Chessington World of Adventures Resort

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Template:EngvarB Template:Use dmy dates Template:Infobox amusement park

Chessington World of Adventures Resort is a theme park, zoo and hotel complex that lies Template:Convert southwest of Central London, England in the Chessington area of the Kingston upon Thames borough. Historically opened as Chessington Zoo in 1931, an amusement park was developed alongside the zoo, opening in 1987.<ref name="tourismcrouch"/> Owned and operated by Merlin Entertainments since 2007.<ref name="cwoabook"/>

Chessington Zoo has over 1,000 animals, including Western lowland gorillas, sea lions, and Sumatran tigers. It is split up into several areas, Trail of the Kings, Creepy Caves, Sealion Bay, Children's Zoo, Penguin Cove, Wanyama Village & Reserve as well as a Sea Life Centre.

Chessington World of Adventures Theme Park areas include the Market Square, Mystic East, Mexicana, Pirates Cove, Transylvania,<ref name="vampiretheme"/> and Forbidden Kingdom. Land of the Dragons opened in 2004 for children, and in late 2009 Wild Asia replaced the area known as Beanoland.<ref name="cwoabook"/> In 2012 Africa replaced ToyTown, and following this Chessington introduced the new area ZUFARI in 2013.<ref name='monkey kingdomthemeparks'/> The ZUFARI animal reserve is overlooked by the African-themed Safari Hotel.

In the Summer of 2014, the Azteca Hotel will open in addition to the existing Safari Hotel. The Scorpion Express coaster will open in March. Also opening in 2014 is the new zoo area, the AMAZU Treetop Adventure trail.Template:Citation needed

History

File:Chessington World of Adventures Hocus Pocus Hall.jpg
Burnt Stub Mansion (now Hocus Pocus Hall), is the original manor house on the estate, dating from before Chessington Zoo

The mansion at Chessington World of Adventures Resort known today as the Burnt Stub was originally built in 1348, in Chessington, London.<ref name="johnwileysons"/> In the English Civil War it became a royalist stronghold, and Oliver Cromwell's Parliamentary forces razed to the ground. The Burnt Stub site was rebuilt as an inn, until the 18th century, when the Vere Barker family rebuilt it in neo-gothic Victorian style.<ref name="tourismcrouch"/>

Founding of zoo

The resort has it roots in the Chessington Zoo, which opened in 1931; it was started by Reginald Goddard, who had bought the estate to showcase his private collection of animals.<ref name="johnwileysons"/> In 1946 when Goddard died, the Pearson Publishing Company took over the zoo and managed it until 1978, when The Tussauds Group took control of the park<ref name="cwoabook"/> (Tussauds was a subsidiary of the Pearson Group).<ref name="tourismcrouch"/>

Founding of theme park

In 1984, due to the zoo's declining attendance, Tussauds's Director of Development, Ray Barratt<ref name="cwoabook"/> commissioned John Wardley to come up with plans to revitalize the park. John Wardley was one of the main designers at Tussaud's for a number of years, and had a huge influence on the rides being create at its sister parks Thorpe Park and Alton Towers.<ref name="wardleybm"/> The decision was made to open a theme park to complement the zoo, and so Chessington World of Adventures was created.<ref name="johnwardleyintervie"/> On 7 June 1987 Chessington World of Adventures opened to the public. The park investment for this year was £12 million.Template:Citation needed

The park opened with the roller coaster Runaway Mine Train, the log flume Dragon River, the monorail Safari Skyway, the dark ride Fifth Dimension, and the Chessington Railroad as the main attractions (all supplied by the German ride manufacturer Heinrich Mack GmbH & Co). The new rides were to operate on a pay-one-price admission basis, and replace the existing pay-as-you-go fairground rides. Other support rides were also opened, and the park opened just five themed areas: Calamity Canyon, Mystic East, Market Square, Toy Town and Circus World.<ref name="cwoabook"/> The attractions were all heavily themed with emphasis on atmosphere and effects,<ref name="cwoaofficialhistory"/> making Chessington one of the first true theme parks in Britain.<ref name="wardleybm"/>

The 1990 season bought two of Chessington's more popular rides with the opening of Transylvania: Vampire and Professor Burp's Bubbleworks.<ref name="themeukhistory"/> Both of these rides had significant impact on the park, and the investment was said to have cost around £10 million.Template:Citation needed By this time Black Buccaneer and the Smugglers Cove area had been created, both opening in 1988.<ref name="themeukhistory"/>

