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Chessington World of Adventure Discussion Thread

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On a slightly better note, Chessington very quietly released more details about what to expect next year from the park on the upgrade page here.


2014 will be a wild year for Chessington


£14million investment and an exciting new fully themed hotel set to be ready for adventurers to enjoy in 2014.


The New Year at Chessington will be bigger and better than any other! With the Resort opening on the 19th March 2014.


The famous attraction will be expanding with the launch of Azteca, a new fully themed hotel on park with 69 amazing new themed rooms and a new splash water play area in addition to the existing Chessington Resort Hotel. Adventurers will have the opportunity to wake to see monkeys from their windows and dine with Piranhas swimming by as they eat!


Scorpion Express is a brand new ride experience for 2014 set within Scorpion Valley - a land of sweeping sands and gold mines. Adventurers must board the old train of the Scorpion Express as it’s the only way to cross the sands, ruins of the mines, and abandoned town. Watch out for surprises at every turn though, as with unstable mines guarded by the Scorpion anything could happen – try not to get too close!


'ZUFARI: Ride into Africa!’* reopens this year allowing adventurous guests once again to get up close and personal to a whole host of amazing African animals roaming alongside them as they embark on a thrilling journey onboard an off-road safari vehicle.


For even more fun and also brand new for 2014 is the AMAZU Treetop Adventure where you can play amongst real life monkeys as you follow the adventure trail through the heights of AMAZU!


With over 40 rides and attractions in 10 themed lands all of the Resorts favourites will be ready for action in 2014. Brave the Vampire - a flight of fright through the skies and across the treetops; take on Dragon's Fury - a fantastic family ride with a spectacular spin in its tail, as well as have some family fun at Madagascar LIVE! Prepare to Party, plus with so much more on offer there’s too much to do in one day!

*Minimum height restriction of 1m


The most notable thing I see here is actually the increase of the upgrade budget from £5million to £14million! Now that most likley doeslikelyde the hotel but still thats a HUGE increase.


Work began on the AMAZU Treetop Adventure at the start of October I belive after all the animals were relocated to allow for construction of both AMAZU and the hotel. Next year looks to be a great year for Chessington WoA and its looks like a fantastic start to a much needed investment program!




Azteca Hotel Logo.

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  • 2 months later...

Had a quick visit on Wednesday and got to say the Mine train retheming is rather good,cool smoke effects as the train leaves Fire when you go past the oil derrick the vastly improved queue line,Chessington as a whole looks like its had a great makeover lots of paths have been repaved and theres been lots of painting for once well done Merlin

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  • 2 weeks later...

Found this video from internet critic Mike Jeavons, better known to most as MikeJ on "That Guy With The Glasses", and thought I'd share it here. He's made reviews before about different theme park attractions before but this is the first video review on an actual theme park he's ever done. I hope he does more in the future. It's a very well done video. Check it out



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  • 5 months later...

As October approaches much like every other Merlin park Chessington at preparing themselves for their annual halloween event. Previously called Halloween Hocus Pocus the park has decided to change the events name to "Howl'o'ween".


Here is the press release for this years event.



Join us at Chessington World of Adventures Resort between 24th October – 2nd November for the Resort’s brand new Howl’o’ween event!


As the nights draw in and the shadows emerge, Chessington opens for Howl’o’ween – as spooky week filled with frights, howls and family fun to give you jumps and goosebumps. Open every night until 8pm, Chessington’s Howl’o’ween presents two spine-tingling walk-through attractions, two brand new Halloween shows, rides in the dark, a daily fancy dress competition for young Adventurers and over 1000 animals across the Zoo and SEA LIFE centre to see, with special spooky surprises around every corner!


For the fearless Adventurer, VAMPIRE: The Haunting in the Hollows is back again due to popular demand! Step back in time to 1897 in Transylvania where, beyond the gates of Castle Dracula, lies the village of Black Hollow and our spookiest Halloween attraction ever – now with even more surprises in store. For this interactive walkthrough you need to be brave…you have been warned!


Back for 2014 is The Mystery of Hocus Pocus Hall. Brave Adventurers must enter the bewitching stately home of Sir Arthur, a famous explorer, who vanished without a trace! Try to solve the mystery of what happened to Sir Arthur as you journey through the house and discover a priceless collection of antiques that seems to have powers all of its own... Is there a strange and powerful curse, or is it all a bunch of Hocus Pocus? That’s for you to find out! The Mystery of Hocus Pocus Hall is perfect spooky fun for the whole family.


