Work is underway on a new land at Chessington World of Adventures encompassing a rollercoaster and two children’s rides. Originally outlined in the Resort’s last long term development plan, a full planning application was submitted in August 2021. Following approval in January 2022, it was confirmed that the area would open in 2023. The shape from above created by the plaza’s planned landscaping has fuelled speculation that the area could be themed to Jumanji.
The construction site is a hive of activity with work focused on creating the coaster’s many foundations and footers. The staging area opposite the site contains less components than during our previous visit, with many of the rebar forms being moved across the road to their final locations. On the east of the site adjacent to Vampire, the station area has been flattened in preparation for pouring the concrete pad following piles being driven into the ground. Heading north, the layout of the coaster is now starting to become visible as the footers are poured for the track which follows the path along the top of the site. Over by the Explorer Entrance, a large round footer has been installed that could potentially be for the central foundation of ‘Children’s Ride A’, seen in the area plans. On the south of the site, a large cluster of foundations are being constructed for the many supports which will make up the spiral spike which the coaster train will ascend, before rolling backwards at the top once it runs out of speed. Situated close by are the first set of footers to receive their bolts, which will eventually screw the support columns to the ground.
Following the approval of the planning application in January 2022, work is now well underway on-site. Signage has been added to the construction fences teasing that the ‘wildest adventure ever is growing’ for 2023. Within the site, a site office is now in-situ and groundwork is progressing in preparation for the installation of footers for the rollercoaster, as well as foundations for other structures across the area. There are cylindrical rebar structures on site which look like those used by Bolliger & Mabillard to form the piles which anchor their rollercoasters’ footers into the ground. Also on site is a large pile driving machine used for excavating the holes which the metalwork will be inserted into, before being filled with concrete to form the footer. The locations where these are due to be dug are indicated by marking pegs inserted into the ground. Across from the main construction site, a staging area has been established in one of the car parks, where rebar is being pre-formed into structures which will be used for the section of the footers which the support will be attached to. A delivery has also been made of other metal components such as bolts, washers and plates.
Our first photo update shows the construction fences erected around the site of the new for 2023 area. Previously home to the Backyard Beach attraction located at the top of the site, a grassy picnic area in the middle, and a maintenance compound at the lower end of the area, these are in the early stages of demolition.
The full planning application was submitted by the Resort in August 2021, offering a more detailed insight into the proposals and generating speculation that the area could be themed around Jumanji. The development was largely as shown in the consultation, although changes of note include the relocation of one of the children’s rides to the north of the area, the layout of the plaza’s landscaping, and the rollercoaster’s station becoming fully enclosed. The plans confirmed the rollercoaster as being 380m in length, reaching a speed of 20 m/s (around 45mph), having a 1.4m minimum height restriction, carrying 24 guests in 6 cars, and having an approximate 1 minute ride period and a 1 minute turn around period (implying a throughput of around 720 riders per hour). It is unclear which of the four options featured in the consultation that one of the low-level flat rides will be, but one appears to be a Junior Miami type ride. In terms of theming, the main plaza area will be surfaced with pattern-impressed concrete, and a series of Amazon-themed stone carvings of varying dimensions will be installed around the site. The main theming element is said to be an animal-based rockwork structure in-keeping with the Resort’s offering.
In May 2021, the Resort undertook a two week public consultation on the proposed new land, providing a first look at the prospective attractions. Concept images released, suggest it could be a Wing Coaster manufactured by Bolliger & Mabillard, based on the style of track shown and the inclusion of air gates on both sides of the open-air station. The description and layout plan suggested it would feature an initial backwards launch out of the station, before being further propelled through the main course up into a large spike element that loops around a rock ‘animal feature’. The exact children’s rides that would feature were yet to be confirmed, with two due to be chosen out of a Jump n Smile, Technical Park Bateaux Volants, Zierer Jet Skis, and a Technical Park Super Miami.