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NOW CLOSED Chessington World of Adventures VIP event day reviewer thread. Non testers: if you've ever been to Chessington tell us what you think to win a Chessington Annual family pass worth £240

(79 Posts)
KatieBMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 28-Jun-13 16:08:01

This is a thread for the 10 Mumsnetters who attended the VIP family event day at Chessington. Thanks for going and we hope that you and your DCs had great day!

For those of you who didn't attend the VIP event day, if you/your family have been to Chessington World of Adventures please let us know your thoughts on the resort. What are your memories of days out at Chessington?
If you haven't been to Chessington before, what are your fave family days out? Everyone who adds a comment will be entered into a prize draw where one mner will win Chessington Annual family pass for a family of four worth £240.

VIP attendees:
Below are some questions for you to answer but do feel free to add any other comments you or your family may have.

Please remember to also write a review of your day on the MN review area here

- What was your, and your family's, overall experience of your day at Chessington?

- What did your children think about the Octonauts activities and exclusive meet and greet?

- Did you or your family go on the new ride ZUFARI: Ride into Africa? If so what did you/your DCs think about the ride?

- What were your/your DCs highlights of the day?

- Which, if any, attractions/ shows/ rides would you most recommend to parents with young children?

- Overall, would you recommend Chessington World of Adventures to your friends and family if it came up in conversation? If so, why? If not, why not?

- Do you think you'd be likely to revisit Chessington World of Adventures Resort again in the future? If so, why? If not why not?

Please also upload any photos of your family enjoying their day out at Chessington World of Adventures to this thread. Please note photos may be used by Chessington World of Adventures Resort on Facebook, their website and possibly on other marketing material.

Everyone who shares their thoughts on this thread will be entered into a prize draw where one winner will receive a Chessington Annual family pass for a family of four worth £240!

Thanks and good luck,

MNHQ

PS. Chessington are in the process of creating a map especially for families with young children and they'd love to hear your thoughts on what you'd like to see included. If you want to get involved please PM me and we'll put you in touch.

thank you! Am really really pleased! <does a gwyneth all over the thread>

MichelleMumsnet Netherlands (MNHQ) Tue 16-Jul-13 16:44:50

Hi everyone - thank you for your thoughts, the thread is now closed. I'm pleased to announce that KvassInTheNight is the winner!

HystericalParoxysm Sat 13-Jul-13 12:02:58

Non tester here, but we have visited twice this season. Please, please could you improve facilities for disabled visitors. My DD is a full time wheelchair user and cannot walk unaided. A few years ago we used to be able to go on pretty much anything as long as we had enough carers to accompany her and we took responsibility for lifting etc. Now there is very little that we can use. The best rides for children with sensory impairments (Bubbleworks, Tomb Blaster, log flume etc) we are no longer allowed on at all. The sky train is hugely inaccessible due to all the steps. The little rides we did go on (sea storm, the Ferris wheel one, jumbos), the ride hosts were not particularly considerate and stopped the ride when we were a long way from our starting point, meaning I had to carry heavy DD much further than necessary. We used to be able to use the first aid centre for changing DD but now there is very little privacy offered in there -even with the screens- so we can't. One properly accessible toilet would be hugely beneficial. By properly accessible I mean with a changing bench and hoist, not a few grab rails. See the Changing Places toilets website for details.

woodchuck Fri 12-Jul-13 22:20:16

Non-tester, although we have been twice and stayed in the themed hotel next to the park both times (long drive from the North east! ). The first time we went was a very hot Easter weekend and we spent a couple of days/nights there so we could do london as well. We loved seeing the animals, found the hotel very comfortable and thought there was a good selection of rides for all the family, unlike Alton Towers which is very big kid/grown up oriented.

We went again last year and found oyur visit fairly disappointing. The hotel didn't seem as well maintained as previously, the queues were long, long, long and I had difficulty comprehending that some peopl had paid for express passes on top of the (not all that cheap) entrance fee.The rides were still good although some looked a bit shabby. there was a new live show 'Madagascar' which seemed to have no theme and was a bit pants. We really enjoyed the Sea Life bit.

