Chessington World of Adventures Resort
|Slogan||Britain's Wildest Adventure!|
|Location||Chessington, Greater London, England|
|General Manager||David Smith|
|Previous names||Chessington Zoo, Chessington World of Adventures & Zoo|
|Operating season||Theme Park
March - November
January - December
Chessington World of Adventures Resort is a theme park, zoo and hotel complex that lies 12 miles (19 km) 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. Owned and operated by Merlin Entertainments since 2007.
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, and Forbidden Kingdom. Land of the Dragons opened in 2004 for children, and in late 2009 Wild Asia replaced the area known as Beanoland. In 2012 Africa replaced ToyTown, and following this Chessington introduced the new area ZUFARI in 2013. 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.
- 1 History
- 2 Events
- 3 Rides and attractions
- 4 Chessington Theme Park
- 5 Chessington Zoo
- 6 Resort Hotels
- 7 Future developments
- 8 Incidents
- 9 Green Belt restrictions
- 10 Gallery
- 11 See also
- 12 References
- 13 External links
The mansion at Chessington World of Adventures Resort known today as the Burnt Stub was originally built in 1348, in Chessington, London. 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.
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. 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 (Tussauds was a subsidiary of the Pearson Group).
Founding of theme park
In 1984, due to the zoo's declining attendance, Tussauds's Director of Development, Ray Barratt 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. The decision was made to open a theme park to complement the zoo, and so Chessington World of Adventures was created. On 7 June 1987 Chessington World of Adventures opened to the public. The park investment for this year was £12 million.
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. The attractions were all heavily themed with emphasis on atmosphere and effects, making Chessington one of the first true theme parks in Britain.
The 1990 season bought two of Chessington's more popular rides with the opening of Transylvania: Vampire and Professor Burp's Bubbleworks. Both of these rides had significant impact on the park, and the investment was said to have cost around £10 million. By this time Black Buccaneer and the Smugglers Cove area had been created, both opening in 1988.
The 1995 season arrived with the intense Rameses Revenge, the park's first inverting ride. Rameses Revenge was new in the Forbidden Kingdom area; 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, located next to the explorer gate. 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.
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. 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: Thorpe Park caters to teenagers, while Chessington World of Adventures Resort is for families and people of all ages.
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.
In late 2009 the new area Wild Asia replaced the area known as Beanoland in the theme park, and in June 2010 the Wanyama Reserve (now called ZUFARI) opened behind the Safari Hotel, giving a backdrop for its African theme. In 2012 Africa replaced ToyTown, and following this Chessington introduced the new area ZUFARI in 2013.
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. 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.
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. For the event, a number of extra Halloween attractions open with walkthroughs, scare mazes and stage shows. During the event, rides also operate in the dark. With Festive Zoo Days, during December weekends and school holidays, Chessington Zoo opens with Christmas decorations and a Christmas attraction during daylight hours. Parts of the theme park open for is event, with Bubbleworks and SeaStorm usually operating.
- 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
|Dragon's Fury||Steel sit down spinning coaster||2004||Land of the Dragons||Maurer Söhne||Intense spinning rollercoaster, originality sponsored by Skips. 1771 ft long track (540m); Xtended CS 3000 model.|
|Rattlesnake||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). The Rattlesnake underwent a refurbishment for 2013, which included re-painting the track, fixing queue line effects and repainting all theming.|
|Scorpion Express||Steel sit down||2014||Mexicana||Mack Rides||Blauer Enzian model. Family rollercoaster opening in 2014, replacing the Runaway Train.|
|Vampire||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);|
|Black Buccaneer||Swinging ship||1988||Pirates' Cove||Huss Rides||Swinging pirate ship that is painted black (hence the name).|
|KOBRA||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.|
|Monkey Swinger||Wave swinger||2000||Wild Asia||Zierer||A large monkey-themed wave swinger ride with a water element.|
|Peeking Heights||Ferris wheel||2005||Mystic East||Fabbri Group||25 metres (82 ft) tall, has 18 pods, and provides views of the entire park. Passengers under 1.1 metres (3 ft 7 in) must be accompanied by an adult. Was previously at Thorpe Park. Peeking Heights was refurbished for the 2013 season as part of Chessington's £5 million refurbishment plan.|
|Rameses Revenge||Top Spin||1995||Forbidden Kingdom||Huss Rides||Riders usually take in two different cycles of the ride. Top Spin with a water element;|
|SeaStorm||Sea Storm ride||1995||Pirates' Cove||Mack Rides||A Mack SeaStorm  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||Bumper cars||2000||Wild Asia||Preston & Barbieri||Family bumper cars themed to resemble tuk-tuks, which are auto rickshaws from Southeast Asia.|
|Bubbleworks||Water dark ride||2006
