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Chessington General Discussion


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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Visited the park for the Winter Tail event (Christmas treat for my baby brother - wouldn't dream of thinking of going if he wasn't Gruffalo-obsessed for the record).


Perhaps unsurprisingly, it's not the best event.  The ride line up of Gruffalo, Adventure Tree, Tiny Truckers, Treetop Hoppers, Hocus Pocus and Amazu hardly sets the world on fire.  All the Christmas stuff requires tickets, even though it's all included for free - seems very faffy.  I guess it's to stop people going in multiple timrs, but frankly for the cost (£20 for AP holders, £25 without), if my brother wanted to decorate a second Gruffalo cookie, why on earth can't he...


The Father Christmas set up used Trick or Treat wood as per, which meant there's about 5 or 6 different Father Christmases, and it wasn't disguised very well.  The presents given to the child consisted of a choice of some cheap, discontinued Chessington tat (a basketball, a notepad, a small teddy or some stickers), none of which were wrapped up, which is very much a substandard grotto.  Adults got a free hot drink (which was easily the most watered down hot chocolate I've ever had) and gingerbread cookie.  


So yeah, not a great event.  My brother enjoyed it enough (mostly because he got to ride Gruffalo far too many times), but that doesn't excuse the poor standard.  Not that I think anyone else on here is in the target market for this, but yeah, avoid.  

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  • 2 months later...
23 hours ago, BaronC. said:

Chessington have remained open today for what is their first day of the main season.  Due to the weather, only indoor attractions are open and anyone who bought a ticket for today can still visit, and get a free ticket to return valid until May.

Same again today.


Fair play to the park for opening and doing what they can, plus the free return ticket.

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5 hours ago, Mega-Lite said:

Visited the park in the silly weather yesterday and had quite a good trip out.


Not enough praise is being thrown their way for opening and putting on a brave face despite the spitey weather, so I shall give them credit. Well done Chessington! 

I second that after also being at the park yesterday. The staff who had the unfortunate job of being outside were all friendly, smiling and not complaining or fussing. 

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I was there yesterday too. :P Felt like there were more staff than visitors and felt sorry for the ones on the stalls. Had a good day, Gruffalo is definitely the best ride there now. It was all working nicely. Have loads of £10 entry vouchers valid for a few months if anyone wants any. I’m tempted to bring my own 3D glasses just for Hocus Pocus Hall as it’s really crap without any.

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Seems like quite a few of us were there!

Was feeling a bit delicate after a lot of alcohol the night before and it was bloody freezing :lol: I think we only spent about 2 hours there before we had to go home to defrost :P The staff in general seemed cheery despite the weather, in particular the staff on Tomb were good fun :) Although I didn’t appreciate the miserable looking guy at Hocus Pocus closing the door as we approached and making us freeze outside for no reason (I mean there’s no way it would’ve been full or the people inside would’ve been waiting long, if at all)! Still, it was nice to actually go to Chessie on a completely dead day, rather than having to constantly meander around kids and endless buggies :ph34r: Was weird/quite eerie walking around a silent Transylvania (I’ll always call it that)!

Here’s some snowy tigery rocky photos:



New, extremely lifelike theming outside Vampire...


Also, do you think I was given enough of these? :P


I’m tempted to bring my own 3D glasses just for Hocus Pocus Hall as it’s really crap without any.


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  • 3 weeks later...

Amazing footage, though sad as it highlights how dramatically the park has declined since then.  The dark rides look absolutely magical, and how good did Runaway Mine Train look back then?  And to think that Scorpion Express is thought of as progress...


Such a shame.

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It’s amazing to think how Chessington looked then. Full of life, character, atmosphere and mostly well looked after attractions (although I did notice there wasn’t any fairground music though).


Fast forward 20 years and unfortunately the park is in somewhat of a state. Watered atmosphere, less character and most attractions don’t seem as well looked after. Vampire’s station is basically a stripped back shed with a dead animatronic, poor quality download track and lighting that belongs in a school disco. 


The Castle facade is also still a terrible mess that needs a hefty jet wash, repaint or just torn down and rebuilt completely. Even the Pirate area seems to feature less character now. Ramesis, Tomb and Hocus Pocus are now in an appalling state and feel like they are literally waiting to be ripped out. 


Dont get me wrong, there are still good things going on at the park now, but not like they were in the 90’s. Unfortunately this probably won’t change anytime soon purely how the park is budgeted.

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I don't know if this is the correct thread, but I visited the park yesterday and it was rather hellish.


In the picture (at the bottom of this post) you can see the queue for guest services. It goes as far as the eye can see, not to mention also past the left side of the photo and up a ramp. 

We had to queue for near enough an hour with a twelve year old boy who can't queue very well to get a pass so he does not have to queue. 


Do you see the problem here? 


I'd like to mention that the staff handling the queue were very friendly and understanding, and I have the biggest respect for all of them because they were having to deal with children and annoyed parents (who were behaving worse to be honest). There were even two zookeepers bringing round a friendly goat for the children to pet which was very sweet.

From the parents, I heard quite a few 'I'd like to speak to the manager please', as if we weren't all going through the same thing. 


I feel a lot of parents feel so entitled that they don't have to queue or respect the staff or anything. It must be a generational effect. But I understand somewhat how annoying the queue was.


My mum then got pissed when we finally saw someone to get the pass, as he said my brother was no longer entitled to get one. I wasn't listening because I was embarrassed of the way both parties were speaking to one another, but it had something to do with either needing a letter from the doctor or SENCO about how my brother could not queue well (which isn't easy. What do they know specifically about his ability to queue?)

He also said that there were plenty of ASD people that go in the normal queue, and I'm sure there are, and I'm sure my brother would queue for longer if he absolutely had to, but it's not my decision to make because I'm not the ASD child. It's him that knows whether he can queue or not. 

 Yes, the way the Guest Services guy spoke to my mum was a little condescending, but I remembered that this poor bloke probably hears the same arguments day in, day out and is probably underpaid for it too. It's not even his fault; he's just at the front of it. It's another thing I can't bear about older people (sorry mum): they take out their anger at the receptionist, the cashier or the waiter, when the real problem usually lies with the men in suits higher up in the corporation. Be polite to them for god's sake. 


My mum also threatened to the guy to withdraw her prepayment for a new annual pass. As if it makes a difference to him. (I still want a pass because most of the time I visit with friends and go in the normal queue anyway) 


I'm not entirely sure where this was going and this post was all over the place but basically, I'm stuck in the middle of this and I'm not hugely siding with anyone. But step up your game Merlin, because your staff at the bottom are suffering because of it. 


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Chessington was suffering from LOADS RAP exploitation in the past few years, with legions of disabled guests (regardless of whether they're fit to queue) getting RAPs left right and centre. While at other parks the rides have the capacity to cope with a few extra, non-legitimate RAPs that slip through the net, at Chessington this really isn't possible. (Dragon's Fury for example would commonly send every other car with a RAP group.) They really had to clamp down on it to ensure that queues moved as efficiently as possible.


Given how many RAPs used to be handed out, it was not uncommon for 20min + waits with a RAP on the major rides, which defeats the object for those that genuinely do need a pass. It can also have very bad effects on the main queues, given the park's three biggest rides only pull 500pph, 750pph and 400pph respectively.

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  • Mattgwise changed the title to Chessington General Discussion

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