There will also be two brand new shows for 2014 for the whole family to enjoy. Rock out to an all singing, all dancing performance in Market Square where you get to pick your favourite performer or travel across to the Land of the Dragons to meet and greet some new hairy and scary friends at the Wild Factor stage. Make sure your little Adventurers are pulling out all the stops with their fancy dress, too, as there is a daily fancy dress competition in Market Square with prizes up for grabs!*


This year you can enjoy a whole new experience as the park is open for you to enjoy rides in the dark** daily with last ride entry at 8pm – if you’re in a queue at 8pm you get to ride that ride! You could take a flight of fright on the Vampire as you soar through the trees of Transylvania, enjoy Dragon’s Fury’s spectacular spin, or get soaked on Dragon Falls with the Resort’s favourite rides available to enjoy in the dark. Watch your step as you venture round the Resort, though, as animal eyes will follow you at every turn and you might even bump in to a few interesting individuals and challenges on your adventure…


A Spooky Short Break

For the ultimate spooky family adventure stay at one of the Chessington Resort Hotels with creepy animal meet and greets, a spooky movie club and the fantastic Rangers Kids Club with lots of fun activities for the whole family to enjoy.


Chessington World of Adventures Resort recently expanded with the launch of the Azteca Hotel, a new fully themed Resort Hotel with 69 amazing new bedrooms and the Savannah Splash Pool & Gym, all in addition to the existing African-themed Chessington Safari Hotel. Now you can enjoy a whole new wild adventure with the opportunity to wake up to see monkeys from the bedroom windows and you may even see some fish swimming by as you eat in the Temple Restaurant! For a truly wild adventure in 2014 the new Azteca Hotel is a fantastic experience for all the family – perfect for a spooky half-term adventure.


For more information please visit, Chessington.com


Here is the new event logo


Personally I am looking forward to the return of "The Mystery of Hocus Pocus Hall" as last year it was the highlight of the event in my opinion. It doesn't seem like anything major is changing this year but as its by far the parks most popular event so expect great things from them.


Also news from the park is the prolonged closure of the 26 year old Safari Skyway. The ride has now been closed for around a month I believe and has signs attached to the main gate apologising for the closure. The park were expecting/hoping to have the ride back by halloween but it doesn't seems like the case after I noticed this on the parks website today.



This has since been changed to just "This ride is currently unavailable" but things are obviously not good with the ride right now so I personally wouldn't expect to see the ride open again this year.


Along with this expect to see continued upgrades and changes through out the park as they continue with their multi million pound investment program and hopefully the promised retheme of Dragon Falls that was pushed back from last year due to the fire and other issues from around the park.



Here is the article in question:


Chessington World of Adventures has lost a court fight to ban an email campaign criticising its safety record.


The High Court ruled Dr Peter Cave, a critic of operator Merlin Entertainments, had the right to speak his mind about the Surrey theme park.


Dr Cave's survey consultancy Peer Egerton identified 2,000 safety issues in a report for Merlin.


Merlin said his campaign of harassment stemmed from a financial dispute and it did not agree with the judgement.


Dr Cave sent 80,000 emails to Surrey residents and members of Merlin's staff and set up campaign websites.


Remedial work

His campaign began after Jessica Blake, of Sheerness, Kent suffered a fractured skull, a bleed on the brain and broken ribs in the 14ft (4.2m) fall while queuing for the Tomb Blaster ride at the park.


Judge Mrs Justice Elisabeth Laing told the court Merlin had spent £4.6m on remedial work, some of it urgent.


Following financial disputes between Dr Cave's consultancy and Merlin, Dr Cave had unsuccessfully sought a court order banning the park from re-opening after the 2012 winter break.


Chessington World of Adventures is run by Merlin Entertainments

Asking the judge to order him to stop his campaign, Merlin described his "baseless" criticisms as highly alarming, distressing and disgraceful.


However, refusing to grant an injunction, the judge said the issues he raised about Chessington's management and the regulation of theme parks were matters of public interest.


The judge ruled Dr Cave's statements did not cross the line between robust comment and unacceptable and oppressive personal attacks.


Merlin said it was considering whether to appeal against the decision.


It said Dr Cave's issues with Merlin date from his "totally spurious" demands for money, which had since been dismissed by the court and his company's appointment was not related to the Jessica Blake incident.


