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Chessington World of Adventure Discussion Thread

P. 7: Croc Drop announced for 2021!

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I think its pretty sad what has happened to Chessington. I remember visiting in the 80's when they added all those new rides, Vampire, Bubble works, Dragon Falls, the park was really going places, even up to Ramases Revenge and the shoot-em-up ride. Now it's all about adding as many hotels/sleeping options as possible. I can understand maybe they want to focus on the zoo but even that is just so tatty compared to other UK zoo's.

 

I live an hour down the road and have a 5 years old so should be the target audience but compared to Adventure Island and Colchester Zoo it's just not appealing at all. It's almost like they don't know what to do with it with Thorpe and Legoland just down the road, I wish Merlin would sell it and let someone put some love back into the place.

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I think its pretty sad what has happened to Chessington. I remember visiting in the 80's when they added all those new rides, Vampire, Bubble works, Dragon Falls, the park was really going places, even up to Ramases Revenge and the shoot-em-up ride. Now it's all about adding as many hotels/sleeping options as possible. I can understand maybe they want to focus on the zoo but even that is just so tatty compared to other UK zoo's.

 

I think this all falls back to the fact that when The Tussauds Group owned the park they had no real direction in mind for the park either. If you look that the last major investment they did was Dragon's Fury/Land of the Dragons in 2002. Nothing even close to major was done until 2010 (Wild Asia) which was 3 years after Merlin took control.

 

The zoo is in a very slow progression of regeneration and some parts do look nice but it will take time. I do agree they seem to have forgotten about the theme park side of it and it was only once the Tomb Blaster queue line incident Merlin took note and started investing money into the park. Of course its not like you can just suddenly regenerate everything over night and they have a lot of work to do getting the rest of the park up to scratch after the HSE gave them a serious spanking! I think if they got one major addition that could hold them over for a few years while all the regeneration takes place it would do wonders. But hey I'm no expert and its not my place to tell them what to do, we will just have to see what Merlin "creative" come up with.

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Anything in 2017 will be positive I guess considering this years addition is some tents, sad to see how far the park has fallen.

 

Was Land of the Dragons really 2002, 14 years ago since the last major addition, can't imagine what visitors numbers must be there now. But if visitor numbers are staying steady despite the lack of investment they will see no need to invest.

 

Will be interesting to see what 2017 holds, my hope would be a whole new land, with significant attractions, not just a few flats.

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I did think last time I visited that the Safari Skyway seemed to be a nuisance to the gorillas, so don't really mind seeing it go. They could definitely add some new rides near Dragon Falls. That whole area is a bit tatty with upcharge rides.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 1 month later...

So the 2016 season is now in full swing at Chessington and I finally found some time around my new job to head down to the park and renew my annual pass, plus to see what "improvements" have been made at the park.

 

Im gonna cut straight to the point and say it. I really was not even close to being impressed by most of the things I saw. In my PERSONAL opinion a lot of the work done was rushed or just poor quality workmanship. Certain areas of the park just looked half done and the staff had about as much enthusiasm and work ethic in them as a mouldy turnip.

 

Not to say it was all bad, for example the work done to Tomb Blaster was very good and much needed but the staff let it down big time. I personally am a firm believer that it doesn't matter how good your ride is if you run it like crap it will take away from the experience and tarnish the experience.

 

I really really want to be more positive but I'm struggling, the reality is after 3 hours (including a 45 min queue to renew my annual pass!) seeing the way things were being run me and my friend ended up leaving to go to Thorpe Park! Now lets be honest for those people who know me a few years ago thats not really an option I would have willing made.

 

Anyway before I go on too much here is a POV of the new and improved Tomb Blaster that I shot and of course some pictures of a few things that have gone on around the park.

 

[youtu_be]

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First stop was the newly refurbished Tomb Blaster. What do you all think of the new sign?

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The first thing you will notice is how much brighter the whole ride is, especially the station.

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With an all new shooting system, targets and UV paint the ride really does look a hell of a lot better than it used to.

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While no new effects have been added they do all now work.

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I personally think this is the scene that looks the best since the refurbishment.

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But of course everyone love the snake pit.

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I love this scoreboard at the end of the ride. It makes it a lot easier to see if you have crushed your opponents or not.

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This is a prime example of the sort of half arsed attempts at things I was talking about above. While to some people it may just be a ride sign and not matter to much to me it just lacks consistency. Its not like its hard too replace or takes very long yet they just left the old one up in the disabled queue.

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Another new retheme for this year is Trail of the Kings

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Which now features a hunt for lost treasure.

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Which by this map looks amazing.

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But in reality its just some coins stuck in concrete randomly on the floor...............

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Some statues of the animals have been placed through out the area which make for great photo opportunities.

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This is a feature I did like. As you walk around there are tiny holes you can look through that have video screens on them looping a video of certain animals. While this is an idea I love it just needs to be made so that the video doesn't freeze before it plays again.

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Its great to see Chessington remembering some of their best known animals. I hope we see a statue of Boris the Sea Lion soon!

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We didn't get chance to see Pandamonium during this trip but the area look okay. It wasn't anything fancy but it suits is purpose.

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As everyone knows the biggest news from Chessington was the closure of the much loved Safari Skyway. The old queue line how now become the "New for 2016: Tarmac Land!"

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That being said Skyway isnt dead yet! While some track has been removed certain parts of it over the zoo have yet to be removed. I am assuming due to the close proximity to the animals and the procedures that will have to be put in place to keep them safe during removal. I would think this will be completed next closed season.

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Incase you forget the correct way to take a poop there is this helpful sign at Zufari!

