From concept to reality. The following images were used to provide an impression of what the relevant attraction would look like before it was built. Which is your favourite?

Those daring to ride Croc Drop plunge 25m into the giant jaws of a crocodile, Sobek, the ancient Egyptian Crocodile God and protector of the Nile, who has been possessed by evil spirits, transforming him into a cruel deity. With the once fertile Nile laying stagnant, riders must take part in a ceremony to banish the evil spirits from Sobek, plunging into the crocodile’s soul and freeing the waters back into the Nile.

Everyone’s favourite patchwork elephant, Elmer, created by David McKee and published by Andersen Press, was brought to life from these colourful concept images.

Surrounded by the track of Dragon’s Fury, Land of the Dragons is a colourful land that mixes high thrills with gentler attractions.

Replacing the ageing Mystic East area, Land of the Tiger was designed to make the tigers the main attraction of the area, and these images showed us exactly how close guests were able to come to them.

Revised Plans

When new plans were submitted in March 2018 the accompanying concept images were also updated to reflect the changes made. Although the revisions saw the appearance of the tiger rock head arguably improved, some of the more detailed theming throughout the area was scaled-back, with the more naturalistic, ruins-type look replaced with something more simplified and colourful.

Room on the Broom – A Magical Journey, was brought to life so guests could walk through the pages of the book written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler.

Shipwreck Coast opened in 2022 and was the reimagining of the former Pirates Cove area. With two new attractions, ‘Barrel Bail Out!’ and ‘Trawler Trouble, the land was refreshed with a new nautical theme billed as a “disaster-ridden harbour town”. These beautiful concept images were not far off the final product.

These images of the Gruffalo River Ride Adventure showed us how guests would join Mouse as they embark on a ‘magical riverboat journey’ into the Deep Dark Wood. The Gruffalo also came to the Safari Hotel with the introduction of four Gruffalo themed bedrooms.

The Rainforest was new for 2020, giving young adventurers the chance to explore a tropical jungle in the form of three new rides.

An ancient and mythical Asian kingdom was shown in these beautiful images that were created by designer Matt Wells.

2023 saw the opening of World of Jumanji, a new area which featured a new rollercoaster in Mandrill Mayhem, as well as two supporting flat rides – Ostrich Stampede and Mamba Strike. To coincide with the area’s launch, new Jumanji themed rooms also opened in the Resort’s on-site hotels. These concept images were released to the media to provide an insight into what could be expected when the land opened.

ZUFARI was an ambitious development for Chessington, with the Resort seeking to overhaul a large area of its zoo exhibits with a new safari experience. Although these initial concepts do reflect all the key elements of the attraction, they also indicate that some areas of the project were scaled back, such as landscaping and rockwork along the route, the number of ‘splash zones’, and the main entrance portal from Forbidden Kingdom.