The 1995 season arrived with the intense Rameses Revenge, the park's first inverting ride. Rameses Revenge was new in the Forbidden Kingdom area;<ref name="johnwileysons"/> an area which had opened the previous year, bringing the Terror Tomb dark ride in replacement of the Fifth Dimension. Also new for 1995 was SeaStorm in Pirates' Cove, and the Carousel,<ref name="themeukhistory"/> located next to the explorer gate.<ref name="johnwileysons"/> In 1999, Chessington opened the hardcore thrill ride Samurai in the Mystic East. 1999 also saw the rename of Calamity Canyon into Mexicana, following the opening of Rattlesnake the year before. 2000 saw Beanoland open on the former site of Circus World, bringing two new rides to the park: Billy's Whizzer and Rodger the Dodger's Dodgems.<ref name="themeukhistory"/>

Expansion to resort

On 22 May 2007, The Tussauds Group was taken over by Merlin Entertainments Ltd, which owns other brands such as Sea Life Centres. Besides Chessington, Merlin also purchased Alton Towers, the nearby Thorpe Park, and Madame Tussauds, which made Merlin the second largest entertainment operator in the world, second only to Disney.<ref name="disney">Template:Cite webTemplate:Dead link</ref> As Chessington World of Adventures and Thorpe Park are located within 20 miles of each other, Merlin Entertainments has made efforts to market the two parks to different age groups:<ref name="johnwileysons"/> Thorpe Park caters to teenagers, while Chessington World of Adventures Resort is for families and people of all ages.<ref name="cwoaofficialhistory"/>

In June 2007, the park opened the "Safari Hotel" next to the Chessington Zoo. The hotel is themed to a "safari lodge" and has 150 rooms.<ref name="cwoaofficialhistory"/>

In late 2009 the new area Wild Asia replaced the area known as Beanoland in the theme park,<ref name="cwoabook"/> and in June 2010 the Wanyama Reserve (now called ZUFARI) opened behind the Safari Hotel, giving a backdrop for its African theme.<ref name="cwoaofficialhistory"/> In 2012 Africa replaced ToyTown,<ref name='monkey kingdomthemeparks'/> and following this Chessington introduced the new area ZUFARI in 2013.<ref name='monkey kingdomthemeparks'/>

Events

As of 2014, Chessington operates four annual continuing events; African Adventures, Annual Pass Holders Preview, Halloween Hocus Pocus, and Festive Zoo Days. The first is African Adventures, in which during February Half-term Chessington Zoo is decorated with African theming. The theme park is also open at this time but only the Africa and Forbidden Kingdom areas are available with some attractions also operating.<ref name="cwoatimes"/> During the weekend before re-opening, the theme park it open to annual pass holders only for the Annual Pass Holders Preview. Most attractions operate at this time, withome still undergoing maintenance.<ref name="cwoatimes"/>

During the last two weeks of the theme park season, Chessington hosts a Halloween event called Halloween Hocus Pocus. The park is decorated for halloween with spiders, skeletons and cobwebs. Some actors also roam the theme park and zoo dressed as witches, vampires and zombies.<ref name="scaretour">Hocus Pocus 2013 Review (Scare Tour UK)</ref> For the event, a number of extra Halloween attractions open with walkthroughs, scare mazes and stage shows.<ref name="cwoatimes"/> During the event, rides also operate in the dark.Template:Citation needed With Festive Zoo Days, during December weekends and school holidays, Chessington Zoo opens with Christmas decorations and a Christmas attraction during daylight hours.<ref name="cwoatimes"/> Parts of the theme park open for is event, with Bubbleworks and SeaStorm usually operating.<ref name="CWOANAMEplanyourtrip">Template:Cite news</ref>

One Off Events
  • Ice Age - In August 2009 Chessington held an event to celebrate the release of Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs. The park opened a temporary maze outside Beanoland for the event.
  • Vampire XXI - In April 2011 Chessington opened a temporary maze in the area outside the Vampire roller coaster to celebrate its 21st birthday. The event was free and ran for two weeks.
  • Mystic East Carnival - The Mystic East Carnival was a display of arts from the orient shown in Market Square and Mystic East. The event was held in May for a number of weeks.
  • 25th Birthday Celebration - During July 2012, the resort had 25 days of fun to celebrate the theme park's 25th anniversary.
  • Octonauts - From May 2013 until the end of the season, an Octonauts meet and greet show was available in Chessington Zoo, outside the Sea Life Centre.