I also witnessed a scene where a couple accompanying a disabled guest felt, for whatever reason, that they had been mistreated. They proceeded to yell racial slurs at passing families (no connection!) and were not challenged at all by the staff. i know this can happen anywhere, but hey ho...

I must qualify my review by explaining that we had returned from WDW Florida 2 months before, and I do believe this may have coloured my views over what a theme park should be. Mostly i did tutting and said 'Well, it's not Disney' under my breath frequently.

I've lived down the road from CWOA all my life and I never knew about the pushchair passes. Will be getting one asap.

JaquelineHyde England Fri 12-Jul-13 17:57:03

Oooh, well I am shocked!

I never realised Chessington had so much for families to do. I last went there before I had children and loved it because I am a theme park junkie.

Since having dc's I haven't been to a single theme park as I didn't think they were suitable for young children, as they wouldn't be tall enough for most of the rides.

Reading this thread I have realised how amazingly wrong I have been and am now planning a trip to Chessington over the holidays.

I can't wait grin

cassell Fri 12-Jul-13 13:56:33

Non tester - went this week with ds1 (4.3) on the parent & preschooler deal.

- What was your, and your family's, overall experience of your day at Chessington?

Really enjoyed it. Exceeded my expectations - I had thought it would be crowded and unpleasant but actually it wasn't too busy (rarely waited more than 5mins for a ride - although we didn't go on any of the big ones as ds1 is too small), there's a good range of rides and things to see, the staff were universally friendly and helpful even when stopped to ask for directions when they were obviously hurrying somewhere they still took the time to answer and point us in the right direction.

- What did your children think about the Octonauts activities and exclusive meet and greet? NA - we did see the Madagascar thing but ds1 was too shy to go up to them.

- Did you or your family go on the new ride ZUFARI: Ride into Africa? If so what did you/your DCs think about the ride?

Yes we did go. Ds1 didn't like the cave bit at all and came out crying and saying he never ever again ever wanted to go on it. I liked seeing the animals in close proxmity but the cave bit was pointless - it seemed to have been added purely to make it more like a 'theme park' ride rather than a safari and didn't add to the enjoyment of the ride at all (and scared ds1).

- What were your/your DCs highlights of the day?

His favourite rides were the flying jumbos, jungle bus and jungle bouncers. My highlight was seeing the look of sheer enjoyment and excitement on his face on the first time round on the jungle bus (he insisted we went on it a further 3 times)

- Which, if any, attractions/ shows/ rides would you most recommend to parents with young children?

Definitely the flying jumbos most - Ds1 loved the ability to control the 'flying' and I think it's one that would be enjoyed by all as it's not 'scary'.

- Overall, would you recommend Chessington World of Adventures to your friends and family if it came up in conversation? If so, why? If not, why not?

Yes definitely - although I would advise the parent/preschooler deal or using tesco vouchers as I do think it's v expensive otherwise. I'd recommend it because it's got a good range of attractions for younger (3-12) children as well as the zoo/aquarium for those not into rides. I'd also recommend going weekdays outside school holidays as it being quieter was good especially with a small children who doesn't understand queuing.

- Do you think you'd be likely to revisit Chessington World of Adventures Resort again in the future? If so, why? If not why not?

Yes definitely for reason above - nice day out for ds1 and enjoyable (as these things go!) for parents too.

aristocat Wed 10-Jul-13 22:18:07

Non tester here. We also love Theme Parks and Chessington was great. My DCs liked the Pirate Ship (B Buccaneer), the Zoo/Animals, the Madagascar show and Dragons Fury the best.

I think that the map should show where the lockers are (also more than one set please) Often we like to take our own lunch and this can be stored until we need it.

BTW Merlin passes are so worth the £££.

cocoplops Wed 10-Jul-13 22:12:39

Non tester here!

We last went for a birthday treat for my son when he was rising 5, the summer before he started school. Blissfully in busy midweek! I think it's got a good range of rides, possibly not quite the range of legoland but pretty good. The zoo part is great too which is much better than other theme parks where it seems you're either on a ride or queuing. I liked the fact that it was a good mix of activities. Would definitely go back again.

