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17 minutes ago, Coaster said:

Saw was in an awful state on Sunday; gun sound effect not working, queue TV's too quiet, swinging axes still not illuminated (broken since start of the season!) and water spray not red.  Lots of smaller effects were also broken.

Awful! I do wonder why they even bothered to open the ride in that state, I would of much preferred to see it SBNO.

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39 minutes ago, Glitch said:

Awful! I do wonder why they even bothered to open the ride in that state, I would of much preferred to see it SBNO.

I disagree, I think the park should never look after or maintain anything, if anything needs fixing they should just leave it and they should never repaint anything, let it look sh**. At least the park is open.

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4 hours ago, Mysta Ghoul said:

But I can't believe people genuinly "can't wait to go back" to do a bouncy castle. Does this mean they're attending all the summer fairs where bouncy castle courses pop up, or is it just because of the Thorpe hype again?

No because at fairs it's only a bouncy castle or slide, not an obstacle course. It is generally well received by the public. 

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1 hour ago, Glitch said:

Awful! I do wonder why they even bothered to open the ride in that state, I would of much preferred to see it SBNO.

It'd fit into Thorpe better then too!

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Great conversation about Chessington guys.

 

 

I went yesterday, it's nice to take a few years break from parks as Chessington is looking really good right now (to me at least). Of all three ex Tussauds parks, it looks in the best position for the 2020's. We pretty much looked around the entire Zoo and theme park and there's small bits of improvement all over the park. There's obviously some flaws such as Toadies which looks baaaad but on the flip side, Sir Squirtlot was on which I haven't seen for years. They need to make a statement on Bucaneer because saying its run aground is coy.

 

Park was relatively quiet with 10-20 minute queues across the board. Saw some shows, had a pint or two at the hotel which I think is Merlins best hotel as far as the theme and view stands.VJdhi48kS26uPB3KbousjA.thumb.jpg.785650b857e578f45ea08ae6854bd7af.jpg

Lord Lorikeet

 

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I like these little tributes across the park to the past. Ashok here, the wood carvings near the penguin enclosure from a tree that was cut down to expand the area. They are charming and respectful.

 

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Wanyama Village is the best part of Chessington. It's what separates theme parks from amusement parks. Chessington is easily our best answer to the European competitors IMO.

 

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I liked how fresh a lot of the park actually looked. Rattlesnake had a slight refurb a few years back with all the snakes fixed and now looks much nicer then it did through the 00's. The animatronics still need work

 

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Wasn't much of a fan of Bucaneer just being left around near Griffins.

 

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This park needs a successor to Fury. It can't cope with the demand and has never been able to. As the ride offering decreases, they need to get some investment in. I like that they are refurbishing rides one by one through the place and I approve of the effort in the Zoo offering. The place still needs some ride investment. With so much on the market, when will Chessington actually build something fresh and new?

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I think Chessington have a new coaster planned, it was on their LTDP anyway: https://www.southparks.co.uk/2017/04/26/ltdp-and-plans-for-lodge-accommodation-submitted-by-chessington-world-of-adventures-resort/

 

I honestly really enjoy this park these days, I know it used to be mocked a lot but I feel like recently it has seen some pretty smart additions and besides Buccaneer the park is looking pretty fine compared to how it did going into 2010. I do think a new coaster would really benefit this park, especially with Paultons adding Storm Chaser and Tornado Springs next year!

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48 minutes ago, JoshuaA said:

 the park is looking pretty fine compared to how it did going into 2010

Odd. When Wild Asia was announced, the park felt like it was heading in a positive direction and going places, and then 2010 ended up being arguably one of the best seasons for the park (not necessarily in terms of numbers, but in terms of how the place felt).

 

To me, Chessington feels a bit stuck going forward: no 'new' rides since 2013 (only rethemes or like-for-like replacements). Moving forward, they can retheme Tomb Blaster and Land of the Dragons, but after that, they pretty much exhaust all worthwhile retheming projects. So they need to do new stuff. How likely that is remains to be seen..

 

48 minutes ago, JoshuaA said:

I think Chessington have a new coaster planned, it was on their LTDP anyway: https://www.southparks.co.uk/2017/04/26/

LTDPs are vague and plans change. All that suggests is that they've considered installing a coaster. There's nothing concrete to suggest a new coaster is coming soon.

 

1 hour ago, Mark9 said:

I went yesterday, it's nice to take a few years break from parks as Chessington is looking really good right now (to me at least).

The most important question though - did you do the bouncy castle? Are you in a position where you can't wait to revisit to have another go??

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5 hours ago, JoshC. said:

To me, Chessington feels a bit stuck going forward: no 'new' rides since 2013 (only rethemes or like-for-like replacements). Moving forward, they can retheme Tomb Blaster and Land of the Dragons, but after that, they pretty much exhaust all worthwhile retheming projects. So they need to do new stuff. How likely that is remains to be seen..

I honestly think it was a clever move to re-theme and refurbish the rides they did throughout the past few years. Chessington doesn't seem to have much expansion space and a lot of the park was in high need of refurbishment (a bit like Thorpe Park rn).. Chessington recently has actually given me a little hope in Merlin oddly enough, the park seem very focused on improving their current offering before then adding in new exciting stuff. 

5 hours ago, JoshC. said:

LTDPs are vague and plans change. All that suggests is that they've considered installing a coaster. There's nothing concrete to suggest a new coaster is coming soon.

