Chessington World of Adventures Resort
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|Slogan||Britain's Wildest Adventure!|
|Location||Chessington, Greater London, England|
|General Manager||David Smith|
|Opened||7 June 1987|
|Previous names||Chessington Zoo, Chessington World of Adventures & Zoo, Chessington World of Adventures|
|Operating season||Theme park: March - November
Zoo: January - December
Chessington World of Adventures Resort is a theme park, zoo and hotel in South West London, England. It lies 12 miles (19 km) south of Central London, 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. (Prior to the amusement park, there had been a fairground.) Owned and operated by Merlin Entertainments since 2007, in 2010 the park attracted 1.4 million people.
Using the slogan "Britain's Wildest Adventure!," Chessington World of Adventures currently brands itself as a resort with a theme park, zoo, hotel and Sea Life Centre. The zoo has over 1,000 animals, including Western lowland gorillas, sea lions, and Sumatran tigers. 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 Chessington Hotel, owned by the resort.
Among the theme park's earliest attractions in the 1980s were Safari Skyway, Dragon Falls, Runaway Train, and Black Buccaneer. In later years the park has added rides such as Hocus Pocus Hall, Dragon's Fury, Kobra, and ZUFARI: Ride into Africa, a guided truck tour through a 22-acre reserve for African animals, including rhinos. Shows include Madagascar Live! Prepare to Party and Wild Factor.
- 1 History
- 2 Opening times
- 3 Events
- 4 Rides and attractions
- 5 Current park areas
- 6 Chessington Zoo
- 7 Future developments
- 8 Gallery
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 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 as zoo
The theme park 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, including the Sealife Centre, and The Dungeons. Alton Towers, the nearby Thorpe Park and Madame Tussauds were also taken over as well as Chessington, the purchase making Merlin the second largest entertainment operator in the world, second only to Disney. Chessington World of Adventures and Thorpe Park are located within 20 miles of each other, and Merlin has made efforts to market the two parks to different age groups: Thorpe Park is for older park-goers, while Chessington World of Adventures Resort is family oriented.
Chessington World Of Adventures Resort currently brands itself as a resort with a theme park, zoo, hotel and Sea Life Centre. Located next to the Lodge Gate is the theme park's resort hotel, which opened in 2007. The hotel has entertainment such as bars and restaurants, an indoor swimming pool, and views of the Wanyama Reserve. As of 2013 the theme park is split into ten themed lands, each with its own location, setting and rides: Wild Asia, Forbidden Kingdom, Land of the Dragons, Market Square, Mexicana, Mystic East, Pirates' Cove, Transylvania, Africa and ZUFARI.
A fire broke out at a café in the theme park on 21 December 2013, and it spread to one of the attractions. Animals in the zoo area were moved to safety.
The theme park opens in March, staying open until early November. All attractions open at 10:00 am, when the park opens. Usually the park closes at 5:00 pm, however on peak days it is available until 6:00 pm and during their Halloween event Halloween Hocus Pocus it is available until 7:00 pm.
During the main season, Chessington Zoo has the same opening times as the theme park, however, over the winter period, when the theme park is closed, Chesssington Zoo is only open at weekends from 10am until 3pm. This is when the resort hosts Zoo Days. Over the winter of 2013/14 Chessington Zoo will be closed except for Festive Zoo Days, due to the large scale construction of the Azteca Hotel, as well as the development of Monkey Kingdom which is replacing the Monkey & Bird Garden.
Annual Pass Holders Preview
Annual Pass Holders Preview (one week before Spring opening) - The Annual Pass Holders Preview days take place the weekend before the theme park re-opens after the winter period. Most of the rides and attractions operate during this event, however, occasionally a few rides are still closed for winter maintenance.
Halloween Hocus Pocus
Halloween Hocus Pocus (October) - For the last two weeks of October, the park hosts the Halloween-themed event a Halloween Hocus Pocus, where pumpkins, skeletons, cobwebs and witch characters can be found in the park. For the event, extra Halloween themed attractions open at the park, including scare mazes, walkthrough attractions and stage shows. Rides operates as usual until 7 pm, though the zoo closes at 5 pm. Some attractions such as Safari Skyway, Canopy Capers and the ZUFARI area close at dusk.
