically probably the best day to go - the queues in the morning were non existent as people just didnt bother turning out. We avoided some of the bigger rides (due to my general wuss-age!) and didn't stand in a queue for more than 5 minutes anywhere! The rain wasn't too bad at all ... the worst bit was the fact that it took 2.5 hours to get there instead of an hour .. the M25 was a nightmare .. and ds was sick twice en route!

Thanks for the advice everyone we had a fantastic day with a stop on the way home at TGIs!

bodiddly Tue 10-Aug-10 21:06:54

He loved bubbleworks and dragon falls/log flume the best - I think it was the perfect mix of animals and rides to be honest. As much as people slag off theme parks I was still fairly impressed by it overall. The 20% discount off all drinks/goods etc was a pleasant surprise.

CarGirl Tue 10-Aug-10 22:00:22

Glad you had a fantastic time, at least you missed the worst of the rain due to being sat on the M25! Imagine queuing inside Bubbleworks for 20 minutes, it's the thing of nightmares - yes the music is always that loud!

bodiddly Tue 10-Aug-10 22:03:05

I definitely think I would plan trips for showery days again - it was so stress free not having to entertain him in a queue. That was a top tip from one of the staff members at Legoland! He got soaked on Dragon Falls and 2 trips through Bubbleworks anyway so the rain hardly mattered.

Have you been to anywhere else on your Merlin passes?

CarGirl Tue 10-Aug-10 22:07:00

Legoland and Thorpe Park - we only live 5 mins from Thorpe so even though there is not much to do there for younger ones.

I've done london eye with dh

Planning to do Warwick Casle and Alton Towers for 2 days at the end of the month, my friend is kindly letting us house sit in Leicestshire for a few days grin

bodiddly Tue 10-Aug-10 22:14:19

thats great ... I have a friend that lives in Cheshire .. not a million miles away from Alton Towers so may try that some time. I remember going to Warwick Castle once on a trip from Uni - you will have a fab time!

I took ds to London Aquarium last month when I first got the passes ... will do London Eye in September or October probably. I have a feeling we will make quite a few trips to legoland and chessington - definitely going to get our monies worth!

bowyert1 Wed 20-Feb-13 07:13:49

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