Last weekend we had the pleasure of visiting Chessington World of Adventures and let’s just say I was more excited than the kids in the run up to the day. I’ve taken Harvey and Lola twice before when they were much smaller. This was Mila’s first time at a theme park and was Lola’s first visit where she was tall enough for the bigger rides (she had been going on about the Vampire ride all week). Harvey, bless his heart, hates rides so we joked he’d be the designated bag holder.
We travelled up by train and by some sorcery of magic, we actually left the house at the time we had planned to leave by however the train we intended on catching had been cancelled so we arrived to Chessington later than we had anticipated! It was really easy getting there by train and although there was a bus that took you to the park from the station, we decided to walk, which only took about 15 mins. Once we arrived we went straight through and was surprised that it didn’t seem as busy as what we had expected for a Saturday. I had come prepared and downloaded the Chessington app on my phone whilst we were on the train so that I could keep an eye on queue times to minimise waiting in lines all day. If your kids are as impatient as mine then it’s a no brainer and it worked out really well for us.
First stop was the Seastorm ride, mainly because it was the first ride we came across but luckily for us had a queue time of 10 minutes. Lola & Mila zoomed off into the line before I had had a chance to park the buggy up. Harvey took a bit more persuading to get on, even in the queue he wasn’t too sure but once he was on it he loved it and afterwards said it wasn’t as bad as it looked. I thought I’d be able to use it as leverage to get him on the bigger rides but not a chance.
The one thing I was a little skeptical about was the new Gruffalo ride, this was purely for the fact that I couldn’t imagine it being anything else other than Bubbleworks. I remember being devastated when I first heard they were closing it down and revamping it. How could anything possibly compare to my all time favourite ride as a child?! We waited no longer than 15 mins to get on the ride and it didnt disappoint. The animations were brilliant and all three kids were mesmerised throughout the entire ride, I even managed the impossible and got us all looking the same way for when your picture is taken, but in true Cagney-Martin style, one of us still managed to be unprepared even though I pretty much did a countdown of when to smile.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, Lola had been banging on about the Vampire ride all week and when we got down to the ride it was a 75 min wait so we decided that we would buy fast track tickets for this ride as it was one we definitely weren’t gonna miss out but didn’t quite fancy standing in the queue for over an hour. It didn’t disappoint for Lola and she said it was the best ride she’s ever been on. It was well worth the £6 per fast track ticket as we walked straight on. To be fair, the majority of the rides were less than a 30 min wait, with a large number of those less than 15 mins. Tiger Rock, Dragon’s Fury and Vampire were the highest wait time with an average of about 60 mins. They did vary throughout the day, which is why the app is a must have tool for your visit.
I couldn’t believe that Daryl walked straight onto Rameses Revenge. I remember waiting around for at least an hour for my mum to go on that one when I was younger. We did however manage to queue no more than 25 mins for any one ride apart from Dragon’s Fury. We saved that one until the end of the day in the hope that the queue time would be minimal, it didn’t, and Daryl and Lola waited 45 minutes, but Lola said it was worth it. I was just a tad bit gutted that I pulled the short straw and Daryl got to go on that with Lola. It was one last go on Seastorm with Harvey and Mila for me.
We crossed off pretty much all the ‘must do’ rides on our list, we were unable to ride Tiger Rock due to Mila being too small. Chessington do offer ‘Parent Swap Passes’ but Lola didn’t fancy getting wet twice. We completely run out of time for Zufari too which was a little disappointing but you can’t argue with only missing out on two rides out of them all. Bit of a gut wrencher the Banana Boat ride was closed down as well as the monorail was gone!
We watched the Gruffalo Groove show too which Mila LOVED and actually sat still throughout the whole performance but we missed the meet and greet. We also only had a quick walkthrough of the zoo but that just gives us an excuse to visit again. I was running round the zoo like a headless chicken at the end of the day looking for the Gorrila statue to take an updated photo of the kids with it as I have done in previous years, Daryl and the kids were not impressed, but I eventually found it (scroll down to the end of the post to see the comparisons).
The day lived up to the high expectations I had had all week and catered for all of us from toddler to adult, gentle adventurer to thrill seeker. We all had the most amazing time, I just wish there had been more hours in the day. We did catch a glimpse of the Glamping area too which looked so cool and I’ve already decided that our next visit is 100% going to involve the Glamping experience as well as the attractions we missed out on.