Chessington World of Adventures Resort
|Slogan||Britain's Wildest Adventure!|
|Location||Chessington, Greater London, England|
|Opened||7 June 1987|
|Previous names||Chessington Zoo, Chessington World of Adventures & Zoo|
|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. In 2010, the park attracted 1.4 million people.
Chessington World of Adventures Resort currently brands itself as a resort with a theme park, zoo, hotel and Sea Life Centre. The theme park's resort hotel is located next to the Lodge Gate, and houses entertainment such as bars and restaurants, a large indoor swimming pool, and views of the Wanyama Village and Reserve. The zoo has over 1,000 animals, including Western lowland gorillas, sea lions, and Sumatran tigers. Themed 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, following this Chessington introduced the new area ZUFARI in 2013.
Among the theme park's earliest attractions were Safari Skyway, Dragon Falls, Vampire, 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.
- 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
Founding as zoo
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.
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 roller coaster 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 resort has entertainment such as bars and restaurants, an indoor swimming pool, and the Wanyama Village and Reserve.
As of 2013 the park is split into ten themed lands, each with its own location, setting and rides: Chessington Zoo, Wild Asia, Forbidden Kingdom, Land of the Dragons, Market Square, Mexicana, Mystic East, Pirates' Cove, Transylvania, Africa and ZUFARI.
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 has cancelled this event due to the large scale construction of the resort hotel expansion, as well as the development of Monkey Kingdom which is replacing the Monkey & Bird Garden.
Halloween Hocus Pocus
During 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 is an annual event that takes place from December 7th until January 5th and 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, the same as regular Zoo Days.
During the February Half-Term Chessington Zoo opens for the week with African decorations. Actors in costumes roam the zoo and Hotel playing durums. There are extra activities around the zoo, as well as additional animal talks. The zoo is open from 10am until 3pm, the same times as normal Zoo Days.
Annual Pass Holders Preview
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. In 2013 Chessington cancelled this event due more construction work taking place than originally expected.
One off events
- 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.|
|Runaway Train||Steel sit down||1987||Mexicana||Mack Rides
||Designer John Wardley. Blauer Enzian model. A family train ride that makes 2 circuits of the course; height minimum 90 cm. Runaway Train was closed for refurbishment in 2013, and due to reopen in March 2014.|
|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.|
|Peeking Heights||Ferris wheel||2005||Mystic East||Fabbri Group||Opened in 2005 as the tallest attraction in the park, at 25 meters tall. People under 1.1 meters must be accompanied by an adult. The ride was refurbished for the 2013 season as part of Chessington's £5 million upgrade 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; height minimum 1.4 meters. Closed until '14.|
|SeaStorm||Sea Storm ride||1995||Pirates' Cove
(entrance in Market Square)
|Mack Rides||A Mack SeaStorm  ride located in Pirate's Cove. 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.|
|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||Burnt Stub Masion||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.
- 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
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, Pirate's Cove, Transylvania, Africa and ZUFARI.
Wild Asia is themed around a wild jungle with tribal statues around the area. The area is decorated with ruins and stone statues. The KOBRA and Monkey Swinger rides are themed like this. In the centre of the area there is Banyan Maximus, a talking elephant tree.
- KOBRA – DiskO coaster that opened in 2010; height minimum 1.2 m. Zamperla.
- Jungle Bus – a small magic carpet ride themed as a bus; height minimum 90 cm. Zamperla.
- Monkey Swinger – wave swinger with a water element that opened in 2000; height minimum 1,2m. Zierer.
- Temple of Mayhem – indoor play area where kids can fire foam balls.; age minimum 4 years old, height limit 1,4m max.
- Tuk Tuk Turmoil – bumper cars that are themed as Asian tuk tuks; height minimum 90 cm.
- Lorikeet Lagoon – bird enclosure that opened in 2010, guests can hand feed nectar to the Lorkeets.
Food and Shopping:
Maharajas Market – gift shop, Asian souvenirs
Noodle Noodle – Oriental cuisine
Asian Ices – cold drinks, ice cream
Themed around Ancient Egypt with an obelisk as a centerpiece attraction, this area is home to two popular rides; Tomb Blaster and Rameses Revenge. The area is richly themed with the quelines for the rides being raised up on rope bridges, there is also a number of sandstone structures dotted around to reinforce the image.
