A festive visit to Chessington World of Adventures

A festive visit to Chessington World of Adventures

On Saturday 5th December, I took a trip to Chessington World of Adventures for their Winter’s Tail event. With the UK currently in a tier system, I was fortunate to be able to travel up and experience what was going to be my final theme park fix of 2020. Considering this year has turned into a real topsy turvy year, I’m glad I’ve managed to get my theme park fix throughout the final 6 months of the year. Very grateful for that!

I’ve visited Chessington’s winter event over the last few years and it’s been the perfect excuse to get into the festive spirit. The park itself is adorned with Christmas decorations and lights, it’s a truly magical experience for everyone. Arriving around 1.30pm, it was obvious that I wanted to have a little peek of the construction of both Blue Barnacle and ‘Croc Drop’. There’s been plenty of changes over the last 4 weeks or so since I was last at the park for their Halloween season. You can check out the latest updates on Chessington Buzz and Theme Park Guide.

As I was wandering around the park, I have noticed a number of photo spots this year including the giant Nutcracker prince located at the entrance to Wild Asia. Perfect for Instagrammers wanting to get that shot for the ‘gram! There are a number of rides open throughout Winter’s Tail including Vampire, The Gruffalo River Ride Adventure, SeaStorm, ‘Jingle’ Bus and so much more. There’s a lot to keep families and enthusiasts entertained. It was a given that I would get a ride on Vampire at night – well, two rides as it was freezing cold!

I took a stroll into the Magical Christmas Kitchen, located in Wild Asia (former spots for Halloween scare mazes Spyders, Curse of the Lost Tomb & The Krypt). This was a really cute interactive walkthrough with several decorations. So many photo opportunities can be had within here. With the current COVID restrictions, you are required to wear a mask when inside this attraction as well as using the hand sanitisers when you first enter. Also, children will be able to claim a free cookie at the end of this walkthrough. Fear not adults as you can collect a hot drink and snack from Vegan Street Dogs outlet in Mexicana. The hot chocolate was perfect for warming up my cold fingers!

You can also walk through the Father Christmas Grottos and meet the main man himself. You may even bump into an array of Elves too. Once you’ve met Father Christmas/Santa, you’ll then receive a golden ticket which gives children the chance to pick out a toy, a reindeer or polar bear, within the Toy Workshop. A truly exciting opportunity for the kids to get into the Christmas spirit.

I also couldn’t forget the new ‘The Wild Christmas Panto’. A pantomime with a twist when you’ve got the Gruffalo involved. Located on the Mane Stage, it’s a great way to split up your day whilst you take in all the Christmas goodness around the park. The pantomime itself may not have been made for me but I couldn’t help but join in with all the actions and saying ‘Oh no it isn’t, oh yes it is!’ Alongside this, there are several areas where festive singers are around the park singing your favourite Christmas songs. Perfect way to build up the atmosphere around the park plus the singers were fantastic, highly talented cast this year!

All in all, it was a truly wonderful, festive day at Chessington World of Adventures. If you’re looking for a festive day out in the Surrey, then Chessington is the perfect place to go to.

LOTTIE TRAVELS

September Holiday | Trip Highlights

September Holiday | Trip Highlights

Well, last week flew by! I’ve returned to work today and already getting this blog post written up. I had a bloody good time visiting some fab theme parks across Germany, Netherlands and Belgium. And I gained a total of 48 new creds. Not bad for a week long road trip. It is refreshing to visit new parks and see how different they are to my home parks. Believe me, our UK parks could learn a thing or two about throughputs and theming. I’m definitely suffering from the ol’ post holiday blues right now. So let’s boost my mood with a reflection of my September holiday trip highlights, here on Lottie Travels.

HANSA PARK

I did no research for Hansa Park before I visited last Tuesday. I should do this more often because the park exceeded my expectations! Obviously, I knew about Kärnan and what the ride did. That wasn’t much of a surprise. Although I must say that sensation on the lift hill was incredibly unique. I’ve never felt so scared before getting on a rollercoaster in all my life. Except for when I was a small kid.

It was more about how beautiful the park was. Some areas were more picturesque, with great theming compared to other areas. I think I was expecting more of an amusement park vibe. It has a very deceiving entrance. Plus, the fact the car park is across the road and you need to cross a bridge to get to the park. I’ll definitely return for their next big investment. It’s a park I highly recommend visiting if you are in the Hamburg area. It’s only an hour drive away!

FLUCH VON NOVGOROD @ HANSA PARK

Where do I begin with this ride? I had no clue about this ride at all. I haven’t seen any pictures, although the park are very strict on the no photo policy of their rides. They definitely have a sense of secrecy and mystery. Which I’m all for to be honest. The queue line is understated with some theming elements here and there. However as soon as you enter the station building, this is where the theming comes alive. It felt like you were entering a scare attraction so I definitely got those Halloween vibes!

Now, I’m not a huge fan of Gerstlauer Eurofighters. I get Gerstache regardless so I was slightly apprehensive as to whether I would enjoy this ride or not. In all fairness, this is possibly my favourite Eurofighter I have done. There’s pre-show scenes before you enter the launch – and that is one hell of a snappy launch! – before you take on the outdoor section which is visible in the park. Then it’s the vertical lift hill with more thematic scenes. Before long you’re completing the layout with what seems like very steep overbank, before you enter the station again. I loved this ride despite the slight Gerstache I got. I wish SAW The Ride at Thorpe Park was like this!