Rides and attractions

Rollercoasters

Name Picture Type Opened Area Manufacturer Additional information
Dragon's Fury Template:N/A110px Steel sit down spinning coaster 2004 Land of the Dragons Maurer Söhne Intense spinning rollercoaster, originality sponsored by Skips. 1771 ft long track (540m);<ref name="rcdbdragonsfury"/> Xtended CS 3000 model.<ref name="rcdbdragonsfury"/>
Rattlesnake Template:N/A110px Steel Wild Mouse 1998 Mexicana Maurer Söhne Wild mouse (car 2+2) that reaches a speed of 28 mph (45 km) on a 1213 ft long track (370m) and a height of 49 ft (15m).<ref name="rcdbrattlesnake"/> The Rattlesnake underwent a refurbishment for 2013, which included re-painting the track, fixing queue line effects and repainting all theming.Template:Citation needed
Scorpion Express Steel sit down 2014 Mexicana Mack Rides Blauer Enzian model.<ref name="rcdbrunawaytrain"/> Family rollercoaster opening in 2014, replacing the Runaway Train.<ref name="scorpionazteca"/>
Vampire Template:N/A110px Suspended floorless swinging coaster 1990 Transylvania Arrow Dynamics / Vekoma Original designer was John Wardley, with an upgrade in 2002, with new train design, station touchup, and new queue line. Reaches a speed of 45 mph (73 km) on a 2200 ft long track (670m);<ref name="vampiretpark"/>

Flat rides

Name Picture Type Opened Area Manufacturer Additional information
Black Buccaneer Template:N/A 110px Swinging ship 1988 Pirates' Cove Huss Rides Swinging pirate ship that is painted black (hence the name).<ref name="piratescovecwoa"/>
KOBRA Template:N/A110px Disk'O Coaster 2010 Wild Asia Zamperla Riders sit in a motorcycle-like position in outward-facing seats at the edge of the circular ride platform.<ref name="coasterforcekobra"/>
Monkey Swinger Template:N/A110px Wave swinger 2000 Wild Asia Zierer<ref name="coasterforcemonkeyswinger"/> A large monkey-themed wave swinger ride with a water element.<ref name="wildasiacwoa"/>
Template:AnchorPeeking Heights Template:N/A110px Ferris wheel 2005 Mystic East Fabbri Group Template:Convert tall, has 18 pods, and provides views of the entire park.<ref name="peekingtpark"/> Passengers under Template:Convert must be accompanied by an adult.<ref name="mysticeastcwoa"/> Was previously at Thorpe Park.<ref name="smugglespg"/> Peeking Heights was refurbished for the 2013 season as part of Chessington's £5 million refurbishment plan.
Rameses Revenge Template:N/A110px Top Spin 1995 Forbidden Kingdom Huss Rides Riders usually take in two different cycles of the ride. Top Spin with a water element;<ref name="rrrepview"/>
SeaStorm Template:N/A110px Sea Storm ride 1995 Pirates' Cove Mack Rides A Mack SeaStorm <ref name="smugglespg"/> ride. Riders sit in a boat that rises up and down, simulating a sea storm. As the platform spins, the boat also slowly spins on its own axis.
Tuk Tuk Turmoil Template:N/A Bumper cars 2000 Wild Asia Preston & Barbieri Family bumper cars themed to resemble tuk-tuks, which are auto rickshaws from Southeast Asia.

Water/Dark rides

Name Picture Type Opened Area Manufacturer Additional information
Bubbleworks Template:N/A110px Water dark ride 2006
(1990)
Transylvania Mack Rides Dark water ride designed by John Wardley<ref name="smugglespg"/> that originally opened in 1990 as a "fizzy pop" factory. A ring-shaped boat holds up to four people and travels with varying speed through the ride.<ref name="vampiretheme"/> It is currently themed around a soap factory, and sponsored by Imperial Leather from 2006 until 2010.Template:Citation needed
Dragon Falls Template:N/A110px Log flume 1987 Mystic East Mack Rides A John Wardley-designed water ride that features two drops, one into a Dragon's mouth. The ride is heavily themed around the Orient.<ref name="dragonfallscwoa"/>
Tomb Blaster Template:N/A110px Dark ride 2002 Forbidden Kingdom Mack Rides A dark ride themed around destroying an ancient curse, where Riders shoot laser guns at targets for points, which are displayed on the cart.<ref name="forbiddenkingdomcwoa"/>

