dadzclub review (please submit yours below):
Faced with the age old problem of finding something that both children (aged 9 and 4) would want to do, we headed off to Chessington World of Adventures. With the promise of rides for all ages plus a Sealife Centre and a Zoo surely we would be able to enjoy a day out without the usual levels of arguments.
First stop was The Tiny Truckers a little ride where kids drive toy trucks around a little circuit. Perfect for my four year old.
After many an argument in a theme park we now follow the tried and tested method of choosing one ride each. So next was a ride for my older son. He chose Tuk Tuk Turmoil which is basically bumper cars, always a favourite for boys. After much bumping and crashing the boys were ready for the next ride.
One problem when visiting a theme park with children is it’s difficult for parents to try some of the big rides as one parent always has to stay with the kids too small to ride. Chessington seem to have addressed this because most big rides have smaller, more kids oriented rides nearby.
Dads are often the ones who want to try the big, fast rides. In our case dad was the one nominated to try The Dragon’s fury whilst mum took the boys on Toadie’s Crazy Cars.
The Dragon’s fury is a fast roller coaster which twists and turns dips and dives. Riders travel along the 540 metres of track four at a time, seated back to back in pairs, and no ride is ever the same as levels of spinning depends on who sits where!
Toadies Crazy cars is another driving ride all based round the theme of Toadie from the Wind in the Willows. Kids drive whilst looking out for the hidden moles.
Next was the new show ‘DreamWorks Madagascar Live! Prepare to Party’. A stage show featuring the Madagascar characters - Alex, King Julien, Gloria, Mort and The Penguins and billed as the only one of its kind in Europe. The show has plenty of fun songs and dancing and gives everyone the chance to sit down and recharge.
After the show there is an opportunity to pose alongside your favourite Madagascar characters and show them your best Hollywood smile.
With just time for another couple of rides before lunch we headed off towards Land of the Dragons. Youngest chose Sea Dragon a small boat ride whilst eldest opted for a carousel.
There are loads of places to eat and prices, whilst quite high are somewhat less shocking than other theme parks. On the day there were many special offers including free kids meals, free drinks and two hot dogs for £5. We opted for a picnic which we ate on one of the many benches situated around the park. There is also a large grass area for picnics. Our chosen bench was next to the Dragons Playhouse and Canopy Capers play areas which entertained the kids whilst we finished off our food.
The park has lots of toilet facilities which were all clean and well maintained. There’s loads of staff on hand who were easily identifiable, friendly and helpful.
After lunch we headed to the Forbidden Kingdom where we tried Flying Jumbos, Tomb Blaster and the Runaway Train. The Tomb Blaster is a shooting ride which sees riders travel through a spooky labyrinth armed with laser guns. Always a favourite The Runaway Train is a great ride which all the family can ride (minimum height 0.9m)
Queues during the day were very short, we waited on average no longer than 10 minutes. However, on busier days I am sure these queues are much longer. Most rides do however show current waiting times. In fact the only ride with a queue of any length was the Vampire. The Vampire is a roller coaster that sees riders fly over the tree tops and with a height restriction of 1.1m it’s perfect for older kids to get their first experience of a roller coaster. Dad decided to go on alone which gave the kids and myself time to visit the Zoo, which houses animals such as gorillas, lions, tigers, and sealions. A great way to see the Zoo is to travel the Safari Skyway which gives a bird's eye view of the animals.
Once reunited with dad it was time to try out the water rides. First was Bubbleworks, an indoor water ride which takes you on a journey through the bubble-bursting, sweet smelling, ducktastic Bubbleworks factory. Then a hike to the other side of the park for the Dragon Falls water ride. Here we were faced with disappointment realising that our youngest was too small for the ride. Eldest son and myself really enjoyed this ride and youngest son seemed happy when he discovered the water shooter he could aim at us when we hit the bottom of the drop!
Then it was time to leave. Two very happy but exhausted boys climbed into the car next to two happy but equally exhausted parents.
One asked, “Can we come back?” Yes definately, but maybe not tomorrow!
We all had a fantastic time at Chessington, there really was something for everyone. Rides for thrill seekers, great rides for kids plus animals and shows when needing a break from the rides.
(Correct as of 22/5/12 as per Chessington World of Adventures website)
Standard at the gate price costs £39.60 for adult and children over 12 and £28.80 for children under 12. However, big savings can be made when booking online or when taking advantage of special offers. An annual pass is available for £79.92 for an adult and children over 12 and £60.48 for children under 12. Alternatively Chessington is part of the Merlin Pass scheme which see members getting access to a number of attractions including Alton Towers, Thorpe Park, Legoland and Warwick Castle. See website for details.
For details of these and other prices please visit the Chessington World of Adventures website
From Chessington World of Adventures:
Help us celebrate providing 25 years of family fun in our 25th Anniversary year with our ‘25 days of Adventure’ event, taking place from 1st July – 25th July with limited edition tickets available to pre-book online for just £25. With an action packed itinerary for the whole family to enjoy, come and see why, with 25 years experience, Chessington really is Britain’s Wildest Adventure. Look out for more information coming soon.
A Chessington short break package starts from just £154 for a family of four. For more information and to book visit www.chessington.com
For a really unique Christmas, why not book a festive mini break at our resort hotel. Why not discover our exclusive Father Christmas Sleepover package with prices starting from just £99 for a family of four complete with tickets to the Zoo and SEALIFE centre so you can get up close and personal with over 1,000 animals as they tuck into their Christmas dinners.
- Full park season 23rd March to 5th November 2012
- Chessington Zoo Days every weekend outside of the above and every day during February half term. Plus Festive Zoo Days on selected weekends in December and then 22nd December – 2nd January (exc Christmas Day)
- Chessington Resort Hotel is open all year round
- Discover the perfect family get away at the resort’s safari-themed Holiday Inn Chessington, where you can enjoy themed rooms, an indoor swimming pool & spa and the fantastic African-themed restaurant Zafari Bar & Grill.
- Express passes and special offers are available online when booking in advance on www.chessington.com