My earliest memories of chessington are from the 80s when growing up near there and my best friend and several other people from my school working/dossing around there!!! Not sure I would've wanted to eat the burgers they flipped/dropped but I'm sure standards are much better now!!!

justtired Sun 07-Jul-13 23:33:57

I was lucky enough to be a tester, thankyou again Mumsnet and Chessington, we had an amazing day!! My 6yr old gave it 100 out of 10!!

What was your, and your family's, overall experience of your day at Chessington?
We had a brilliant day, none of us have been before and were overwhelmed with the amount of brilliant stuff there was too do. The VIP treatment was brilliant also.

- What did your children think about the Octonauts activities and exclusive meet and greet?
My boys were so excited to meet the Octonauts, especially as there has not been a chance to do this anywhere else before. All the way there, they were saying 'we are going to meet the Octonauts'. When they arrived, I think they were overwhelmed, they were just grinning from ear to ear!

- Did you or your family go on the new ride ZUFARI: Ride into Africa? If so what did you/your DCs think about the ride?
me and my 6yr old DS went on as my younger DS is too small. It was quite misleading as we went through the first gate and there was nobody there so we thought it wasn't very busy, however there was a massive queue down the bottom, in all fairness there was a screen telling you how long the wait was and it was accurate. I think there should be more shade whilst waiting in the queue, especially when its a long wait and on a hot day. You would do well to have some refreshments for sale down there too, I think that would do really well As for the actual ride, is was lovely to see the animals up close and my son thought it was great being really naughty and ignoring the man and going in the cave, it was also a good point of reminding everyone that you may not see all the animals. However I think there should be some mention of getting wet before you get on the ride as we sat on the outside we did get quite wet, and I was surprised the ride was over so quickly, for that amount of queuing I would hope for a little bit of a longer ride.

- What were your/your DCs highlights of the day?
Both the boys absolutely loved the bubble world ride, it was one of the only things that was suitable for both age groups and not to sedate or scary (me and my DP loved it too!)
Also meeting the Octonauts as it was so unique.

- Which, if any, attractions/ shows/ rides would you most recommend to parents with young children?
The toadies cars and the other cars were brill as the little kids felt that they were driving us around for a change, the bubbleworks was also really good for the younger ones.

- Overall, would you recommend Chessington World of Adventures to your friends and family if it came up in conversation? If so, why? If not, why not?
Yes I would, and already have!! I think its a brilliant day out with something for everyone. Its great for rides and animals and has some really unique attractions.

- Do you think you'd be likely to revisit Chessington World of Adventures Resort again in the future? If so, why? If not why not?
Yes definitely. The one bad thing about Sunday was we only got about 4 1/2 hours in the park, and we were rushing to try and do everything that was on offer so we want to go back and do all the things we missed.
I would like to add two little complaint. We purchased a twisted yard of slush puppy (not the free refills one) from a stall near to the Madagascar live stage, it said it did refills for £1.50 and it did lots of flavours. We went back about an hour later and it was closed. The lady was still stood there and I asked her where I could get a refill from and she told me to go to the Market Square, we walked around for ages and couldn't find anywhere that would refill it, that was quite annoying and really ate into our time. The other thing was that we took our 2yr old to the Hocus Pocus hall and he was terrified!!! I think there should be a notice to say it may not be suitable for some youngsters.

As for the idea for the map, it sounds a god idea. I think the main things to highlight on there is toilets with baby change, places to get a drink and something to eat, and also highlight the rides that are accessible to young ones, as this was quite muddled and difficult to work out on the map we were given.

All in all we have a fantastic day. All the staff were happy and helpful and we will definitely be back!

glitch Sun 07-Jul-13 09:12:59

I have taken my DS (7) several times to CWOA.
We love the zoo and the sealife centre and feeding the birds nectar. We always have a good time and fill our day completely.

The rides are a good mix (and I love the quirkiness of some like hocus pocus and bubbleworks) but some are aimed a little old.
The park seems a little shabby in places and the layout is a bit odd, it doesn't seem to flow as well as somewhere like Legoland, with bits tucked away.
The car park track is awful. Surely if you are paying for parking some of the money could go towards filling the potholes.

stephgr Sat 06-Jul-13 01:58:12

Not a VIP and haven't been to Chessington - yet!
We really like Woburn Safari Park and Willows Farm because of the animals, simple activities and rides. We went to LEGOLAND last year which the children loved and Chessington is on the list. Personally I'd be happy just to have a picnic and play games but the children have way too much energy!

sammie1884 Thu 04-Jul-13 23:43:10

You can read my blog post all about the day here...

http://www.oneblueonepink.com/2013/07/our-vip-day-at-chessington-world-of.html

But just to reiterate I will answer the questions too.....