Children's rides

Name Picture Type Opened Area Manufacturer Additional information
Canopy Capers Template:N/A110px Tree house 2004 Land of the Dragons Tussauds Studios Children's tree house climbing attraction that interlocks with Dragon's Fury<ref name="dragonfallscwoa"/>
Carousel Template:N/A110px Carousel 1996 Market Square Bertazzon Classic merry go round style ride.<ref name="marketsquarecwoa"/>
Dragon's Playhouse 110px Playhouse 2004 Land of the Dragons Tussauds Studios Soft play area, height limit 1.4m max.
Flying Jumbos Template:N/A 110px Mini Jet Red Baron 1987 ZUFARI Preston & Barbieri A popular spinning children's ride in which riders control how high they go, with elephant-themed cabs.<ref name="zufaricwoa"/>
Griffin's Galleon Template:N/A110px Rockin' Tug 2004 Land of the Dragons Zierer Small spinning pirate ship for children, the thrill ride has a track length of about fifty feet, and 21 feet of height.<ref name="griffinsgalleontpark"/>
Jungle Bus Template:N/A110px Crazy bus 2001 Wild Asia Zamperla Small, children's magic carpet.
Jungle Bouncers Template:N/A110px Mini drop tower 2001 Africa Zamperla Mini drop tower for children, originally called Ribena Berry Bouncers.
Sea Dragons Template:N/A110px Spinning ride 2004 Land of the Dragons Mack Rides Small children's boat ride.<ref name="dragonfallscwoa"/>
Tiny Truckers Template:N/A110px Convoy ride 1994 Market Square Zamperla Small driving attraction that usually makes two laps of its course.<ref name="marketsquarecwoa"/>
Temple of Mayhem Template:N/A Playhouse 2002 Wild Asia Merlin Entertainments Studios Play area with three floors, guests fire foam balls at one another. Height limit 1.4m max.
Toadie's Crazy Cars Template:N/A110px Convoy ride 2001 Africa Zamperla Driving attraction, themed around Wind in the Willows. All ages, children under 1.1 meters must be accompanied by an adult.<ref name="africacwoa"/>

Other attractions

Name Picture Type Opened Area Manufacturer Additional information
Hocus Pocus Hall Template:N/A110px House of mirrors 2003 Burnt Stub Mansion Tussauds Studios Hocus Pocus Hall is in the original manor house at the park.<ref name="tourismcrouch"/> Visitors to the walk-in mansion under 1.1 meter must be accompanied by an adult.<ref name="marketsquarecwoa"/>
Lorikeet Lagoon Template:N/A110px Bird enclosure 2010 Wild Asia Merlin Entertainments Studios Visitors can feed nectar to a flock of lorikeets in a walk-in space.<ref name="wildasiacwoa"/>
Madagascar Live! Prepare to Party Template:N/A110px Musical theater 2012 Africa Dreamworks A 20-minute live stage show featuring characters from the Madagascar film franchise.<ref name="africacwoa"/>
Safari Skyway Template:N/A110px Monorail 1986 Market Square Mack Rides Guided monorail tour around Chessington Zoo. Any guests under 1.1 meter must be accompanied by an adult.<ref name="smugglespg"/>
ZUFARI:
Ride into Africa!
110px Guided safari 2013 Zufari Merlin Entertainments Studios An off-road safari truck tour that takes riders into the plains of Zufari.<ref name="wildasiacwoa"/>

Past rides

Many of the rides and areas at the park have been either re-themed over the years, while others have moved to other theme parks and been replaced.<ref name="smugglespg"/>

