Rollercoaster Mum: We have graduated - from Legoland to Chessington!

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Saturday, 14 June 2014

We have graduated - from Legoland to Chessington!

One of the first posts I ever did on this blog was about how we loved Legoland - that was nearly three years ago and we have been back there several times since. This year though we have finally graduated to the bigger rides of Chessington's World of Adventures. We had been waiting for Little Miss to creep over the magic 1.2m in height which meant she could go on most of the big rides there and we were so glad we did. No pics really of the big rides I'm afraid as you can't really take camera's on them!

Theme Parks, Chessington, Dragon's Fury rollercoaster

At ages 3 and 6 the girls were already mini speed freaks then, and now aged 6 and 9 respectively they still are. Proved beyond doubt when the first ride we went on was 'Dragon's Fury' - a little scary and breathtaking even for the grown-ups. This is a proper rollercoaster where you are spun around, up, down, sideways and almost upside down. Bigger Miss was a little scared on it the first time but after her second go she declared she quite liked it. The downsides of Chessington are the queues which can be long and after spending half an hour wondering whether Little Miss might get rejected (she wasn't but as she is only just over 1.2m we did worry) we headed to the 'measuring station' where she was measured, declared fit to ride those big 'coasters and given a coloured wristband to show she was OK.

Chessington, Theme Parks, Log flume, Dragon's Falls

getting wet at Chessington

Height worries over we saw that the log flume (Dragon's Falls) only had a 5 minute queue on the queuing times board in the Market Square. (One citicism here - they really could do with more of these boards as this was the only place they had one). After two goes on that it was off to tick off all the rides we wanted to do - the Cobra (possibly my favourite), the Monkey Swinger (Rollercoaster Dad got soaked much to everyone's amusement), the bumper cars (Tuk Tuk Turmoil!), Scorpion Express (brilliantly set dressed but not the most exciting), Zufari truck ride (very clever if you've never been to Africa), Safari Skyway (good for views and a quick snack), the much awaited Vampire (probably the girl's favourite), the big Pirate Ship, even the Carousel and the Big Wheel. Somewhere in the middle of the afternoon we took a break and watched one of the daily shows - the entertaining 'Animal Antics' and the grown-ups had an extra stop while the girls ran around the Amazu treetop adventure play. By the end of day 1 (did I mention we had booked 2 days with a stay in a hotel!) we were out of energy and spent the last half hour quietly wandering around the zoo, checking out the sealions, penguins, big cats and gorillas.

Chessington , Sea Lion hug
The Sea Lion show was fun - and surprisingly quite educational. 

Chessington Zufari, rhinos
Bigger Miss spotting rhinos on Zufari
The next day was actually an inset day and was rather disappointingly busier than the Sunday of the half term and involved a lot more queueing but having been there the day before the pressure was off and we still managed to do the big rides at least twice each , especially as we did our usual trick of staying there until the bitter end. We managed Dragon's Falls twice at the end in about 20 minutes and then raced to the Cobra with minutes to spare! We also saw the Sea Lion show which the girls loved, had a quick trip around Hocus Pocus hall which was quite fun and went round the Sea Life centre which was small but well done. I think the only thing we missed out that we would quite like to have done was the Bubble Works as we would rather queue for an hour for the Vampire ride than that!

Chessington set dressing
Some of the set dressing was very impressive. Tuk tuks are always popular in our house since our visit to Sri Lanka 3 years ago! 
We took our own food on both days which always helps, not only with the cost, but also means you can just snack on a sausage roll while queueing! I think the only things we bought in two days were one round of ice-creams, one coffee and one of those endless top up drink things which we shared.

Overall we had a great time and we will definitely be going back to Chessington as the girls would never forgive us if we didn't. The rides are great and pitched just right for my two. There are also quite a few smaller rides for little ones which we didn't bother with, however if you have speed freak kids like mine that are under 1.2m then they might not be so happy as the Vampire would be pretty much the only big thing they could go on. The queues were long and they could definitely do with another queue update board (although I think there is an app for it but my smart 'phone had died and Rollercoaster Dad doesn't have one.) The park did not feel too crowded and there are plenty of places to just chill out for a bit. The animal shows were well done, educational and a good way of just stopping for a bit of a rest. They also need to sort out the car park leaving system as it was chaos at the end of the day (maybe some staff directing the traffic would be good?)

In summary - other than the queues - which lets face it you get at every theme park Chessington World of Adventures is a Grand Day Out!

Disclosure: I was not compensated in any way for this post and we paid for everything ourselves. All words and pictures are my own as are my opinions! 

10 comments:

  1. Sounds great! We're still at the 'small' rides stage (which suits me to be honest!), but I suspect it won't be long before the boys want something a bit more exciting :)

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    1. It's nice that we can all go on the rides together which makes it a real family day out.

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  2. We have some tickets to go to Chessington this summer so your review is very timely! My husband and I are hoping that our two will enjoy it (they are 5 and 3 though so will mainly be sticking to the 'smaller' rides). Our 5-year-old is turning into quite the rollercoaster fan, but isn't yet 1.2m so I hope she won't be disappointed.

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    1. She can probably do the Vampire one and the Scorpion Express as well which is a biggish ride but not as exciting as some of the others but I think the height level is lower. Being the older one I'm sure she'll love it - our worry was that Bigger Miss could do all the big rides and Little Miss wouldn't be able to which would then have upset her!! There's still tons to do for little ones. There were still two rides that neither of ours could do either - mind you not sure I wanted to go on Rameses Revenge!

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  3. I would love to see sea lions up close. They are such a fascinating creatures... and they smile :-)

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    1. They were fab and so entertaining but they seemed to enjoy it too!

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  4. I remember going on a day coach trip to Chessington with a dance friend when we were about 16. Was a great day out.

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  5. Oh my word that sounds like such a fun day!! You have got some very brave kids...I can't imagine mine being up for those rides in a few years!

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  6. Sounds to me as though you might have a little 'adrenaline junkie' on your hands! We love Chessington :)

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  7. Ooh - great photos. We are very much in the world of Legoland at the moment - it's great!

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