Bubbleworks (formerly Professor Burp's Bubbleworks) is a dark water ride opened in 1990 at Chessington World of Adventures Resort in London. It takes up to four riders on a boat through through a series of fizz-themed scenes, and was re-themed in 2006. As of December 2013, the ride is being refurbished.
The original ride was installed as part of John Wardley's plan to regenerate the struggling leisure attraction Chessington Zoo, into a popular theme park.Template:Cn The Transylvania area in Chessington World of Adventures Resort was created in 1990,<ref name="themeukhistory"/> opening with two major rides designed by John Wardley: the Vampire and Professor Burp's Bubbleworks. Professor Burp's Bubbleworks is a Mack Rides dark boat ride,<ref name="vampiretpark"/> where a ring-shaped boat holds up to four people and travels with varying speed through a quirky fizzy pop factory using boats and a water channel.<ref name="smugglespg"/>
The concept for Professor Burp's Bubbleworks was to be based around a Transylvanian brewery, but the idea was scrapped because alcohol wasn't deemed appropriate for the family audiences. This led to the alternate idea of a fizzy pop factory. Keith Sparks, head of Sparks Creative Services, worked with John Wardley on the theming and animatronics for each scene. A gag writer was also hired to create many of the ride's visual puns. John Wardley stated that the whole ride was treated as if you were in a comic book.Template:Cn
The Vampire roller coaster initially overshadowed the opening of Professor Burp's Bubbleworks.Template:Cn In 1991 the ride continued to be advertised as "new" to attract more attention.
- Imperial Leather
Professor Burp's Bubbleworks operated for 15 years until its retheme at the end of 2005, when it was renamed simply Bubbleworks.<ref name="smugglespg"/> Since it was re-themed, the ride has been sponsored by the Imperial Leather brand of Cusson's toiletries company. This was a joint-deal with The Flume, a Log flume, at Alton Towers which received its sponsorship in 2004, and Tidal Wave, a flume ride at nearby Thorpe Park.Template:Cn
The contract with PZ Cussons was expected to run out at the end of 2010 season. It was previously believed to end in 2009 at the same time as that of The Flume at Alton Towers (also sponsored by Imperial Leather). The Flume's sponsorship was meant to end in 2009, but was extended to meet the same deadline as Bubbleworks.Template:Cn
Both versions of Bubbleworks take riders on a tour of a quirky fizzy pop factory using boats and a water channel.<ref name="smugglespg"/> A ring-shaped boat holds up to four people and travels with varying speed through the ride.<ref name="vampiretheme"/><ref name="vampirecwoa"/> Anyone under 1.1 meters must be accompanied by an adult.<ref name="bubbleworkscwoa"/>
The queueline entrance was originally located under the main archway on the ride's dark pink façade, but it was later moved to face the pathway that lead into Transylvania. There is a short cattle-pen queue before the line went through a sheltered walkway, with shop windows showing some of Professor Burp's products. Riders then into the station where the ride's loud, fanfare-style theme music is immediately heard.
In the dimly lit station, large cartoon posters advertise various factory products, including the slogans: "Luminous Pop: A bedtime drink you can read by"; "Jackpot Juice: A different flavour juice every time"; "Lucofizz: A drink that gives you lots of strength"; "Pop Pills: Make you fill sparkling and full of fizz"; "Craterade: The fizzy drink that is out of this world"; "Pop Hip Hop: The new record by those rascals of pop". Wooden crates of fruit are seen stacked beside the loading platform. A set of flashing windows sit on top of the archway, through which boats enter the ride, with the sillouettes of a choir and conductor seen behind the glass. The queue travels over the loading platform, with old fashioned lamp posts decorating the area. On the other side of the station, after the queue crosses the bridge, a 2-dimensional scene of Transylvanian houses glows against a painted mountainous horizon and a bright red sun. Riders then board their vehicle, before the boat goes under the archway and into the first scene.
The first scene is Professor Burp's Office, in which an animatronic of Burp is seen showing a bottle of his fizzy pop to his pet dog (which is made out of drinks cans and a straw for ears). Beside his desk is an overflowing bin entitled 'Bad ideas', and many themed notices, posters and certificates decorate the walls.
- Juicing Room
Riders go on into the juicing room, where a Jamaican woman, named Mama Melons, stands in a fruit tree filled area pouring juice into a basket held by a monkey underneath. The music becomes more upbeat and dancy, as Mama Melons sings along. Beside this area a booth mounted on the wall shows computers controlled by 'scientist' characters (with long, tubular heads and small bow ties). They move around the booth pressing buttons as a sign reads 'Do not take the juice!'. Opposite is a room in which two Bubbleheads (characters depicting small men with large round noses and bubble-like bumps for hair, wearing braces and large shoes) are hitting oranges in the 'Orange Squash Court', to create orange juice. On the right, lemons are seen being squeezed to make tequila on two cacti plants, whilst ginger extract is being produced by crushing a large packet of McVities' Ginger Nut biscuits on the left. Before leaving the scene, boats pass a floating cow, pumped full of carbon dioxide, being milked to produce cream soda from its udders, acting as one of the ride's many visual puns.
