So our next stop brings us to our first UK theme park Chessington World of Adventures, this was the park I was least excited for on the trip but it had a few stand out attractions. The main one being Vampire the only Arrow suspended coaster still operating outside of North America. Getting to ride this thing I can now say I’ve been on all five remaining Arrow suspended coasters and just like every other one it’s a classic. Anyway let’s jump right in..
So first off we picked up the rental car and drove from Gatwick directly to Chessington World of Adventures. This was my very first time driving the car and driving on the other side of the road, luckily it was mainly highway and wasn’t too confusing to get there, overall only took us about 30 minutes.
Here’s a close up of our rental car, not my first choice or my second choice but it got us around so no complaints there. Also the parking lot was a grass lot as you can see.
So first thing you notice in the park is that the pathways are quite wide and there is a lot of trees and shade at this park.
Don’t enter the ride area, danger of death. They couldn’t spell it out more clearly for people. They almost need these signs in the States.
Where the heck are we going?
Is that a coaster in those woods?
Or is a Vampire?
Vampire soars through the trees and most of the time over your head. The other neat thing that separates this Arrow suspended from the others is the open air seats. These do help give a better sensation of flying, but don’t worry they still swing back and forth like the all the others.
Is that a waterfall of blood?
We’ll return later, but for now let’s get some food.
We ate at the Burger Kitchen first because nothing says being in the UK like eating burgers haha 😛
A look at the menu and the prices, first thing we noticed right off the bat food prices are much better here versus prices at theme parks in the States.
Back outside the famous Bubbles ride was closed for refurbishment, a shame because I had heard great things about the ride.
More of Vampire’s track as it soars through the small village area.
The track winds through the village and reminds me of class Big Bad Wolf.
There’s a map, where to head next?
So Chessington is like a Busch Gardens or Sea World park where there is plenty of animals as well as rides. Here is some reindeer enjoying the afternoon.
Buckeyes…. OH…………. IO
Next up was the good ole Californian Sea Lions.
They were quite active when we stopped by.
Making waves and everything.
Next we journeyed into the Creepy Caves.
No surprise you’d find a giant snake in here.
Actually all kinds of different snakes in here.
After the caves we found ourselves on a trail of kings.
The posts in the area even had some neat theming such as the claw marks.
This was one of the more unique animals in the area, don’t recognize seeing it at other zoos, or maybe if other zoos had one it was always hiding. Anyway I present…
The Fossa, what a unique and strange animal.
Very active indeed and what a cool animal to watch walk around.
The Lynx was walking around looking for food when we passed by.
“Hey you guys.. you want to feed me or what?”
Near the village, the peaceful village, the lion sleeps…. today?
Meanwhile the Lynx is still hungry.
What the heck is this thing?
And would you look at those claws? It could tear you to shreds.
The tigers were outside having some fun.
Well one of them at least, the other one was taking a little nap.
“Would you cut it out, I’m trying to sleep here.”
So a crazy thing we noticed while walking through the area was that there was all these coins embedded in the pathway. Not sure what they were there for but they were everywhere.
Anyone know the significance?
The gorilla did not look interested in any shenanigans today.
Maybe the coins are referring to the lost treasure, but we have no clue.
Some Halloween theming out since it is the season.
After our trail walk we stopped to grab some donuts. This is the UK’s favorite theme park snack, they were at every park. They are almost like mini funnel cakes but in a donut shape and with regular sugar. There is machines that pump them out when you order them and they are always fresh. This was actually the best donut we had at the parks, maybe it had something to do with it being the first time trying it.
Let’s check out the Sea Life aquarium located inside the park.
All about conservation.
As we entered the aquarium we had to pose for a few pictures.
It was crazy how some of the aquariums had open air tops, you could stick your hand in if you really wanted to. Though I wouldn’t advise that.
Look out here comes a shark!
Ahh never mind he doesn’t want anything to do with us.
I found Nemo.
Mustard doesn’t have a lid, hmm?
That’s crazy learn something new everyday.
Neat glowing fish.
Hello mr. fishee.
Of course like every other aquarium they had the walk through tunnel.
Hammerhead coming to get ya! What was neat about the aquarium was the theming inside the tanks, notice the sunken airplane in the photo.
Wait a second how’d that plane get out of the water? Penguins hanging out, outside the aquarium.
So we had no idea what this was so let’s go check it out.
We even got the Disney style pre show before entering the mysterious house.
It turns out it was actually a crazy walk through fun house, pretty neat.
The lighting in there was so bad for photos but somehow this photo perfectly explains how trippy it was inside the house.
