Chessington World Of Adventures - any top tips please?(17 Posts)
Just bought Merlin Annual Passes and we are planning on going to Chessington at every possible opportunity, starting on Sunday.
We're seasoned Legolanders, but never been to Chessington, so what do we need to know?
I assume that normal theme park protocol (turn up early, wait for gates to open, sprint to a couple of big rides and do them before the queues build up then do non-queuey stuff for the rest of the day) applies? So which are the best and most horrendously queuey rides? (we have two thrill seekers and two terrible wimps) What is good to do later in the day? Is the Madagasgar show worth doing (DCs have never seen the film though).
Also, where's good to eat?
Went to chessington 2 weeks ago, the madagascar show is openair, so cold when we went. Thrill seeking rides are ok, I have an 11 yr old, 8yr and 5yr. The 11yr gets fed up because the rides aren't enough of a thrill for him anymore. What ages are yours?
10 and 8, I don't think we'll have a problem with them being jaded, we're not very thrill-minded.
They will love it, from what I remember you can get early ride time with merlin passes, check on thier web site. I remember going into the hotel, through to the bar, then you join the que out the patio doors, makes a great start to the day if they still do that, as you walk through the zoo first. I'd head straight to the cobra ride as it usually has long ques, then to dragons fury. If they are aboe 140cm, go to the rattle snake later in the day as not too bad on the ques then. Don't forget to go to guest services and get a parent swap pass, as least that way they can go on it a second time with out having to que again!
One other tip, if you go monday to friday and leave the park before 4.45pm, go to the beefeater just out side chessington, if you order meals before 5pm the kids eat for a £1. Well worth it.
Take a change of clothes and leave them in the lockers for the way home, there are a few wet rides! Not nice being soggy!
Have a great day tomorrow, merlin passes are fantastic.
Anyone got any last tips for me to read on the train?
I went yesterday for the first time this season.
>I assume that normal theme park protocol (turn up early, wait for gates to open, sprint to a couple of big rides and do them before the queues build up then do non-queuey stuff for the rest of the day) applies?
Actually, no. We arrived about 1.30pm, parked in the main carpark (by the hotel) as that one is on solid ground, the other car park is in green belt area so is field and hilly, plus often closed come 1pm. So I would say aim for the main carpark, then you are at the Zoo end of Chessington WoA - important to know where you need to be to leave the park as you can not easily get from one car park to the other.
We usually go to Dragons Fury first - the spinning rollercoaster. This often has a long queue, though was not too bad yesterday lunchtime. Then we head to wet rides like Dragon Falls (log flume) and the new Zufari ride (yep, you can get wet on that). As yet I am unconvinced about the new ride... mind you it did break down as we were on it, so that does not help matters. Perhaps it will be better without a 20 minute sit in the truck waiting with nothing to see. Zufari will suit your non-thrill seekers, it's just a bumpy truck ride to see some of the animals like Zebras and Giraffes.
>So which are the best and most horrendously queuey rides?
On Saturday the rides with the longest queues were:
Zufari, Dragons Fury, Vampire, and Cobra. Not that surprising as those are either brand new or main big rides. We got 45 minute queue times typically, though it did vary.
When at chessington, if you have a mobile with gps and internet (so a typical smartphone)... then you can view queue times via chessington.com
Madagasgar show is not that great in my view, though it can be a good place to have a sit down and eat some picnic lunch. There is a coffee shop next to the stage (show your merlin pass to get a discount on your coffee/tea/hot chocolate).
>Where's good to eat?
Coffee is ok at the show (think it's called Coffee Hut) and at Original Sandwich Company (near Dragons Fury). Muffins are ok. Not sampled any of the other food.
Remember that if you have Standard Merlin pass, you need a carpark ticket. You can get that on the way out from someone at the turnstiles. Parking is included on the Premium pass.
Note: For anyone with children who qualify for exit passes, there has been a change to Vampire - new entrance (see RAP card for details) - much better in my view... only about 4 steps. Exit is still via the previous entry/exit route, the middle handrail has been removed, there is still a turnstile, now by the photo collection area.
