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.