- Tomb Blaster – Dark Ride with guns, themed around destroying and ancient curse. Opened 2002
- Rameses Revenge – Top Spin with a water element that opened in 1995; height minimum 1,4m. Huss.
Food, Shopping and Facilities:
Fried Chicken Co. – fried chicken
Pharaoh's Bazaar – Chessington Souvenirs, Forbbiden Kingdom Souvenirs
Forbidden Treats – ice cream and waffles
First aid Centre - first aid and lost children
Market Square is the central area of the park and is themed to look like an old English market town.The area has shops, video arcades and food stalls; it also contains the entrance to Safari Skyway, a monorail that opened in 1986 offering a guided tour of the zoo, lawn and mansion area. This area has a few shops and restaurants.
- Safari Skyway – Guided monorail tour of Chessington Zoo, opened in 1986. Any guests under 1.1m must be accompanied by an adult. Mack Rides.
- Carousel - Old fashioned Merry-go-round.
- Hocus Pocus Hall – a House of Mirrors that opened in 2003; any guests under 1.1m must be accompanied by an adult. Not for the faint hearted.
- Tiny Truckers - Young adventures can enjoy their first driving experience.
- Fort Fun Fort Amusement Centre – amusement centre.
Food, Shopping & Facilities:
Chessington Shop – Chessington merchandise
Market Square Pizza Pasta - Pizza and Pasta Buffet, salads are available
Sweet Shop – candy shop
Ben and Jerrys – Ice Cream
Market Square Hotdogs - Hotdog outlet
Adventurers' Services - Guest assistance
Transylvania is home to two major rides, the Vampire and the Bubbleworks. The area consists of the Transylvania village, themed with Bavarian style buildings; the other half of the area is a large forest with the Vampire's track winding around the trees, gravestones and other theming are found around the pathways in this area.
- Vampire – a steel suspended floorless coaster that was opened in 1990; height minimum 1,1m. Arrow Dynamics, the original Arrow trains were replaced with Vekoma trains in 2002. Vampire is said to be the worlds only suspended coaster to travel above the trees. It was designed by John Wardley, and was the original roller coaster at Chessington, opening in 1990.
- Bubbleworks – dark boat ride that opened in 1990 and was re-themed in 2006. The guests climb into a circular ring which holds up to four people and goes around a track (the speed of the ride depends on which part it is on). Mack Rides, designed by Sparks Creative. Another of John Wardley's attractions at Chessington, and one of the originals, although, now re-themed.
Food and Shopping:
Vampires Burger Kitchen – fast food restaurant
Creaky Cafe – healthy food and drink; sandwiches, paninis, wraps and salads
Fangtasia Gift Shop – merchandise and confectionery
Pirates' Cove is an area adjacent to "Transylvania" and "Market Square"; it is home to 2 sea-inspired rides: the Black Buccaneer, a swinging pirate ship and Seastorm, a small circular ride.
- Black Buccaneer – swinging pirate ship that is painted black (hence the name) that opened in 1988; height minimum 1m. Huss.
- Seastorm – a boat ride in a simulated sea storm. If a guest chooses to stay on the boat after it first stops, the ride will then resume but at a faster speed; height minimum 90 cm. Mack Rides.
Food and Games:
Chips Ahoy – fish and chips.
Treasure Chest Games - fairground games
Themed as a Mexican- inspired square and a Far West town in the American's Old West. This area used to be called Calamity Canyon and is now home to two roller coasters.
- Rattlesnake – this steel sit down wild mouse ride opened in 1998; height minimum 1,4m. Maurer Söhne. Any guests with a torso +51 inches will not be able to ride.
- Runaway Train – this steel sit down coaster that opened in 1987 offers a themed mine train journey; height minimum 90 cm. Mack Rides. Any guests with a torso +51 inches will not be able to ride. John Wardley designed this ride, along with Vampire and bubble works. John Wardley was one of the main designers at Tussuads for a number of years, and had a huge influence on the rides being create at its sister parks Thorpe Park and Alton Towers.
Food and Shopping:
Mexican Cantina – nachos, burritos.
Western Portrait Photo Collection – Shop were guests can purchase pictures taken from rides and attractions throughout their day.
- Dragon Falls – a 510 long log flume ride themed around the legend of Dragons, opened in 1987; height minimum 1,2m. Mack Rides.
