Yesterday we headed to Chessington World of Adventures in Surrey. We got the bus from Kingston and met our friends Sam and Adam, and their lovely little ladies Maisie and Ellie there. They drove, and because it was a fairly quiet day in the park, parking the car was easy and it is only a minute’s walk from the car park to the park itself. Parking is £2 for the day.
Adam and Sam had only told Maisie that we were going on “an Adventure”, so she had no idea of the thrills and spills that were ahead of her!
Chessington World of Adventures is owned and operated by Merlin Entertainments Group, who also own the London Eye, Thorpe Park, Madame Tussaud’s, Alton Towers and many many. Other attractions across the UK and worldwide, I always find their attractions high quality and I had never visited Chessington with children, so I was very excited.
We made our first stop at the Bubbleworks, which is an “it’s a Small World” type attraction which is suitable for all the family. There is no minimum height as long as littles are accompanied by an adult. Unfortunately we couldn’t share a boat, so Adam, Sam and Maisie took the first boat, and Amy, Ellie and I took up residence in the second boat. All of us, including the kids, enjoyed this ride. It is bright and colourful and great for younger kids, but it forgot hat there was a bit where you do get sprinkled with water. Needless to say that did NOT go down well with Ellie!
After that me and Adam snuck off the to on the Vampire, which is a roller coaster, while Ellie had a bottle. The Vampire is one of the more thrilling rides at the park, so it was nice to have the wind in our hair for a little while on what was the hottest day of the year so far. Quickly managed queue despite a school group ahead of us, and a fun little roller coaster.
One thing I have to say was fantastic at Chessington was the facilities for little ones. There were plenty of places to warm a bottle, in fact any of the food kiosks were willing to handle over a cup of hot water with no charge and without any problems. Most restaurants has microwaves available as well, and there were lots of places to sit for a feed. There were also plenty of nappy change facilities that were clearly marked on the map, plus the baby swap facility, where one parent could ride a ride, then the other parent could skip the queue through the exit so that someone was always with the baby was very handy.
With it being the hottest day of the year so far, we were trying hard to be safe in the sun regular sun cream for the adults and Maisie, and Ellie was kept in the shade in her buggy and only really came out when we were out of the sun. We found the refillable drink mug, where you pay £7 for a mug which has free refills all day was a great deal and we certainly got our money’s worth. Next time, though, I think we would probably take a picnic, as I didn’t find that food was very good value. Then again, what does one expect from a theme park?
We had a lovely day, and Chessington is definitely a great peak with younger kids. There were lots and lots of rides for Maisie to take in. I worried that she might be scared by some of the faster kiddie rides, as she is only three, but that child is definitely going to be a thrill seeker when she is older! At her height – just under a meter – she did need an adult to accompany her on every ride she wanted to go on, but she had a great time in the soft play on her own! A couple of the rides did struggle with the heat and have moments where they were out of action, but we found that when this happened there was great communication from staff about what had happened and when they expected it fixed.
We also enjoyed the plethora of things that there were to do without riding a ride too. We met characters from Madagascar, walked though Hocus Pocus House (which Maisie adored and we went in twice!) and met George the bearded dragon! The park also has a zoo and a Sealife Centre, but we didn’t get near those in the time we were there! Maisie was just too enthralled with the rides!
All in all we had a great day! We found all of the staff very friendly and the kids had a wonderful time. There were also bits and bats for adults to do too, which we all very much enjoyed. My only gripe was that I really did not feel the food was good value at all, but the doughnuts were fantastic.
Chessington is always on 2 for 1 (through national rail) and there are many offers around, including an early booking offer on the official website, but even at full price the site has so much to do that is is very good value! Particularly when you I consider what a zoo, theme park and Sealife aquarium would cost separately. They also have a hotel on site, with another one opening this year, so it’s great for a short break as well.
As usual with our reviews, we reviewed the park independently. We are not affiliated with Chessington World of Adventures or Merlin Entertainments in any way. We financed the day out with our own money and are not being paid to write this review.