DilysPrice - how was your trip today?
Good, except that I screwed up and didn't realise that there was a rail replacement bus on today , so it took us 2 hours to get there (but only 1 hour back because the trains were back on after 4pm)
Hence we arrived at 11am. We did Zufari first, which the DCs enjoyed, we queued for about 30 mins.
Then we did lions and tigers, which are DS's current obsession, then lunch at burger place which was OKish.
In the afternoon we did a couple of moderate-thrill rides for wimps; Griffin's Galleon and Sea Storm, which hit the spot for us, watched the sealion show, did Hocus Pocus Hall, and SeaLife, then the monorail and home. <yawns>.
So a good trip despite the crappy planning at the beginning, and we've got our eye in for the return trips - DH and DD will probably do a couple of the big rides, and I fancy Bubble Works and Dragon Falls on a warmer day.
Being a seasoned Legolander too, We went to Chessington for the first time ever today. Pleasantly surprised, very clean and nice and we had a fab day out. Daddy loved the big rides, Mummy isnt a thrill seeker so I was happy with watching! As our DCs are all under 5 there is not so much to do for them as at LL, but we still had a fab day and had enough to do to keep us going all day. THe kids loved the little boats, although that ride was really run down and lacked paint and water, they also loved the skytrain which we had to endure twice! Bubble works was a surprising hit, its actually pretty cool! We could easily have filled a second day!
What surprised me was how quiet it was! For a sunny warm day it was empty and we queued for NOTHING. Not a queue anywhere! Thats a nice change!!!
THe Hotel attatched looked brilliant, fab view over the savannah with zebras etc!!
And the Zufari ride was good although the height limit is 1,1m so only DC1 could ride which was a shame as DC2 was desperate to see the giraffes....((
Well recommended!! Thanks for all the advice, MN is fab for reading up on things like this!
I have not yet tried this but I suspect you can see the giraffes from the viewing platform which was put up a few years ago. Looking at the Chessington Map, it looks like it can be accessed to the Right of Zufari. So whilst eldest is on Zufari, you can take others to the right to look at other animals plus walk up to the viewing platform to see the zebras and with luck the giraffes, plus the trucks going round Zufari.
We went yesterday and it was very, very busy (I know, I know, it was a sunny bank holiday so I guess it was to be expected but we had to change our plans from visiting on Sunday due to a broken down camper), I had aimed to get there for 10:00 but the queue for the car park stretched 1.5 miles down the road . I can recommend the Q Times page on their mobile website, we used it to plan our day. I think our error was not doing Zufari first though - the queue was 90 minutes long from lunchtime onwards so we ended up skipping it - we've got a 9mo and didn't feel it would have been fair on the one having to amuse her alone for that long, plus the 5yo would have gone bonkers in the queue.
Both dds loved the Madagascar show, and the sea lions. We all enjoyed Bubbleworks and the Monorail above the zoo, and dd1 loved the Jumbos. Some of the other rides were a bit disappointing though, I think that Legoland and Paultons cater for little ones much better. Hocus Pocus Hall is very clever though!
The food was disappointing - I bought prepaid vouchers for £5 each but not every outlet accepts them, and we sat down and got dd2 settled and ready to be fed in the Mexican restaurant, only for me to queue up and be told that they'd run out of anything vegetarian for me so we had to go elsewhere. We ended up in a fried chicken place which wasn't all that nice but it did mean that we could eat our food whilst watching Madagascar. Be aware too that after 5:30 it is impossible to find anywhere to eat - all that was left was jam sandwiches in the places that were open.
The toilets were pretty grim too, and unless we missed it we were very surprised that there is no outside playground, or water play area - it's the first time we've managed to visit a theme park on a sunny day and felt that something like Muddy Puddles at Paultons would have been lovely.
Were going next week, is it still fairly quiet midweek? Or has the season kicked in with tourists?
We are going on Sunday. We've been chosen by Mumsnet to do a survey and give feedback on the park. I can't believe we've been chosen, and I for one am incredibly excited! The DSs are too of course
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