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Chessington General Discussion


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23 hours ago, Theme Park Fanatic said:

Do you mean Ramasis Ravenge,the Huss Topspin that up until last season was located adjacent to the Tomb?


No, there are talks from official sources of a top-spin replacing Tomb. A classic flat ride mixed with a dark ride, a worlds first most likely.

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Some of this post is dreadful...   I don't think there is any park in the entire world which had the budget Animal Kingdom had when built (it quite possibly still is the most expensive park

StevenVig being unnecessarily sarcastic about a justified comment? Shock horror

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We’re clearly forgetting all the things that the park is planning on adding in the next 5-10 years here!

 

As well aware Top Scan, we have:

 

A Topple Tower

 

A multi-launch coaster opposite Fury 

 

A Rapids near Zufari

 

The rebuild of Skyway 

 

The source is Ketchup Fans.

 

I will see myself out!

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3 hours ago, Matt Creek said:

We’re clearly forgetting all the things that the park is planning on adding in the next 5-10 years here!

 

As well aware Top Scan, we have:

 

A Topple Tower

 

A multi-launch coaster opposite Fury 

 

A Rapids near Zufari

 

The rebuild of Skyway 

 

The source is Ketchup Fans.

 

I will see myself out!

@Matt Creek it is brilliant news that Chessington are going to add a Rapids ride. I have always thought that Rapids would be a perfect ride to add to Chessington’s ride lineup.
Rather than building the Rapids near Zufari, I would like them to be built on the large field near Pirates Cove. If added to this location the Rapids could be themed to pirates like a hybrid of Pirate Adventure at Drayton Manor and Viking River Splash and or Congo River Rapids. Note I have never experienced Pirate Adventure or Drayton Manor for that manner (Pun not intended). I have a feeling that the Rapids that are reopening at Drayton Manor will follow my concept.

Another attraction I would like Chessington to invest in is a Go Karts track,like the ones found at the Butlin’s Holiday Camps.

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Seeing reports of 1hour+ long RAP queues. It all seems to be getting a bit out of hand now and I feel sorry for those who need to use it.

The bar has been set too low and doctors are more than happy to write a note for anything nowadays.

Personally I think there's only one way out of it which is to abolish queuing all together and have time slots. However thats failed in the past. 

Also seeing a lot of comments about fast pass being prioritised etc, I thought that wasn't possible with only 1 RAP group allowed per train due to evacuation reasons. 

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4 hours ago, Glitch said:

Personally I think there's only one way out of it which is to abolish queuing all together and have time slots.

Nope. Right now this would not work on a full park scale, and even if it did. Do parks really need to abolish queueing? No.

 

4 hours ago, Glitch said:

Seeing reports of 1hour+ long RAP queues. It all seems to be getting a bit out of hand now and I feel sorry for those who need to use it.

The bar has been set too low and doctors are more than happy to write a note for anything nowadays.

Also seeing a lot of comments about fast pass being prioritised etc, I thought that wasn't possible with only 1 RAP group allowed per train due to evacuation reasons. 

The covid restrictions (damage to throughput) probably contruibute hard to this. Its probably no worse than it was early last year, or the year before. It has been a huge issue for years. Due to the throughputs already being compromised due to Covid, it just highlights things.

 

Honestly I think the solution begins with Merlin- they need to be more cut-throat. Make it harder, like Europa Park for example. I know it will pi** people off, but let it be. Do not accept doctor notes, if people do not like it. They can complain to Guest Services and get one free fastrack and shut up.

Obviously the people are a problem, but if you do not give them a platform to stand on. And sure it might cause some colleratal damage. Whatever they do, just make it harder, less beneficial, maybe limit it to only 5 rides for those who can walk? Whatever they do people are gonna complain to be fair,.

 

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Right. So Wisey & myself took a little trip to Chessington today, which would be our first trip and park visit of the year. 
 

