Chessington World of Adventures Resort

RicketyCricket

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Taron
@RicketyCricket it doesn't make it right ... but if you have a ride in a park that has lower demand because it is 1.4m, you need less capacity.

I don't think 1.4m is a bad thing. If most kids are hitting 1.3m between 7-9, having nothing to look forward to in that park from that age doesn't seem right.
Yep, part of the fun of visiting as a kid is having big coasters to look forward to when tall enough on future visits. But I think that may be a dated view now with modern coaster technology.

Thrilling coasters are way more accessible now, especially on the continent where they seem to lead the way. For example...

Wodan 1.2m
Blue Fire 1.3m
Fenix (Toverland) 1.3m
Lech Coaster 1.2m
 

Funcone

TS Member
Kobra does about 380 riders an hour, and that has 40 people on a ride. I suspect a ride cycle will be significantly shorter on this coaster, because Kobra takes ages to speed up and slow down, plus Kobra has the platform that needs to go up and down and then someone has to go into the centre of the ride to release the bars. It’s likely that this coaster will have a higher throughput than Kobra, but twice as high feels like a push.
 

Matt N

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
Chessington operations aren't allegedly bad, they are bad. It's like watching everything in slow motion. 720pph as a top end target of a new addition in a park that already has pathetic throughput rides is just plain stupid. The only good side of this is, when attendance settles down after opening, a new attraction will give visitors an additional queue line to stand still not moving forward in. That could shave a few minutes off all the other barely moving queues eventually.
The thing is, though; the top end targets are sometimes hit or even exceeded. For instance, Wicker Man’s is 952pph, but I have seen it exceed that figure by a good 100pph with my own eyes. Thirteen’s is 1,100pph, but it allegedly hit 1,440pph in its opening years. Swarm’s (a comparable B&M Wing Coaster) is 1,100pph, and I have heard people say that it hits or even exceeds this figure quite often.

The reason I described Chessington’s operations as “allegedly” bad were because I have not seen them first hand. I last went to the park in 2014, and I didn’t really pay attention to such things back then.

Even if Chessington perhaps isn’t a beacon of efficiency, this ride will differ compared to some of their others, and for that reason, I do feel that its throughput, while not high, may not be the car crash that some are expecting. Differences include:
  • As @Rick explains, the 1.4m height restriction could change matters somewhat. The ride could have lower demand than their others by nature of the park’s target demographic and the more restrictive height restriction, and the target who are likely to be riding are usually less prone to causing faff than the younger children on other rides at the park. The high height restriction may also lead to lower RAP demand, as RAP demand often tends to be higher on rides designed for younger children.
  • With this ride being a B&M, it should be well engineered, with maximum efficiency at the forefront of its design. I get the impression that some of Chessington’s other rides have certain engineering and H&S pitfalls that make attaining a high throughput on them difficult. For instance, Vampire takes somewhere in the region of 20-30 seconds to park in the station and another 15 to leave (at a rough guess from having watched a POV), thus meaning that there is 35-45 seconds between a train leaving and the next train stopping in the station, and the two Maurers have all the weighting procedures to deal with, meaning that there will naturally be faff involved in rejigging the riders around to weight the ride car correctly. A B&M should not have any of those issues.
  • B&M’s theoretical throughputs tend to be on the more modest/achievable end of the spectrum, from my experience, and this ride’s theoretical throughput is higher to begin with than some of Chessington’s other throughputs of concern cited in this thread. For instance, Croc Drop was cited as an area of concern in the report that @Matt.GC wrote recently. I can’t remember that ride’s exact theoretical throughput, but it was either 360pph or 480pph. This ride’s is 720pph, therefore even assuming Croc Drop’s throughput is the higher figure of 480pph, Amazon’s throughput will, in theory, be at least 50% higher. Even if that means that the queue moves at “9ft per cycle” rather than “6ft per cycle” as @Matt.GC describes Croc Drop’s queue as moving, that will make the queue 50% shorter, which will make a difference.
Was a 720pph coaster what Chessington needed? Perhaps not; when the park is known to have struggles with shifting queues, 720pph is possibly not the queue muncher they could have used. But I don’t personally predict that this ride will be the throughput car crash that some on here are predicting, and I do think it could be an improvement on their other rides.
 