Festive Zoo Days
Festive Zoo Days (December 7th until January 5th) - Festive Zoo Days is an annual event that sees the entire resort (excluding the theme park, which is closed) decorated for Christmas. Santa's elves can be found around the resort and interact with guests. New for 2013 is "The Night Before Christmas - A Magical Adventure," a tour of Father Christmas' house. During Festive Zoo Days, the resort is open at weekends from 10:00am until 3:00pm.
African Adventures (February half-term) - Chessington Zoo opens for the week with African decorations. Actors in costumes roam the zoo and hotel playing drums. There are extra activities around the zoo, as well as additional animal talks. The theme park also opens at this time with selected rides and attractions available. This event is open from 10am until 3pm, the same times as normal zoo days.
- Ice Age - In 2009 Chessington hosted a one-off event to celebrate the opening of the Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs movie. The theme park opened a temporary maze attraction just outside Beanoland featuring all the characters and scenes from the film. The event ran from 20 June and finished on 31 August 2009.
- Vampire XXI - In 2011 Chessington hosted an event to celebrate the 21st birthday of the Vampire roller coaster in Transylvania. The Twilight Zone walk-through was the extra temporary addition for the event, which was hosted in Pirate's Cove (adjacent to Vampire), and ran from 11 April until 1 May.
- Mystic East Carnival - Taking place over a week in June 2011, The Mystic East Carnival was a display of arts from the Orient performed in Market Square and the field behind Wild Asia.
- 25th Birthday Celebration - In 2012 the resort celebrated the 25th birthday of the theme park, holding 25 days of fun starting late July.
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); height minimum 1.2m. 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); height minimum 1,4m. 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||Scorpion Valley||Mack Rides||Blauer Enzian model. family rollercoaster opening in 2014, replacing the Runaway Train; height minimum 90 cm.|
|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); height minimum 1,1m.|
|Black Buccaneer||Swinging ship||1988||Pirates' Cove||Huss Rides||Swinging pirate ship that is painted black (hence the name); height minimum 1m.|
|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. Height minimum 1.2 meters.|
|Monkey Swinger||Wave swinger||2000||Wild Asia||Zierer||A large monkey-themed wave swinger ride with a water element. Height minimum 1.2 meters.|
|SeaStorm||Sea Storm ride||1995||Pirates' Cove||Mack Rides||A Mack SeaStorm  ride. Height minimum 90 cm. 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.|
|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. ( photos)|
|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; height minimum 1.4 meters.|
|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, with a height minimum of 1.2m (anyone less than 1.3 meters must be accompanied by an adult).|
|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 Height limit 1.4m max.|
|Carousel||Carousel||1996||Market Square||Bertazzon||Classic merry go round style ride. ( photos)|
|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. Height minimum 90 cm. ( photos)|
|Jungle Bus||Crazy bus||2001||Wild Asia||Zamperla||Small, children's magic carpet. Height min 0.9m.|
|Jungle Bouncers||Mini drop tower||2001||Africa||Zamperla||Mini drop tower for children, originally called Ribena Berry Bouncers. Height min 0.9m. ( photos)|
|Sea Dragons||Spinning ride||2004||Land of the Dragons||Mack Rides||Small children's boat ride. Height limit none, under 1.1 meters must be accompanied by adult.|
|Tiny Truckers||Convoy ride||1994||Market Square||Zamperla||Small driving attraction that usually makes two laps of its course.|
|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. ( photos)|
|Hocus Pocus Hall||House of mirrors||2003||Market Square
(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. ( photos)|
|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. Height minimum 1 meter.|
|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. Height minimum 0.9 meters.|
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 rollercoaster 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 Railroad 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.
Current park areas
As early as 1986 monorail rides were being offered in the, soon to become Market Square area of the park, which has a high concentration of shops, video arcades, and food. Mystic East is an oriental-themed area, and the water ride Dragon Falls opened there in 1987. Also in 1987 the Calamity Canyon area was opened. eventually housing roller coasters such as Rattlesnake. Themed to the Wild West, it was later renamed Mexicana. Pirates Cove, an area adjacent to Transylvania, has rides such as the swinging pirate ship Black Buccaneer. Transylvania hosts gothic-themed rides, and in 1990 opened the roller coaster Vampire.
Forbidden Kingdom, themed around Ancient Egypt, opened in 1994. Land of the Dragons opened in 2004 and is a self-contained dragon-themed land containing rides and attractions for younger children. In late 2009 Wild Asia replaced the area known as Beanoland, while Africa was new in 2012, when in 2013 ZUFARI opened, and has both rides and the safari adventure ZUFARI: Ride into Africa, which also incorporates elements of the zoo.