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The buddha is no longer feeling green and has been given the Midas touch turning him to gold!

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When your too lazy to build a new retaining wall!

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Am I the only one who thinks this is just nasty and pointless?

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This was the queue for Guest Services which must have taken forever.

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And this was the queue for Annual Passes. The queue took 45 mins from this point and you can see how close I am to the desk.

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Of course though Chessington does always have one always positive thing about it. This is of course GIANT GUINEA PIGS!

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They never let me down with their awesomeness! Plus I saw one of them take a poop in the pool!

 

Im sorry to sound like I'm ranting but over all the park really did a good job of pissing me off. I do hope it improves as the season progresses and work (hopefully) continues but we shall see. As it stands right now though I have no plans to go back and visit the park again this year.

 

Keep an eye out tomorrow in the Thorpe Park thread where I will post an update from the park which was surprisingly positive for Thorpe!

 

-Craig

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A shame that Chessington is getting as many bad reviews as Alton Towers is this season. I did like reading your report all the same. Here are some pictures I took on my last visit, showing the Buddha statue and Tomb Blaster in their previous colours.

 

I don't think I'll be visiting either park this year, what with living in Norwich (Too far away) and my wife being pregnant, but mainly with how badly Merlin are letting their parks decline.

buddha.jpg.6997c1bba75508c83026d7ba55ff753a.jpg

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^If that fence wasn't there, that elephant would burst out of that tree and kill you!

Once when I was there, the tree spoke. There was a live person somewhere who spoke at the tree, so yes, a psychopathic murderer could burst out the tree and kill you! Luckily he is trapped inside and will never get out.

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My first post, just to join in the ranting a little.

 

I went on passholders weekend and it was one of the rare trips where I'd wished I had just stayed at home instead. The rides constantly breaking down was just the start of it, despite making a healthy profit they really have just let the park go to ruin. Still no facade on the dragon falls, tomb blaster had a lick of paint but also got made far too light and the guns don't make a noise (I thought the last point would be a positive, but I dunno... feels so shallow without it).

 

Vampire queue line was overgrown and falling to bits, and they still insist on holding people outside rather than letting them queue in the actual themed indoor section which is nuts.

 

But the worst part (for me) was bubbleworks, as a kid I went on opening day when they were handing out gum, everything worked and it had a candyfloss smell in the air. Each time i take my kids now to try to show them my favorite ride it's more and more dilapidated and it's now got to the extent where it's fucking scary, some rooms have no working robotics at all, and the ones which do are falling apart and look like something out of a horror film.

 

It's made all the worst by the queue and wait times being crazy for the sub-par rides due to staff not really being fussed, running at less than capacity and overabundance of fast-track and VIP ticket holders.

 

Not bothering to renew the annual pass this year and just taking a trip to America instead. Sad state of affairs.

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LOL this looks so ridicilous! What is even the point of that fence?

 

Considering I used to work in that area I still have yet to come up with any reason for it. I never saw kids climb it or people try to vandalise it. If anything they used too love interacting with it.

 

The rides constantly breaking down was just the start of it, despite making a healthy profit they really have just let the park go to ruin. Still no facade on the dragon falls, tomb blaster had a lick of paint but also got made far too light and the guns don't make a noise (I thought the last point would be a positive, but I dunno... feels so shallow without it).

 

Vampire queue line was overgrown and falling to bits, and they still insist on holding people outside rather than letting them queue in the actual themed indoor section which is nuts.

 

The ride breaking down at the start of the season is a pretty common thing especially when you consider the age of a lot of the parks attraction. I have a huge amount of respect for the engineers at Chessington because they do some fantastic work to keep the ageing rides running. Safari Skyway would have been removed a long time ago if it wasn't for their dedication.

 

I can't agree with you about the Tomb Blaster stuff. It looked a hell of a lot better than it used to. Yes it is brighter but I think that actually works well, any brighter than it is now would be an issue though.

 

The Vampire issue you brought up about the interior queue does have a valid reason. Due to the fact that they now batch into rows for each cycle this only allows people inside to queue up the ramp inside. At the top of that ramp is a fire exit that leads into the ride area. If the queue is allowed up past that people have a tendency to open that door which would require the ride to be e-stopped immediately as it could mean someone was in the ride area. Also with the reduced amount of people no inside the station it does mean that if the station ever has to be evacuated it will be a lot easier and safer with a significantly reduced risk of people crushing each other.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Looks like the park is considering adding a new coaster.

 

The locals were invited this week to look at the park's future plans... which include a new coaster.

 

 

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Other plans include new lodges, a luxurious camping site, more activities at the hotels, and improved parking lots.

 

 

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You can find the full document here:

 

https://www.chessington.com/downloads/plan/local-residents/future-development-display-boards-2016.pdf

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  • 2 months later...

^Well they were listed for major investment in 2017 on one of Merlins documents that they released a while back. Although it's very unlikely to be anything like a coaster given the amount of time they'll have. Possibly just a re theme unfortunately but i hope for more.

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With it saying the factory will be under new management I guess it will be an aweful Merlin Re-theme with next to no mint put into it. Similar to what happened to Tomb Blaster with the new tacky (they were at before but now they are aweful) guns and bright lighting package. I am very sad about this.

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I agree that this is probably just a re-theme using the existing ride. Especially with the recent investment on the ride system itself.

 

Chessington just completed a major refurbishment on the ride components. Garmendale Engineering, an engineering firm in the UK that does a lot of work for Merlin (including on the London Eye) was contracted for the work. Here are some details of the refurbishment on the firm's website:

 

http://www.garmendale.co.uk/blog/bubbleworks-refurbishment-chessington-world-of-adventures/

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