If you are looking for an adventure you need go no further than Chessington World of Adventures, a theme park which offers a super combination of thrilling rides and exotic zoo animals for all of the family to enjoy.
We visited Chessington on a sunny day in early May using our Premium Merlin Passes, entry to the park was trouble free and two very helpful attendants welcomed us on hand to share their knowledge of the park to get our day underway.
With 10 themed lands throughout the park from Zufari to Mystic East each offers something unique so you can pack your day with adventure. Our party included two adults, a three year old and a six week old baby so we made sure that we had planned our day out to get the best of the activities on offer and to make sure our three year old had the stamina for the day. We need not have worried about any height restrictions for our little one. As long as your child is 0.9 metres tall, they can enjoy many rides when accompanied by an adult. The Chessington World of Adventures website and the map that you are freely provided with on your visit, provides details about which rides children are best suited to and there is a ride key that clearly shows which rides will suit adventurers. This was a huge bonus for us – it allowed us to plan and make sure we avoided disappointment for our mini-thrill seeker. On the day that we visited there were no queues for rides as it was mid term. However, if you visit on a busier day, you can use the Chessington World of Adventures App which provides details of waiting times. We loved this little gem as it also provides a map of the park and plots your current location, making navigation super easy. It saved us time and made sure we got the most out of the day. We arrived for opening at 10.00am and spent the whole day in the park, which closed at 5.00pm (this is dependent on the time of year so check the website before your visit).
We began our day in Amuzu, where there is a children’s petting zoo. Unlike any mini farms we’ve visited before (and there have been a few), you can walk amongst the animals and pet them. Characters include two very friendly donkeys as well as sheep and goats. This was a great attraction to our little lady and she was engaged immediately. Her attention was soon grabbed by the penguins in Penguin Bay where one of the many informational Amazing Animal Presentations was being held. With an open water area and viewing windows, the penguins can be seen diving and swimming whilst the keepers provide their dinner as well as share facts about the park’s colony of penguins. These beautiful animals swam and danced happily as the sun shone and the fish were aplenty.
One of our favourite rides was the Scorpian Express. On the map it looks huge so we worried that even with height guidance it would be too big for our little lady, but we need not have worried. Despite the speed and roaring fire that explodes as the carts race around the track, she loved it. In fact, she loved it so much she rode it at least four times asking to revisit before we left the park. Our tummies turned on the Treetop Hoppers and our heads spun on Griffin’s Galleon which was huge fun. We ventured onto the water ride Bubbleworks which was suitable for our little adventurer and allowed for a sufficient soak. After all of this excitement, we took in the calm of the carousel meaning we really had checked out the range of rides.
We took a picnic with us and used one of the many seated areas around the park to rest and have our lunch. However, you could tuck into a range of foods available throughout the park. If you are planning your trip in advance, you can get offers for food packages saving you some pounds on your day out. Check out the website for offers. Premium Pass holders can use their (add value) off food and drinks. Food outlets range from burgers to pizza and Mexican so there is something for everyone. There are also undercover seating areas which you can access to rest and eat so even on days when the Great British weather lets us down, the fun can continue at Chessington World of Adventures.
But the park has so much more than a host of fantastic rides, it is also home to some of the world’s most beautiful creatures. Perhaps one of my favourites were the gorillas, the king of whom was settled in the shade almost posing as the boss. A regal lion sat aloft his throne purveying his surroundings and basking in the glorious sunshine. Rhinos, giraffes and zebras are also housed within Zufari. If you are so inclined there are smaller creepy creatures but we skirted around these. We did however take advantage of the Amazing Animal Presentations where we learned about Sea Lions – their diets, exercise and the threats that they face from pollution. Large crowds were drawn to these super events so its worth planning these into your day. The App helps out here too as well as the map which provides times of all of the presentations.
New for 2016 is Pandamonium, where you get the chance to see these beautiful animals live and up close. I’ll won’t share too much about this attraction, which is almost beyond belief but you it was one of our favourite spots and should be planned into your day.
The park is clean and well presented. Attendants clearly take pride in their roles and are keen to help and offer advice as you explore the park. Toilets are well positioned and there are baby changing facilities that can be accessed by both moms and dads, which is refreshing. The park is vast but largely flat and definitely manageable so you don’t have to worry about navigating with a pushchair or wheelchair. For the smaller visitors you could hire a buggy to help them last the duration of the visit (the buggies are payable locally). There are also useful facilities such as phone charging points and lockers to store your bags.
We really did have a family friendly, fun filled day in a great setting with super friendly staff. The park offers so much that you can enjoy over more than one day so you could enjoy one of the two hotels or even glamping which is new for 2016. We will definitely be back and wouldn’t hesitate to recommended a day or even two out at Chessington World of Adventures.
This post is published as part of our role as Merlin Entertainments Ambassadors.