Market Square is the central area of the park and has shops, video arcades and food stalls; it also contains 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 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.
Fort Fun has arcade games, while the Chessington Shop sells Chessington merchandise. Restaurants and food include Market Square Donuts (hot doughnuts and ice cream), Market Square Hotdogs (Hotdogs), Market Square Pizza Pasta (pizza and pasta buffet), and Stubb's Sweet Shop (Sweets and ice cream).
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. Food includes the Mexican Cantina, which sells nachos and burritos.Rattlesnake, a steel sit down Wild Mouse roller coaster, opened in 1998. The Mexicana area is being rethemed for 2014 to Scorpion Valley.
Pirates' Cove is an area adjacent to Transylvania. Food includes Chips Ahoy, which serves fish and chips. 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 a riders stays on a second time.
Mystic East is an oriental-themed area with a large Buddha statue taking center court. Food and shopping includes the restaurant Oriental Express, and the games arcade Dragon's Lair. 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 has the Extreme Games Zone, which has varying height restrictions.
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 and sponsored by Imperial Leather.
Shopping includes Fangtasia, which sells merchandise and confectionery, while restaurants include Vampires Burger Kitchen (fast food) and Creaky Cafe (healthy food).
Themed around Ancient Egypt with an obelisk as a centerpiece attraction, this area was created in 1994. It is home to 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.
The Pharaoh's Bazaar shop sells various Egyptian themed marchandise, restaurants included Fried Chicken Co. and the icecream shop Forbidden Treats.
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 is also home to Dragon's Fury, an intense spinning rollercoaster for thrill seekers. 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; height limit 1,4m max. If the child is young enough he or she can be accompanied by an adult.
There are also child-appropriate rides: Griffin's Galleon is a Kontiki ride (height limit 90 cm). There is Sea Dragons is a spinning boat ride with no height limit, created by Mack Rides. Sir Walter Squirtalot is a fountain that squirts water. Dragon's Fury is a spinning roller coaster for thrill seekers that opened in 2004; height limit 1.2m.
Africa is inspired by the DreamWorks movie Madagascar and is home 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. In this area there is The Coffee Hut café, and the African Trading Co gift shop. An Xtra Adventures outlet can be found here, which sells annual passes, Fastrack and Animal experiences.
Wild Asia, opened in early 2010 as a wild jungle, featuring theming such as ancient ruins and tribal statues. Food and shopping in Wild Asia include the Maharajas Market, a gift shop with Asian souvenirs, and the restaurants Noodle Noodle (Oriental cuisine), and Asian Ices (beverages and ice cream).
The attraction Lorikeet Lagoon had opened 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 (height minimum 1.2 m). 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 (height minimum 90 cm), while Tuk Tuk Turmoil is bumper cars themed as Asian tuk tuks (height limit 90 cm). Temple of Mayhem is an indoor play area where kids can fire foam balls, with a minimum age limit of 4 years (height limit 1.4m max).
Banyan Maximus is a treehouse with an elephant head carving, which speaks with guests and squirts water at them.
ZUFARI is the name of 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 Wanayama Village to the resorts zoo as well as using the Zufari planes as a backdrop for Chessington Hotel with the Wanyama Reserve. Zufari's total size is 22 acres and is home to 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 Mr 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 reformation of the zoo as a 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 area was called Animal Land, before returning to Chessington Zoo in 2007. 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.
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 east side contains smaller enclosures home to capybaras, rhea, mara, wallabies, meerkats and agouti, in what was previously the Monkey Walk area. Monkey Walk was replaced by Creatures Features which in turn was later replaced by the Wanyama Village. The Monkey and Bird Gardens are also found here. Creature Features was replaced by Wanyama Village in 2010. The Monkey & Bird Garden has a squirrel monkey walkthrough as well as a host of 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 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.
The west side of the park is home to 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.
Chessington Zoo also has an area called Sealion Bay, which features sea lion presentations several times a day and Creepy Caves, a reptile house. In 2008 a Sea Life Centre opened on the site of the previous children's zoo, which was later relocated behind Mexicana, and contains British and tropical fish. In 2009, an Amazonia area was added to Sea Life Centre, as was an Azteca zone in 2011.
The Wanyama Village & Reserve opened in late May 2010, in an unused area behind the Chessington Hotel and houses animals such as Grévy's zebra, Sitatunga antelope and scimitar horned oryx. There are giftshops for both the zoo and Sea Life Centre.
