Over at Chessington World of Adventures the park is currently in celebration of both Christmas and the birth of 3 new lion cubs. Yesterday we took a small drive up to the park to see them and you’re in for a treat! They're amazing, coming right up to the glass, play fighting and incredibly photogenic.
However, this update isn’t just going to be about new lion cubs. Next year the park will be getting 2 new attractions for the year. The Chessington Adventure Tree in Market Square will be the park's new centrepiece showcasing the wide array of animals in the park as the centrepiece and ride objects. The old Carousel next to Tiny Truckers has now been removed.
Market Square isn’t the only place currently being redeveloped! Transylvania is still mourning the loss of Bubbleworks. With the ride being re-themed, The Gruffalo boat ride is believed to be opening March 2017. However yesterday when we visited the park it looks like lots is left to do until the ride is in a state to reopen.
The facade of the old Bubbleworks building has been repainted with the old queue line, entrance and porch area all removed. Out with the old and in with the new we guess? The new colours look very bold with bright blue and green everywhere. Here’s hoping it is just an undercoat. Back when Bubbleworks was redone back in 2006, the facade to the Transylvania shop was repainted and once again when the Bubbleworks factory departed, the shop facade has been repainted. Yes it is sad to see it go but we're interested to see what they are doing to the shop! There’s some rumours going around that the shop will be split into two with one side for the Gruffalo and the other for the vampire. The future for the Vampire and Transylvania is looking very short!
For those nostalgic people, an old Bubbleworks express queue sign can be seen outside the fire exit / skip area.
Elsewhere around the park, Seastorm is undergoing its normal maintenance along with what appears to be a repaint on the console. The Black Buccaneer has been taken apart with the supports being kept near Dragon's Fury and the boat washed up on the path next to Seastorm. The rock work of Creepy Caves also appears to have had some work done to it with them looking nice and fresh again.
And the biggest news of all, Rameses Revenge appears to have been serviced for another year! The ride looks to be covered in scaffolding rather than being put in a car park and shipped off to another park.
Chessington World of Adventures has been closed for a few weeks now and maintenance on the rides has started with the zoo being open for Zoo Days with the addition of Hocus Pocus Hall and Amazu open for the event. The park has closed off most of the park with fences keeping guests out of areas such as Transylvania, Pirates Cove and Mexicana.
Whilst looking at the sea lions from a distance it looks like the park have constructed a temporary enclosure for the Penguins who have been moved from their enclosure whilst it's given a makeover for the 2015 season. Ground works looks to have started in the area with the old enclosure being unrecognisable! Over in the hotels the park has closed the Zufari bar and grill for a makeover with banners up around the area redirecting people to the Azteca hotel.
With lots of work going on behind the scenes we cannot comment on what's happening, however scaffolding is up around one of the break runs on Dragons Fury to fix / repair the breaks on the ride. The carousel looks to have been untouched yet however cars for Tiny Truckers can be found outside the entrance.
Outside the rattlesnake exit is a cherry picker that we believe the park have been using to check rattlesnake with. Along with a few cars and vans around the park. Work also looks to have begun on Safari Skyway with one of the cars currently in the station looking half dismantled. However it's not just maintenance going on around the park, 5 grottos are in the process of being built on the lawn to the left of the sea lions enclosure for Chessington's Christmas event.
2015 is the year of the penguins at Chessington World Of Adventures Resort with a new live show, “Penguins of Madagascar Live: Operation Cheezy Dibbles”. Along with the retheme of Jungle Bouncers into a Penguin themed attraction. The old penguin enclosure next to the sealife centre is currently being rebuilt from the ground up and looks set to reopen in March 2015. The theme park is closed with the zoo and selected rides open for “Winters Tail” and “Zoo Days” which runs from December till February 2015. Work is fully underway on building the new penguin enclose with the old enclosure now fully removed foundations have been poured and brick work has started to be built.
With the rides shut until March 2015 yearly maintenance is underway to check the safety of the rides and to strip down them to check every bolt and weld. Down near Transylvania near the vampire entrance the trains for the vampire are sitting outside all stripped down to the metal work with the plastic backs of the trains exposed. The Black Buccaneer is still under scaffolding undergoing its maintenance for the year. Bubble works is open for the parks “Winters Tail” event with the queue line looking like its seen better days! The paintwork on the walls in the queue line outside appears to be coming off revealing the old pink paint work from Professor Burp's Bubbleworks. It would also appear that a few of the models from the ride are missing? Could this be the start of the end for bubbleworks?
Sea Storm looks to almost be finished its winter maintenance with the ride looking like its being put back together! Dragons Fury still appears to have scaffolding around all of the break runs and up the second lift hill. The cars for Tiny Tuckers have been put under a ground sheet and taken off of the track for winter with the lake drained within the ride. Safari Skyway shut at the start of the summer season and was closed for the rest of the year however it would appear that there hasn't been much progress with cars still waiting outside the station waiting to be taken off. With cars half dismantled in the maintenance bay and the station were not to sure if the ride will be up and running in time for the start of the season. Last year the ride opened late due to unforeseen technical problems.