"Dr Cave's continuous campaign of allegations concerning the safety of our attractions is entirely without foundation," it said in a statement.


"As a business, Merlin is governed by very stringent technical and health and safety regulations, and we invest many millions of pounds every year to ensure that our attractions not only meet or exceed these, but also in continually improving our procedures."



There are parts of this that I agree with and disagree with. I was very critical of the management at Chessington when I worked for the park and still am but I do appreciate they are sometimes stuck in-between a rock and a hard place. While I did not always agree with the decisions they made and the directions they decided upon I still knew that the decisions they made they believed to be in the best interest of the park, the business and the guests. People seem to think its easy to run a park and ensure everything is maintained and every single obscure law relating to anything thats in the park is easy. Its NOT!


I personally think the park waited too long to do certain things and I remember it being very hard to raise certain concerns because the money just wasn't there but on the flip side of that the money really should have been given to the park from Merlin for some of the issue they have.


As quite rightly pointed out by the judge the park have invested a significant amount of money to correct safety concerns on park, some of which were urgent which is a positive thing but I can see the argument being raised that was this plan only put in place because of the Tomb Blaster incident. I personally think the plan was heavily accelerated because of the incident but was not directly caused by it.


I would be very surprised if Merlin don't appeal this but I certainly don't expect this is the last we will hear about this.



Edited by StealthFan
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  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry to double post but it seems the 2012 Tomb Blaster incident has come to back haunt the park with the HSE summoning the park to appear before magistrates in relation to the incident.


Chessington World of Adventures has been ordered to appear before magistrates after a girl suffered a fractured skull in a fall.


The Health and Safety Executive has summonsed the Surrey theme park over an alleged health and safety breach.


Jessica Blake, then aged four, from Sheerness, Kent, fell 14ft (4.2m) while queuing for a ride in 2012.


Chessington World of Adventures Operations Ltd will appear before Redhill magistrates on 4 November.


The 14ft (4.2m) fall on 7 June left Jessica with broken ribs and a bleed on the brain.


'Unprecedented incident'

A spokeswoman for the theme park said: "The health and safety of our visitors is always the primary objective of Chessington World of Adventures.


"We take any incident on the park very seriously, particularly one as significant and unprecedented as the one in June 2012 in the Tomb Blaster queue."


She said Chessington carried its own detailed investigation at the time of the incident and also co-operated fully with the HSE investigation.


Chessington World of Adventures is run by Merlin Entertainments, but has its own senior management team which will respond in court, she said.


This isn't really a surprising action on the part of the HSE as their investigation would have highlighted certain issues that should have been avoided in the first place.


The senior management team who will appear in court will be very different from the senior management team who worked at the park during the time of the incident as many of them have moved on to new jobs within Merlin since the accident.


It cannot be denied the park has invested significantly since the accident but this summons won't be about that, it will be about why it happened in the first place.



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  • 3 months later...

As a follow up to the news article above Chessington have admitted being in breach of health and safety regulations causing systematic failures in the way the queue line was maintained which then resulted in the serious incident in 2012.


Here is the article

Chessington World of Adventures in Surrey has admitted safety breaches after a girl of four fell 14ft (4.2m) and suffered a bleed on the brain.


The girl's skull was fractured in 2012 when she fell from the queue for the Tomb Blaster ride.


Guildford Crown Court was told that water dripping from a roof had rotted fence posts lining the queue to the ride.


The theme park will be sentenced on Monday.


The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) brought the prosecution accusing it of failing to properly inspect and maintain fences.


It said there had been systemic failures by Chessington in the way it maintained the queuing area and that it failed to record its maintenance schedule although the route was checked every day.


The court was told that on the day the girl, from Kent, was injured another family further up in the queue had to grab their daughter by her coat to stop her falling over the fence.


Since the incident happened the park has had a huge health and safety review and implemented all sorts of changes through out the park replacing multiple queue lines, fences, retaining walls, ride platforms, theming etc but I can't imagine this will sway the judges decision in whatever punishment he decided to put forward. I can only think he will say something like "while you have implemented many changes since the incident it doesn't detract from the fact that this shouldn't have happened in the first place".


What punishment will actually be put in place on the park I don't know but when I find out I will post it.



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It's such a sad situation and although it must be hard to childproof a whole theme park, the park was looking pretty run down a few years ago so although it's a freak accident it looks like it was preventable, at least in the eyes of the law. I read that the girl has since recovered which is great news.