To Sum Up:

  • Park is the best it’s looked in years, from areas such as Mexicana and Land Of The Dragons receiving noticeable touch ups 
  • Park Audio was rather messy and untidy in several places, maybe there’s issue 
  • All key eating places were open, although the surprise lack of outdoor seating was a little disappointing 
  • Majority of staff were friendly enough, although there were some issues with one or two 
  • Blue Barnacle is alright, least they replaced Buccaneer
  • Zufari has interesting amendments 

 

Park operations left room for improvement, with rides stacking and breaking down often. Maybe these are start of season glitches but they still need addressing. RAP needs sorting because it’s getting a bit out of hand now! The park definitely warrants 7pm close, was very busy today!

9174313B-817C-4146-AB0C-6119B3B0E50F.thumb.jpeg.7ecaf12cd51d88e2e78c9448abea76d8.jpeg4CDAAE45-D1E5-4D2B-9137-8EA25B12D474.thumb.jpeg.8aecf35625a18513ea83eeb06bfe2df9.jpegFB98A911-276E-46FA-AC5E-7132B7EBF218.thumb.jpeg.1e396aaf7609ac72af5fba54df5885e3.jpegBBC722B0-429F-4ADE-AE06-68F3F2668204.thumb.jpeg.953b920df83dba5bc2ac08815f3d28eb.jpeg
Finally tried Croc Drop too. It’s a nice enough addition and looks visually pleasing (from the front). Nothing ground breaking but fun all round.

 

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Was a nice day overall and whilst it was far too busy it was still a good day. 

 

Throughputs were not great but it is only four days in so fair enough. Availability was good with only Dragons Fury really going down for a couple of hours. 

 

Audio is a bit messy in places. Dragons Fury and Rattlesnake has no music, though the latter only ever had music in a couple of spots anyway. Scorpion Express was playing station announcments in queue instead of he station and Carousel was blasting out of the entire adventure point area. There's new Mexicana and Blue Barnacle audio is different and appears to be a new mix of call to adventure that plays in turn with Croc drop and vampire mixes too at the lodge entrance area. 

 

A shame that Monkey Swinger was without its water jets but hopefully this is just a temporary thing. It was great during Howloween with them all recently fixed and being held on for long periods of time! 

 

On a more positive note it was lovely to see some new signage and refreshed Mexicana looks nice. 

 

Croc Drop is a great addition for families and certainly going to be a hit. 

 

To finish a few pics of the ridiculous amount of fast track and high number of RAP users today. 

 

Oh and perhaps Forbidden Tomb is back... Love the new signage...

 

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  • Mattgwise changed the title to Chessington General Discussion
1 hour ago, Matt Creek said:

. RAP needs sorting because it’s getting a bit out of hand now! The park definitely warrants 7pm close, was very busy today!


 

 

 

I don't even know what they can do as they've created this culture and that will be hard to break. Sometimes it feels like a lot of RAP users only seem to go too Chessington to exploit a system. I know that sounds incredibly ignorant but its hard to ignore pictures of Fury in particular. It never got to that amount of people waiting when I worked there for example.

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Its hilarious, the whole point of RAP is to get instant access to a ride as they are unable to queue, yet they'll happily wait in a queue like that for over an hour.

 

In my opinion its been out of hand for a long time, the only reason it wasn't that noticeable last year is because fast track wasn't being sold most of the season. Now they are back to selling fast track again, so with that and RAP combined its ridiculous.


Something needs to be done, but I have no idea what. As others have said they need to be stricter, but now they have let it get to the state it has got to its going to be very hard for them to stop.

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It's a various combination of things.

 

Easiest step is to bring the staff up to scratch on it. Start writing down times properly (they rarely do at Towers), and ensure the rules are being followed (saw mention of people not having the wristband holder with them? Like no guys you can go away). I remember explaining to guests clearly the rules (GS didn't tend to) and most were fairly happy, even if they arrived early and they had to wait. 