What was your, and your family's, overall experience of your day at Chessington? Overall we had a good day, the staff were great, the rides we did get to go on were good and the hospitality was lovely. Thank you. However a few things did put a dampner on the day, the main one being the meltdowns the children had caused by the fair ground type pay for games and the grab machines. Some of the rides were a bit tired and not working properly and the map was a bit too busy so made it hard to follow. I feel that sections or age groups dividers would be better.

- What did your children think about the Octonauts activities and exclusive meet and greet? LOVED it, the look on their faces was amazing, it was infact a big highlight of the day!

- Did you or your family go on the new ride ZUFARI: Ride into Africa? If so what did you/your DCs think about the ride? DD was just too short for this but DS and I went on and DS thought it was great, I thought it was good, for a british theme park (I have been to the real deal of this ride in AK Florida)

- What were your/your DCs highlights of the day? - Octonauts, bubble works, madagascar show, seeing the animals in the zoo

- Which, if any, attractions/ shows/ rides would you most recommend to parents with young children? Bubble Works, Elephants, jungle bouncers, Zoo, Sea life, Madagascar show, octonauts meet and greet.

- Overall, would you recommend Chessington World of Adventures to your friends and family if it came up in conversation? If so, why? If not, why not? Yes I would, my children are 4 and 17 months and there was plenty for them to do. I would however warn them about the added extra costs.

- Do you think you'd be likely to revisit Chessington World of Adventures Resort again in the future? If so, why? If not why not? Yes we would, after seeing the hotel and how lovely it is we are considering a stay so that we have time to fit everything in! I would only ever buy tickets on offer though as I think on the gate price is extortionate.

tootssweet Thu 04-Jul-13 22:44:49

- What was your, and your family's, overall experience of your day at Chessington?
We had a great day overall. It was lovely to be treated and made to feel very special. The staff were really friendly and helpful - something which our dd commented on about how welcome she was made to feel.
We were able to split up and do age-appropriate activities with our two (age 8 &2) DD (8) has no fear and loved the rides. It was great that she was able to pick from so many and now wants to go back to go on the ones she missed. DS (2) loved the Tiny Truckers ride, especially as we didn't have to queue thanks to the fast-track tickets. We were able to do a few things together as well, such as sky safari, bubbleworks and the jumbos rides.

- What did your children think about the Octonauts activities and exclusive meet and greet?
Sadly due to the timings of the day my ds fell asleep during the exclusive meet and greet and because we had spent so much time elsewhere he completely missed meeting the Octonauts, which I was quite sad about. However he wasn't aware so wasn't upset - we did get told that we couldn't do the Madagascar meet & greet either as the queue was too long - that did upset him. We had got to the hotel early so were lucky to meet King Julien there when he did a breakfast meet.
DD was initially very sceptical of the Octonauts trail but it did keep her occupied through the Sealife centre and she gave her sticker to her brother as the trail went over his head

- Did you or your family go on the new ride ZUFARI: Ride into Africa? If so what did you/your DCs think about the ride?
We didn't go on it as DS was too small. Would have liked to.

- What were your/your DCs highlights of the day?
DD loved going on the Vampire ride and talked about it for the whole of the journey home (when she wasn't fast asleep after such a full day!) DS really enjoyed the Sky Safari train, the Madagascar show but mostly the trucks. Think the Octonauts would have been a hit if he had his eyes open! For DP and I it was lovely being treated as a VIP and taking our children to something we would struggle to afford at the moment.

- Which, if any, attractions/ shows/ rides would you most recommend to parents with young children?
Sky Safari, Tiny Truckers, Dragon World. Though it would be good if the map could highlight age suitability and if signage could be a bit clearer - I did get lost a lot and I don't think my map reading skills are too bad

- Overall, would you recommend Chessington World of Adventures to your friends and family if it came up in conversation? If so, why? If not, why not?
Yes! We had a great time. We loved the mix of zoo/animals and thrill rides. The DC's loved meeting the animals and DD has asked if she can feed the giraffes for her birthday next year (instead of a party - so thank you Chessington, I think we will start saving!)

