Chessington World of Adventures | Winters Tail Review

Chessington World of Adventures | Winters Tail Review

There’s nothing better than getting into the Christmas Spirit this December with a festive trip to Chessington World of Adventures for their Winter’s Tail event. I had a great time visiting the event last year. It was only right that I return this year. Even if just to get my Vampire fix and enjoy the delights of Chessington dressed up in Christmas theming. So let’s crack on with my Chessington Winters Tail review.

There’s a lot to see and do, even if the majority of the theme park is shut for the winter. The main highlight of this event is for kids to meet up with Father Christmas in his Grotto. And if they’re really good, they might receive an early Christmas present! The way Chessington does this is through winding around the many Grottos with Santa’s elves guiding you along the way is both magical and fun for all the family. Beware that this can get extremely popular with families! It’s going to be very busy throughout the day, even if you arrive at your allocated time slot.

Another special feature of Winter’s Tail is to visit The Gruffalo Kitchen for some cookie decorating. I do have a small soft spot for baking – even though I don’t bake as much as I would like! Having this opportunity to be creative and decorate cookies is one of the best ways to get into the festive spirit. Regardless of how old you are, it’s certainly adds that extra special treat to your day. Located to the left of Pizza Pasta Buffet in Adventure Point, this will also get very busy so ensure you allocate enough time during your visit to do this.

At 1pm, 2pm, 5pm and 6pm, you can get your dancing shoes on and join in with the Gruffalo and Stick Man Christmas Groove. Located in the Gruffalo Arena, I find Chessington do a fantastic job with their shows throughout the year. This was no exception. With a host of familiar and catchy Christmas songs to get you in the mood, it’s one to watch during your visit to Chessington Winter’s Tail. Plus, I thought it was even better compared to last year, the storyline was easy to follow and the interaction with the kids was perfect. Fab job by Chessington’s Entertainments team.

Did I forget to mention that there are a selection of rides open too? Last year, they announced Vampire would open throughout November & December for the first time during winter. I secretly fangirled and knew I had to visit. And of course, Vampire is back open this year – a perfect way to get those final nighttime rides in before 2019 ends. The area of Vampire was perfectly lit up to get those perfect shots – Chessington does a great job with nighttime lighting so fellow photographers, get your cameras at the ready.

Other rides open during Winter’s Tail include:

  • The Gruffalo River Ride,
  • Tiny Truckers,
  • Room on the Broom – a Magical Journey,
  • SeaStorm,
  • Adventure Tree Carousel,
  • AMAZU Treetop Adventure
  • Plus you have the Zoo & SeaLife open to explore!

I hope my Chessington Winters Tail review has given you a good insight into the event. So why not get yourself over to Chessington and have some festive fun at Winter’s Tail. It’s advised to pre-book your tickets, prices are from £18.50 for non Annual Passholders, and from £18 for Annual Passholders. Granted paying extra for a seasonal event can put people off but honestly, it’s worth it to get into the Christmas spirit. And I’m sure your kids will love you for it too, parents! You can find out more information & book tickets on Chessington’s website.

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That’s all for now!

Lottie xoxo

My top memories of Loggers Leap

My top memories of Loggers Leap
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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”

6 things you must do at Chessington

6 things you must do at Chessington

I have been visiting Chessington a lot lately. Despite it being something to do at the weekends, I just have that certain bond with the park. Having almost grown up with the place, with my first visit back in 1998, I still enjoy making a trip here. Having a zoo and theme park in one place, there is plenty of stuff to do for both adults and children alike.

If you are ever in the area or a Merlin Annual Passholder, it is worth a trip! I believe there are 5 things that you must do when visiting the park. Read on to find out more!

 

#1: Visit the Zoo

Not only have you got the theme park, you have a very sizeable zoo to explore. From Trail of the Kings to Wanyama Village to the SeaLife Centre and more! I love visiting the Zoo, even if the park is rammed, it is a perfect way to get away from the hustle and bustle and watch the animals. There’s so many you can see including Lions, Tigers, Gorillas, Giraffes, Sealions, Zebras, Meerkats and more. Don’t ever miss out on the Zoo on your visit. It is worth having a nice stroll around.

 

#2: Ride the Vampire

This is a classic at the park and one of my favourite rides here. It may not be the same as it was with the old trains, but it is still fun. The purple trains are fab – don’t diss them – and I love having the feeling of your legs dangling on a suspended coaster. There is also that turn around coming out of the tunnel, still packs a punch! Yes, it may get pretty long queues throughout the day but out of all the rides at the park, this is a MUST.

 

#3: Grab yourself a Nitrogenie

If you are an ice cream fanatic, then you will LOVE Nitrogenie. Simply for the fact that not only it is so deliciously good, it is made with Liquid Nitrogen. The fact you can watch your ice cream being made through the window is fascinating. There’s plenty of flavours to choose from and with the latest addition of making milkshakes, this is like a go-to place for ice cream/milkshakes. Treat yourself everybody!