 

In terms of limitations it's variable. Whilst the 3 carer rule is fairly useful for groups (we use this to fair affect for example), Blackpool only allows 1 carer per disabled guest. And they don't even have a time card but barely seen anyone else using it on my visits. Perhaps as it's not as openly known due to it being Blackpool? Paultons whilst allowing 3 carers max limits one visit per attraction (or they did when last used it). There are possible solutions to stop the abuse (although 1 ride per attraction is a bit too restrictive in my opinion and could be labelled as discrimination by those arsey enough), but are Merlin too fearful of backlash to make these changes?

 

Should also be noted that Nemesis is apparently having some issues with non-mask wearers having to sit at the back which in turn prevents RAP users from going on the ride. Which is completely ridiculous. 

 

Though with Chessie the main query is how you apply kids to this if we presume the adult is disabled. They aren't considered as carers so what do you do with a 2.2 family? Or 2.3 if you're Merlin? I've not been in this situation as of yet but that's a potential pitfall.

 

@Mark9 I remember RAP being rarely used back in the days of working there. Never to this degree of hell at any rate unless you suddenly gained a number of exit passes as well. 

 

But seeing stuff like this is just going to put me off visiting. It's enough effort as it is going to parks with a wheelchair user without having to deal with this on top.

 

 

EDIT - In terms of qualifying for the system I'm not sure on the best situation as every disability is different and not everyone qualifies for the same things. Though perhaps with Blue Badges now available for Autism and the like this might be easiest to bring in. Other parks have similar systems (Efteling) and allow doctor's notes but don't really seem to have this problem. And again they don't even have time cards!

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I think ultimately the issue is that if Merlin change their policy and changes how they decide who qualifies for a RAP, it will result in backlash. And all it takes is for one person to then to a paper and you have the headline 'Theme park says I'm not disabled' or similar, and it blows up. There was one last year about how a disabled guest was refused access to Smiler and it got a lot of media attention. Merlin ultimately want to avoid that.

 

One thing which needs saying here though, as a few people are saying this, is that I can imagine that many RAP users  aren't happy with the situation. Yes, there's people who are using the system who perhaps shouldn't be, but there will equally be those who are using it because it's their only choice. And the system is arguably failing those people.

 

Benin makes an excellent point about ensuring staff are properly trained to use the system. So many staff don't understand how it works. A glaring hole in Merlin's system is that, in most cases, the staff who fill out the RAP cards also have no clue how long the queue is (/ is advertised as being), so they can't actually follow the system correctly themselves. Many probably don't have a watch or pen. I genuinely think if the system was used correctly, things would be better (not perfect, by any means, but better). It also needs better explaining to guests when given to them.

 

I think also that Chessington seems to suffer the most because of the family nature of many rides, and the 'how to count children and carers whilst allowing inclusivity' complications.

 

I don't know what the answers to improve the system. As others have said, staff who are there to ensure the system is used correctly won't do so because they feel it's not worth the hassle. That's a culture which needs changing. Or you need a system which circumvents staff getting involved as much as possible (say, a digital system), but that costs money, time and creates new issues. Changing the policy runs the risk of a PR nightmare (and might only be putting a plaster over the broken system, rather than fixing it).

 

But simply put, the parks need to improve the RAP situation, as it is only becoming more of an issue, for everyone involved.

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Should also say that Covid systems haven't helped either as a lot of RAP queues now share Fastrack ones. Fine when it's not being run of course but then.......

 

Also when are Thorpe going to fix the Saw and Inferno lifts? 

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10 hours ago, Mark9 said:

 

I don't even know what they can do as they've created this culture and that will be hard to break. Sometimes it feels like a lot of RAP users only seem to go too Chessington to exploit a system. I know that sounds incredibly ignorant but its hard to ignore pictures of Fury in particular. It never got to that amount of people waiting when I worked there for example.