Next up was their new for 2016 live show Pandamonium! Complete with anmatronic pandas
It was a quick little show but the use of the animatronic pandas made it pretty neat.
They had a few of them, and the way they moved and interacted was pretty hi tech.
See ya later pandas!
Chessington has two hotels on site so they can label it as a resort. This was one of the pathways to one of the hotels, we sort of got lost for a quick minute.
Let’s see whats down this way.
Well there’s more animals down here so we can’t be totally in the wrong place.
Even some monkeys climbing above the walkways with people with nothing separating them, you definitely don’t see this in the States.
Nice little play area for the kids.
Another close up of the Capybaras.
Ok so now we’ve reached the exit, but it’s not time to leave yet so let’s turn around.
The hotel looked very nice but it was too expensive for our tastes, you’ll see our accommodations for the night later in the next update.
But we don’t want to leave yet….
So we started to wait a little bit for this coaster then decided to get fast passes instead since the line wasn’t moving.
We’ll be back.
Old fashioned amusement park fun with the remote control cars. Neat to see parks that still have this.
Time to ride the safari ride that is similar to Animal Kingdom’s and Six Flags Great Adventure’s.
The queue had a bunch of little signs that kept you entertained while waiting.
And another sign.
The queue zig zagged a bunch but the wait wasn’t too bad since the line moved and there was stuff to keep you entertained.
Selfie as we board our Jeep.
And we’re off!
Of course like every safari ride, there are giraffe to see. Luckily none of them decided to block the road like they are known to do.
Here comes the ostrich to break up this party.
The area the animals have to roam in the attraction is pretty spread out.
But there’s enough animals that you’ll definitely see all different kinds.
There’s even some rhino.
Uh oh don’t think we should be heading this way.
So inside the cave was a neat waterfall effect, the lighting however was terrible inside to get a decent picture.
Here’s a little better picture, notice you might get a little wet.
Neat ride, definitely a star attraction of the park.
Exiting the Zufari area of the park.
Of course we had to ride the carousel.
So here’s where the annoying part of the day started, so we went to go grab our fast passes for the remaining coasters. So what’s neat is you can buy just one ride you don’t need a pay all day price but that’s an option as well. So we bought what we though were 2 passes to the remaining big attractions that were left. When we got to the front, turns out the guy only rang us out for one person so we had to walk all the way back and buy another one. The whole time the guy gave us attitude and said we only asked for one. It definitely soured me on the park, but in the end we mainly got to ride everything we wanted to, so it wasn’t a total loss just an annoyance.
Later in the day the park started to empty out as well.
This is the one coaster we didn’t get to ride, not much of a loss since it’s the standard wild mouse but it did look nicely themed.
With our fast passes in hand we returned to Scorpion Express, a neat little powered coaster.
The scorpion’s tail would squirt water at riders as they passed.
Fun little coaster, but definitely would not have waited more than 10 minutes for it.
Next up was the log flume which only had a 10 minute wait but it was included in our fast pass bundle package so why not let’s ride a log flume in 50 degree weather.
The flume has some weird theming, such as entering a dragons mouth at one point.
About time to hop on.
We didn’t get soaked so that was a success.
The next major coaster was Dragon’s Fury a spinning wild mouse.
The ride did have a fun first drop, and some neat spins.
The second hill has a nice overbank turn.
Another decent coaster, but again wouldn’t want to wait for more than 10 minutes for this thing either.
What’s that behind the fence? That would be Chessington’s star attraction Vampire!
Vampire’s station is very nicely themed.
Even down to the creepy old man animatronic playing the piano music that is playing in the queue.
Our chariot awaits.
Going into Chessinton Vampie was the ride that I was most excited for, and it definitely didn’t disappoint. It’s definitely the best ride at the park and it hope it stays for a long time.
Since we still had time before the park closed we decided to give Tomb Blaster a shot.
The guy in the back must be having a lot of fun. The ride was actually pretty long and good for a shooting dark ride.
Walking out of the park we noticed their Huss Top Spin did some interesting things to the riders. Not sure if the two girls up front know what they are getting into. Notice how everyone else is sitting on the end.
The reason being is if you’re in the middle you’re about to get soaked!
Then the ride does one final flip to hopefully dry you off.
See ya later Chessington!
So overall Chessington was a decent park, nothing to ride home about and like I said our annoyances with the worker selling the fast passes really soured my opinion of the park. The animal exhibits were definitely top notch but most of the rides were average excluding Vampire and Zufari. It was worth a visit but definitely not on my list of parks to get back to anytime soon.
Next up we’re off to Thorpe Park and the Thorpe Shark Hotel!