Oh help! Oh no! It’s a Gruffalo!

The Gruffalo River Ride Adventure arrived at Chessington World of Adventures Resort today (18th March) as the long awaited ride opened to guests for the first time.

Based on the popular children’s book by Julia Donaldson, The Gruffalo River Ride Adventure sees guests join Mouse on a riverboat journey through the Deep Dark Wood in wooden themed tubs meeting a range of well-known characters along the way.

One of the first things guests notice as they enter the station is the floor to ceiling artwork depicting many of the characters from The Gruffalo stories, with the ceiling being covered in faux foliage adding to the sense of being transported into the Deep Dark Wood. Throughout the attraction a range of effects combine to create the narrative of your journey through the Deep Dark Wood. Amongst these are a number of animatronic figures depicting Mouse, Snake, and The Gruffalo, as well as smell pots, and a smoke screen towards the end of the ride. Fans of the attraction’s former incarnation, Bubbleworks, will notice a number of nods to the classic ride, including the final room retaining two of the three fountains from the famous Bubbleworks finale. The ride also utilises a lighting system which adjusts and adapts the light levels depending on the scenes and the boats coming through which helps to create an effective lighting scheme throughout the ride. All of this combines to create a well thought out and lovely addition to Chessington’s rides and attractions line up. Throughout the day, the ride coped well with large crowds peaking at a 90 minute wait. There was no down time whatsoever on its opening day.

Following its opening last week, The Gruffalo Shop has also now been completed with a new book display occupying the space which was empty last week, and a range of Chessington exclusive Gruffalo merchandise on offer. Merlin Annual Pass holders receive 10% discount on Gruffalo merchandise, in line with the discount received on Lego products.

Also debuting this weekend is a fresh programme for the newly re-themed Gruffalo Arena located in Africa. Guests can attend screenings of The Gruffalo Film, as well as meet and greets with The Gruffalo throughout the day. Although the new programme means the Arena no longer hosts a live show, prior to the meet and greets staff lead a brief interactive session based on the characters from The Gruffalo books.

Chessington’s latest attraction replaces the much loved Bubbleworks which closed on 6th September 2016 following 26 years at the Resort. The new addition isn’t the first time The Gruffalo has made an appearance at Chessington World of Adventures Resort with the character featuring in the Resort’s Winter’s Tail event in 2014 which included a live show on the Resort’s Africa Stage, character meet and greets, and themed quiz trail.

Will you be visiting the Resort to try The Gruffalo River Ride Adventure? What are your thoughts on the latest addition to Chessington World of Adventures Resort? Have your say over on the Attraction Source Forum.

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