Chessington World of Adventures

Chessington, Surrey, UK

Formerly Chessington Zoo, Chessington World of Adventures opened in 1987 as the UK's first theme park, with lands themed to various countries and cultures from around the world.

OpenedJune 1987
Last VisitApril 2017
SeasonMarch to early November
OwnerMerlin Entertainments
Websitewww.chessington.com
Nearby Thorpe Park (17 miles)
Legoland Windsor (33 miles)
Giant Buddha

Chessington's Giant Buddha has been watching over Dragon Falls since 1987

Chessington World of Adventures opened in 1987 as the UK's first real theme park, with each ride having a backstory and set within distinct themed areas representing various countries from around the world.

However, the site's history goes back much further than that - a mansion built in 1348 became a loyalist stronghold in the English Civil War before it was raised to the ground by Cromwell's forces. The mansion, now known as The Burnt Stub, was rebuilt and used as an inn until the 18th century. Then in 1931, Chessington Zoo, the attraction which morphed into today's theme park, opened on the site.

Today, Chessington World of Adventures provides attractions and animal experiences targeted at young families. There are four rollercoasters, chief among them being Vampire, a swinging coaster originally built by Arrow and designed by the famed John Wardley, who also came up with much of the original concept and master plan for the park. Other highlights include Dragon Falls, a Chinese themed log flume; Dragon's Fury, a spinning rollercoaster (Chessington like their dragons); and Tomb Blaster, an interactive dark ride through an Egyptian tomb.

Sealion Bay

Sealions playing in Sealion Bay

Professor Burp's Bubbleworks was one of Chessington's most famous dark rides. Originally a boat ride through a fizzy pop factory, it was later rethemed under a sponsorship deal with Imperial Leather to become a tour through a duck infested soap factory. In 2016, the Bubbleworks took its last riders, and reopened in 2017 rethemed as the Gruffalo River Adventure. While nothing can match the creativity of the original 1990 version of the Bubbleworks, the Gruffalo gives a nicely themed reboot to what was becoming a tired, worn out, but classic ride in need of some TLC.

The park's animal collection is huge and spread across several themed areas. Lions, tigers and gorillas are among the beasts on view in Trail of the Kings; kids can get up close to their favourite farmland friends in the Children's Zoo area; and a large variety of fish are on display in Chessington's own Sealife Centre. Those in search of adventure can board a Zufari truck for a safari around the African plains in search of giraffes, zebras and rhinos.

In recent years, Chessington has expanded into a multi-day destination with the addition of two on-site animal themed hotels and most recently a summer Glamping option, allowing guests to spend the night in a tent in the heart of the park itself.

Attractions

Vampire

Vampire

Swinging rollercoaster which takes riders on a flight from Dracula's Castle and through a Transylvanian Forest

Dragon's Fury

Dragon's Fury

Take a spin around the Land of the Dragons on this spinning rollercoaster from Maurer Söhne

Black Buccaneer

Black Buccaneer

A huge swinging pirate ship ride, offering some of the best air time of any pirate ship in the back seats

Dragon Falls

Dragon Falls

Take a gentle boat journey through the Mystic East, but be warned: a giant plunge over the edge lies ahead

Rameses Revenge

Rameses Revenge

The Pharoah gets his own back as his ride swings and flips guests round and round before dangling head first over some raging fountains for a drenching

Rattlesnake

Rattlesnake

A crazy journey through a Mexican mine on-board an out of control mine cart ... arrrrrriiibba!

Scorpion Express

Scorpion Express

The park's original Runaway Train got a retheme, lost its rocky tunnels and gained a weird steam-punk robotic scorpion

Tomb Blaster

Tomb Blaster

Guests must enter a forbidden Egyptian tomb in order to battle a mysterious curse on board this interative laser gun dark ride

The Gruffalo River Adventure

The Gruffalo River Adventure

Is there such a thing as a Gruffalo? Find out on this boat ride through the wild woods.  

Kobra

Kobra

Ride aboard a huge spinning disk as it careers up and down a giant slope in Wild Asia

Monkey Swinger

Monkey Swinger

A traditional chair swing ride, with added monkey business courtsey of dancing fountains that riders swoop towards...

The Chessington Adventure Tree

The Chessington Adventure Tree

The park's centrepiece at Adventure Point, a well themed carousel with a choice of animals to ride

Zufari: Ride Into Africa

Zufari: Ride Into Africa

Take a guided jeep tour around the African plains, encountering real life zebra, giraffe and other beasts on your personal safari adventure

Sea Storm

Sea Storm

Choose a boat to board for an adventure on the stormy seas on this spinning ship ride

Toadie's Crazy Cars

Toadie's Crazy Cars

Drive your own vintage car, but watch out for Toadie and his friends as you travel the country road

Hocus Pocus Hall

Hocus Pocus Hall

The goblins have taken over the Burnt Stub Mansion - come and explore for yourself in this magical walkthrough

Flying Jumbos

Flying Jumbos

A Chessington classic - come and ride on your own giant flying elephant

Lorikeet Lagoon

Lorikeet Lagoon

Take a pot of nectar with you to feed the friendly lorikeets in this walk through aviary

Peeking Heights

Peeking Heights

An observation wheel, giving views over the Surrey countryside and the City of London on a clear day

Chessington Zoo

Chessington Zoo

Encounter over 1000 animals living in the Trail of the Kings, Sealion Bay, and the Wanyama Village and Reserve

Videos

Rides and Lands

On-Ride Videos

Old Low Quality POVs

Halloween Hocus Pocus

Trips

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