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Chessington have been fined £150,000 plus costs - I think they were relatively lucky as that probably doesn't amount to much for someone like Merlin. The girl still needs specialist support and rehabilitation so although she is out of hospital she hasn't made a full recovery. There is also a picture of the fence on the BBC News website here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-30780504 I think the panel gave away and caused the gap rather than her falling through the gap.

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If you look at it this way its actually cost the park a significant amount more than £150,000 because after the incident a lot of things happened on park such as the new fences in the Tomb Blaster queue line, new Rameses Revenge stairs, Runaway Trains old queue line had work before it was removed and much more. So in the grand scheme of things the repercussions for the park financially were pretty substantial.

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  • 1 month later...

Yesterday I took a trip to Chessington to renew my Merlin annual pass and have a walk around the zoo to see what was going on. The weather was pretty miserable yesterday but I did manage to take a few photos.



Advertisements for the new "Penguins of Madagascar" show are all over the park now we get closer the the start of the season.


Also with the new penguins show the park is going penguin crazy with a brand new enclosure for them!


The whole enclosure is now pretty much unrecognisable from the old one now.


And it looks like they stole a hut from Splash Landings!


If you scan a wristband here you can get a free giant Guinea Pig!


If you ever go to Chessington and don't visit the giant Guinea Pigs you fail as a human!


This is an Elissa approved sign!


I really have to try my hardest not to steal one of these!


You can't ever keep a secret from this little guy!


I knew Elsa was dirty!


And for the record Reindeers are NOT better than people cause Elsa is better then you Sven!


I love the SeaLions but they are no giant Guinea Pigs!


With WDW having removed that hat thus causing an end too #hatwatch Chessington have started a new trend called #ShedWatch!


Chessington is now officially TWISTTTTTYYYYYYYYY!


Even the hotel is getting in on the "Year of the Penguin" action and they will have Penguins themed hotel room!


For those of you who are looking at getting a premium annual pass you are given this privilege pack for purchasing one.


The pack contains a lanyard, card holder, pin badge and vouchers for £5 fastracks and 3 £10 entry vouchers that you can give to a friend.


A few other things to note that are going around on park are:

-Dragons Fury has had all the scaffold removed from the brakes but the track is still missing from the first drop/immelman

-The elevated queue for Rameses Revenge has been removed and a new lower queue line is being constructed

-Vampire and Bubbleworks will be closed for the preview weekend this year


Honestly I believe if they can't get Fury ready in time for the preview weekend they will cancel it again as that 3 of the parks major attractions that would be closed and it will disappoint a lot of people.

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  • 10 months later...

After a few years of ongoing issues with the parks monorail "Safari Skyway" the park have taken the difficult decision to remove the ride from the parks line up.




During a tough time for Merlin right now I am not surprised by this decision one bit. The ride has been a pain for the parks engineers for many years now and had very high maintenance costs so I believe this is a wise decision. Do you think the ride should be saved with investment into it or do you think its time for this Chessington original to be laid to rest?


If you haven't been on the ride or miss it already check out this POV I shot last year.



[/youtu_be] Edited by StealthFan
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Ah, that's bit of a shame as I did always go on it, but I completely understand the decision. Are they adding anything in particular this year? Merlin do have a habit of removing things and not replacing them, so I guess this is the case here too?

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^No this is not the case with Chessington as per usual. They did have something on the map that said "New ride for 2016". It was only due to be a small kiddie ride but has since been cancelled. They are opening a "Glamping Village" behind Temple of Mayhen this year and a new restaurant but thats it.


With regards to a replacement for Skyway I get the impression that this was a decision made very late in the day so expect to see the ride sit around for a year before removal. The parks original medium and long term development plans went out the window a long time ago so no body really knows what is coming over the next few years.

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Thank you for explaining I've not been to CWOA for years, but it looks like they've done some nice things with the park, particularly on the animal side of things. I'll be interested to see Dragon Falls and Scorpion Express since the theming has been removed/changed since I last visited.

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I'm so glad I rode on the monorail, of the two visits to Chessington I took, with TPR.

It was a great little all-over tour, including a nice overview of their (then) zoo area.


It will be missed, but looking forward to the future projects for Chessington.

Edited by Nrthwnd
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They are opening a "Glamping Village" behind Temple of Mayhen.