- Do you think you'd be likely to revisit Chessington World of Adventures Resort again in the future? If so, why? If not why not?
See above! But yes we would visit again - will look out for offers to make it that bit more affordable especially when you have to factor in travel & accommodation costs.

HomageToCannelloni Wed 03-Jul-13 23:19:40

Non tester but we love Chessington for its fab rides at the right age group for our 8 yr old and the zoo which our young DS loves. Agree with poster who preferred big name caterers where you knew what you were getting as opposed to cheaper alternatives...and as with any theme park wish there was a greater variety of truly healthy fresh foods.

COCKadoodledooo Wed 03-Jul-13 21:52:19

- What was your, and your family's, overall experience of your day at Chessington?
We had a fantastic day, and were so grateful to have been picked! The VIP treatment was just brilliant. Had no idea we’d get goody bags (thanks, dc loved it!), or that we’d get to meet some of the animals face to face when we arrived. Ds2 has been begging us for a giant snail ever since.. Becky was great and we felt really well looked after. All staff members we spoke to were helpful and polite.

- What did your children think about the Octonauts activities and exclusive meet and greet?
Ds2 (age 3) was soooo excited to meet them (though a bit disappointed that Peso wasn’t with them as he’s his favourite!). Ds1 (9) was obviously aware it was pretend but got caught up in it too, mostly I think because his baby bro was so excited – he was far too cool to hug either of them though, but did manage a high 5 for each! The quiz trail was a bit much for ds2 I think. Ds1 thought it was great but there was too much to see and take in (and it felt a bit rushed going through the aquarium tbh) that he wasn’t really taken with it. He also loved watching it on the big screen in the Serengeti suite!

- Did you or your family go on the new ride ZUFARI: Ride into Africa? If so what did you/your DCs think about the ride?
We did go on Zufari, thanks. Even with the fastpass tickets we had to queue for quite a while (cue ds2 wailing “Oh we’re never going to get to go on the Zoo-Ferrari!” complete with sad face). Having seen the size of the normal queue, I don’t think we’d have bothered, no way you could keep a 3 year old entertained in a queue that long. Having said that, I don’t think that the size of the queue was visible from the entrance to it, and there didn’t seem to be any time indication, which is a bit, I dunno, dishonest somehow.
There was also some discrepancy in height restriction – in some places it was quoted as 1.0m, in others 1.1m. Ds2 is just over a metre and I’d have been very cross to have got to the front of the queue and been turned away. Also on this point – the walkways up to Zufari are very long (and dull – can’t see anything through that fencing), walking all the way up there with a toddler and then discovering you couldn’t ride would be very annoying – maybe they should/could put the height restriction/measurement chart at the entrance to both walkways, as well as at the actual ride.
The talk/video at the start was great, a good way to break up the queuing, and informative too. Ds2 thought the truck was “awesome” and insisted we sit at the front – he soon regretted that one as he got the wettest! It was great to go out ‘on safari’. I think the hot sunny weather definitely enhanced the experience, can imagine it being very different on a typically British grey drizzly day! Was very easy to imagine you were actually on the Savannah. I think it’ll be even better once it has been established a while and the vegetation/landscaping has settled.

- What were your/your DCs highlights of the day?
Dc’s highlight was definitely Bubbleworks! Have seen other people say it’s tired/dated or whatever but when we asked the dc what the best bit was we were told quite clearly it was getting soaked on that! They’ve never experienced a ride like it before and found it hysterical! They loved the monorail too, great for an overview of the whole park. For me I don’t think I have one particular highlight, the whole day was wonderful and seeing the boys laughing and so excited all day was just brilliant. I did love going on the carousel though – that’s about the only bit that hasn’t changed since I went for my 8th birthday 30 years ago!!

- Which, if any, attractions/ shows/ rides would you most recommend to parents with young children?
I’m not sure I’d recommend any one ride particularly, but I would recommend the fast pass. Queuing with the small one, even for the 15-20 minutes or so we had to wait for Zufari, was a bit of a nightmare – doing that or longer for every ride would be horrific!

