Chessington World of Adventures Resort

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Ladyofthelake
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Sadly I only got to visit Chessington twice this year. With it being a good 2 hours from home I simply couldn't justify the journey to make a solo trip to visit more than I did.

It was good to see the refurbishments to the Trail of the Kings and I was pleased to see Rani get a new male lion to keep her company as it was heartbreaking to see her on her own when I visited for a Zoo day last December.

I'm not quite sure what to make of the new Pandamonium show which debuted this year. For me, it seemed very short, although given the Resort's and the show's target audience it is probably the right length for keeping the attention of young children. There is no doubt the technology used in the panda puppets is very clever, however I'm unsure as to just how much Pandamonium actually adds to Chessington.

The new Smokehouse did offer some very nice food and it's good to have another indoor, sit down restaurant. My only criticism is that it is on the expensive side and is very much the premium food offering. Whilst I did enjoy the food, I wasn't keen on the pricing structure of having each individual item charged for - it misses having a 'meal' option.

Around the rest of the park it was good to see some areas receive some attention and get a refresh, although I was expecting more from the Tomb Blaster refurbishment. Sadly I didn't get to ride Bubbleworks at all this year, but it is going to be interesting to see what replaces it when the Resort opens next year.
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Ladyofthelake
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As reported on SouthParks News, Chessington have submitted a screening opinion request for a new accommodation development comprising of 45 lodges, bar and lounge, reception building, and play areas. 34 of the lodges will be standard, whilst 11 will be classed a s premium offering views across the Wanyama Reserve.

The plans for the lodges follow what was outlined in the draft Long Term Development plan which the Resort consulted on back in May this year so it's not a total surprise to see these plans moving forward. It is perhaps going to frustrate many people as this would make the third major accommodation development at Chessington in recent years after the Azteca Hotel and Explorer Glamping. I think we can only hope that as this is the first project from the draft LTDP to come to fruition that we'll see more plans submitted in the near future for the theme park based projects.
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Liam.W
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Out of all the parks, why Chessington? At this rate it will have more accommodation than it does decent rides!
Ride count since the beginning of 2015: 2264!
Ride count 2021: 45!
Cred count: 117!

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Luce
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Whilst it is nice that Chessington is being thought of in terms of development, I personally don't think it's the right way to go. I would rather they put money into bringing new rides and attractions to the park and also a general spruce up of the park as a whole would be good too.
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Twinklepark
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It's a no brainer really. The real profit is made in the accommodation. With a lack of space and decent offering at Thorpe and Chessington being so close to rail connections into central London for the London midways, Chessington has turned into a bit of a south East hub. Dont get your hopes up for any park investment as it has less of a return and you just have to look at the dire state of AT yet still another hotel being built there too.
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Max
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Liam.W wrote:Out of all the parks, why Chessington? At this rate it will have more accommodation than it does decent rides!
Already does.
Formerly known as NemesisNosh
2016 Ride Count: 888
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Owen
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I have to say although I disagree with the accommodation forward direction Chessington are going, I feel once Explorer Glamping is gone that this will be a lovely little edition! Looking at the plans they seem to be copies of the Enchanted Village lodges which are really nice for family and personal getaways.

Lets just hope that this development will inspire them to build the 2/3 coasters previously mentioned more quickly!
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lewis97
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Yesterday Kingston Council determined that Chessington's lodge development will not require an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). It's just a case of waiting for the full application to be submitted now, which I imagine won't be until the new year.
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Owen
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The new carousel seems to have been officially named "The Chessington Adventure Tree", with construction walls having this name placed on them.

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Photo credit to Theme Park Guide.
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ThemeCrafter264

Not the greatest name but could have been far worse
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lewis97
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The Chessington Holidays website has confirmed the attraction's name as "The Gruffalo River Ride Adventure". Interestingly this was in fact the most popular choice on the Toluna survey which surfaced a number of months ago.

The website is also advertising new Gruffalo rooms which feature a number of exclusive and interactive elements.

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Liam.W
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On the 1st of January, Chessington are releasing the TV advert for the ride. It also mentions these rooms. Also, in the advert it uses some concept art of outside the attraction because obviously the real facade isn't complete yet, and it doesn't look too bad.

Also, Vampire isn't going to fit into the area from next year due to an area re-name. Bubbleworks didn't used to fit in, now it's Vampires turn!

EDIT: I also forgot to add, I believe there are only 2 Gruffalo rooms, so if anyone wants to book it I would do so as soon as possible because I have a feeling these will be snapped up fairly quickly
Last edited by Liam.W on Fri Dec 30, 2016 4:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Ride count since the beginning of 2015: 2264!
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ThemeCrafter264

What sources do you have for these statements like an area rename and about the advert?
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Liam.W
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I'm afraid I can't say.
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Burniel
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I'm sorry, but this name is awful.

It follows the recent "[insert IP here] - the [insert ride type here (optional)] ride" naming system (see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: The Ride, Angry Birds: The 4-D Experience, I'm a Celebrity: Get me Out of Here! Maze etc). It's bland and has no distinct theme other than "hey, it's based on this character you know and love and will pay more money to see", which says a lot about the eventual ride as a whole. I thought we were keeping the idea of a factory, how hard would it have been to put that in the name? Even "The Gruffalo's [factory produce] factory adventure" would have been better than what we have now.