  • The Fun City Show tent, housing circus/stunt entertainment, was demolished in 1999 to make way for Beanoland to open the next season.Template:Citation needed
File:Beanoland at Chessington - geograph.org.uk - 681527.jpg
The now defunct Beanoland area, currently Wild Asia, housed several rides
  • Beanoland was an area themed around The Beano comic. It opened in 2000 and closed in 2009,<ref name="smugglespg"/> featuring Billy's Whizzer, Dennis' Madhouse, Roger the Dodger's Dodgems and Bash Street Bus.<ref name="themukbeanoland"/>
  • Runaway Train was a mine train themed powered roller coaster in the Mexicana area. Opened in 1987,<ref name="themeukhistory"/> and closed at the end of 2012. Replaced by Scorpion Express, opening 2014.<ref name="scorpionazteca"/>
  • Action Man Training HQ (also called Action Man Critical Mission) was a large children's adventure playground-type attraction, opened in 1997 and closed in 2005.<ref name="themeukhistory"/>
  • Magic Carpet was located in the Mystic East area, until it closed at the end of the 1998 season.<ref name="themeukhistory"/> Samurai (see below) was installed in its place.
  • Samurai was a Mondial Top Scan installed in 1999 and closed in 2003 in Mystic East,<ref name="themeukhistory"/> then relocated to sister park Thorpe Park.
  • Chessington Zoo Railway ({{RailGauge miniature gauge) closed in 1985 before the theme park had been constructed.
  • Chessington Railroad ({{RailGauge narrow gauge) left at the end of 1996.<ref name="themeukhistory"/> Although still a popular attraction, the fact that long stretches of the route were on open pathways meant it was considered a safety risk and it was removed.Template:Citation needed
  • Rodeo was a Huss breakdance ride that closed at the end of the 2004 season.<ref name="themeukhistory"/> It was left standing but not operating (SBNO) until 2007, when most of the ride was removed. The ride's centerpiece has been rethemed and is now located in Transylvania.
  • Toytown Roundabout was also removed at the end of 1999. The more traditional carousel,<ref name="themeukhistory"/> which had been open since 1996 close to the park's north entrance,Template:Citation needed took its place.<ref name="themeukhistory"/>
  • Clown Coaster, formerly Toy Town Coaster, was a very small children's coaster. It was removed to make way for the new Berry Bouncers ride which took its place in 2001.<ref name="themeukhistory"/>
  • Professor Burp's Bubbleworks was a world-famous dark ride in the Transylvania land opened in 1990 and closed in 2005 and rethemed in 2006. It took riders on a tour of a quirky fizzy pop factory using boats and a water channel.<ref name="smugglespg"/>
  • The Fifth Dimension was a dark ride that opened in 1987 and closed in 1993,Template:Citation needed based around the story of a TV repair robot<ref name="tombblastercoasterforce"/> named Zappomatic and his quest to defeat the computer-created monster, the Gorg. Replaced by Terror Tomb.
  • Terror Tomb (also called Forbidden Tomb) was a dark ride opened in 1994 and closed in 2001, replaced by Tomb Blaster.<ref name="themeukhistory"/> It told the story of a tomb robber named Abdab and the various dangers he encountered as he attempted to steal a precious emerald from within the tomb. Many of the original set pieces remain in the Tomb Blaster ride with the exclusion of the Abdab animatronics, some of which can be found within the queue line of Vampire as decoration.

Chessington Theme Park

The Chessington World of Adventures Theme Park opened on the 7th June 1987. It's key attractions are The Vampire, Dragon's Fury, Dragon Falls and Zufari: Ride into Africa which opened on the 27th March 2013. In 2014 the Scorpion Express rollercoaster will open on the former site of the Runaway Train.<ref name="cwoabook"/> Shows include Madagascar Live! Prepare to Party and Wild Factor.<ref name="cwoaofficialhistory"/>

As of 2013 the theme park at Chessington World of Adventures Resort is divided into ten themed lands, each with a different theme and setting, specifically with each land designed to resemble a place in the world.<ref name="johnwileysons"/> The central area of the park, Market Square, resembles an old English market town, whereas Mystic East is themed around the orient, with the water ride Dragon Falls opening there in 1987. Mexicana is inspired by a small town in America's old far-west.<ref name="themeukhistory"/> Pirate's Cove is a mock of a fishing village in England with blue wooden shops.<ref name="piratescovecwoa"/> Transylvania, although the real city is from Romania, is actually themed to look like Bavaria, Germany with ompha music playing in the village area.<ref name="vampiretpark"/> Forbidden Kingdom is based on Ancient Egypt with hieroglyphics drawn onto its surroundings.<ref name="johnwileysons"/> Land of the Dragons is the only "fantasy" themed area of the theme park and is a self-contained dragon-themed land with rides mostly for young children.<ref name="themeukhistory"/>

Among the newer lands is Wild Asia which opened in 2010 as a replacement for Beanoland with an Indian theme.<ref name="smugglespg"/> Africa opened in 2012 and is based on Madagascar, while the African reserve ZUFARI opened in 2013.<ref name="zufaricwoa"/> In 2010, the park attracted 1.4 million people.

Timeline of Park Areas

1987 1988 1990 1994 1999 2000 2004 2007 2010 2012 2013 2014–present
Market Square
Mystic East
Calamity Canyon Mexicana
Circus World Beanoland Wild Asia
Toy Town Africa
Pirates' Cove
Transylvania
Forbidden Kingdom
Land of the Dragons
ZUFARI
Gallery

Market Square

Market Square is the central area of the park and has the entrance to Safari Skyway, a monorail that opened in 1986 that gives a guided tour of the zoo, lawn and mansion area.<ref name="marketsquarecwoa"/> The Carousel merry-go-round is located in Market Square, as is the convoy ride Tiny Truckers, where children can drive their own vehicles. Hocus Pocus Hall is a house of mirrors located just out the area in the Burnt Stub Mansion.<ref name="themeukhistory"/>

Mexicana

Themed as a Mexican- inspired square and a Far West town in the American's Old West, the Mexicana area was called Calamity Canyon until 1999.<ref name="themeukhistory"/> Rattlesnake,<ref name="rattlesnakecwoa"/> a steel sit-down Wild Mouse roller coaster, opened in 1998.<ref name="rcdbrattlesnake"/> In 2014, the Scorpion Express rollercoaster will open at the back of Mexicana, on the former site of the Runaway Train.