Rick

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Crux
It's also worth pointing out that at this time the ride is adding to overall park capacity, it's not a Wicker Man situation where they ripped out a high capacity ride to build a coaster.

It'll be reet.
 

jon81uk

TS Member
One question I do have is; why do we assume that more children will be riding this than Swarm? I know Chessington has a younger visitor demographic than Thorpe
You’ve answered your own question in a way. 1.4m is probably an 11 year old, but still there will be kids who change their mind just as they are seated or parents who panic at the last minute about something.
Thorpe probably attracts fewer of those 11 year olds but also most of their rides have the higher restrictions so if a kid backs out of one they are probably not going to ride any of them. Whereas at Chessington there will only be two rides with a 1.4m restriction.
 

Matt N

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
It's also worth pointing out that at this time the ride is adding to overall park capacity, it's not a Wicker Man situation where they ripped out a high capacity ride to build a coaster.

It'll be reet.
Expanding on this point, I saw an interesting post on CoasterForce by Jared (owner of Chessington Buzz) giving some additional insight into how much capacity the new additions will add to the park, as well as how the park might operate the coaster itself:
Jared from CoasterForce said:
They’ll put the best team they have on the ride. They also have some staff who work their who have experience operating Swarm, so they’ll likely be all over it as best they can.

Something else to note, the combined estimated throughputs of the two other rides in the area are around 1200pph. So combined with the estimated 720pph for the coaster, the area as a whole is expected to have a theoretical capacity or 1920pph. That’s quite a decent number.

If we add that to the roughly 1000pph added with the two new rides in shipwreck coast, over the two seasons they’ll have added 2920pph. That’s excluding the replacement for Jungle Bus which is due to reopen towards the end of August for another 500pph.

It all adds up.
Interesting that the whole area will add an hourly capacity of 1,920 riders per hour; that's a significant boost that should really help the park! Combined with the 1,000 riders per hour added this year for Shipwreck Coast, that means that in 2022 and 2023, Chessington's capacity will have seen a net boost of 2,920 riders per hour, which should have a profound impact on queue times!
P.S. Here's Jared's post over on CoasterForce: https://coasterforce.com/forums/thr...-coaster-jumanji-land-2023.44747/post-1138985
 
I love a B&M but I’m really disappointed to hear that the new coaster will have a 1.4 height restriction. It’ll be years before my short arse kids are big enough to ride it. I wrongly assumed with it being chessington and aimed mainly at kids/families, that it would have a more accessible height limit. Sigh.
 
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Benzin

TS Member
Mean its not the first 1.4m ride at Chessie over the years, but since most have been removed over the years it feels more out of place now. Kinda like how Thorpe change their target market every year, but will no doubt lead to a lot of disappointment when the now de facto family park's new ride won't allow half their guests on it.

Seeing what happened when Dragon Falls' restriction went up shows how difficult balance that is.

I'd take anything anyone associated with Chessington Buzz says with all of the salt. Positive about everything so they can get the access they need to be a "successful" fansite. Theoretical throughput is all well and good but doesn't factor in non-standard queues (I.e. RAP or Fastrack) nor operational situations (mentioned before with kids and parents being burdenous). Those calculations very rarely fit real life and only a few exceptions exceed the theory.

Fact is that Chessies ops have gotten worse over the years. And to say things like "they're putting their best team on it" also then means that the rest of the park ends up suffering as a result.
 