A name like "Professor Burp's Bubbleworks" or "Toyland Tours" gives you an idea of what fantasy world you'll be immersing yourself in; a name like "The Gruffalo River Ride Adventure" gives you an idea of what type of emtionless machine you'll be putting your body in. I really can't overstate how disappointed I am, given how famous the Bubbleworks brand became.

And now this new ride is apparently going to become the headliner of a new area (what's that going to be called - "The Gruffalo: the family-orientated area"?) It seems to me that Merlin knows that Vampire will crumble within the next decade and are taking the opportunity to re-theme the area while they have an excuse. I guess we'll soon see one of the UK's most beloved coasters torn down and replaced by a small children's ride and meet & greet or maybe even a Gruffalo hotel, ala Alton Towers 2017?

It's such a shame to see Transylvania dying like this. It is and has always been one of Chessington's strongest and most popular areas, being entirely designed by Wardley in 1990. It feels like Chessington have been slowly whittling away at the area which best defines them and 2017 will be the final straw, pushing it beyond recognition as the wonder it was in the 1990s.

I didn't really feel all that bad about Bubbleworks closing in the first place, but this has made me mourn the loss of the ride a lot more.
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Owen
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I have to admit I am personally quite excited for this, as I believe it has good potential to be superior to Bubbleworks (at least the version we left in September). Now, although I am no fan on Chessington in recent years I am glad to see this as I imagine the development has been well planned - even if the name might be slightly less creative. However honestly, I fail to really think of an amazing attraction name in recent years especially based on an IP so pulling Merlin up on it as though it's solely them isn't such a valid point.

In terms of the alleged area retheme, I again can't say I'm disagreeing. Whilst Transylvania might be appreciated for its main area being themed to a good standard by adults, Chessingtons lead market is always children and I can admit I had no idea why it was called Transylvania when I was younger. Due to our school systems and media children really only think Transylvania is where Dracula lives and nothing more (at least from my experience) so to me it makes perfect sense to alter the area. I don't think it'll do too much damage if done correctly either, seeing as The Gruffalo is based in the woodland much like Vampire, and seeing as the area went through extensive refurbishment last year I wouldn't expect any huge changes to the aesthetic.

Really I just think people should give this a chance, as let's be honest Bubbleworks wasn't in the best of its years. I have pre-judged various developments before and ended up loving them, so I'm trying to keep an open mind about this one. :lol
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Dom
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Burniel wrote:I'm sorry, but this name is awful.
Firstly, don't judge a book by its cover. Its the attraction as whole we should be judging, and until it opens we can't do that.
Its just a name, and given Chessington's (And Merlin's) reputation at using rubbish name's it comes as no surprise.
Burniel wrote:And now this new ride is apparently going to become the headliner of a new area (what's that going to be called - "The Gruffalo: the family-orientated area"?) It seems to me that Merlin knows that Vampire will crumble within the next decade and are taking the opportunity to re-theme the area while they have an excuse. I guess we'll soon see one of the UK's most beloved coasters torn down and replaced by a small children's ride and meet & greet or maybe even a Gruffalo hotel, ala Alton Towers 2017? .
It is a shame, if the rumors of the area change are true, but we have to stop being sentimental over things. Theme Parks are a business and they will always need to change with the times to attract new guests. Whilst it pain's me to say it, Vampire will eventually leave the park. Yes its a popular ride, but sometimes things need to go.
Owen wrote:Really I just think people should give this a chance, as let's be honest Bubbleworks wasn't in the best of its years. I have pre-judged various developments before and ended up loving them, so I'm trying to keep an open mind about this one.
This is what everyone should be doing with regards to this attraction. For all we know it could become Chessington's best ride.


I do, however, have concerns as to the level of the themeing that will be used inside. Will they make it look like your in the book and have the scenery match the style of the images in the book, or will they try and make it more realistic. This is the question that is playing on my mind as of late with regards to this attraction. Both could work well, if done well, yet I am partly hoping they go for realistic as opposed to 'cartoony'.
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Owen
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I'd imagine it will be the same art style as the Gruffalo hotel room, which in my opinion is a great thing :D
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Liam.W
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I can put your worries at rest, the new for Transylvania does not contain the word 'Gruffalo' :lol But it's still a terrible name. At least the new name for Market Square is better! The concept art I've seen (I've only seen the station concept art and the outside facade concept art) does look promising, but now it's just a case of them sticking to the concept art!
Ride count since the beginning of 2015: 2264!
Ride count 2021: 45!
Cred count: 117!

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Rita Fan
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Something in me hopes that Vampire will be rethemed to the Owl character in the book, but I think this is a step too far, as well as I think it would be fairly obvious.

I hope this isn't the case. I only hope this to stop Vampire sticking out like a sore thumb in this area.
Erm, change of plan, I prefer The Smiler. Rita's rubbish. Should have thought of that...

Scarefest 2016 hype is all gone... all because of Stan.H.
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