- Gas Room
A large bottle with giant feet, labelled the Laughing Gas Source Bottle, is seen being tickled by a Bubblehead to create the gas. Many different sized vats filled with laughing gas stand on the left. Each is labelled with different styles of laughing, with the final vat, 'Gaffaw gas', exploded and broken off at the middle, hanging overhead. Professor Burp and his dogs are seen heavily laughing on the side opposite, suggesting that the gas has leaked.
- Pressure Room
The 'Pressure Room' is dimly lit with flashing lights and dangerous-sounding, fast paced music. Various signs hang on the walls with such warnings as: "In case of emergency, place fingers in ears and run." A door to the 'Decompression chamber' is seen to the right, decorated with flashing lights. On the left, scientists are preparing to activate the pressure machine with detonators on the other. Surprised looking scientists are gathered around a large gas cylinder as Bubbleheads try to keep the lid on the cylinder by pulling on ropes. An arrow points to different danger levels in a large pressure gauge on the wall, repeatedly changing between levels of high and low danger. The boats turn a corner, where a huge, pink bubble with an evil expression and many large teeth is seen, with the legs of a Bubblehead in its mouth.
- Mixing Room
The next room is the Hawaiian-based 'Mixing Room', where different methods of mixing the juice are demonstrated. First seen is a bucket on a spring entitled 'Spring Water'; then opposite, the 'Juice Jacuzzi' with a giant banana, pineapple and orange bathing in a tub; the 'Hippo Mixer', an elephant-shaped whisk machine mixing juice inside a hippo; and finally the 'Lesser Crested Pop Whisk', a giant bird with a whisk for a beak that lowers into a bucket.
Riders continue past these gags and into a dark, UV lit scene, whilst the Bubbleworks theme becomes triumphant, including an excerpt from the Star Wars theme. Posters on the wall advertise Professor Burp's project to find pop in space, as a large firework-like rocket, in the shape of a bottle of 'Prof Burp's Craterade', is seen flying past. Riding the rocket is a Bubblehead, who is heard exclaming and shouting: "It's out of this world!"
- Testing Department
The second half of the ride starts with the 'Beaufart Scale', which shows a Bubblehead experiencing flatuence. This is being measured on a scale, as he bobs up and down above a toilet. The fizzy pop is seen being tested as it comes out the other end with 'Hic-Cups': three cups with faces drawn on them dancing on stage as a female Bubblehead sings behind them. The music used in this scene is accompanied by hiccup sound effects and whistling Bubbleheads.
- Hygiene Room
Immediately afterwards, the boats travel into a heavily black lighted scene, the 'Hygiene Room', where three machines are seen working – one spinning wildly because a Bubbleworker is stuck in it. The 'Germ Free Pop Vat' does not live up to its name as one of Prof Burp's cola-can dogs pokes its head up from inside. In a small scene that was often missed, a scientist is seen trying to hold back an enthusiastic Bubbleworker who is preparing to dive into the vat from above. Riders then pass underneath a flashing machine and through a strobe-lit tunnel named the 'Decontamination Chamber'.
- Bottling Department/Fairground
The Fairground scene was originally a lot darker with black lighting, and decoration on the walls with images of fairground rides on a horizon, and the theme of the room was the 'Bottling Department'. The original music loop went on for longer than the cut currently used, explaining the two second gap between loops that is heard in the new Bubbleworks. The tunnel lead to a rotating helter skelter with pop bottles sliding down; a poster advertising 'Madame Fizz and her Crystal Bubble' (later replaced with a new version of the same poster during the retheme); a Bubbleworker riding a dodgems car with a crate of bottles attached; and the Cola Coaster, a roller-coaster effect achieved using hidden rotating arms with cars attached. There were also three stalls: a carousel with bottles of cherry flavoured pop, named the 'Cherry Go Round'; a tea-cup ride with pop bottles riding; and a game stall with a fish as the prize. Above riders heads as they continued to flow through the scene was Professor Burp riding a motorbike, running some wildly spinning cogs to power the fairground, whilst a sign reads 'Recycled empties'. The boats travel underneath the animatronic and into an area where the bottles are being boxed up. A Bubblehead's arm is seen as he comes out of a small cupboard above, holding a pair of scissors to cut the rope holding up a crate of bottles. The sound effect of the Bubblehead shouting "Stand back!" still plays in the new Bubbleworks, even though the accompanying scene has been changed.
- Fruit Juice Fountain Finale
The boats stop in a dark tunnel and proceed up a lift hill. Unlike the atmosphere after the retheme (dangerous and menacing), the original atmosphere for the lift and drop was portrayed as calm and dramatic, using music that was later moved to the Fountain Finale after the retheme. A sign showing fruit is hung above the drop, reading: "Fruit Juice Fountain Finale", as a giant bottle of pop hangs overhead. The boats drop through a stone archway and into the Fountain Finale, which was originally themed with the water as fountains of fruit juice. Mirrors were placed on the walls to create the illusion that the room was bigger than it was, with the lights occasionally blacking out to allow the strobes to pierce the darkness. Professor Burp is seen standing on a pop bottle top at the centre of the room, with the lid lifting him into the air, wearing a white costume, with stone columns surrounding him.