Pirates' Cove

Pirates' Cove is an area adjacent to Transylvania.<ref name="piratescovecwoa"/> Rides include the Black Buccaneer, a swinging pirate ship that is painted black (hence the name) that opened in 1988 with the name Smugglers Galleon.<ref name="themeukhistory"/> Seastorm is a circular family boat ride that simulates a sea storm,<ref name="piratescovecwoa"/> and increases speed if riders stays on a second time.

Mystic East

Mystic East is an oriental-themed area with a large Buddha statue taking center court. The two main rides are the Dragon Falls and Peeking Heights, an Observation Wheel.<ref name="mysticeastcwoa"/> Dragon Falls is a 510 foot long log flume ride themed around the legend of Dragons.<ref name="dragonfallscwoa"/> Peeking Heights opened in 2005,<ref name="mysticeastcwoa"/> and from the top of the wheel the entire park is visible.<ref name="peekingtpark"/> Mystic East also has the Extreme Games Zone.<ref name="mysticeastcwoa"/>

Transylvania

The Transylvania area was created in 1990,<ref name="themeukhistory"/> opening with two major rides designed by John Wardley: the Vampire and Bubbleworks. Vampire is a steel suspended floorless coaster.<ref name="vampiretpark"/> The original Arrow Dynamics trains were replaced with Vekoma trains in 2002. Bubbleworks is a Mack Rides dark boat ride that opened in 1990 as Professor Burp's Bubbleworks.<ref name="vampiretpark"/> A ring-shaped boat holds up to four people and travels with varying speed through the ride.<ref name="vampiretheme"/><ref name="vampirecwoa"/> It was rethemed in 2006.<ref name="smugglespg"/>

Forbidden Kingdom

Themed around Ancient Egypt with an obelisk as a centerpiece attraction, this area was created in 1994. It has two popular rides; Tomb Blaster and Rameses Revenge. Opened in 1994 as Terror Tomb,<ref name="smugglespg"/> Tomb Blaster is a dark ride shoot out game where riders shoot laser guns at targets. Rameses Revenge is a Top Spin ride with a water element<ref name="forbiddenkingdomcwoa"/> that opened in 1995.<ref name="rrrepview"/>

Land of the Dragons

Land of the Dragons opened in 2004<ref name="themeukhistory"/> and is a self-contained, dragon-themed land containing rides and attractions for younger children, however, the area also has Dragon's Fury, an intense spinning rollercoaster. There are two play areas for children in the main section: Dragon's Playhouse, a large soft play area, and adjacent to this is Canopy Capers, an outdoor treehouse rope bridge attraction obstacle course and the Dragon's Tale Theater.

There are also child-appropriate rides: Griffin's Galleon is a Kontiki ride. There is Sea Dragons is a spinning boat ride, created by Mack Rides. Sir Walter Squirtalot is a fountain that squirts water.<ref name="landofthedragonscwoa"/> Dragon's Fury is a spinning roller coaster that opened in 2004.<ref name="rcdbdragonsfury"/>

Wild Asia

Wild Asia, opened in early 2010<ref name="smugglespg"/> as a wild jungle, featuring theming such as ancient ruins and tribal statues.<ref name="wildasiacwoa"/> The attraction Lorikeet Lagoon opened with the area in 2010 as part of Chessington's plan to integrate the zoo with the theme park, visitors may feed the lorikeets nectar.<ref name="wildasiacwoa"/> The area has a number of thrill rides, including KOBRA, a Zamperla flat ride that opened in 2010<ref name="coasterforcekobra"/> Monkey Swinger is a wave swinger with a water element that opened in 2000<ref name="coasterforcemonkeyswinger"/> Jungle Bus is a small Zamperla magic carpet ride themed as a bus, while Tuk Tuk Turmoil is bumper cars themed as Asian tuk tuks. Temple of Mayhem is an indoor play area where children can fire foam balls, with a minimum age limit of 4 years.<ref name="wildasiacwoa"/>

