Chessington World of Adventures Resort is a theme park, zoo and hotel in South West London, England. Starting this May, Captain Barnacles and Kwazii, heroes of the Octonauts crew, have arrived with their missions to save sea creature in trouble and now young adventurers can meet two of their heroes in person located next to the SEA LIFE centre! Not only that! Zufari: Ride into Africa! is opening! Join the African Conservation, Research & Exploration team (ACRE) to encounter live safari animals – including White Rhino, Giraffe and Grevy’s Zebra.
Last Sunday, we were invited to attend Chessington Mumnets Bloggers VIP day along with other Mumnets’ competition winners. This was our first time visiting Chessington and we were really looking forward to exploring the park and meeting the lovely animals. Chessington is very easy to find as it’s well signposted and the entrance is accessed from the main road. There are a lot of parking spaces but you do need to pay £2 for the car park which I think is very reasonable if you compare with other theme parks.
If you choose to stay in their hotel, you can get an “up close and personal” with some of their amazing animals like feeding the giraffe, touching snails etc. You can even start your adventure before the park officially opens! We were so lucky that we are able to stroke the Binturong Bearcat. She is so sweet and smells of popcorn!
Once we were inside the park, the first place we went to was the Sea Life Centre where we got to meet those beautiful and colourful sea creatures like Jellyfish, Lionfish, Clown fish etc. It was enclosed in a large indoor tent. Along the trail, there are lots of information about the marine life and also questions for the Octonauts Quiz. Ms C was so excited to find most of the trail boards but she is too young to understand the questions. Mr K on the other hand was very keen to answer all the questions. He managed to get some right by guessing! There is a little shallow pool area where you are allowed to touch the fishes. Please make sure you wash your hands before and after you touch them. There is also a walk-through tunnel where you can see all the fishes up close! As this is a small version of the Sea Life Centre, it only took us 20 minutes to finish the trail.
Next, we went to Zufari which is their new park for 2013. You ride on their expedition vehicle and there is a minimum height restriction of one metre. As Ms C is too short for the ride, my husband and my son went for the tour. Be beware of the bumpy rides and squirting of water! Please also note that you can pick up the Parent Swap pass to ensure both parents can enjoy the height restricted rides by picking up the pass from the Adventurers’ Services in Market Square.
One of the highlights of the day is the Land of the Dragons. They have a soft play area entitled Dragon Play House. We were there just after lunch time when the sun was at it’s hottest. It was a great hiding place if you want a rest while letting your monkeys on the loose. There are members of staff who manage the area. Round the corner and through some enchanted trees, we found Sir Squirtalot, which incidentally is a dead end. Sir Squirtalot gives anyone who tries to pass a good old soaking. Look at how my husband and son were having fun getting soaked by the dragon! It is the one place where you get to play with water.
Before we went home, we took a ride at the Bubbleworks water ride. As it is a water ride, you are expected to get very wet! We rode on the big ring floating through chutes and fountains in a ‘bubble tub’, finally reaching a finale! It is bath time! Little ducklings need a bath! The fountains stream from one side of you to the other side of you above your head, creating a spectacular tunnel which you float under. We all had so much fun splashing the water and I particularly enjoyed getting my husband and children soaking wet!
I was glad to end the park on this high and it made this the trip worthwhile and memorable trip. The park is so big that we did not manage to complete most of the rides or attend some of the shows like the Madagascar Show, Sealion Show etc. There are so many rides that cater for all different ages. For example, Toadie’s crazy cars, Tiny Truckers, Flying Jumbos are suitable for children under the age of 5. There are also plenty of food and drink stations!
I would like to say a massive thank you to Chessington World of Adventures for the organised event. They showed us fantastic hospitality, with complimentary refreshments and fast track to some of the rides, and of course, the meet and greet with the lovely Kwazii and Captain Barnacles.
Disclosure: I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Network Research Panel , a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid to attend the event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity.