Jump to content

Chessington General Discussion


Ash
 Share

Recommended Posts

  • 2 weeks later...

I can't help but notice the queue lengths at Chessington these days. I am going on Saturday (for the first time in 12 months) - and often keep tabs on the Queue Times website. There was a time when out of Alton Towers, Thorpe Park and Chessington - it was always Thorpe which had the worst queues. But now, it seems to be Chessington. Each weekend I have a little look and typically rides like Dragons Fury are 80 minutes, Vampire 90 minutes - and today, for example - it was stating that the pirate ship was 45 minutes, the dodgems 60 minutes and Bubbleworks 80 minutes too... Even the Seastorm is 1/2 hour most of the time...!!

 

I don't know if I have ever seen a dodgems with a 1hour wait. It's almost laughable.

 

Is Chessington just getting more and more popular or is there more to it than that?

I also noticed that Rameses Revenge and Kobra are closed.

 

:)

 

EDIT: Queues at 25.5.15, 15:30

Bubbleworks 60

Dragon Falls 45

Dragon's Fury 75

Safari Skyway 55

Scorpion Express 60

Vampire 90

Tuk Tuk Turmoil 45

Zufari 60

 

Monkey Swinger / Rameses Revenge / Kobra = Closed

 

For the record, The Smiler is currently 30 minutes at Alton Towers and, aside from Stealth and Saw, all rides at Thorpe Park are under 50 minutes.

 

Chessington is a fairly pleasant theme park to visit, but most of the rides aren't really worth waits of these lengths when at most parks they'd be considered 'support/back up'.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Most of Chessington's rides have increasingly poor throughout, and coupled with the fact that there's usually at least one ride closed (often more than one), queue times are just awful most of the time.

The capacity of various rides has also been cut down significantly over the past few years, e.g. Vampire.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know Vampire's queue has got worse over the years, but others? At one point the other week Monkey Swinger was showing as 1 hour.

 

I have visited CWOA many times over the years and, whilst there are sometimes long queues, there were at least smaller rides with only 10-15 minute waits. Now, even those seem to be very long, too.

 

You know something is wrong when The Smiler is 1/2 hour and the dodgems at Chessington are double that :P

Link to comment
Share on other sites

At the end of the day the issues within the park seem to be within the higher management teams, not within the staff themselves.

-The park has been equipped with rides which can only handle a small amount of guests; with barely any rides topping 500pph, the fact that the park has been becoming increasingly busier over the years means that queue times are insane for the "supporting rides".

-Management have decided to save money by what is clearly under-staffing; both this year and last year I have seen one staff operation on the following: Seastorm, Black Buccaneer, Monkey Swinger, Tuk Tuk Turmoil, Hocus Pocus,(admittedly not usually a problem but was 30mins in Feb half term) along with various children's rides. The main issue with this is that it isn't a rare sight, no matter how long the queues for these side attractions are, a second member of staff is unlikely to be added due to cost cutting resulting in large queues.

-There have been no major investments in recent years to try and divert queues to a high-throughput attraction.

---

Something I have noticed is how queues at chessington rarely drop at the end of the day like they always do at thorpe and towers. It appears to me that along with the short opening hours, the rides don't have high enough throughputs to simply shorten the queue length approaching closing time. This tends to mean that the rides will be operating long gone closing time as they simply do not have the capacity to reduce the queue at a fast pace.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

At the end of the day the issues within the park seem to be within the higher management teams, not within the staff themselves.

-The park has been equipped with rides which can only handle a small amount of guests; with barely any rides topping 500pph, the fact that the park has been becoming increasingly busier over the years means that queue times are insane for the "supporting rides".

-Management have decided to save money by what is clearly under-staffing; both this year and last year I have seen one staff operation on the following: Seastorm, Black Buccaneer, Monkey Swinger, Tuk Tuk Turmoil, Hocus Pocus,(admittedly not usually a problem but was 30mins in Feb half term) along with various children's rides. The main issue with this is that it isn't a rare sight, no matter how long the queues for these side attractions are, a second member of staff is unlikely to be added due to cost cutting resulting in large queues.

 

 

Things like one staff member on those rides isn't a new occurrence, even 12/14 years ago, those rides had one staff member operating them. The difference is, take Buccaneer in particular, that ride use to take 20 seconds to unload/offload. Now with all the gating and seating rules, that process takes 5 or so minutes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On those smaller flat rides, yeah single staffing and faffy rules are probably to blame. But overall the park is much busier on peak days than years before. There never used to be so MANY foreign/multicultural visitors coming in from London. They do make up a massive percentage of these high numbers, particularly since the new hotel opened and people come on weekend trips. Often in very large groups as well, with extended families and friends all coming altogether in the queue (even if they don't intend to ride).

 

And then they all seem to disappear on off-peak days, when most rides are walk-on.

 

Also I'm not being all Nigel Faragey and scapegoaty, it's obviously not anyone's fault that they contribute to excessive queues - it's a factor Chessington know they need to facilitate by building better capacity rides.

 

Of course the largest factor is that it's a 1980s theme park designed for a couple thousand, now dealing with being a very popular resort with totally different numbers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What's the max capacity of Chessie these days? What's it pulling?

 

It certainly never used to be this busy a couple of years ago for certain, I would probably agree that the additional hotels have created further demand, but the park itself hasn't been adapted to suit the large amount of people...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The place was packed today, and Vampire broke down twice, I'd have hated to have been in the queue for 90 minutes only to be told sorry we have a technical problem and don't know how long it'll take to fix, poor sods were stuck on the lift hill for 20 minutes the first time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It rather annoys me that year after year Chessington seems to plod along without ever really investing very much in new rides and yet attendance never seems to suffer for it.

 

I want UK parks to be the best they can be, but why should Chessington bother if people still come even if the park isn't really trying?  Meanwhile a lot of smaller parks are struggling along, even though you'd be likely to have a better day out at any number of them due to the lack of queues.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A 90 minute queue isn't necessarily an indicator of a problem - on very busy days major rides will get long queues at any park.  Europa Park has very efficient operations yet some queues can reach triple figures, but the difference is there are other rides that you can almost guarantee will have little to no queue, and queues will generally be appropriate for the scale of the attraction.

 

Rides at Chessington get completely disproportionate queues.  The fact that Vampire is hitting 90 minutes isn't really the biggest issue for me, it's the fact that things like Monkey Swinger, Black Buccaneer, Seastorm and Tuk Tuk Turmoil can get to 45min or more.  Bubbleworks, Tomb Blaster, Skyway and even Tiny Truckers can be an hour.  None of these rides are worth anything even approaching that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

People still attend despite the park not really adding anything new because it is still the Merlin parks down south that has attractions that both the younger children and the older children can get something out of.

I can take my 4 year old daughter to Legoland and she will love it but my 9 year old son not so much. However my son is over 1.4m and loves Thorpe whereas there's still not much for my daughter to do for the whole day.

Chessington is the default option on those days.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Obviously the problem of throughput stems from the fact that they've spent the last 15 years getting nothing but a 600pph spinning coaster and a 500pph Disk'O. Meaning that they are relying on rides which would have been deemed "efficient" in the early 90s as their main attractions.

Then of course you've got the park attendance sky rocketing over the last two years, meaning that a park with only one 1000pph ride is now attracting 2 million people. It's really something that does need to change. They are aware of that too, I think Summer 2013 was a bit of an eye opener...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Mattgwise changed the title to Chessington General Discussion

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...