 

#4: Visit Tiger Rock and Land of the Tigers

Now that the new area has been opened to the public for a couple of months, you’d be daft not to head towards this beautifully, colourful place. Not only that, they have got 4 gorgeous Amur Tigers in the area. The tiger rock feature above the final drop of the log flume is so fab – it’s literally a picturesque hotspot. And the music of the area is so calming that you could just spend the whole day wandering around there – okay, maybe not the whole day!

 

#5: Walk through Lorikeet Lagoon

Now, I’m fully aware that this attraction is open on peak days but this is something you need to tick off your list if you visit Chessington. And it is highly recommended to buy some of the nectar too – you will soon learn how popular you become with the Lorikeets! Plus, some of your money goes towards the Chessington Conservation Fund so it’s for a good cause. I love the interaction with the Lorikeets – not just for the fact that they are bloody gorgeous to look at – it’s a fab experience for both adults and children. Great photo opportunities too so if you want to make some great memories, give this attraction a visit!

 

#6: Try out Not Dogs!

I may be slightly biased and say that this place is so delicious that as I’m writing this, I really want one right now. Seriously, you’d be mad not to try out the Not Dogs – it isn’t just a place specifically for vegetarians and vegans. Read my review here and you might be able to understand why I bloody love the place. Trust me, just do it and grab yourself a quick bite to eat here. You won’t regret it.

Of course, this is only my opinion. There may be things I haven’t even included on here but I honestly feel like these are truly the must do things when visiting Chessington. If I haven’t included anything that needs to be mentioned, leave me a comment below.

That’s all for now!

LOTTIE TRAVELS

Not Dogs at Chessington | Review

Not Dogs at Chessington | Review
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#MeatyWithoutTheMeat

Recently opened at Chessington World of Adventures is their brand new food outlet, Not Dogs, formerly Mexican Cantina in Mexicana. I went to visit Chessington on Saturday to try out this new outlet and I have to say, I was very impressed with the food!

‘Not Dogs was created by Katie and Jane; one meat-reducer and one vegetarian, both with a love of quick, very tasty & exciting food. Together they struggled to find mouth-watering veggie food and trustworthy meaty meals that satisfied that ‘fast food’ fix. The aim of Not Dogs is to provide food lovers with a delicious, fun, quality menu to excite and amaze.’

‘Veggies, vegans and meat-eaters cannot resist the unique menu of Not Dogs, burgers, breakfasts, sides and fries.’ – I can certainly agree with this statement as a meat-eater!

 

First impressions of the whole outlet, it looks simple and refreshing. I don’t have many memories of Mexican Cantina but I’m pretty sure it is the same layout as before. There are plenty of tables and chairs for guests to sit down and enjoy their meal. Once you have placed your order, simply find a table and wait for your meal to be delivered to you – half fast food/half sit down restaurant.

As someone who works in Marketing, the whole branding is brilliant. It’s quirky and fun plus the colour scheme is fab – Orange and Purple. Almost similar to the ‘Tiger’ colour scheme that is around this year at the park. Go and check out Land of the Tigers AFTER making a visit to Not Dogs! 😉 Plus there was super cute bunting all over the ceiling – LOVE IT!

 

So, let’s get on with the Not Dog food menu including prices! Worth noting that Annual Pass discount does not apply here. 

View the full Menu.

NOT DOGS – ADULTS

Meal Deal: Not Dog, Side, Drink – £9.50

Individual: Not Dog – £5.75

SIDES: Not Dog Nuggets / Waffle Fries – £2.75

EXTRAS: Load Them Up Fillings – Extra 50p

KIDS

Meal Deal: Puppy Dog, Sides, Drink – £7.50

Individual: Puppy Dog – £5.00

BURGERS

Meal Deal: Burger, Side, Drink – COMING SOON

Individual: Burger – COMING SOON

DRINKS

Nice Shakes – £3.75 / With the Meal Deal  – £2.00

Soft Drinks (Diet Coke, Fanta Zero, Sprite Zero) – From £2.50

It is also worth noting that Not Dogs can cater for those looking for Gluten-Free options as well as for Vegans – just ask the server as you place your order. At the time of visiting, Burgers were unavailable however they were advertised as ‘COMING SOON’ so I definitely have an incentive to go back and try out the ‘Chris-P Chicken Burger’.

 

What can I say about the food? It was bloody delicious and the Nice Shake was on another level. As someone who tries to avoid dairy products, having a shake made with Rice milk was very welcome! All ‘meat’ products are from Quorn, if you have ever tried Quorn products, you are going to love this! You wouldn’t know the difference in taste at all – it is just as tasty as a Hot Dog.

One thing I did notice is the prices are not clearly visible for guests, they are not included on the small menus located at the entrance of the outlet – this can be confusing for guests! You’ll need to walk in and view the price board behind the counter where you can view prices including the meal deal and individual options. As above, it can be pretty pricey for your average food outlet at a theme park, but the quality of the food is worth it in my opinion. Don’t knock it before you try it!

You have the choice of a meal deal where you can choose a Not Dog or Burger, Side and Drink or you can have an individual Not Dog or Burger. There is also the option to have the ‘Bit on the Side’ as an individual meal too – perfect for a quick snack on the go! I would personally choose a meal deal option as value for money – for what is included in the meal deal, it is worth it. A main, side and soft drink – what more could you need to fulfil those hunger pangs. However, if you need to tuck into a snack ‘on the go’, Not Dogs also has you covered.