This is noted. Though I think a coaster will happen sometime within the next 5 years, I honestly think Chessington will get a new coaster before Thorpe tbh. 

 

5 hours ago, JoshC. said:

Odd. When Wild Asia was announced, the park felt like it was heading in a positive direction and going places, and then 2010 ended up being arguably one of the best seasons for the park (not necessarily in terms of numbers, but in terms of how the place felt).

I think ever since the mid 2000's the park became a bit of a joke to enthusiasts, sure Wild Asia was a little spur of hope but at that time you still had Bubbleworks and Falls in a state.

I think now also because of Thorpe's current state people now actually appreciate Chessington more. 

 

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2 hours ago, JoshuaA said:

I honestly think it was a clever move to re-theme and refurbish the rides they did throughout the past few years. Chessington doesn't seem to have much expansion space and a lot of the park was in high need of refurbishment 

There's no question about it: the ride's that the park have refurbished needed it, and it's a good way of keeping the park fresh without adding 'new' stuff. But they're now at a point / very near a point where they can't really do that any more - they need to add proper new stuff (and, really, they should have already added new stuff).

 

I'm just a bit concerned that in a time when investments have been limited within theme parks in Merlin, whether we'll see the stuff that they really need.

 

2 hours ago, JoshuaA said:

I think ever since the mid 2000's the park became a bit of a joke to enthusiasts, sure Wild Asia was a little spur of hope but at that time you still had Bubbleworks and Falls in a state.

I think now also because of Thorpe's current state people now actually appreciate Chessington more. 

 

2010 was a great year tbh. Dragon Falls was fine. Bubbleworks wasn't in an awful state (sure, it had the sponsorship, but it all worked). Runaway Mine Train, though ageing, wasn't in a state. Tomb Blaster's effects were all fine. And they had the success of Wild Asia and Wanyama Village. Even 2011 and 2012 were good, with signs of promise and the Madagascar IP doing the trick for them. It's arguably from 2013 when the lukewarm Zufari came about that their problems truly surfaced and came to light, and it's only recently they've picked themselves back up imo.

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Yeah 2010 was a fab year for the park, and it really did look like things were picking up in the right direction...

 

Unfortunately it didn't continue in that vein...

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Although perhaps lacking the charm and character of Beano, Wild Asia was a great addition to the park, bringing in elaborate theming and other features plus a hefty support attraction. Things were looking so optimistic in 2010.

 

Whilst the park is perhaps the least terrible of the four and the new/rethemed attractions have generally been quite good, there is still a long way to go before the park returns anything near what it once was. Park areas still need some work, with some areas thread-bare with theming and/or looking worse for wear (see Tomb Blaster). 

 

We have also lost three attractions (four if you include Buccaneer) with only one being replaced, so capacity is definitely noticeably lower. 

 

2013 was easily when the park was in it’s absolute worst state.

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The retheming of some attractions is at least some investment, but the nature of the rethemes has taken the park further from its roots IMO.

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I honestly kinda like how the park has kinda strayed away from its 'roots'. I feel like at least the park is taking direction unlike Thorpe, they are making changes to the park and some of those additions are pretty good (Tiger Rock and Gruffalo)..

 

10 hours ago, Loggers Creek said:

We have also lost three attractions (four if you include Buccaneer) with only one being replaced, so capacity is definitely noticeably lower. 

What have we lost though? The only ride I would say was much of a loss or handled poorly was Safari Skyway, which honestly became a little redundant after Zufari anyway.

Peeking Heights was replaced with the new tiger enclosure which honestly is more exciting than Peeking Heights anyway. Hocus Pocus, Dragons Falls, and Bubbleworks aren't really losses considering they  are for most parts just re-themes.

 

Black Buccaneer is also bad but honestly I think all Merlin parks are guilty of treating flat rides poorly. Alton Towers had toadstools, submission, enterprise recently, Thorpe Park opened Quantum 3/4 into a season, closed Slammer and hasn't bothered to even remove it a few years later.. 

 

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I dunno if this is relevant but I found an old Chessington red cap in my attic and was just wondering if anyone could date it or know when it was in the shops 

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Awesome Old Tv show Bodger and Badger Series 4 was filmed at the park. This rare clip shows some of the park including Dragon River from the 90s.  It ironically shows issues from todays maintaining of effects at Merlin parks 😂

 

 

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1 hour ago, Mattgwise said:

Awesome Old Tv show Bodger and Badger Series 4 was filmed at the park. This rare clip shows some of the park including Dragon River from the 90s.  It ironically shows issues from todays maintaining of effects at Merlin parks 😂

 

 

I used to watch this just for the footage from Chessie - although who doesn’t like B&B 

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Park was absolutely heaving today, most queue lines were virtually full and fast track was destroying operations. Something is wrong when a park closes at 6 and still has virtually full queue lines and pathways. Rides like Monkey Swinger had full queues because only one member of staff is allocated to it, meaning 6 to 7 mins to get everyone on with all the faff involved with getting guests off, checking RAP and fast track, going to the main gate to let just over half the ride capacity through, then realising you then have 2 spare seats so go and ask the queue again, to then manually check every single seats restraint, etc. Painful! That said staff were trying their best with the situation and I still had a fairly good day. The photos below are of the fast track queue for Vampire at 5:20pm. The main queue was almost full as well. I chose not to brave the potential 2hr plus queue it would be. 

 

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