Matt N

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
I'd take anything anyone associated with Chessington Buzz says with all of the salt. Positive about everything so they can get the access they need to be a "successful" fansite. Theoretical throughput is all well and good but doesn't factor in non-standard queues (I.e. RAP or Fastrack) nor operational situations (mentioned before with kids and parents being burdenous). Those calculations very rarely fit real life and only a few exceptions exceed the theory.
For clarity, this is not a public social media post by Chessington Buzz. This is the site’s owner posting on an enthusiast forum.
 

pluk

TS Member
Chessington is a park where the Vampire, with a ride time of comfortably over 2 minutes, consistently and significantly stacks on 2 trains. Often for whole minutes. Operations are diabolical.

The big problem with this is being a shuttle coaster is there is no natural buffer to loading times as the ride is not operating at all all the time the only train is in the station. With the unavoidable faff of loading and unloading passengers on the same side so they have to cross over each other this must be the worst ride type to use as a single train shuttle.

I suppose the saving grace is the ride looks very very dull, so hopefully it won't be too popular once the opening buzz has died down and it'll be able to cope with the numbers that want to ride,
 

Funcone

TS Member
They’ll put the best team they have on the ride. They also have some staff who work their who have experience operating Swarm, so they’ll likely be all over it as best they can
“Don’t worry, we’ve got our best man for the job”, sounds like the opening of most sitcoms.

I don’t think the problems are primarily with the frontline staff. Every year people complain that the staff are slow, but it seems unlikely that the people who live near Chessington all happen to be really slow every year, and the people who live near Europa Park all happen to be really quick.

Chessington did butcher a Vampire train largely because they were stacking so much, although it also meant they got a load of free spares for the other trains, and saved the cost of stripping down and maintaining the third train each year. But I agree that slow dispatches were the main thing. I do think there’s an element of rose tinted spectacles with Vampire though. It was designed for the Arrow trains where people took their bags on with them, and the original trains didn’t have seatbelts making them quicker to check. Once the new trains came in, I think stacking became a much bigger problem, although I’m sure most ex staff will tell you that the trains never stacked when they were on it. Then they cut the number of staff and put in more laborious procedures…

‘Putting your best team on it’ doesn’t sound like much of a strategy to me. I mean, how would they even know who their fastest team are? Organise a sports day? It does sound like an excuse for the managers to put their friends on the new ride and then hang around it all day, neglecting the rest of the team.

There are clearly lots of factors that can affect how quickly people work: how frequent and long their breaks are, how often they get a day off, how long their shifts are, how staff are trained, how engaged they are, morale, teamwork, how staff are incentivised… putting your ‘best’ staff on the new ride isn’t necessarily a bad thing and sometimes a team can work at the speed of the slowest person. If we assume that the ‘best’ team is selected using a fair and objective process without nepotism and workplace politics, then it might be a good thing. It also assumes that managers spend plenty of time in the park observing the staff, and that any throughput figures for the rides are accurate and not just made up by the operators when they fill in their paperwork at the end of the day.

But there is also a danger that blaming slow staff for any problems distracts managers from looking at the root causes of any issues. Disney are famous for their slick operations. That’s not because they’ve carefully built their theme parks where the most athletic people are.

“Don’t worry, we’ll put our best people on the new ride”, does sound like a park that’s run out of ideas. “It’s okay everyone. The lads from Thorpe Park are coming. They’ll be all over it”.
 

Matt N

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
I don’t know how Chessington would work in this regard, but I’d like to think that it being a new ride would add some urgency to the operations.

You only have to look at how the staff run up and down the platform on something like Wicker Man to see that being a new and popular ride often sees enhanced operations!

Is it known whether this coaster will have a baggage hold or not?
 

djtruefitt

TS Team
I don’t know how Chessington would work in this regard, but I’d like to think that it being a new ride would add some urgency to the operations.

You only have to look at how the staff run up and down the platform on something like Wicker Man to see that being a new and popular ride often sees enhanced operations!

Is it known whether this coaster will have a baggage hold or not?
If it’s designed like any other coaster Merlin have put in; then it will be designed badly, require way more staff than it actually should have, and will cost the park a fortune to staff.

But maybe they have learnt.
 

AT86

TS Member
But maybe they have learnt.

seth meyers good job GIF by Late Night with Seth Meyers
 
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