With our Merlin Annual Pass in hand we journeyed to Chessington World of Adventures, a theme park James and I had not ventured to together before, and neither had been to since childhood. It did take persuasion to get James to go, it is known as a kiddie theme park. However it wasn’t always the case, Chessington was once the theme park for the thrill seekers to impress their friends on Ramses Revenge and The Vampire. However Thorpe Park has since become the top park for roller coasters and Chessington thrives on being the family theme park.
So now with our Merlin Annual Passes entry was free and we ventured to the park on the weekend before the school summer holidays and were devastated to see it was a busy day. I was optimistic though, it was a new adventure for us.
After parking up and walking through the entrance (skipping the queue with our passes) our first mission was to find a locker for our bag. This took far longer than it should’ve. We then tackled a few rides such as the rattlesnake, tomb blaster and dragon falls. I have great memories of my Mum collapsing in laughter on the rattlesnake, dragon falls doesn’t get you too wet, and I was disappointed that the small children sitting behind us beat me at Tomb Blaster. All good fun.
We then headed to the new ride for 2013 – Zufari. We had done a similar experience in America, an off road safari ride. The queue was longer than others and we had our explorer photograph taken with no intension to buy. At the front of the queue we entered a room with a screen and were introduced to a local explorer and his talking pet monkey. I cannot remember the premise but were specifically told not to enter the caves. The monkey then interacted with a small shy boy at the front of the audience and we were released to queue the final part. These sorts of queues annoy me, James and I were at the front of the queue to get into the screen and then others can get ahead of you at this point. Luckily though we were in the first truck load.
We ruined this ride for ourselves, we had done a much bigger production in America, but the kids in the truck were thrilled. And do expect to get wet! They don’t warn you of that.
We took a couple turns on The Vampire, but the ride with the biggest queue was Dragon’s Fury. This is clearly the best ride (aside from Ramses which was under maintenance) and for that reason we queued hours. Then it broke. As the queue whittled down we chose not to leave as we were close to the front and didn’t want to miss out. Instead the staff gave everyone a fast pass and we were pleased with that. We ended up using this on Dragon’s Fury later in the day when it reopened, and James admitted it was a good ride.
For lunch we had chicken, queues were massive and tables were hard to conquer but we had a pleasant lunch.
We took a walk around the zoo part, the sea lions were lovely and we looked at the bugs too. We were getting tired though so decided to move on.
We had a fun day, but were happy to leave having done everything we wanted (except Ramses and The Runaway Train which were both down). It is still firmly a family park so we won’t be going back for a long time.