|Transylvania||Mack Rides||Dark water ride designed by John Wardley 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. It is currently themed around a soap factory, and sponsored by Imperial Leather from 2006 until 2010.|
|Dragon Falls||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.|
|Tomb Blaster||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.|
|Canopy Capers||Tree house||2004||Land of the Dragons||Tussauds Studios||Children's tree house climbing attraction that interlocks with Dragon's Fury|
|Carousel||Carousel||1996||Market Square||Bertazzon||Classic merry go round style ride.|
|Dragon's Playhouse||Playhouse||2004||Land of the Dragons||Tussauds Studios||Soft play area, height limit 1.4m max.|
|Flying Jumbos||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.|
|Griffin's Galleon||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.|
|Jungle Bus||Crazy bus||2001||Wild Asia||Zamperla||Small, children's magic carpet.|
|Jungle Bouncers||Mini drop tower||2001||Africa||Zamperla||Mini drop tower for children, originally called Ribena Berry Bouncers.|
|Sea Dragons||Spinning ride||2004||Land of the Dragons||Mack Rides||Small children's boat ride.|
|Tiny Truckers||Convoy ride||1994||Market Square||Zamperla||Small driving attraction that usually makes two laps of its course.|
|Temple of Mayhem||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||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.|
|Hocus Pocus Hall||House of mirrors||2003||Burnt Stub Mansion||Tussauds Studios||Hocus Pocus Hall is in the original manor house at the park. Visitors to the walk-in mansion under 1.1 meter must be accompanied by an adult.|
|Lorikeet Lagoon||Bird enclosure||2010||Wild Asia||Merlin Entertainments Studios||Visitors can feed nectar to a flock of lorikeets in a walk-in space.|
|Madagascar Live! Prepare to Party||Musical theater||2012||Africa||Dreamworks||A 20-minute live stage show featuring characters from the Madagascar film franchise.|
|Safari Skyway||Monorail||1986||Market Square||Mack Rides||Guided monorail tour around Chessington Zoo. Any guests under 1.1 meter must be accompanied by an adult.|
Ride into Africa!
|Guided safari||2013||Zufari||Merlin Entertainments Studios||An off-road safari truck tour that takes riders into the plains of Zufari.|
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.
- The Fun City Show tent, housing circus/stunt entertainment, was demolished in 1999 to make way for Beanoland to open the next season.
- Beanoland was an area themed around The Beano comic. It opened in 2000 and closed in 2009, featuring Billy's Whizzer, Dennis' Madhouse, Roger the Dodger's Dodgems and Bash Street Bus.
- Runaway Train was a mine train themed powered roller coaster in the Mexicana area. Opened in 1987, and closed at the end of 2012. Replaced by Scorpion Express, opening 2014.
- 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.
- Magic Carpet was located in the Mystic East area, until it closed at the end of the 1998 season. Samurai (see below) was installed in its place.
- Samurai was a Mondial Top Scan installed in 1999 and closed in 2003 in Mystic East, then relocated to sister park Thorpe Park.
- Chessington Zoo Railway (12 in (305 mm) miniature gauge) closed in 1985 before the theme park had been constructed.
- Chessington Railroad (2 ft (610 mm) narrow gauge) left at the end of 1996. 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.
- Rodeo was a Huss breakdance ride that closed at the end of the 2004 season. 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, which had been open since 1996 close to the park's north entrance, took its place.
- 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.
- 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.
- The Fifth Dimension was a dark ride that opened in 1987 and closed in 1993, based around the story of a TV repair robot 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. 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. Shows include Madagascar Live! Prepare to Party and Wild Factor.
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. 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. Pirate's Cove is a mock of a fishing village in England with blue wooden shops. Transylvania, although the real city is from Romania, is actually themed to look like Bavaria, Germany with ompha music playing in the village area. Forbidden Kingdom is based on Ancient Egypt with hieroglyphics drawn onto its surroundings. 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.
Among the newer lands is Wild Asia which opened in 2010 as a replacement for Beanoland with an Indian theme. Africa opened in 2012 and is based on Madagascar, while the African reserve ZUFARI opened in 2013. In 2010, the park attracted 1.4 million people.
Timeline of Park Areas
|Circus World||Beanoland||Wild Asia|
|Land of the Dragons|
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. 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.
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. Rattlesnake, a steel sit-down Wild Mouse roller coaster, opened in 1998. In 2014, the Scorpion Express rollercoaster will open at the back of Mexicana, on the former site of the Runaway Train.
Pirates' Cove is an area adjacent to Transylvania. 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. Seastorm is a circular family boat ride that simulates a sea storm, and increases speed if riders stays on a second time.
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. Dragon Falls is a 510 foot long log flume ride themed around the legend of Dragons. Peeking Heights opened in 2005, and from the top of the wheel the entire park is visible. Mystic East also has the Extreme Games Zone.