Are they for overnight stays or just rental as a place to rest during park hours. Everland opened one a few years ago in the middle of the park for resting, I think it's about 70 pound rental for just the tent and around 115 I think for the package (includes snack, valet parking - so no shuttle bus needed, and a q-pass)

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They are opening a "Glamping Village" behind Temple of Mayhen.


Are they for overnight stays or just rental as a place to rest during park hours. Everland opened one a few years ago in the middle of the park for resting, I think it's about 70 pound rental for just the tent and around 115 I think for the package (includes snack, valet parking - so no shuttle bus needed, and a q-pass)

Overnight stays from end of May to early September.

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This weekend just past I visited Chessington for one of their annual winter Zoo Days to check out some awesome animals and see some winter maintenance progress.


As I mentioned earlier Safari Skyway has now officially been retired from active service. The ride still sits in place but the queue line has been removed and some of the trains have had their roofs removed but thats it. I still imagine the ride will stay there for the season and the trains will get removed as and when is convenient for the park.


SeaStorm is also having a lot of work done in the queue line including new gates and facade around the ride. Transylvania is also having work done to the facades of building with Vampires old entrance being re painted and it seems they are slowly working their way round to Bubbleworks. If they can make all the facades look like Burger Kitchen does that whole area could have a whole new lease of life. Dragons Fury once again has scaffold around the lifts but this is pretty common for the ride. I couldn't say whats going on around the rest of the park as the main park is closed off during Zoo Days.


Work is also being done to replace the Chicken Shack with a new Smokehouse BBQ restaurant which looks like its going to be huge!


One point I do want to make before I get on to the photos though is how dirty the park was. I appreciate that it is winter and the zoo is only open during weekends and half term but I don't think thats a valid excuse. It wasn't even the park was construction work dirty it was actually the amount of litter around the park that annoyed me most. It wouldn't have taken long to just walk round the zoo and give it a quick going over in the morning which would have made the park look so much better.


Anyway on to photos.



Normally you can have your photos taken with the Octonauts here but now you can pose with the Chessington logo!


With Safari Skyways retirement from the park the queue line has been removed and it looks like it will be the new location for the Market Square lockers.


As mentioned earlier some of the trains have had their roofs removed but thats all that has been done as of my visit.


This once was a maintenance shed and now it is the "Crypt of the retried safari!"


Think of the millions of people who have ridden in these trains over the years!


The track now makes for a great seagull home. Have these guys come to visit from Finding Nemo?


Oh the irony!


The Black Buccaneer is having its annual strip down finished up as the season approaches.


On a personal note I HATE this ride! It was a terrible ride to work on and id much rather this got retied that Skyway.


Since my last visit one of my favourite park restaurants had an expansion with indoor seating. This means much more Sausage and Chips for me. Even when I visited Epcot I still had to visit the Fish & Chip shop.


Ben & Jerry's/Sweet Shop look like they have seen their last customers as they become part of the Smokehouse BBQ expansion.


Construction walls have been put up around the building and the front wall removed.


Plus the inside of the store has been gutted.


Another new restaurant and another total win for Merlin's name creation department!


A beautiful Oak extension is being constructed as park of the restaurant which I'm sure didnt come cheap.


I am a sucked for beautiful crafted wooden building I have to say.


Apparently this one will also be able to play chess!


A mini concrete pad has been poured outside which I can only think may be for some outside smoke pit.


Tiny Truckers have decided they no longer want to be "King of the Road" and are going on a tour of the park.


While I would love that scaffold to be for a Fury repaint I'm pretty sure its just to allow work to be completed on the lift hill.


SeaStorms rocks have been removed and placed next to the Carousel to allow the ride to be stripped down.


I dont think the sea will be very rough at the moment.


How many of you just nerdgasmed?


Much like the Titanic Merlin's stock prices sunk last year.


As is a common trend around the park SeaStorm's gates have been replaced with new sturdier ones.


The Transylvania shop now has scaffold around it for what I hope is a repaint of the facade.


Anyone know what is missing from here?


Around the Gorilla enclosure are these strange spray paint marks. I have no idea what they are for.


Those poor pink monkeys are getting tortured!


While these monkeys are living the dream!


This little guy is just one of the cutest things ever.


The poor Meerkats are pacing up and down waiting for the park to re open.


While this Otter doesn't give a damn cause he's an Otter.


New for next year is yet more accommodation.


Basically its a glorified tent. If your into that thing great. Me personally I think its dumb.


Now I will end this update with the best thing in the entire park. GIANT GUINEA PIGS!


Otherwise known as Capybaras ;)


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