Take a journey down the river and come face to face with real Amur tigers, then plunge 50 feet down the face of Tiger Rock into the swirling waters below.
|Theme Park||Chessington World of Adventures|
|Park Area||Land of the Tiger|
|Ride Type||Log Flume|
|Opened||5 May 2018|
Visitors to the Land of the Tiger can board a boat and float down river into the heart of the tiger's homeland. During their journey they will come alongside a family of Amur tigers going about their daily activities. However, danger awaits as the boat arrives at the gigantic Tiger Rock ... and there's only one way down!
Both Tiger Rock and the Land of the Tiger were new attractions for the 2018 season at Chessington. Tiger Rock is a retheme of Dragon Falls (originally known as Dragon River) - the log flume which was one of the original theme park attractions which opened with the transformation of Chessington Zoo into Chessington World of Adventures in 1987. Land of the Tiger is a dramatic transformation of the former Mystic East area in which Dragon River used to sit.
The biggest change to the area is the introduction of a series of animal enclosures which are home to the family of Amur tigers. These enclosures are connected via overhead trails that go over the heads of visitors on the log flume below. The tigers are quite lively, and seem to enjoy running along the bridges and exploring their environment.
Another big change is the log flume's final drop. Dragon River opened with an impressive Angkor Wat-like rockwork edifice, with boats crashing down the drop between two gigantic heads carved into the rock. However, over time the condition of the theming deteriorated and by 2013 the rocks had been removed and Dragon Falls (as it had been renamed several years previously) felt more like a boat tour around a building site than through an ancient Eastern landscape. Following the retheme, rockwork is back on the final drop in the form of the imposing Tiger Rock, a huge towering tiger face which boats dive through to reach the lake below.
Tiger Rock takes the standard theme park log flume and elevates it to the next level. Dragon River/Falls was always special - not least because it used real boats rather than the lazy giant logs of most "log" flumes - and Tiger Rock builds on that solid foundation. The addition of the Amur tigers makes for an amazing experience, and it is nice that both riders and non-riders alike have opportunities to see the tigers from multiple viewing locations. Judging by the length of the queues it is pulling in, the retheme has been a massive hit so far.
The journey on Tiger Rock begins as riders board their boat which slowly moves along a conveyor belt through the impressively themed station. The boat passes underneath a large tiger face painted above the station entrance, and drops a few inches down a slope into the water channel.
After passing underneath two wooden footbridges that form part of the extended queueline, and a larger stone bridge, the boat navigates around a corner and then up a short conveyor. At the top of the hill the boat descends down the smaller of Tiger Rock's drops, with riders getting a small sprinkling of water in their faces.
Having picked up some speed, they then enter into a dark tunnel which is filled with special lighting and smoke effects. Emerging back into the sunlight, the fast-moving boat passes behind the Tiger Treats donut shop and then alongside one of the tiger enclosures, with large windows offering riders a good view inside. Following a short tunnel which carries boats under one of the major Land of the Tiger footpaths, the water channel turns right past some wooden buildings and reaches the bottom of the large conveyor belt which will carry the boat to the summit of Tiger Rock.
At the top of the hill riders find themselves at the high point of the ride. They have plenty of time to take in the view, as their boat moves achingly slowly around a sweeping right hand bend. But excitement awaits - soon they find themselves at the top of the plunge over Tiger Rock. With just time to pose for the on-ride photo, they and the boat crash down the drop, through the mist-enshrouded tiger mouth and into the lake at the bottom.
If they are unlucky, riders may find themselves sprayed from a well aimed water gun by a spectator watching the ride. Soon though, their boat will be out of reach of the guns, as it passes under another footbridge and floats back to the station. After engaging with the station conveyor, riders disembark ready to take a look at their onride photo and visit the Tiger Rock gift shop.
Land of the Tiger is home to four endangered Amur tigers, all of whom were born at Kolmården Wildlife Park in Sweden. The family moved to their new home at Chessington World of Adventures in 2018.
Born: 16th July 2007
Born: 7th June 2010
Born: 29th August 2008
Born: 29th August 2008
Entrance to Land of the Tiger
Water guns mean riders are unlikely to escape the wetness
Floating through nicely landscaped greenery
A boat at the top of the first drop
An Amur tiger up close
Just hanging out in the Land of the Tiger
Tiger Rock ride entrance
The Tiger Rock station and gift shop
Boats pass underneath the extended queueline bridges
The first log flume drop
Speeding around a corner
Boats pass alongside large windows looking into the tiger enclosure
Floating past one of the tiger enclosures
Turning around before the large lift hill
Splashing down through Tiger Rock
Surviving the drop down Tiger Rock
Tiger Rock riders
Water guns give wet riders another soaking
Boats pass beneath one of the tiger runs
The Tiger Bites restaurant seating area is next to the Tiger Rock station
Inside the Tiger Rock station
On-ride photo booth
The footpath down to the log flume has been given a makeover since its Dragon Falls days
The Giant Buddha statue has been repainted in gold
Tigers can cross over the heads of visitors using bridges across the footpaths
An Amur tiger looks down on visitors to Land of the Tiger
There are plenty of windows allowing guests to see into the giant tiger enclosure complex