The Transylvania area was created in 1990, opening with two major rides designed by John Wardley: the Vampire and Bubbleworks. Vampire is a steel suspended floorless coaster. 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. A ring-shaped boat holds up to four people and travels with varying speed through the ride. It was rethemed in 2006.
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, 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 that opened in 1995.
Land of the Dragons
Land of the Dragons opened in 2004 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. Dragon's Fury is a spinning roller coaster that opened in 2004.
Wild Asia, opened in early 2010 as a wild jungle, featuring theming such as ancient ruins and tribal statues. 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. The area has a number of thrill rides, including KOBRA, a Zamperla flat ride that opened in 2010 Monkey Swinger is a wave swinger with a water element that opened in 2000 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.
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, 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. There is also an Xtra Adventures kiosk located here.
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. 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, 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.
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. 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. For a time the attracton was called Animal Land, before returning to Chessington Zoo in 2007. 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. 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. 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.
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. 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. Next to Wild Wood is Penguin Cove with humboldt penguins, while there are also enclosures for river otters and reindeer. Chessington Zoo also has an area called Sealion Bay, which features sea lion presentations several times a day and Creepy Caves, a reptile house.
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. In 2007 the Trail of the Kings section of the Zoo underwent an inspection with the outcome that the gorilla enclosure was too small. A bigger building for the gorillas was completed in 2010. As of 2013, there are 10 gorillas at chessington, as well as two infants born in 2012.
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. 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. 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 as a slightly smaller version of the same exhibit that has appeared at other Sea Life Centres. In 2011 it opened Azteca, 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.
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.
The hotel opened in June 2007 and was originally operated by Holiday Inn until it was fully taken over by Chessington in mid 2010. 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.
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.
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, and will be a re-theme of the previous roller coaster, Runaway Train, which was closed for extensive redevelopment in 2013. 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 are 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. However, this was later postponed until 2015 in favor of other projects.
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 & Aztec theming. It will be associated with the Azteca Hotel (see below).
The resort are developing a new hotel, the Azteca Hotel for 2014. It will be themed towards an ancient Aztec civilisation. 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.
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.
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.
- Main gallery: Chessington World of Adventures Resort at WikiCommons
- Theme park and features
Entrance to Dragon's Fury in Land of the Dragons
Forbidden Kingdom theming at entrance to Rameses Revenge
- Chessington Zoo
- Resort Hotels
Side of the Safari Hotel, when it was operated by Holiday Inn.
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- "Kobra - Chessington World of Adventures". Coaster Force. June 27, 2011. Retrieved 2013-10-15.
- "Monkey Swinger". Coaster Force. Retrieved 2013-10-15.
- "Wild Asia". Chessington World of Adventures. Retrieved 2013-10-15.
- "Peeking Heights". T-Park. Retrieved 2013-10-15.
- "Mystic East". Chessington World of Adventures. Retrieved 2008-11-02.
- "Chessington History". Theme Park Guide. Retrieved 2013-10-15.
- "Rameses Revenge Review". T-Park. Retrieved 2013-10-15.
- "Dragon Falls". Chessington World of Adventures. Retrieved 2013-10-15.
- "Forbidden Kingdom". Chessington World of Adventures. Retrieved 2013-10-15.
- "Market Square". Chessington World of Adventures. Retrieved 2013-10-15.
- "Zufari". Chessington World of Adventures. Retrieved 2013-10-15.
- "Griffin's Galleon". T-Park. Retrieved 2013-10-15.
- "Africa". Chessington World of Adventures. Retrieved 2013-10-15.
- "Beanoland". ThemeUK. Retrieved 2013-10-16.
- Camden Miniature Steam Services
- Chessington Railroad pictures with Chance Rides 2 ft (610 mm) gauge C.P. Huntington locomotive
- "Tomb Blaster". Coaster Force. Retrieved 2013-10-15.
- "Rattlesnake". Chessington World of Adventures. Retrieved 2013-10-15.
- "Vampire". Chessington World of Adventures. Retrieved 2013-10-15.
- "Land of the Dragons". Chessington World of Adventures. Retrieved 2013-10-15.
- Hilpern, Kate (August 2013). "The 10 Best theme parks". The Independent. Retrieved 2014-01-05.
- "Chessington Zoo". Chessington World of Adventures. Retrieved 2013-10-16.
- Chessington: Plan Your Trip
- "News report on gorilla enclosure". BBC News. 2007-04-12. Retrieved 2009-07-17.[dead link]
- "Chessington Azteca Hotel - Opening 2014!". Chessington World of Adventures Resort. Retrieved 2014-01-05.
- "£5 million refurbishment programme at Chessington World of Adventures". Chessington.com. 2013-09-03. Retrieved 2013-10-30.
- "What's New at Chessington World of Adventures". Retrieved 18 October 2011.
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