The resort has plans to open a new Monkey Kingdom zoo area on the current site of the Monkey and Bird garden for 2014. The new area will contain new monkey enclosures, walkthroughs, play areas and jungle theming. The new area will also keep some of the current monkey attractions is the area, such as the squirrel monkey walkthrough. It is believed[who?] that the birds will be moved to the Wanyama Village.
Food, shopping and facilities:
- Adventures' Chicken Shack - Chicken based restaurant
- Zoo Shop - Selling Chessington merchandise
- Sea Life Shop - Sea Life merchandise, chessington merchandise
- Education Centre - Theme Park and animal workshops for school groups
Merlin Entertainments have put in a £14 million investment to regenerate the park throughout 2013 and 2014. The Scorpion Valley area of the park will open in 2014 as part of this plan (see below).
The theme park are re-theming the Mexicana area into Scorpion Valley for 2014. The Scorpion Express rollercoaster will open in the area along with the existing Rattlesnake and restaurant. The Scorpion Express will be a re-theme of the previous rollercoaster, Runaway Train which was closed for extensive redevelopment in 2013.
The Dragon Falls ride in the Mystic East area if the theme park is to be rethemed for the 2014 season as part of the £14 million upgrade plan (stated above).
Chessington Zoo was given planning permission to re-theme the Monkey & Bird Garden as Amazu for 2014, complete with new enclosures, walkthrough attractions, jungle theming, and play areas.
The park are creating a new hotel alongside the Chessington Hotel, called the Azteca Hotel for 2014. It will feature 69 new rooms, new swimming facilities, a new restaurant and a stage area. The hotel will be built into the park, on part of the current zoo area called "Monkey and Bird Garden". The hotel will open with the proposed Amazu (stated above).
Rattlesnake in Mexicana
Runaway Train in Mexicana
Kobra in Wild Asia
Large dragon arch at Dragon Falls in Mystic East
Entrance to Dragon's Fury in Land of the Dragons
Bubbleworks in Transylvania
Forbidden Kingdom theming at entrance to Rameses Revenge
Madagascar Live! Prepare to Party in Africa
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- "Opening Times". Chessington World of Adventures. Retrieved 2013-10-16.
- "Hocus Pocus Hall Review". ScareTourUK. 2011. Retrieved 2013-10-15.
- "Festive Zoo Days". Chessington World of Adventures. Retrieved 2013-10-15.
- "Ice Age Adventure attraction". Retrieved 2009-07-17.[dead link]
- "Dragon's Fury". RCDB. Retrieved 2013-10-15.
- "Land of the Dragons". Chessington World of Adventures. Retrieved 2013-10-15.
- "Rattlesnake - Chessington World of Adventures (Chessington, Surrey, England, UK)". RCDB. Retrieved 2013-10-15.
- "Runaway Train - Chessington World of Adventures (Chessington, Surrey, England, UK)". RCDB. Retrieved 2013-10-15.
- "Mexicana". Chessington World of Adventures. Retrieved 2013-10-15.
- "Vampire". T-Park. Retrieved 2013-10-15.
- "Vampire". Chessington World of Adventures. Retrieved 2013-10-15.
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- "Kobra - Chessington World of Adventures". Coaster Force. June 27, 2011. Retrieved 2013-10-15.
- "Wild Asia". Chessington World of Adventures. Retrieved 2013-10-15.
- "Monkey Swinger". Coaster Force. Retrieved 2013-10-15.
- "Peeking Heights". T-Park. Retrieved 2013-10-15.
- "Mystic East". Chessington World of Adventures. Retrieved 2008-11-02.
- "Rameses Revenge Review". T-Park. Retrieved 2013-10-15.
- "Forbidden Kingdom". Chessington World of Adventures. Retrieved 2013-10-15.
- "Dragon Falls". 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.
- "Tomb Blaster". Coaster Force. Retrieved 2013-10-15.
- "Rattlesnake". Chessington World of Adventures. Retrieved 2013-10-15.
- "Chessington Zoo". Chessington World of Adventures. Retrieved 2013-10-16.
- [ http://www.chessington.com/plan-your-trip/whats-on.aspx Chessington: Plan Your Trip]
- "News report on gorilla enclosure". BBC News. 2007-04-12. Retrieved 2009-07-17.[dead link]
- "£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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