A Howl-oween at Chessington Review.
Chessington at Halloween with a toddler Reviewed.
Sadly, Chessington came up with the Howl-oween pun, but I just had to use it for the title.
Chessington World of Adventures was our second day activity for our trip away. It’s a family theme park and we thought it was a perfect choice with Julia Donaldson themed rides (the Gruffalo and Room on the Broom), zoo animals and a sea life centre all covered in the entry price making it good value. Rides vary from toddler accessible, to thrill rides, but there’s nothing upside down to please Daddy.
The entry price, being a theme park, was £38.50 per adult (OCT 2020) but can easily be lowered by promotions such as using a Carex bottle knocking the price down to £24.
I felt Chessington was the least prepared of our four spots we visited over our break (2 x National trust, Chessington and Hobbledown). The website said numbers had been reduced, however cars absolutely packed the car park on arrival. Everyone also arrived simultaneously, and only the temperatures of adults were checked. That was a little disappointing. That said however, ride queues were extended to allow for social distancing, and masks were enforced in indoor areas by stewards.
The park opens at 10 am, which in hindsight is a little late for a toddler who wakes around 6 am and naps in the afternoon. That said, we had a good day although, we only managed a grand total of three rides (queues were still up to an hour).
We quickly found out Munchkin wasn’t a fan of a the dark, starting on an indoor Mummified shooting ride, as he clutched to Mummy. It was a better, but similar experience for the Gruffalo ride too, but there was a mix of excitement and fear on that one. We won with the third choice though, a car ride where Munchkin got to ride in a 4×4 and point out the animals. He loved that.
When it came to lunch, with a lot of the takeaway eateries closed, to help with Covid restrictions, and with a constant drizzle of rain, everyone was forced to eat indoors. This resulted in huge queues from 11:30, which was the worst time to try and get Munchkin to wait. After queueing the experience was pleasant, we were taken to a table and there was a QR code to order so we could stay put.
In the afternoon, it wasn’t long before Munchkin nodded off in his pushchair. Sadly, by napping he missed the zoo and sea life centre too which I rated highly. We must have tired him out at Cliveden National Trust. You can read about day one, with a double helping of National Trust here.
Where is it?
Chessington World of Adventure is in Surrey, two miles from the A3 and M25 and 35 minutes from central London by train. Click the map to go to google maps.
Overall and Star Rating
In hindsight it wasn’t the best location for a toddler, even with the 13 rides he could go on, there simply wasn’t the time with the late entry and his afternoon nap. It would be much better for us if it opened early for parents with toddlers, to make the most of that morning energy. This would also space out guests in light of the pandemic.
That said, the park is a perfect attraction for children of all ages, with gentle rides up to the slightly more thrilling (nothing upside down here). It’s a great park and on our revisit list when Munchkin can last a full day!
For the stars, due to the less pleasing covid restrictions, and opening time for toddlers we give it:
I can see that rating score shoot up when we revisit.
For other park reviews we have visited see our review of Hobbledown and Sundown Adventureland.
Thanks for reading,