- Overall, would you recommend Chessington World of Adventures to your friends and family if it came up in conversation? If so, why? If not, why not?
I’d definitely recommend it as a great day out – plenty to do for everyone. Many places seem to try to cater for lots of age groups and miss for everybody, but Chessington seem to have it right (*disclaimer – didn’t take any stroppy teenagers so appreciate I may be wrong on this point!).

- Do you think you'd be likely to revisit Chessington World of Adventures Resort again in the future? If so, why? If not why not?
Would love to, but really wouldn’t want to (couldn’t afford to) pay the walk up price, especially if you have to pay for fast passes on top. Sunday was all about ds2, he got to choose what we did because he was the reason we’d been picked for the day – ds1 now wants to go for a day that’s all about him (though he’ll have to find someone else to take him on the big rides because I’m too much of a wimp!).

Overall just want to say thanks again so very much for the opportunity. The boys had a whale of a time and we did too! The level of hospitality was very much appreciated and utterly uexpected!

(PS have more pics for the other review but can't upload anything atm for some reason so will try that one again tomorrow)

MissStrawberry Wed 03-Jul-13 20:00:51

We have only been once and are undecided if will go again this summer. Definitely a once a year trip due to cost and not being special enough tbh.

Enjoyed some of the zoo, other parts not so much and felt the animals didn't have a great environment.

Needs better signs imo and also the drying machine while fun for the kids really ought to be free!

RugBugs Wed 03-Jul-13 19:59:12

Non tester but went last Tuesday with a 2.7 year old and 4 other adults.

Arrived just before opening and thankfully got a parking space very near the entrance, at 34wks pregnant with pgp the walk back was always going to be painful.
Was a very quiet day at the park and the adults were very pleasantly surprised by the rides on offer to them (we are local to Alton towers) kobra was the favourite I think. DD adored the galleon and the jungle bus, the meet and greet characters terrified her!
I don't think there is great uniformity amongst the instruments used to measure height and that in general they are generous by a few cm, I know how tall my DD is but the zufari height stick in particular made her out to be shorter than she is.
The staff on the safari skyway were awesome, same on the kobra, the banter they were having over mics with riders was great fun for those watching.

The zoo was alright (we are Chester zoo members though), DD loved the sealions, chickens and the goats. The monkey walk-through was great even if DD was more interested in the ducks!

We will definitely visit again when we're visiting family, Alton towers has a lot less to offer little ones and the midweek adult+toddler ticket is exceptional value.

RiaBexleyGreenwichLE Wed 03-Jul-13 16:57:35

We love going to Chessington with the family but I must say that a lot of the rides now are starting to look a bit tired. Rameses Revenge broke down whilst we were there (not the recent one where fire rescue crews came, a different time) and a few of the other rides were closed for maintenance too.

You need to advertise the height restriction for the Zoofari too - we were most disappointed to get there and a member of our group couldn't go on!

Firewall Wed 03-Jul-13 12:37:33

Non tester

We've never been to Chessington. Would love to go though! We enjoy going to aquariums and zoos. Our LO loves looking at different things. A great day out is going to a place where there's lots to do all day

joey99 Tue 02-Jul-13 21:26:19

We went on a recent inset day and had a great time as the park was fairly quiet so we didn't spend half the day queuing. I really like the combination of Sea Life, Zoo, shows and rides. Zufari was excellent (see photo) and the Madagascar show was good. Professor Burps has been my favourite ride for decades now! In my opinion Chessington is the best theme park in the uk and I feel it caters really well for every age group. The downsides of the day were that Tombblaster obviously had issues and delays loading people on and we had to wait 30 minutes on dark steps which are usually the entrance for Fast Pass so not designed to stand around in for ages. Also Rameses revenge and a few other rides were closed the day we were there which was a shame. I did slightly object to the £2 or whatever it was parking cost after it costs a fortune anyway for the day out though shock

We didnt attend the VIP event, but do go regularly as we live in London. DS (6) gets excited when we get on the train to Chessinton!

We visit lots of theme parks and Chessington is probably our favorite. Its a clean, nice looking park (lots of open spaces to escape crowds). When you have done a few rides you can escape and wander round to look at the animals. Nice contrast.

