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. In August 2022, the Resort confirmed the speculation by announcing the new land as being the World of Jumanji.
Mandrill Mayhem’s track layout is now complete! This week saw the reverse spike element added to the rear of the station, where the train will initially launch into, before losing gravity and falling back down into the station again for the next launch. The single B&M wing coaster train arrived and was placed on the track at the rear of the station. The bodies of the rows match the support colour, and wheel bogies match the track colour. The seats and restraints are still wrapped up, along with the Mandrill theming yet to be attached to the centre of the rows. Note that the seventh row is facing in reverse, with the rest of the train facing forward.
The footers for Mandrill Mayhem are being ‘grouted’, which consists of concrete being added between the supports and foundations, to ensure there is no movement between them. The track rails are undergoing sanding where each piece meets another, to ensure the transition between sections is perfectly smooth. We assume these areas will be touched up again before the ride opens. The interior of the station is being fitted out, with a range of wooden styles applied to the walls and operator’s cabin, which appears to have a bamboo facade below where the team member will sit.
The centre of the area continues to receive tropical planting, and now visible is the metal framework for the area entrance sign, seen in the concept art. Work continues on constructing the operator’s cabins, queue lines and flooring for the two flat rides. The storage area is starting to look quite bare now that the majority of the coaster parts have been taken on to the site. Mandrill Mayhem’s test seat has been delivered, with the seat colours slightly visible through the torn packaging. The ride entrance sign framework is also visible behind the test seat – this will attach to the two green metal supports recently installed where the start of the queue line will be. Other framework for various structures and theming continue to be staged in the area until they are ready to be moved on to the site.
A significant amount of progress has been made since our last visit. The majority of track for the rollercoaster (seemingly called Mandrill Mayhem) has now been installed, with the layout complete from the station up to the top of the helix around the Jaguar Shrine. A specially-fabricated broken piece of track is found at the end of the highest point, with this section of track also featuring brake fins and a buffer stop. At the base of the Jaguar Shrine, there is a section of track with LSM fins which will presumably ensure the train is travelling at the appropriate speed when it passes through this section, which could mean it will provide a small additional launch or equally could slow the train down. The spike out the back of the station remains the only section of track yet to be installed, although this will presumably only be added once the access to the site through that area is no longer required. The track and supports for this remain in storage in the car parks.
Over at the station building, it can be seen that work is underway inside with the installation of wooden panelling. The exterior of northern side has taken on a different appearance to the corrugated metal look of the rest of the building. This could be so it better blends in with the part of the land it will face, being that where one of the flat rides is located. The ride hardware for this is now in-situ, with it looking to be an SBF Top Dancer (i.e. Junior Miami). A theming element in the form of a giant snake head has also been added behind the ride, seemingly confirming this attraction to be Mamba Strike. Nearby, the framework for what looks to be the entrance to the attraction’s queue line has been installed, along with framework for some additional structures – likely the ops booth and photo retail building shown on the plans.
The hardware for the area’s other flat ride, a 14-armed SBF Super Jumper, has also been installed on site. It is evident that each set of seats has been themed to be an ostrich, hence the name Ostrich Stampede. Although a small building has been erected near to the ride, this doesn’t seem to be the ride operator’s cabin, with it facing away from the ride and not in the location of the cabin shown on the plans. Opposite Ostrich Stampede, a shipping container has been installed which appears as though will function as a food kiosk. This has been themed as though it is an overturned truck, with the frontage actually looking to be that of Ripsaw’s former op cabin. Throughout the area, planting and landscaping is now well underway. A number of enlarged Jumanji board game pieces can also be seen dotted around the centre of the land.
Trademark applications were filed by Merlin Attractions Operations Limited appearing to relate to the attractions set to feature in World of Jumanji. Mandrill Mayhem looks to be the name of the area’s rollercoaster, with the corresponding logo showing a mandrill with its arms outstretched in a manner which could reflect the design of the wing coaster’s trains. This would then indicate Mamba Strike and Ostrich Stampede as being the names of the area’s two flat rides.
With further deliveries of B&M track to the resort, the team at Chessington are wasting no time at all in constructing the coaster’s layout. Today we saw track being installed up until the inverting portion of the zero-g roll which will welcome guests into the World of Jumanji above the main entrance of the area. Further progress has been made on the station, with the roof now nearing completion and the rest of the building enclosed, along with the internal walls and operator booth above the track constructed. Since our last update, further sections of track have been added to the rear of the station, and it is now noted that instead of featuring a traditional transfer track, this coaster features a removable track rail section which enables the train to be moved to the maintenance building.
There has been a significant amount of progress on the site since our last update, not least with the delivery and installation of the first sections of Bolliger & Mabillard track. As shown in the concept images released, the track is coloured green to suit Jumanji’s jungle theme. All of the track running through the station has now been installed, allowing progress to continue on the metalwork for the station’s roof. This track is lined with the LSM fins that will provide the rollercoaster’s launch. More of the station’s exterior has also started to be clad with the corrugated metal first seen on its rear – at the rear, the eagle-eyed will note that sections of metal with hand cut-outs have been added, providing a fun near-miss feature. Throughout the rest of the site, it now appears that all of the track supports up to and around the Jaguar Shrine have been installed. The Jaguar Shrine itself has had theming touches applied, having been painted and seeing the installation of vines. There is still at least one piece of track being stored off-site, although it appears there may be further sections under tarpaulin. The visible piece of track appears as though it could be for the spike out the back of the station. There are also some additional LSM fins being stored in this area, along with the last remaining support beams. We assume these are for that same section of track behind the station, since the design of these means they will need to be installed at the same time. Also stored are what appear to be catwalks to be installed on either side of the straight track section immediately out the back of the station.