Africa

The Africa area is inspired by the DreamWorks movie 'Madagascar' and has to a number of child-oriented rides and attractions. These include Madagascar Live! Prepare to Party, a live show based on the film that opened in 2012,<ref name='monkey kingdomthemeparks'/> and two physical rides: Toadie's Crazy Cars, a children's car tour through Mr Toadie's garden, and Jungle Bouncers, a mini drop tower.<ref name="themeukhistory"/> There is also an Xtra Adventures kiosk located here.<ref name="johnwileysons"/>

ZUFARI

ZUFARI is Chessington's African reserve, and has ZUFARI: Ride into Africa as the key attraction, a safari truck adventure through the planes of Zufari.<ref name="zufaricwoa"/> Flying Jumbos is the other attraction in the area. In 2010 the Wanayama Village & Reserve opened in ZUFARI and gave the pre-existing Wanayama Village attraction to the resort's zoo,<ref name="chessthi"/> with the Zufari planes and Wanyama Reserve being used as a backdrop for the Safari Hotel. ZUFARI's total size is 22 acres and has flamingos, giraffe, ostrich, Nile Lechwe, white rhino, Grevy’s Zebra, Scimitar Horned Oryx and sitatungas.<ref name="zufaricwoa"/>

Chessington Zoo

Chessington Zoo was opened in 1931 by Reginald Goddard. In 1946 when Goddard died, the Pearson Publishing Company took over the zoo and managed it until 1978, when The Tussauds Group took control of the park.<ref name="tourismcrouch"/> A number of animals were moved to other zoos during the construction of the theme park. In 1990 the polar bears left the park, as did the hippos and elephants in 1993. In 1994 the snow leopards were relocated to the lion and tiger area.<ref name="themeukhistory"/> For a time the attracton was called Animal Land, before returning to Chessington Zoo in 2007.<ref name="themeukhistory"/> The zoo has only one non-animal related attraction, the Burnt Stub Mansion, an old manor house home to the Hocus Pocus Hall. The zoo is generally open simultaneously with the theme park, but also remains open for times in the winter when the theme park is closed.<ref name="cwoatimes"/> However over the winter periods of 2013 and 2014, the zoo will be closed so that the resort can receive a refurbishment.

As of 2013 the zoo area has over 1,000 animals, a number of which are endangered and no longer found in the wild.<ref name="zoocwoa"/> Chessington Zoo is split up into different areas and walkthroughs, with two primary areas. The capybaras, rhea, mara, wallabies, meerkats and agouti were previously the Monkey Walk area. Monkey Walk was replaced by Creatures Features which in turn was later replaced by the Wanyama Village in 2010. The Monkey and Bird Gardens are also found here, which have a squirrel monkey walk-through and other exotic birds and monkeys. There is also a Children's Zoo, where children may feed domestic farm animals.<ref name="themeukhistory"/>

File:Sealion Bay Chessington.jpg
A view of the sea lions in Sealion Bay

The Safari Skyway, an elevated monorail with an entrance in the Market Square theme park area, takes riders around various animal enclosures at the zoo.<ref name="marketsquarecwoa"/> In front of Hocus Pocus Hall, there is Wild Wood, an animal presentation area which hosts the Animal Antics show at different times throughout the day.<ref name="animalantics">Chessington: Plan Your Trip</ref> Next to Wild Wood is Penguin Cove with humboldt penguins, while there are also enclosures for river otters and reindeer.<ref name="zoocwoa"/> Chessington Zoo also has an area called Sealion Bay, which features sea lion presentations several times a day and Creepy Caves, a reptile house.<ref name="zoocwoa"/>

The Trails of the Kings; a walkthrough attraction home to enclosures for Western Lowland gorillas, two Sumatran tigers, two Asiatic lions, fossa, Carpathian lynx, and binturong.<ref name="zoocwoa"/> In 2007 the Trail of the Kings section of the Zoo underwent an inspection with the outcome that the gorilla enclosure was too small.<ref name="gorrila"/> A bigger building for the gorillas was completed in 2010.Template:Citation needed As of 2013, there are 10 gorillas at chessington, as well as two infants born in 2012.<ref name="zoocwoa"/>

The Wanyama Village & Reserve opened in late May 2010, in an area behind the Safari Hotel and houses animals such as Grévy's zebra, Sitatunga antelope and scimitar horned oryx. It is part of the ZUFARI animal reserve.<ref name="themeukhistory"/> The area is open to guests staying in the Safari Hotel during the evening.

For 2014, the Amazu Treetop Adventure trail will open on the former site of the Monkey & Bird Garden. It will act as the new Azteca Hotel's backdrop. Similar to the Wanyama Reserve for the Safari Hotel. The new area will feature adventure trail walkways, play areas, jungle theming as well as new enclosures for the animals.

