Inside Chessington World of Adventures as it reopens with short queues and slashed prices in the park

LESS than an hour after arriving at Chessington World of
Adventures the kids were already asking: “When can we come
back?”

Months of being stuck inside and home schooling all of a sudden
seemed like a distant memory.

Chessington reopened this month –
here is what it is like inside the park

My wife and I, Millie, seven and Benji, three, checked into
Chessington’s Safari Hotel in what will be the closest we get to
a family holiday this summer.

While the kids were beside themselves with excitement, we were a
little nervous about what to expect with the park just getting up
and running post-lockdown.

Despite being the first Friday of the school holidays, the hotel
car park was only half full.

But other than the temperature check at reception, perspex
screens around the bar and the social distanced tables in the
restaurant, it was business as usual.

Obviously the kids didn’t notice any of this which has become
the new norm.

Stay overnight and you’re first
in the park – before the other guestsRooms are being deeply cleaned
between each bookingFamilies can stay in the rooms to
be given access to the park ahead of opening – although the park
is still much quieter than usual

They were too distracted by watching the zebras and yaks from
the window of our themed room and the prospect of a sleepover in a
bunk bed.

I’m amazed they managed to get to sleep that night but
eventually they did and after a big breakfast we made our way into
the park.

One of the best things about staying in the hotel is the next
day you get let into the park early before the day-trippers
arrive.

Forty minutes after having our temperatures checked on the gate,
we’d already been on The Gruffalo ride, the fang-tastic Vampire
rollercoaster and the Tiger Rock log flume (twice).

I’ve been coming to Chessington since I was a child and I’ve
never known the queues to be so short – even with social
distancing.

AFP – GettyThe car park is much
emptier than is usually is during the summer season[/caption]
The ride experience has not
changed, however

Other than the fact my wife and I and Millie had to wear masks
on some rides, there was very little disruption.

And to compensate park bosses have slashed the price of in-ride
photos so you can get every snap from the day for just £15.

We managed to get on so many of the big attractions that we came
home with ten pictures.

In fact, we were all shattered by the time we sat down for
hotdogs and slushy drinks at lunch.

The kids had been on all the rides they’d wanted to go on
after watching YouTube in the run up to our visit.

Masks have to be worn on some
rides, for both kids and adultsHowever, rides are also cleaned
much more frequently

Millie was overjoyed to be tall enough (1.1m) to get on to the
Vampire ride which she described as “awesome” “epic” all in
one breathless sentence as she got off.

It just made me feel old as I remember queuing to get on it the
year it opened when I was just 12 – 30 years ago. If only I’d
aged so well.

Gruffalo fan Benji loved the ride inspired by Julia
Donaldson’s iconic children’s book even though he wanted me to
hold his hand first time round.

And he was on fits of giggles on the spinning boats and
Elmer’s Flying Dumbos.

I only managed to drag him away when they came to spray the ride
down as part of the hourly cleaning process.

The majority of the outdoor rides
are open for familiesMake the most of cheap ride
pictures as the park has slashed prices

Despite being dragged in different directions all morning, there
are enough rides at Chessington the whole family can enjoy.

The Scorpion Express rollercoaster and River Rafts water ride
provided just enough excitement for a fearless seven-year-old girl
and not too much for a boy, 3.

But we were never going to make it home though without one of us
taking Millie on the terrifying Kobra, especially as she was gutted
at being too short last year.

The attraction – one of the flagship rides – is a favourite
with thrill-seekers who can be heard screaming across the park.

My wife and daughter were no different but they survived….
even the face masks failed to muffle the screams – or the fun for
that matter.

Most read in News Travel
TAKE A BREAK Butlin’s is selling family holidays for 4 for
just £67 – here’s how to get one

LAP THESE UP These are the best beaches in Europe – and No.3
is in Britain

QUIDS IN European flights slashed to just £1 with BA – with
Ryanair tickets under a tenner

GET HOME NOW Jet2 warns Brits in Spain to end hols now or pay
for their own flights home

JUST THE TICKET Drayton Manor cuts ticket prices for summer
holidays by up to a third

TENE-GRIEF TUI scraps flights to Spanish isles until Aug 4 but
adds more to Greece & Turkey

Like the rest of the world, the park might not be back to normal
but the rides are still as good and the queues are not as long.

And even if we don’t make it away on holiday this year as long
as we return before the schools do, the kids will remember it
forever.

And if they don’t we’ve got the bizarre pictures to remind
them.

Source: FS – All-Travel destinations-News2
Inside Chessington World of Adventures as it reopens with
short queues and slashed prices in the park