Chessington World of Adventures Resort

GaryH

TS Member
Went to Chessington this weekend for the first time in 7 years, and the first time staying in the resort hotels. Brief overview of our trip:

Hotels : Booked the Safari hotel in a monkey temple themed room with safari view for 2 nights. Arrived all excited after a 4 hour drive to be met with a miserable, "dont want to be here" girl on reception who gave us our key after taking a further deposit against any damage to the room! Room was quite nice, good theming, though interconnecting door in the room (hate these), view was not direct onto the safari, view of bins underneath the window, room located in the Azteca hotel, not Safari. Was located in first room at start of corridor by lifts, meaning lots of noise from guests walking past all the time. Spoke to reception who agreed to move us to the Safari hotel. Only room available was a giraffe room. Slightly bigger, better view. Room wasn't clean, raisins on the floor from previous guests, bits of packaging on the floor. Poor paint job around the room, vinyl peeling off in the bathroom. However, the bed was comfy and the room had air con. Not as bad as ATH but still noise from kids running along corridors. Room cost £420 (through Expedia, was £569 on CWoA site). Not worth the money.

Temple Restaurant : First night we ate here. Walked through a bar area with lighting so bright my eye balls hurt. Met by girl on entrance who asked for money up front. Thankfully got some discount using blue light card which made it a bit more acceptable. Seating inside was dark and dingy. Staff just stood around on their phones, staff on the carvery counters must have superglued their lips together. Food reminded me of Splash Landings - i.e. pretty average at best. Some veg inedible due to be over/under cooked. Meats were ok. Gravy like water. Dessert was pathetic. Just a tub of chocolate sprinkles and mashmallows. I thought they would have a choc fountain - nope, just an ice cream machine. Service totally non existent - a very depressing experience.

Park : Next day although having breakfast booked in Safari they shifted everyone over to Temple again for breakfast. Was packed inside, but staff a bit better today. Food again like ATH - average. Breakfast was ok apart from sausages which I am sure are just filled with mush and no meat at all. Park entrance by the Azteca hotel and this was great. Didnt bother with early ride time as the only rides open were for very small kids. Had a good day in the park, staff in the park in complete contrast to the hotels, much more chatty, smiling, communicating with you. Very lucky to spot Vampire about to open so got on the 2nd train of the day in the afternoon before the queues went up to 3 hours. Queue times we found to be very misleading. Saw the Dragon Fury queue advertised as 35 mins at the entrance, only to jump to 75 mins at the blink of an eye.

Evening dinner : ate in Safari hotel. Staff generally better and the restaurant much nicer. Sat overlooking the safari park watching the animals. Food was excellent especially my chicken curry. Hated the fact you have to use an app to order. Why cant staff just take your order at the table? Really spoilt the evening have to create an account before you could order online. What if you don't have your phone with you? Totally takes away the premium experience you seek staying in the resort hotels.

Entertainment : for kids and adults - non existent.

Prices : Very expensive. London prices I suppose, but a pint was between £7 - £8, a glass of wine £10.

Check out : no one asked how our stay was, did we have a good time etc? Had to go back in to get a parking ticket to exit as no one asked if i needed one.

Overall : We had a good weekend mainly because of the company we were with. The hotel was a let down particularly the service. Enjoyed the day in the park. Hotels had absolutely no atmosphere at all. Was an odd experience staying there to be honest. We were originally booked in the premier inn next door, but cancelled when we saw the god awful reviews. If i was to stay here again i would stay in the cheapest rooms possible.

Blue light card worked in Azteca hotel and in the park. Safari hotel wouldn't take it! Thank god most places did though as it knocked 20% off the bills which certainly helped.
 

Benjsh

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Steel Vengeance
Sounds like a typical Merlin hotel service to me. Shoddy.

Once was enough for us (years ago) and we will never make that mistake again. It's simply not worth the extra fee. Stay 5 mins away off site for half the price and still get to the gates for opening.

Haven't been to Chessington in years myself either. Don't think I will ever go back either tbh as it's pretty much my worst nightmare capacity wise.
 
Going slightly off-track (see what I did there?) queue time accuracy has always been a massive issue at Chessington.

Why? Because they’re one of the only major theme parks which seems to have no system in place other than the staff guessing.

Add to that, a lot of the rides, such as Tomb Blaster, don’t even have staff or CCTV in the queue line, so the operators can’t even use the “it’s about half an hour from that tree” logic. Such a shambles for a park of that size. They need a proper method of measuring queue times as people are constantly complaining how inaccurate they are.
 

Rob F

TS Member
Tbh as long as fast track(now r&r) and rap are allowed to jump the queue you can never get an accurate figure as you never know guest logic and arrival times at attractions. 1 h you could have next to no rap and R&R the next you could have 200. So 1st hour queue was less than predicted and the 2nd much slower than predicted.
 
Tbh as long as fast track(now r&r) and rap are allowed to jump the queue you can never get an accurate figure as you never know guest logic and arrival times at attractions. 1 h you could have next to no rap and R&R the next you could have 200. So 1st hour queue was less than predicted and the 2nd much slower than predicted.

This isn’t strictly true though. On peak days there’s usually a constant flow of RAP holders on the major rides. They also have batching ratios of number of fastrack vs number of people from the main queue (supposedly!) so it is possibly to accurately measure the queue times within about a 10 minute window of accuracy. Most other parks manage it. Chessington always seems to be wildly out.

I know the Legoland and Alton Towers have experimented with using wifi signals from peoples phones to measure the queue times. Thorpe Park have, for many years had a dedicated person responsible for managing queue times, and many other major parks (Disney being the obvious one) give guests cards which the staff scan to check in the queue time accuracy.

Not to mention CCTV in the queues lines and staff at the entrances of many major rides to keep an eye on the queue times.

What do Chessington have? None of the above. The operators just guess. And it never works.

There is of course always going to be a degree of inaccuracy, but Chessington is the one park where we always seem to hear of queues advertised as 20 mins and people waiting over an hour. Or vice versa.

Yes it occasionally happens at other parks, but nowhere near to the degree that it does at Chessington. (Phantasialand sadly seems to be another park which don’t seem great at advertising accurate queue times)
 

rob666

TS Member
Add Blackpool to your list of very crap assessments of queues on the app.
Often meaningless cash creation scheme to generate queuejumper charges.
 
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QTXAdsy

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Black Hole
I am liking the green and brown colour combo, it is nice to see Merlin do colours other than black or grey.

Kinda suprised Merlin didn't decide to paint Wicker Man black if they really love that colour! :p Then again probably too much work for them. Do hope we see future Merlin coasters have different colours on them, Nemesis not included before you get clever. ;)
 
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