Annual Passholders, be aware that Not Dogs do not offer refills on the Quenchers.

 

Overall, I couldn’t fault the service I received at Not Dogs. The staff were very friendly and helpful to answer any questions you may have. Yes, with a new food outlet, it can be tricky to work out what to do or what is on offer on the menu, but I felt confident I could ask the staff for the help if needed. Seriously, give it a go next time you are visiting Chessington. You won’t regret it, plus you don’t have to be a vegetarian to enjoy the food here. Fab job, Not Dogs!

A little more info about Not Dogs:

‘The aim of Not Dogs is to provide food lovers with a delicious, fun, quality menu to excite and amaze. Not Dogs is an all-veggie company and taste and satisfaction is of upmost importance. Veggies, vegans and meat-eaters cannot resist the unique menu of Not Dogs, burgers, breakfasts, sides and fries.

It’s simple, we love animals, the environment and you! Not Dogs was created to offer a better fast-food menu for all three, happy animals, happy health and happy planet.’

That’s all for now.

LOTTIE TRAVELS

My early memories of Chessington

My early memories of Chessington
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I’m going to get all nostalgic now for this blog post. I was thinking the other day about how theme parks have changed, most notably the ones that I visited as a child – and what I can still remember to this day, my memory isn’t that great ha!

I first visited the park in 1998 and have been a regular visitor since then – 20 years on! I still enjoy visiting and seeing how the park has expanded and grown over the years. Of course, I do miss the old attractions that are either no longer with us or have been changed, but it’s the perfect chance to reflect on these and how awesome the park was!

Note: I sadly don’t have many photos from back in the day for these relevant attractions featured in this blog post. *crying face*
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The Original Vampire

My earliest memory was walking through the big Vampire door entrance and feeling so nervous about the ride. As a kid, it was pretty terrifying as you look up and see the bat style trains flying over you in Transylvania. As you travelled towards the station, it was so dark you couldn’t see much, with the coffins separating each row, the massive chandeliers and of course, the organist ‘playing’ the haunting theme of the ride. Once I had my chance to ride Vampire, I loved it – and to this day I still do. I just wish I had more chance to experience the old-style trains more. Considering this ride is almost as old as me – not quite though.

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Professor Burp’s Bubbleworks

This ride was the bomb. From the pink building or should I say ‘factory’ to the sweet-smelling station and that fountain strobe finale. There is nothing about this ride that I won’t miss – it was so good. It was mad, it was crazy, it was great. The whole ride experience, as you follow Professor Burp through a tour of his factory, making all sorts of fizzy pop style drinks. It’s a ride I will not forget in a hurry.

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Terror Tomb

I managed to experience Terror Tomb before it changed its name to Forbidden Tomb and what is now known to us all as Tomb Blaster. This ride actually scared me when I first rode it. As a kid back then, I didn’t really understand the whole ‘story’ to the ride with Abdab. Then again, who does concentrate on the story when you’re a kid. Funnily enough, the only real vague memory I have is of the finale with the Singing/Dancing Mummies or ‘Jukebox Duel’. Looking back at the images some people have gathered up on the internet, it is all coming back to me.

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Samurai

Oh Samurai, you beauty! Well, back when you were at Chessington. I absolutely loved Samurai at Chessington, the black and red colour scheme, the lights, the ride cycles, everything! I remember back when the park shut at 9pm for the Summer season and seeing the lights on Samurai through the trees as we left the park for the day. And being one of the taller kids at school, I reached 1.4m relatively early so I could experience it before it moved to Thorpe Park.

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Park Map

You might be thinking, what the hell? Hear me out, I have loved park maps since I was little – that’s why I have so many at home! My favourite version of the park map at Chessington was around the 2000/2001 year mark with the coloured areas. The artwork was great and it just felt like a good visual map that had the right purpose for helping you navigate around the park. Now, obviously I don’t need a map these days cause, being a geek, you don’t need one for navigation – it’s more to add to my massive collection. 😉

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Beanoland

How could I not include Beanoland! It was pretty much like stepping into the Beano comic and everything had come to life. The Dodgems, Billy’s Whizzer, Bash Street Bus, Dennis’ Madhouse – it was a great collection of rides and attractions for kids. You also had the chance to meet the characters, I vaguely remember seeing Dennis and Gnasher. Let’s also not forget the fab Treehouse in the middle of the area which had a show where I also ‘vaguely’ remember Dennis throwing t-shirts at the crowd – if someone can confirm this, that would be great!

I don’t if it comes with age or something, but I do love being nostalgic and remembering the old times of our favourite theme parks. I’m sure there are more memories that I haven’t included in this post – like I said before, I don’t have the best memory and these are the ones that stick out the most for me. Kids these days won’t remember the classic Chessington and its array of ‘crazy’ attractions it had.

If you have any early memories of Chessington, feel free to leave a comment below and let me know if I have missed anything!

That’s all for now!

LOTTIE TRAVELS