The ride ends as the boat floats though a corridor decorated with bubbles and a Bubblehead water feature, as riders have their photo taken. An overhead banner reads: "Burp and the World Burps with You!" Then two Bubbleheads are seen setting off fireworks in celebration; one holding a sign saying "'Pop' in again soon!" The station comes back into view and riders exit into the shop.
Once on the ride, the boats travel past the first room, in which a Head Bubbleworker sits answering telephone calls in a bathtub, with much decoration around his bathroom-like office. Another Bubblehead is also seen mopping the froth that is overflowing from the other's bath.
- Bubble Making Room
The next scene still contains many machines from before the refurbishment but with slightly altered appearances to fit them in with the bubble theme, such as the Ginger Nut Press becoming the Foamer. A new scene replaces the Mama Melons character, as 'Bubble Physics' with two Bubbleworkers watching a teacher and a diagram on a blackboard. The floating cow remains, now part of a 'Bubble Farm', whilst a large gauge points to 'lather' and 'soap' above two giant flowing taps.
- Tickle Test
The boats then enter the Tickle Test room, where the Source Bottle remains (now painted gold) having his huge feet tickled by a mischievous Bubbleworker to generate bubbles. The cylinders bob up and down, now decorated with a pressure gauge on each one and bubble faces. Some more Bubbleheads are seen above dangling from the exploded vat, before the boats leave the scene.
- Rub-A-Dub Reactor & Giant Bubble
The next scene is based around the Rub-a-Dub Reactor, a chamber filled with bubbles, with Head Bubbleworkers operating the flashing buttons and mechanisms surrounding it. Around the corner is one of the very memorable moments in the ride when a giant, blue bubble is seen bouncing and smiling with a giant, stylised expression. Pulsing, coloured lights feature strongly throughout this scene which were added later in 2009.
- Bubble Spa
The next scene, based roughly on a Testing Room, is set in a jungle-like Hawaiian area, featuring a jacuzzi, massage hut and a hippo having its back washed by an elephant, using old effects from the 'Mixing Room' scene in the original ride. The Testing Room is the least animated part of the ride, with many of the old animatronics replaced by static props.
- Foamburst Falls
Riders then flow past a glowing waterfall named Foamburst Falls, where their photograph is taken, as a Bubbleworker in a barrel is seen floating along the water and accompanied with dramatic music.
- Rubber Duck Hatchery & Dunkin' Ducks
The next half of the ride introduces the rubber ducks to the theme, with quacking sounds playing along with the ride's theme music and yellow ducks seen joining the Bubbleworkers in their fun. The boats float through the Rubber Duck Hatchery, as eggs are measured on an odd looking spring-scale before they are seen hatching in the next scene. A voice tells riders: "Please be quiet. Shh! You must be quiet! Lovely little eggs!" The boat then enters a brightly light room in which the ducks have their baths in "Dunkin' Ducks". Larger ducks are seen being lowered into baths on mechanical arms, one duck spinning out of control, whilst a Bubbleworker holds a hose into the overflowing bathtub for smaller ducks. Beside the tub, a bucket with a large whisk is seen being operated using pedals by another Bubbleworker, and a machine adorned with pipes flashes above the water channel.
The boats then pass through a tunnel into the little-changed Fairground scene, where ducks and Bubbleworkers are seen celebrating with loud music. The lighting was changed during the re-theme, with bright spot lights instead of UV and multi-coloured, pulsing lights were added later. The Scrub-A-Duck scene features ducks rotating underneath a large brush; the game stall now plays 'Hook-a-Duck'; and a strange machine made with showers is seen spinning rubber ducks around. They ride along the roller coaster and the helter skelter, before the boat passes under some spinning cogs and wheels into the next scene.
- Loading Bay
The Loading Bay is a new scene in the refurbished Bubbleworks, previously the area where the Bubblehead with the scissors was seen. Industrial fans are seen on the walls and many crates of the factory's bubbles are stacked on the sides. A moving conveyor belt takes bottles of soap up a lift, and a Bubbleworker swings from a hanging box of the soap shouting "Stand back!" – a re-used sound effect from the original ride.
In the finale to the ride, riders enter a tunnel where the water channel stops. The boats are then pulled up a lift hill into darkness as the music gets faster in a more menacing tone. Lights flash wildly as the drop comes into view, with a large plug hanging above with the word 'Bathtime!'. The boats go over the edge and plunge through a plughole into the Bathtime fountain finale scene, where (as before) fountains shoot over the track to simulate tunnels of water. Strobe effects and pulsing lights are used to great effect, whilst showers spray by the side of the water channel. The boats then finish the ride by going through tunnel of bubbles, with the words "'Pop' in again soon!"; then into the last scene, where fireworks are being set off, and a Bubbleworker holds a sign reading: "
Blow Blast off!" Riders enter the station again to exit into the shop, where their on-ride photos can be viewed and bought.
- Chessington World of Adventures Resort