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

The perks of being a Theme Park Passholder

The perks of being a Theme Park Passholder

It is almost a necessity of any theme park geek to own (or have owned) an Annual Pass to any theme park. With a wide variety of theme parks around the globe, there’s plenty of options for you to choose from. In the UK, the Merlin Annual Pass is the ‘main’ choice to choose from however there are smaller theme parks around the UK that offer season/annual passes such as Blackpool Pleasure Beach and Paultons Park.

I currently own a Merlin Annual Pass which allows me to visit up to 32 ‘magical worlds’ as they describe it. And in 2014, I was once an owner of a Europa Park Annual Pass – although I so wonder why I haven’t purchased another one since! In my opinion, depending on an individual’s circumstances, it is worth it if you can use it to it’s ‘full potential’. By that, I mean making use of the pass by visiting the attraction/s on offer, utilising the discounts available to you and if applicable, enjoying the perks on offer such as special events.

 

So, let’s get on with some of the perks of being a passholder (for any theme park around the world!)…

Free Year-Round Entry

As a theme park geek, it would seem abnormal of me to not visit theme parks regularly. But with the sheer cost of entry prices, it can be off putting! However, with an annual pass, you get entry into the selected theme parks for free, all year round! What is not to love about that? Since I live along the South Coast, I can really make the most of my Merlin Annual Pass with local attractions such as Thorpe Park and Chessington World of Adventures. There are also Legoland Windsor and the London Midway attractions (London Eye, Madame Tussauds, London Dungeons etc.) Of course, if I wanted to travel further afield, I can visit Alton Towers as a weekend trip or visit the other Midway attractions around the UK (Birmingham/Blackpool/Brighton/York et.al.)

Free/Discounted entry for your friends and family

This perk is one of my favourites! I have friends who don’t have annual passes which can make getting into theme parks expensive or difficult to achieve – 2-for-1’s are great for a group but if it’s just you and one other mate, it’s tricky! Having the opportunity to provide free tickets or discounted entry makes you very popular with your mates!

Discounts on food/drinks, accommodation & MERCH!

I love theme park merch. I love it even more when I can get a discount off it. Even though the Merlin Annual Pass offers 20%, this is actually very reasonable – especially with the sheer cost of food at the parks these days. Okay, it is marginally cheaper to bring in your own food/picnic but that sometimes involves lugging it around with you for the first part of the day. Besides, there are a wide variety of food options at theme parks – some more than others but it isn’t all burger & chips or pizzas. There is also the benefit of gaining discount for the park hotels, making your stay even cheaper and still be right on the doorstep of your favourite theme park! The discount is very welcome in my eyes and perfect for buying merch – give me all the pins!

Passholder Events

Allow yourself to be immersed with theme park passholder events. These are definitely worth attending as you’ll be one of the first to experience new rides or attractions, special events such as Halloween – I know Thorpe Park do a Passholder Fright Nights preview event – and many more. This is certainly a good chance to enjoy the theme parks without the busy queues and to feel like you get that little extra for being a passholder. Definitely a worthwhile perk, especially for families!

Entry to ‘partner’ theme parks

I know when I had the Europa Park Annual Pass, I was able to get free entry into Phantasialand and Liseberg (plus other attractions!). This is a perk that honestly, is the best thing and makes that big expense of purchasing a pass more worthwhile. It is great have a year’s free entry into one of your favourite theme parks, but to be able to experience more theme park with ‘free entry’ as well – even if it’s for one day, is great! Don’t mind me, I’m off to purchase another Europa Park Annual Pass (or Clubcard) as they call it!

So, as you can see here, these are a few reasons why being a passholder is a good investment! Of course, depending on which annual pass level you have determines which perks are available to you. Remember that for the ‘basic’ Annual Passes (no matter which theme park) will have restrictions. What Annual Passes do you hold, if any? Let me know in the comments below!

That’s all for now!