Further brown coloured supports continue to be delivered to the Resort, with the first set having been installed on concrete footers around the layout. With track yet to arrive, the construction team do not appear to be following a set order in which the ride steelwork is installed. Currently the largest column erected will support part of the zero-g roll above the entrance to the land, which should provide an eye-catching welcome for guests. The first station support has been installed at the back of the loading platform, showing that the track will be elevated in height compared to a traditional wing coaster design, such as The Swarm at Thorpe Park. The Jaguar Shrine now appears to be completely covered in sprayed concrete, with workers carving and shaping the finer details and patterns into the structure. A hole for the jewel (called Jaguar’s Eye in the movies) has been carved between the eyes, with this piece of theming currently being stored at ground level awaiting installation.
This update comes shortly after the first delivery of brown supports for the rollercoaster to the Resort, which are evidently manufactured by Bolliger & Mabillard, as expected. While some of these remain in the storage area, a number have been transported on to the site, ready for vertical construction on the rollercoaster itself to begin. The rectangular plates will be where the supports are bolted to the track, while the (generally) circular plates with a protrusion indicate where the supports will be fixed to the foundations that have been installed around the site. Note that some of the larger supports come in multiple pieces, which will be fitted together upon their installation. Elsewhere on the construction site, the foundation for Children’s Ride A now looks to be complete. The Jaguar Shrine theming element has now been almost entirely covered in concrete, although it still appears some further layers are to be applied and sculpting then completed on the top half. Over at the station, concrete has now been poured for the floors, and corrugated metal has been added to the rear side of the building, providing an indication of what the station’s exterior will look like.
Our latest update comes on the same day that the area has been confirmed as being the World of Jumanji. The most notable development is the almost full erection of the rollercoaster’s maintenance building, which now just awaits its doors / shutter to make its exterior structurally complete. The pace at which this has been constructed and enclosed could suggest that the Resort are expecting delivery in the near future of a train or the electrical hardware that is due to be installed in this building. Over at the station structure, pre-formed concrete slabs are being installed to support the station’s floor. It is now clear to see the different levels that the station and maintenance buildings sit at, suggesting that the train will have to be craned between the main circuit and maintenance building, rather than there being a transfer track. Fencing continues to be added around the rollercoaster’s perimeter, which will secure the ride area from guests. Groundwork is now being completed for two of the area’s flat rides, with round and square concrete footers installed, respectively. Small retaining walls have also started to be installed towards the centre of the area, which will form the edges between the area’s landscaping and pathways. Over at the Jaguar Shrine theming element, Koda Creative continue to apply the rockwork finish, which includes carving and sculpting the lowest levels into its final form, ready for the paintwork to be applied.
On National Rollercoaster Day, the Resort took the opportunity to confirm that the World of Jumanji would open in spring 2023. As part of the announcement, two concept images were released focusing on the area’s entrance portal, which is shrouded in the ominous and overgrown Jumanji jungle that is said to dominate the land, and the 55ft Jaguar Shrine that will feature as the area’s focal point. Although details about the new area’s rides, attractions and experiences have not yet been revealed, what is clearly identifiable as B&M track can be seen spiralling up around the Jaguar Shrine.
Following the reveal, details of the Jaguar Shrine theming feature were submitted to Kingston Council in order to satisfy the associated planning condition, providing a number of different views of the structure!
Groundwork continues around the site, including the laying of the concrete foundation for the ride’s maintenance and plant building, which will provide both a workshop space as well as housing the launch and ride control systems. A retaining wall has also been added, given the difference in elevation between the ground level of the maintenance building and the area of the site where the site office is currently situated. Over at the station building, the brickwork lining the path of the coaster track through the building has now been set into place. Some additional metalwork has also been installed to the previously erected steel structure, which will help to support the exterior walls. Finally, concrete has started to be applied at the lowest levels of the theming feature, while more mesh has been added further up the structure ready for the concrete to be applied to provide a rockwork effect.
The most notable development since our last update is that the steelwork for the station building has now gone vertical. Inside, stacks of bricks wait to be set in to place to line where the coaster track will travel through the building. Over at the theming feature, mesh is starting to be added to the main structure, with it expected that a rockwork effect will then be applied to this.
Since our last update, the footers and foundations for the ride supports are mostly complete, with the notable pouring of the concrete station pad. The centrepiece of the area, thought to be the Jaguar Shrine from Jumanji, is now visible with its metal framework constructed. The coaster track will eventually surround this structure, with the train ascending, and then descending the track in reverse. The fencing by the Explorer Entrance is mostly complete, with planting installed between the path and the fence, and new banners attached to partially block the view of construction.
Work continues on the many footers and foundations that will support the coaster’s structure. Bolts are being set into the concrete footers which will secure the ride supports in place when the steelwork arrives later in the year. The shape of the station foundation is now visible and is likely to be poured in the coming days. Towards the bottom of the site, smaller footers are now complete for the large theming feature that the track will wrap around. Over by the Explorer Entrance which is in the midst of a reconfiguration, large permanent green fencing has been installed which shows how close guests will be able to get to the ride, with footers just a few steps away on the other side.
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.