Sea Life Chessington

In 2008 Chessington Zoo open Sea Life Chessington on the former site of the old children's Zoo.<ref name="themeukhistory"/> The Sea Life Centre, which is part of a franchise operated by Merlin Entertainments, has a number of exhibits including a Ray Pool and a Touch Pool. The Sea Life Centre also has different areas, like the rest of Chessington Zoo; it has Amazonia which opened in 2009<ref name="themeukhistory"/> as a slightly smaller version of the same exhibit that has appeared at other Sea Life Centres.Template:Citation needed In 2011 it opened Azteca,<ref name="themeukhistory"/> an underwater ocean tunnel with sharks and rays. Separate from these exhibits are sea creatures such as rays, jellyfish, starfish, lionfish, puffer fish, sea horses and clown fish. The Sea Life Centre has a 10 meter underwater tunnel.

Resort Hotels

Safari Hotel

The Safari Hotel is a 150 room, four star hotel based on a Safari Lodge. It was originally called the Chessington Hotel, but was renamed to Safari Hotel in 2014 due to the opening of the Azteca Hotel in the summer.<ref name="aztecahotel"/>

The hotel opened in June 2007 and was originally operated by Holiday Inn until it was fully taken over by Chessington in mid 2010.<ref name="cwoaofficialhistory"/> The hotel features various African elements with Giraffe sculptures dotted around. When the hotel was taken over by the resort in 2010, the Wanyama Village & Reserve opened with access from the hotel.

Azteca Hotel

The Azteca Hotel will open in August 2014, and will be the resort's second hotel. It will feature 69 rooms and will be themed towards the ancient Aztec civilization.

The Hotel is being built on the site that was formerly occupied by the Monkey & Bird Garden in Chessington Zoo, which is also receiving work to become the AMAZU Treetop Adventure. AMAZU will be linked to the hotel.

Future developments

Merlin Entertainments has put in a £14 million investment for the 2014 season.

A £5 million refurbishment plan has been put in place during from March 2013 for 24 months. As part of that regeneration the Scorpion Express roller coaster will open in the refurbished Mexicana area,<ref name="scorpionazteca"/> and will be a re-theme of the previous roller coaster, Runaway Train, which was closed for extensive redevelopment in 2013.<ref name="refurbishment">Template:Cite web</ref> The new ride will feature an animatronic scorpion, that sprays water at the riders travel by, an oil tower will also feature, having a fire effect. The Market Square and Pirates' Cove areas of the park is being extensively refurbished for 2014 as part of the investment, with stage two of the Transylvania refurbishment to open in 2014. The resort have said that Bubbleworks will be revamped for the 2014 season as well after suffering fire damage. As part of the upgrade plan, the Dragon Falls ride in the Mystic East area was to be re-themed for 2014.<ref name="scorpionazteca"/> However, this was later postponed until 2015 in favor of other projects.<ref name="refurbishment">Template:Cite web</ref>

Chessington Zoo are building a new area for 2014 called AMAZU Treetop Adventure. It will feature raised walkways around various animal enclosures. The upgrade is to include new animal enclosures & jungle theming.<ref name="monkey kingdom">Template:Cite web</ref>

The resort are developing a new hotel, the Azteca Hotel for 2014. It will be themed towards an ancient Aztec civilisation and will feature 69 rooms. The hotel is due to open in August 2014, and will operate alongside the existing Safari Hotel. The hotel will have a direct entrance to Chessington Zoo, next to the Sea Life Centre, to allow easy access to the theme park and zoo for guests.

Following a major breakdown on Rameses Revenge in the summer, the ride will be refurbished and receive new harnesses for the 2014 season, it is expected that some the surrounding Forbidden Kingdom area will also receive some theming refurbishment.

Incidents

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Green Belt restrictions

Due to the majority of the theme park being located on Green Belt lands the park is subject to several restrictions. Most significant are restrictions in height (no building higher than the tree line), noise (with time restrictions) and traffic management.Template:Citation needed

Various ride have had to have been built in pits due to these restrictions. It is most noticeable on Black Buccaneer, Rattlesnake and Rameses Revenge. The resort are not allowed to built anything higher that the Peeking Heights Ferris wheel and can not operate The Vampire past 11pm.

Gallery

Main gallery: Chessington World of Adventures Resort at WikiCommons
Theme park and features


Chessington Zoo
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Resort Hotels

See also

  • List of theme parks in the United Kingdom
  • List of amusement parks

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References

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External links

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Template:Chessington World of Adventures Template:Merlin attractions Template:British theme parks Template:British zoos