LOTTIE TRAVELS

8 ways to survive a hot day at a theme park

8 ways to survive a hot day at a theme park

There is nothing better than being able to enjoy a theme park when it is warm and sunny. The perfect opportunity to enjoy the outdoors, the coasters become so much better once warmed up and a great way to spend a day to escape reality. Of course, there are times during the Summer where the warm weather can suddenly turn incredibly hot, which in turn can make the day unenjoyable – especially on a busy day!

I am more of an Autumn baby so sometimes, an incredibly hot day at a theme park can be just as bad as a torrential downpour day. I want to feel comfortable and do prefer wearing jeans, boots, a hoodie etc. to a theme park than just a vest top and shorts. Plus, it is the best time of the year… hello spooky season! That’s why I have compiled a small list of tips and tricks so that you can enjoy a theme park trip, without being caught out by the heatwave style weather.

Bottle of Water

KEEP HYDRATED

There is nothing worse than being at a theme park and being dehydrated. Make sure you have regular drinks throughout the day. You will be doing a lot of exercise in one day which means you will be needing to keep yourself refreshed much more than normal. Water is great however if that does not take your fancy, any soft drink will do – try to avoid fizzy drinks if you can.

Sun Cream on the Beach

SUN CREAM IS YOUR BEST FRIEND

Following on from my first tip, this is also a must! No one likes getting sun burn so be prepared and take some sun cream with you! I know from experience that wind burn can get you just as bad as a typical sunny day without any breeze at all. I always get red shoulders and arms, and every time wish I had sun cream with me. And the best part? You can get always purchase a small, travel size version without worrying about it taking up too much space in your bag or making it too heavy to carry around all day.

EXTRA TIP: Another handy way to avoid sun burn is to bring a hoodie/cardigan if you have a vest top or wear a t-shirt. Sometimes, I like to take a shawl/scarf type material with me just to have over my shoulders. It is easy and compact to fold up in your bag and doesn’t take up too much space! Lads, this might be quite a girly tip so just top up that sun cream! Unless the lobster look is what you are going for…

Summer Clothes

WEAR APPROPRIATE CLOTHES

If you know the weather is going to be in the late 20s to early 30 degrees, t-shirts/vests and shorts are a must! I have made the mistake in the past of wearing jeans – only because I thought the weather wasn’t going to be quite as nice as it ended being – and it was truly unbearable to walk around a theme park and still enjoy myself. I was sweating like a pig and could not wait to change out of them.

Bag on the back of a person

OR… BRING A SPARE PAIR OF CLOTHES

Following on from my previous tip, bring a spare pair of clothes, whether it is a t-shirt or shorts. The weather can change and if it does get very hot during the day, at least you can change and be able to carry on the day. There is nothing worse than having to cut the day short because you were unprepared!

Body Sprays

FRESHEN UP REGULARLY

No one wants to smell your B.O. It is not pleasant at all so if you can, bring a deodorant/body spray with you and freshen up at regular intervals during the day. Even though it is healthy to sweat, it just makes it more pleasant for other guests that you are smelling okay, especially when it comes to queues.

Tidal Wave at Thorpe ParkSource

WATER RIDES!

Basically, make the most of your day by going on the water rides. Yes, the queues may be long because everyone will have the same idea, but it will be worth it. If the queue line has shade, make the most of that too.

Wallace and Gromit Thrill-o-Matic Ride at Blackpool

DARK RIDES!

Basically, if there are any indoor attractions – doesn’t have to explicitly be dark rides – make the most of the shade to keep yourself cool. If there are any shows that are housed inside a building, watch them. It is the perfect opportunity to explore new areas of the parks, make the most of it when you can.

8WaysSurviveHotDayThemePark-4

USE PARK MAPS/LEAFLETS AS A FAN

If you are not fortunate enough to own a small mini fan, you can always use a theme park map or leaflet as a fan. It’s a good, cheap way to keep yourself cool whilst queueing for rides in the sunshine. Plus, it’s also a good arm workout – check out those biceps!

This is just a handful of tips that I can think of. If there are more that you feel need to be mentioned, let me know in the comments below.

That’s all for now!

LOTTIE TRAVELS