That is indeed a great problem that must be managed and has only continued to spiral out of control. In many cases like yesterday, the RAP queue has been equal or greater than the main queue. I do think the U.K culture has (further) mutated into one where there is an expectation or entitlement. When seeing the guest services queue, almost all were queuing for a RAP Pass.

 

1 hour ago, JoshC. said:

I think ultimately the issue is that if Merlin change their policy and changes how they decide who qualifies for a RAP, it will result in backlash. And all it takes is for one person to then to a paper and you have the headline 'Theme park says I'm not disabled' or similar, and it blows up. There was one last year about how a disabled guest was refused access to Smiler and it got a lot of media attention. Merlin ultimately want to avoid that.

And this precisely why it’s become such an “ albatross around their neck” situation where they are doomed if they do and doomed if they don’t! If they don’t do anything this will probably continue for the forseable future. However if they do, there will obviously be hefty backlash and “certain” newspapers really milking this cow with headlines like “Theme Park Eliminates disabled queuing”. All just to push the stir and of course, click bait!
 

Someone once criticised the system on a social media post and was verbally pulled apart like a pack of wolves. That same part of society who “WANT TO SPEAK WITH THE MANAGER” when they’ve been overcharged by 10p are responsible for this. 
 

Now let’s get to this. Not every disability is visible. And some may look fine until such circumstances. The issue isn’t with this, but putting in a system where something like RAP must be seen as an option for people who are can’t use the main queue, as opposed to won’t! The latter seems increasingly common with people taking advantage and essentially using this as some sort of “free fastrack”. It is also these people that will likely scream the loudest if the system ever had a significant shake up. 

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34 minutes ago, Matt Creek said:

It is also these people that will likely scream the loudest if the system ever had a significant shake up. 

 

Like when Legoland changed theirs.

 

1 minute ago, Mark9 said:

Does Chessington merge the fastrack queue with the RAP queue?

 

I think with Covid rules coming in a few of the exit access RAP have been changed to the Fastrack queue. That certainly would lead to some of the issues seen here (or for example, Thirteen at Towers, and Duel had zero disabled access last year).

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23 minutes ago, Benin said:

 

Like when Legoland changed theirs.

 

 

I think with Covid rules coming in a few of the exit access RAP have been changed to the Fastrack queue. That certainly would lead to some of the issues seen here (or for example, Thirteen at Towers, and Duel had zero disabled access last year).

 

Operationally though, wouldn't this create an issue in itself. I thought you were only allowed 1 RAP group per train due to evacuation procedure etc. Doesn't this mean they will all just get merged at the merger point of the queue and no longer seen by station staff as a RAP guest.

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13 hours ago, Mattgwise said:

Was a nice day overall and whilst it was far too busy it was still a good day. 

 

Throughputs were not great but it is only four days in so fair enough. Availability was good with only Dragons Fury really going down for a couple of hours. 

 

Audio is a bit messy in places. Dragons Fury and Rattlesnake has no music, though the latter only ever had music in a couple of spots anyway. Scorpion Express was playing station announcments in queue instead of he station and Carousel was blasting out of the entire adventure point area. There's new Mexicana audio and a new mix of call to adventure that plays in turn with Croc drop and vampire mixes too at the lodge entrance area. 

 

A shame that Monkey Swinger was without its water jets but hopefully this is just a temporary thing. It was great during Howloween with them all recently fixed and being held on for long periods of time! 

 

On a more positive note it was lovely to see some new signage and refreshed Mexicana looks nice. 

 

Croc Drop is a great addition for families and certainly going to be a hit. 

 

To finish a few pics of the ridiculous amount of fast track and high number of RAP users today. 

 

Oh and Forbidden Tomb is back... Love the new signage...

 

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IMG_20210415_152008.jpg

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@Matt Creek I cannot believe that Forbidden Tomb has returned!! I am delighted in fact ecstatic.I told you all to believe me and that Abdab would resurrect. From now on can you ALL take my word. Roll on the 17th of May when hopefully someone will vlog from inside Forbidden Tomb and we’ll see Abdab again.

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