Over in Africa the theming for jungle bouncers has been removed exposing the metal work that the theming sits on. The ride cars and pulley systems have also been removed. With the stage currently set up for the Christmas event we believe that the backdrops and staging will change slightly to accompany the new show.
2015 will be the year of the penguins at Chessington World Of Adventures Resort. With work still going on around the site to prepare the park for the new season starting in less than a months time. With the park open for African Adventures guests can explore selected areas of the park and the zoo with a few rides open for the event.
When walking around the park it was obvious that lots of work has been done to some areas of the park such as Forbidden Kingdom where Rameses Revenge has been stripped down and rebuilt again following its yearly maintenance and the old entrance for the ride removed! The entrance for the ride has been taken down along with the foot bridge linking the entrance to the high queue line which recently had lots of work done to it following an incident at the park a few years ago of a girl falling from a queue line. It is currently unknown if this queue line will be used this year however with two guards added to both ends of the queue line stopping people from going up there we believe this could be the end of the long rameses revenge queue line. In the place of the old entrance there is a huge concrete slab which we believe could be the replacement entrance a bridge or just another small shop or theming for the new penguins show.
With the Madagascar show being replaced it looks like the whole Africa area is being given some tender loving care with jungle bouncers being rethemed with new theming being added to the ride. The old vinyl panels have been removed and are currently in the means of being replaced by new panels. Along with the retheme of jungle bouncers penguins cove is having a major refit which looks to almost be done with a new seating area and viewing windows. The area before was looking old and run down however this new enclosure is a breath of fresh air for the area. To celebrate the new area the park are building some exclusive Dreamwork's Penguins Of Madagascar themed bedrooms at the Chessington Safari Hotel. More information on these rooms can be found at www.chessington.com/2015
Dragons Fury’s first drop has been removed, the reason behind this is currently unknown however it is believed that the track has been removed to be sand filled to reduce the noise the ride makes. Previously disabled guests would use the exit for the ride however the park appears to be building a new entrance for disabled guests to use.
With the Dragon Falls retheme not happening last year it was believed that the park would try and do some work on the ride during the closed season this year however it would appear that no work has been done. Theming from the Samurai ride was put in the ride area a few years ago and was removed towards the end of last season however it would appear that the theming was just moved to the back of the drop which appears to have become a storage area.
Maintenance on rides around the park appear to be coming to a close with the scaffolding on the black buccaneer coming down. New high fences have been built around the ride, we believe this has been done in conjunction with the park being fined over queue lines not being safe? Work on the Vampire is still happening with cement mixers and sections of the Vampire Trains down by the entrance for the ride. With Safari Skyway still not making any obvious progress from what we could see it would appear that the roofs of the vehicles are making there way around the park? During our past few visits we have spotted roofs of the vehicles in Pirates Cove, by the Rattlesnake entrance and at the Dragon Falls drop area. The boats for bubbleworks can still be found all stacked up down by the Black Buccaneer ride entrance.
Rattlesnake is still undergoing maintenance with the transfer track for the ride currently sitting in plastic at the top of the ride and the brake pads for the brakes on the ride currently sitting outside the station. The brake run as you come into the station appears to be covered in plastic to protect the elements of the breaking system from the weather.
During the Summer 2014 season the park started the upgrade of the parks queue line information system with new LED Screens installed throughout the park. The park removed all old signs and replaced them with new ones leaving metal work exposed in some areas however the park have now gone around and added vinyl covers to the new signs.
With the theme park closed to the public, work is well underway at Chessington World Of Adventures to maintain the rides and improve certain areas of the park. With the Zoo open at the weekends until the theme park reopens there are certain areas of the park you can see into.
Down in Transylvania it would appear that The Vampire is receiving a huge amount of work with the track being jet washed and the old entrance being restored to its original glory. Along with the Vampire receiving work, the facade of the bubble works queue line has been repainted. It is believed that inside Bubbleworks the ride is receiving extensive maintenance on broken effects. Down at the disabled entrance for the Vampire theming has been added in the form of bats on the walls.
In Pirates Cove the Black Buccaneer is going through its yearly maintenance with the ride currently under scaffolding. Also spotted in this area, one of the vampire trains appears to be sat under the second lift hill.
In Market Square lots of work is going on to upgrade the area with the Sweet Shop currently a building site and a new restaurant being built. The new restaurant SmokeHouse BBQ looks to be one big building from the old Adventures Chicken Shack to next door to pizza and pasta. Safari Skyway looks like its had its last adventure as the queue line has been removed and all of the trains have been left on the track to rot for another year. Could this be the end for the ride? If so we guess that the ride will be SBNO (standing but not operating) The bench’s that surround the compass in the middle on the area have also been replaced with added seating and making them look a lot more permanent and robust.
Dragons Fury appears to be receiving extensive maintenance again with both of the lift hills currently surrounded by scaffolding. Spotted during the season last year the park has started to wrap up supports in what we believe is foam to reduce the noise made by the ride. More supports look to be receiving this treatment this closed season with supports being wrapped in the Tiny Truckers ride area.