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Chessington 2023 season

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Is it true that this closed season Chessington is receiving the most refurbishments ever. By this I mean the biggest overhaul refurbishment undertaken during closed season.I’ve heard they’ll be no rides open in February due to the major refurbishments. I wonder if any Rides will receive rethemes or be removed.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Scorpion Express is removed. This ageing Chessington classic was becoming more unreliable each season. I seriously worry that the fire the ride had in July was the end of the line. My logic says Chessington wouldn’t invest in an unreliable ride that is gaining more faults. Furthermore in 2019 I was told that Scorpion Express would be removed over that winter. On the contrary my heart hopes Chessington realise how beloved the ride is and repair it. If Scourpeon Express did literally go up in a puff of smoke I hope it’s replaced by a Rapids Ride. If you include the original Runaway Train queline,and the former Flying Jumbos site the area is roughly the size of Viking’s River Splash at Legoland Windsor.

Due to the refurbishment of Duel at Alton Towers I expect Tomb Blaster to receive attention. Tomb Blaster was the inspiration behind Duel. In fact Tomb Blaster predates Duel by a year and has more broken effects. An effect that has been broken for ages is the rolling overhead boulder. There are further broken efforts which I cannot recall off hand.


I  am extremely exited to see what next season brings to Chessington. It’s my favourite Merlin Theme Park after all.


The opening of The World Of Jumanji fills me with joy. I watched the Jumanji films for the first time this year. They’re amazing films. I think a whole World based around them is just what Chessington needs. The World Of Jumanji will combine Chessington’s core values Animals and adventure/rides. Since watching the first Jumanji it’s been my dream to enter the Jungle. I don’t normally condone IPS (Sponsorships) but this is an exception to the rule. If done well The World Of Jumanji has the potential to be the most immersive and heavily themed area at Chessington. I hope real animals are incorporated into this new development. Chessington have produced some amazing areas that include rides and animals. The best examples are The Land of The Tiger and The Rainforest.


Please share your thoughts and opinions on Chessington’s most exciting closed season and season to date?

Whether your optimistic or concerned share your thoughts here!!

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  • 3 months later...

Theme Park Guide have issued a Closed Season update on Chessington. There’s a massive Theme Park wide refurbishment happening. In particular The Rainforest is receiving drastic changes. Jungle Rangers has had an additional Car added in addition it appears more animals will be housed around the circuit. My evidence is a new indoor enclosure in the building. Finally the building is getting further enhancements. Most wouldn’t find this exciting but I do. A new Fire Exit sign has been installed. I have long thought the indoor section of Jungle  Rangers is a bit bare and desperately in need of further  Theming. I have said this since 2020 but the addition of animatronics,smell pods and smoke would be exhilarating. With the changes made in the building could my ideas have become a reality? The best piece of The Rainforests radical refurbishment is the retheming of the old Toytown buildings. These buildings were wrecked by the awful African Theming installed in 2012. I cannot express my happiness at the removal of the African Theming. With the refurbishment the buildings are more like they were in the days of Toytown. The only difference is that the buildings have been themed into the Rainforest. I think we’ve finally seen the back of Africa. This section of Chessington hasn’t made sense since the addition of The Rainforest in 2020. Chessington classed these buildings as part of the Rainforest despite them being outside of the entrance portals. With the area having  a major refurbishment I hope a large entrance portal is installed to replace the smaller pair.

I'm literally shocked and pleasantly surprised by the extent of the changes being implemented this Closed Season. Tiger Rock one of Chessington’s signature and unreliable rides is being overhauled and repaired. Hopefully this means Tiger Rock will be at Chessington for future decades. I must say from Closed Season Updates Tiger Rock looks the best it has in years. It’s out of view from the photographs so I’m hoping the Cave you go through has returned to being a Dragon as originally intended.


Even Shipwreck Coast is receiving upgrades. The location of Trawler Trouble is undergoing massive maintenance. It appears that the foundations and surrounding scenery is being changed. It’s thought that the foundations for Trawler Trouble are being completely remade. It sounds like the practicality of the rocks at the base of Trawler Trouble was overlooked by the designers. Apparently the reason Trawler Trouble is docked adjacent to Wild Woods is because of the cramped foundations. Although cosmetically pleasing the installed rocks don’t give enough room for people to perform maintenance with the ride in place. I think the rocks are probably being removed. I wouldn’t be surprised if in thier replaced by a small pond/water feature. Rides like Trawler Trouble have ponds around them. As ponds can be drained during closed season people can stand in them while maintenance is performed. Key examples of rides like Trawler Trouble that utilise ponds are The Jolly Rodger at Crealy and Heave-Ho at Alton Towers.   


Please click the link below to see the Closed Season update. The update is very detailed and includes too many changes for me to mention. In analysis 2023 is looking to be Chessington’s best year. There hasn’t been the level of work currently being done at Chessington since it opened in 1987. https://themeparkguide.co.uk/news-page/Chessington-2023-Closed-Season-Preparations-Continue

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I would genuinely be over the moon (no really) if Thorpe got new pathways like that, because so many of them are an absolute mess - in particular outside DBGTROTD into the "Jungle" area.


Looks like a massive amount of work is being done at Chessie, good to see - maybe Thorpe will see the same for 2024 and Exodus vs 2023 and Jumanji - the work on Swarm would suggest they are at least aware of the state of the place!

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The old Toytown buildings look dreadful, which is so weirdly contrasted against the  nice work done on the Skyway/Arcade building. The green on the entrance is also a bit off.


Chessie have always been at the forefront of repainting. Usually because its the only thing they could afford to do with their given budget. It's a shame that the area around the flume is mostly taken up by MASSIVE ENCLOSURE though.

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  • 4 weeks later...

So me and a few other members popped into Chessington today for it’s 2023 pass-holder day. 

Lots of rides closed (all advertised bar Gruffalo), which was a shame but expected. Vampire was the only operational coaster today, with some slow operations on just 1 train. Tiger Rock was on just 9 boats, Monkey Swinger had numerous broken seats and Tomb Blaster had a Mis-match of working/broken targets. 

We left the park around 4. So again early, however this time feeling more accomplished and worthy of the trip, despite the numerous operational potholes during the day. Although when you compare somewhere like Paultons having pretty much their full selection open for February half term, it certainly puts things into perspective. Even if today is just a rehearsal day at this point. 

Right, some more positives. Because I don’t want to become a Craig Revell Horwood here. 

Chessington has seen some substantial aesthetic updates last closed season. From entrance amendments to cosmetic theming upgrades throughout the park, from Adventure Point to Mexicana. From a presentational perspective, the park hasn’t looked this good in at least ten years and is welcoming to see. There’s still some areas (naturally) that need t weakening, but compared to the shambles of the 2010’s this is welcoming to see. It’s amazing how better fury looks with just the repainted supports.

Jumanji is still a construction site at this time, but seeing the park’s first new coaster in almost 20 years and biggest expansion in a generation is so refreshing to see. A headline attraction with two supporting rides. It’s a park which needs new infrastructure and more capacity, even if there are some compromises in this example. 

Oh, and Pizza Pasta was actually okay this time round, except the BBQ chicken pizza. That was rather grim if I’m honest, but the other pizzas and pasta were fine.


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