AVALON & FENIX @ TOVERLAND

I couldn’t help looking at the pictures of this area as soon as it opened. Honestly pictures won’t ever do it justice. Toverland is a truly magical place that needs to be seen through your very own eyes. The theming is so beautiful. And let’s take a moment to appreciate how gorgeous Fenix is as a coaster. Yes, I’m a B&M fangirl but honestly, it is truly a beautiful sight to behold – as it sweeps over Merlin’s Quest and around the area.

I loved how many photo opportunities there were in this area alone. It’s almost as if Toverland planned this and I WISH MORE PARKS DID THIS! I love photography and there are some unique angles you can get. Fenix is one hell of an awesome Wing coaster – my favourite of the 3 I have ridden. Sorry The Swarm! I was not expecting to get that much airtime from the airtime hill after the first drop! All the inversions and elements on this ride blend together to create a truly fun experience for the whole family. I definitely preferred the back row to the front.

FLUG DER DÄMONEN @ HEIDE PARK

Okay, this one is more sitting under the B&M fangirl part of me but who cares, I loved Flug der Dämonen at Heide Park. I’m amazed at how well it fits into that compact space in the Transylvania area. I love the music by IMAscore. I love all their music to be fair, so call me a fangirl again! The trains are the same as The Swarm, just with fangs instead of guns. Honestly I loved this ride more.

The ride experience itself certainly packs some great inversions and elements. Not as many near miss elements as I would’ve liked but it’s still a great coaster. My 2nd favourite wing coaster after Fenix. My one gripe is the lack of places to take photos of this ride. With it being a quiet few days on park last week, I couldn’t take advantage of taking photos within the queue line. A bit of a bummer but couldn’t be helped! Still, Flug Der Damonen is a solid coaster at Heide Park.

UNTAMED @ WALIBI HOLLAND

My new number 2 coaster, Untamed was a beast. No POV will ever do justice as to how much frigging airtime you get on this coaster. Seriously, get yourself down to Walibi Holland and ride Untamed before making judgement from a POV. And yes, your thighs will hurt after several goes with your hands up. Seriously, who keeps their hands down on an RMC? I may not have gained massive bruises. But after 6 goes, I honestly felt like my thighs were going to fall off.

My favourite moment was the double up section and barrel roll towards the end of the ride. I’ve never experienced a coaster where that much airtime made me cry with laughter. It’s so fab and I’m glad this coaster isn’t too far away from me travel wise. It didn’t quite beat Wildfire at Kolmården for me. Wildfire didn’t make my thighs hurt so Untamed loses points in that respect. The station was pretty cool looking with all the foliage. I think I spent more time looking at the trains – they’re so pretty!

VAN HELSING’S FACTORY @ MOVIE PARK GERMANY

I’ve wanted to get myself to Movie Park Germany for a good 7 years now. That time finally came last week. I love the Van Helsing genre and film, so I was incredibly excited to try this out for myself. With it being an indoor coaster, POVs doesn’t give too much away. So you can’t really work out what happens. It may only be a Gerstlauer bobsled coaster but honestly, the theming in this ride is so damn cool.

They even sell some epic Van Helsing merch in the gift shop at the exit, including an axe! The coaster might be somewhat mediocre on its own if you stripped it of it’s theming but as a whole package, it’s one hell of a fun ride. I almost found it hard to keep an eye on all the theming as you rush by, and those mouse turns with the sneaky dip in between was unexpected – quite a nifty little trick there! I would go back to this park just for this ride alone.

excalibur rapids movie park germanySource

EXCALIBUR RAPIDS @ MOVIE PARK GERMANY

Going along the same theme, I didn’t do much research into these rapids at Movie Park Germany. Again, I’m glad I didn’t. The only thing I knew was that the station was indoors. The rest of the ride I had no clue what to expect. The theming was incredibly impressive right down to the finale scene. Add in the cute and magical music from IMAscore and you’ve got yourself a ride to be proud of.

You really cannot see much of this ride from the exterior at all. Even the warehouse building is hidden by trees and foliage as you walk to the entrance. This really gives us ‘new visitors’ a chance to build up the anticipation when riding. The rapids themselves, manufactured by Intamin, were pretty fun too. It might not be a soaker like River Quest at Phantasialand but they’re incredibly fast. Perfectly enjoyable for the whole family! Don’t miss out on Excalibur. Make sure to head towards Nickelodeon Land and they’re right at the back near the new Paw Patrol area!

Looking back now, I have a lot of memories to take away from this holiday. Hopefully this has given you some insight into the parks & coasters. Thanks for reading my September holiday trip highlights on my blog, Lottie Travels. More holiday content will be written up in due course!

That’s all for now!

Lottie xoxo

 

 

My top memories of Loggers Leap

My top memories of Loggers Leap
loggers10Source

On 20th February 2019, Thorpe Park officially announced the closure of Loggers Leap, after many years of speculation as to whether the ride would return to the park line-up. I feel quite sad about this as Loggers was a firm favourite of mine and I have many childhood memories riding this with family and friends alike. Is this really the end of log flumes in the UK as we know it?

Continue reading “My top memories of Loggers Leap”