Welcome Guest ( Log In | Register )

Reply to this topicStart new topic
Chessington Sat 2nd May
post May 4 2009, 7:47 PM
Post #1

Group: Members
Posts: 2,937
Joined: 18-March 05
From: Cardiff, South Wales
Member No.: 870

Never been to Chessington before, so this was an interesting day for me. Have watched programs in the past about John Wardley in the bubbleworks, designing Translvania, and the Vampire which I have always wanted to ride, so armed with some 2 for 1 vouchers we got to the park at midday.

A short walk to the ticket booths and we were in. Now obviously, the first thing that I shouldnt do is compare Chessington to AT, after all they are two completely different parks, not just in size, but in terms of what they have to offer. While AT has its share of white knuckle rides, Chessington offers more sedate family and young kid orientated rides.

So first up was Dragon's Fury - aka Spinball! That was after we found the entrance to the queue. Waited about 20 mins for this one, watching in amazement at just how much the lift hill wobbles side to side as a car goes up it. We had a car to ourselves (2 of us) and started out climb. I was amazed at some of the drops on this ride, some take you totally by surprise, and the amount of spinning! Whereas on Spinball the trim brakes tend to stop the spinning for a second or two, not on here, by the time we had reached the trim brakes just before the zig zag bit into the station I was feeling a bit green! Riding just after a big breakfast didnt help, but wow, this was much better than Spinball and much longer!

Next up was Rattlesnake, a wild mouse kinda ride themed around Mexico and Spain. One thing I noticed about Chessington was the themeing was excellent, every ride, every area was themed very well. Rattlesnake looked quite sedate, a few little drops, so we climbed in and went up the lift hill. The zig zags at the top similar to the Wild Mouse in BPB were pretty crazy, inducing a few sore arms, but oh my god, the trim brakes after the drops are just crazy!!! The first ride I felt like I should of had a seat belt and air bags fitted, the trim brakes after the last drop where one minute your going fast and next minute its a dead stop is just mental! So anyway we got off and did it another 2 times!

Found the Vampire and had a go on this, queuing for the front seats. The station area is excellent, love the organ playing area, but also a bit hap hazard with the queues. Waited 20 mins for this ride. Ive wanted to ride this for a long time, so was looking forward to it, but wow, I was amazed how rough this ride is, the number of times it slowed pushing me outwards then accelerated again throwing me back into the seat was surprising, sure did my back no favours and I came off fully appreciating just how smooth rides like Nemesis are! Didnt stop us having another go, this time in the back, which I thought was better, but still rough. Some good corners which really flick you sideways.

Bubbleworks was a 20 min queue. Seen this on tv when it was built so again was looking forward to it. The spinning boats annoyed me a little because it was hard keeping focus on what was around you, though after a bit of balancing with the 2 of us in the boat we managed to stop it! Themeing was pretty good inside, and the fountains section was good, though I thought a bit sparse, could have done with something else in here, though to be honest we were too busy trying to soak each other with our hands in the fountains.

Had some lunch next to the bubbleworks and then headed through the zoo. Not bad, some large enclosures, though the reptiles indoor bit was a bit disappointing, some of the enclosures were very bare, not much fun for the poor creatures inside. Found the penguins, otters etc and had a nose, while an Owl talk was being given on the lawn outside Hocus Pocus hall.

Went in here, on with our 3D glasses and yeah, I liked it, it was a good family haunted house kinda thing, the garden maze was good. Sealife centre, well, its just an exact replica of the one in Alton really isnt it, which I found surprising, so this didnt really grab my attention as much as if I had not been in one before.

Jumped on the monorail for a tour of the park from the air, before heading over to Tomb Blaster. Oh dear, I could have fallen asleep on this ride, it was pathetic. Stopping to shoot a snake, or zombie for 5 minutes while you seat vibrates, then moving on again slowly somewhere else, nah, didnt like this at all, very boring, though I guess good for kids.

Next up was Runaway Mine Train. 20 min queue. This was going around 3 - 4 times and I was amazed at just how short this ride was! I like the way you go in and out of the mountain, but it was very short indeed.

It was close to 6pm so we headed over to the Log Flume, loved the themeing here. 10 min queue and we were off. Enjoyed the log flume and our final ride was the big wheel. For some crazy reason though, they only had people in 2 cars, and even though there was a queue, they made us all wait without filling the empty cars. We had 1 revolution on the big wheel then had to get off - rubbish!!!

So that was it, home time. So, my impressions of Chessington....

The good - themeing was excellent, I loved the way the queue lines and the rides were close to each other, with many rides going into buildings. I liked how clean the park was, seemed very well kept, maintenance seemed good and the park had a good family atmosphere to it. Thought the choice of food outlets was excellent, good prices too.

The bad - ride ops were poor, some cars were going on for example on Dragons Fury with just 1 person in them, the big wheel wasnt being filled up even though there was a queue, and many rides were being sent out with lots of seats available. Ok so it was a quiet day, but it was annoying to watch when stood in a queue.

Overall we enjoyed the day and yeah I would go back. We were going to go to Thorpe the next day, but to be honest, I couldnt be bothered. Firstly is the risk that not everything will be open, and secondly are the queues. Didnt interest me at all driving down to Thorpe, which is a pity, as I would like to ride SAW, but think I will give the place a miss until they sort their out act.
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Hex Legend of th...
post May 4 2009, 7:58 PM
Post #2

Group: Members
Posts: 1,263
Joined: 24-August 07
From: Kent, UK
Member No.: 5,903

I've always been fond of Chessington for its excellent themeing (well for the UK anyway). The bubbleworks is no longer anything special but had you ridden it before the ride was converted into a giant advertisment for imperial leather, you would have seen a much better ride.

Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
post May 5 2009, 6:33 AM
Post #3

Group: Members
Posts: 1,509
Joined: 27-June 03
From: Croydon Surrey UK
Member No.: 281

Woo as some of your criticisms cover basically my area at work I can actually give an explanation as to why what happened, happened.

First onto Peeking Heights (or the big wheel). Due to the pure, sheer brilliance of Fabbri, the wheel needs to be balanced. So instead of just loading the pods willy nilly, you can have two pods loaded on one side, one, two or three on the other. You couldn't just put one loaded pod on one side then six on the other as the wheel has a tendency to... slip. I think a few members on here have actually been in a wheel slip and it's a very scary thing indeed. So with Peeking, it's not a case of the Operators being lazy, it's a case of keeping the ride within it's boundaries.

As for Fury.. well as an operator for that, I can tell you there is nothing more frustrating for me when the attendents put the bars down and there is only one person in the car.

Nevertheless, I'm glad you had a good time at Cwoa smile.gif


I find your lack of Christmas spirit disturbing.
In memory of Ross Power- March 29th 1990 - February 4th 2006
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post

Reply to this topicStart new topic


Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 22nd September 2017 - 9:53 AM