- Peeking Heights – a 25m tall 18 pod Ferris Wheel that opened in 2005; height limit none / 1,1m alone. Fabbri. From the top of the wheel, the entire park is visible, as well as much of Greater London and the South East of England.
Food and Games:
Oriental Express – Asian food, with views of Dragon Falls
Dragon's Lair – Games arcade
Land of the Dragons
Land of the Dragons opened in 2004 and is a self-contained, dragon-themed land, it is the number one land in the park for young children. However, this land is also home to an intense spinning rollercoaster Dragon's Fury for thrill seekers. There are two play areas 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. There are also child-appropriate rides and the "Dragons Tale Theatre".
- Dragon's Fury – a spinning roller coaster that opened in 2004; height limit 1,2m. Maurer Söhne.
- Griffin's Galleon – a Kontiki; height limit 90 cm. Zierer.
- Canopy Capers – obstacle course for kids; height limit 1,4m max. If the child is young enough he or she can be accompanied by an adult.
- Sea Dragons – a spinning boat ride; height limit none. Mack Rides.
- Dragon's Playhouse – play area; height limit 1,4m max.
Wild Factor – A show about creepy crawlies hosted in the Dragon's Tale Theater
Original Sandwich Co. – Offers Snacks and sandwiches
Africa is a children's area of the theme park and has been inspired by the Dreamworks movie Madagascar. It was added to the park in 2012 with the opening of Madagascar Live! Prepare to Party, a live stage show with characters from the film.
- Toadie's Crazy Cars – a children's car driving attraction.
- Jungle Bouncers – mini drop tower that was called Berry Bouncers; height limit 90 cm.
Madagascar Live! Prepare to Party – Madagascar show with characters from the films.
Food and Shopping:
The Coffee Hut – coffee shop.
The African Trading Co. – merchandise and confectionery.
Xtra Adventures – annual passes, Fastrack and Animal experiences.
ZUFARI is Chessington's 22 acre African reserve, the area houses animals such as Girrafe, White Rhinos, Flamingos, Ostriches, Zebras, Blesbok, Nile Lechwes and Oryx. The area is also host to the Wanyama Village which is a section of the resorts zoo, it houses Meerkats, Gazelles and Porcupines to name a few. Around Zufari, there are observation areas where guests can view various parts of the landscape.
- ZUFARI: Ride into Africa! – An off-road safari truck tour that takes riders into the plains of Zufari. Height Limit 1m.
- Flying Jumbos – A popular spinning children's ride in which riders control how high they go, the cars are themed as elephants.
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 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.
Merlin Entertainments have put in a £5 million investment to regenerate the park throughout 2013 and 2014. The investment will go into refurbishing Mexicana, with its rides, facilities and scenery. Mystic East is the other area that is said to gain a major refurb for 2014 with new scenery, refurbished rides and refurbished buildings. 
Chessington Zoo have been given planning permission to re-theme the Monkey & Bird Garden as Monkey Kingdom for 2014, complete with new enclosures, walkthrough attractions, jungle theming, and play areas.
The park are expanding the Resort Hotel with 69 new rooms, new swimming facilities, a second restaurant, new stage area and a direct link to the park, something that has been missing since the hotel opened. The expansion will be built into the park, on part of the current Zoo area called "Monkey and Bird Garden" and will provide direct access from the hotel to the park. The extension will open with the proposed Monkey Kingdom (stated above).
- Areas and features
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- Chessington World of Adventures. VDM Publishing. 2010. ISBN 9786131137198.
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- "What's New at Chessington World of Adventures". Retrieved 2012-02-03. (Chessington World of Adventures)
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- Wollaston, Steve (May 5, 2013). "Feature: Life has been a rollercoaster for white knuckle ride designer John Wardley". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 2013-10-16.
- "John Wardley Interview". Park World. Retrieved 2013-10-16.
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- "AECOM Global Attractions Attendance Report 2010". Kris Harris. 29 March 2012. Retrieved 29 March 2012.[dead link]
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- "Hocus Pocus Hall Review". ScareTourUK. 2011. Retrieved 2013-10-15.
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- "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.
- "Pirates' Cove". Chessington World of Adventures. Retrieved 2013-10-15.
- "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.
- Pirates Cove at Chessington (Theme UK)
- "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.
- "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.
- "What's New at Chessington World of Adventures". Retrieved 3 February 2012.(Chessington World of Adventures)
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