With a Bavarian courtyard inviting guests to enjoy The Gruffalo River Ride Adventure, the Vampire flies noisily overhead enticing people to a more thrilling adventure.
A freely swinging suspended roller coaster, Vampire has been a central part of both Chessington’s identity and success since its installation by Arrow Dynamics in 1990. Guests navigate a queue line through the wooded area beneath the ride, before entering a grand gothic station featuring an animatronic organist that plays the classic Vampire soundtrack. Once strapped in, the coaster ascends from the station to the first lift hill, proceeded by a gradual descent back down to ground level, before rising and twisting through the trees, with rider’s feet passing close to the grass below, and then flying over the path to the brakes before another lift hill. The second drop provides a steeper descent, where riders in the front of the train may dangle slightly before gravity allows the train to pick up speed, swinging riders out above the courtyard below. The coaster then traverses a calmer slalom at tree top height, before entering what is the highlight of the ride when the train dives into a tunnel and back out via a slightly upwards near 90 degree banked turn, finally returning at speed past the queue line and into the dark station building. With the current floorless trains providing a slightly slower, yet more exposed ride experience, older guests may reminisce over the original vampire bat themed trains that initially gave the attraction its infamous reputation.
Opened: 1990 | Manufacturer: Arrow Dynamics | Height Restriction: 1.1m* | Ride Photos? No | Fastrack? Yes
*There is also a maximum height restriction of 1.96m.
Depicting a magical interpretation of the Gruffalo story, The Gruffalo River Ride Adventure is a boat ride through key scenes from the story. Guests climb aboard a round boat that travels along a conveyor belt, before being released gently into a calm flowing river. With sights, sounds and scents, the story brings to life the mouse’s walk through the woods avoiding different dangers including fox, owl and snake, all whilst reaffirming to themselves that there is no such thing as a Gruffalo. Concluding with a short climb and drop into a fountain filled finale, the ride maintains an aspect of its much loved former resident, Professor Burp’s Bubble Works.
Opened: 2017 | Manufacturer: Mack Rides | Height Restriction: N/A* | Ride Photos? Yes | Fastrack? Yes
*Anyone under 1.1m must be accompanied by someone 16 years or over.