DS loves the Dragons Den soft play, which is brilliantly situated next to a large coffee shop and small theatre space where they have little shows for the kids. Great for a break in middle of the day!

The rides are good. DS loves Bubbleworks, Tomb Blaster, that haunted house (can't remember name) and feeding the Lorikeets best. Wish there were more inside rides. Bubbleworks could do with an update but DS thinks its thrilling!

Halloween is done very well there. We always go then. But our Merlin pass has now run out so I guess I'll be looking for coupons now...!

AgnesBligg Tue 02-Jul-13 17:19:21

What was your, and your family's, overall experience of your day at Chessington?
We had a blast! The staff at Chessington were absolutely lovely, both at the hotel and at the park. And the VIP aspect was smashing, the brunch and lunch really well done. The kids loved the goody bag. DS is determined we are returning for a 'holiday' there. hmm smile

What did your children think about the Octonauts activities and exclusive meet and greet?
DS is 9 so predictably indifferent, whereas dd3 looked on a bit astonished at these enormous octonauts. She had no intention of meeting or greeting either of them frankly.

Did you or your family go on the new ride ZUFARI: Ride into Africa? If so what did you/your DCs think about the ride?
We liked it, though DD was horrified by the unexpected cave bit (she was right by the window in fact) but we all enjoyed seeing the animals. I thought the ride was too short and not much of a Safari. We had a fast track ticket for this so not such a long wait (12 mins or so) but normal very long queuing in such stiflingly hot weather would have left me feeling a bit peeved actually. The staff/performers were very enthusiastic and the video part was ok but rather baffling considering the rather non-Safari that was to come after,or as ds put it, the story given by the video 'call' and the actual ride was somewhat disjointed.
- What were your/your DCs highlights of the day?
I liked the safari skyway the best, a very pleasant journey high above the zoo, good to view the sea lions, gorillas and the tiger from this viewpoint. Actually the main reason for going on this was to try and spot DP who was arriving late to meet us somewhere at random. Ds loved zufari the most. DS also queued for the Vampire ride for ages and then was too frightened to go on the actual ride (a skeleton playinga piano and scary vampire pics put him off not the ride itself.) DS and I also loved sea life. Just beautiful to see these animals...DD liked the sea horses but was completely freaked by the Rays for some reason grin.

- Which, if any, attractions/ shows/ rides would you most recommend to parents with young children?
DD enjoyed the tiny truckers and loved the animals you can see at the Wanyama sp? village. She liked to see the giraffes and the zebras.

- Overall, would you recommend Chessington World of Adventures to your friends and family if it came up in conversation? If so, why? If not, why not? Yes, I'm sure I would, though as others have said so long as the tickets were discounted in some way as otherwise it is very expensive.

- Do you think you'd be likely to revisit Chessington World of Adventures Resort again in the future? If so, why? If not why not?

Oh yes I think we will return as we can stay fairly locally. I would like to see more animals especially some reptiles, DS wants to go on some roller coaster rides, DP loves to jaunt and DD wants another massive lolly.

Many thanks to Chessington and all the nice helpful people there and MN for a good day out. smile

smokinaces Tue 02-Jul-13 17:02:14

We weren't one of the lucky ten, but we actually went yesterday of our own accord. And all praise.

sign posted well, car park good, entry easy, membership services ace. Disabled pass, made a world of difference. With an asd child the whole family was catered for and the helpers were all excellent on every ride. The food was very good and reasonable, the rides excellent. Zufari a new favourite. Sad the runaway train was out of action, and disappointed that at 119.5cm ds2 was too short for the log flume, but all in all an excellent day out we would repeat as soon as finances allow!!

Non-tester here.

We don't live too far away from Chessington so have been quite a few times. We've never managed to go on a dry day though. It rains EVERY TIME!

We like Chessington much more than Thorpe Park and ShitExpensiveLand LegoLand.

There aren't many places that appeal to families that have siblings with a big age gap. My three DSs are 20, 16 and 7 but there's something there for all of us to enjoy - Rides for both teenagers and smaller children and the Zoo for those of us that don't want to or can't go on the rides.

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