Oh I have been wanting to write this for so long but life has very much got in the way. Last year for L’s birthday we spent the weekend at Chessington World of Adventures. It was amazing. AMAZING.
I’m not really sure why we ended up going to Chessington for his birthday, I’d just been browsing the internet one night and saw that there was a great offer for a hotel stay and two days park entry for around £140 and that we could go for his actual birthday.
Husb and I both love a theme park but L had never been to one and can be a bit funny about rides. So Chessington with its theme park and safari was perfect. I figured even if he hated the rides we could easily spend a couple of days seeing the animals.
Then we got husb’s parents onboard, they were well up for a birthday trip away for their grandson. Turns out my father in law loves a fast ride! It also meant we had extra people to keep L amused and that I might get a few rides in too. Plus I had someone to spend the evening with, my mother in law and I have got it sussed. We bought a bottle with us and chilled in the room after L was asleep drinking and wrapping a few last-minute gifts.
I don’t really know where to start with just how amazing our experience was.
We stayed in the Safari Hotel. The grandparents had their own room, just a standard room that had a double bed and bunk beds. It was clean, tidy and absolutely huge. We had paid a little more to stay in a Giraffe Theme Room, it was only a little extra about £20 if I remember, but it meant L had his own sleeping area which was well worth the money. It also meant some awesome giraffe themed decorations, a safari view and free entry to the Savannah Pool. It was well worth it.
The rooms were great and the whole hotel was lovely. There was a little cinema area, iguanas you could see and the restaurant had great views over the safari park. There was a lovely decked area outside that you could stop for a drink on or meander over to the animals. Due to the time of year we didn’t have the late access to Wanyama village but that didn’t matter. Not a jot.
Next door in the adjoining Azteca Hotel there was a second restaurant, The Temple Bar, where we enjoyed breakfast which was good and plentiful. L loved it as there was a fountain in the middle, piranhas and leaf cutter ants to see. Again it was just amazing!
On that note every single member of staff we came across was brilliant too. Really helpful and friendly. Most places even had little pop badges for the kids to collect, L got quite a few during our stay.
Everything, everywhere, was themed. Carpets, lifts, rooms, restaurants, rides. It was magical. Actually magical and that’s from me as an adult. L’s mind was blown. He could get over it, every thing he looked at was just really cool.
We did use the Savannah Pool and it was brilliant. There is an adult pool, that was warm like a bath, honestly I’ve never been in a swimming pool so warm. A spa pool that I tried to use, but L clocked me and was determined to get in too, so I had to cut that short. Same goes for the steam room and sauna, I couldn’t even try them. The kids section of the pool was such a hit, L spent almost the full time slot in there. With sprays and a slide and a giraffe that was spitting at him. L loved it so much he asked to go back the next day.
The zoo was so well laid out, you could walk around most of it on one path. We saw gorillas, lions and tigers. Penguins, monkeys and fish. It was brilliant and a great place to escape the hubbub of the theme park and chill out a bit.
The Sea Life section is almost as big as a standalone Sea Life, I think we went round about 4 times during our stay. There were walk through areas, we missed the monkeys which was a shame as I really wanted to go but they were shut on our second day and we hadn’t made it on the Saturday. We did walk through with the lorikeets and they were soon sitting on us, another amazing experience.
Then there was the safari ride, we all loaded onto a massive truck and were driven through the park but it was also a theme park style ride. We got up close to the giraffes and rhinos, so close to the rhinos that one barged into our truck. It was amazing. I know I keep saying that, but it was.
The gruffalo is going to get a huge mention. L loves the gruffalo and we were on a gruffalo stay and play package, so there was a meet and greet in the hotel, which we missed because we were eating and you got early ride time on the gruffalo river ride which was so handy. Out of all the rides the gruffalo was the only one with a massive queue. So we didn’t bother on the Saturday but headed straight to it with our early ride time on Sunday. I loved it. We got wet but not soaked. There were dips and bumps but nothing scary. The effects, animatronics and mini films made it really special. Amazing!
In the park there were regular showings of the gruffalo and when L got tired we sat and watched one for a bit. There were also regular photo opps during the day and surprisingly L was desperate to meet him, so queued like a pro and shook his paw and took pictures. We got in on the action too.
Then there were the rides. Almost all of which were perfectly aimed at L with only a few that were too big or fast for him. There were rides we went on as grown ups, rides we took turns going on with him, rides suitable for my mother in law who hates and I mean hates them and it was just the most fun.
I was impressed with the queue times. Yes we went in October but it was a Saturday/Sunday and it was busy but not crazy. We could get on most things with ease, occasionally waiting 10 or so minutes.
We fitted in so much and just had the best time. It was great value for money with so much to see and do. I would have happily stayed another night, happily. We hadn’t even gotten home before we were all talking about a return visit. I think to find somewhere that satisfies three generations is a bit special and to do it so well.
We just had the best time and I cannot wait to go back.
PS. There’s no disclosure as we paid for ourselves and I’m just sharing this as it was such an impressive day out. Honestly go, just go. Have fun and if you can book a giraffe theme room then it’s worth the extra money.