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Chessington World of Adventures: YOUR VIEWS WANTED

Mark

Well-Known Member
Hey guys.

I had a very interesting conversation with one of the Merlin Entertainments Operations Managers today and I have been asked to post this to you lot.

As you are all well aware, the current target audience demographic for Merlins Chessington World of Adventures is for families, particularly with the 6-8 year old age bracket in mind.

Now, since the merger and due to the fact that Legoland also covers that demographic the company have a project team looking at the target audience for Chessington with a view to changing it to a 10-12 year old bracket, still keeping the family edge, but encorporating some other attractions to appeal to the young teen sector. This is where you guys come in:

The project team want your ideas and suggestions about the sort of rides and attractions that you think would be ideal for Chessington to match this 10-12 demographic.

Please be as detailed as you can in any responses: ie. ride models and manufacturors, shows you may have seen or other examples of specific attractions.

They would also like your thoughts, ideas and suggestions with regards to the Beanoland area.

Each week I will then take your comments and suggestions to the project team to giv ethem all your feedback.

It may be worth noting that no other enthusiast community is being consulted about this so we are quite and honoured to be asked for our ideas. So make it count, please do not let it descend it to a general complaint section. Make it constructive! Let your imaginations go a little and who knows...
 

Ollie

Well-Known Member
The beanoland area needs some more added to it. Not rides but all the little prank things like the drinking fountain that sprays water from the ceiling and the dryer that pumps out water. Also bring back the old show. They were really good before with all the fountains and cannons. Then it went to a rubbish rock concert with Dennis thing and now there's nothing at all. :p

As for rides. I don't know what would suit Chessington, something with a high capacity and can work well in the area it's situated in. I think that the Pirate area needs a new attraction as it's hidden behind Vampire and people miss Black Buccaneer, so it really needs an attraction that will get guests to go back to that area.

Thats all for now but if I think of anything else then I'll post it. :p
 

Ian

From CoasterForce
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Social Media Team
Ollie said:
The beanoland area needs some more added to it. Not rides but all the little prank things like the drinking fountain that sprays water from the ceiling and the dryer that pumps out water. Also bring back the old show. They were really good before with all the fountains and cannons. Then it went to a rubbish rock concert with Dennis thing and now there's nothing at all. :p
Have you ever read the Beano?

Those prank things are quintessential Beano - in fact there should be more!

Ok, so I'm 27 and stopped reading the Beano about 13 years ago but is Beano still popular? The current rides in Beano land are good and suit the theme but I think it should be rebranded.

NOT rebranded to something like Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean or whatever is popular at the moment.

Chessington is great for having themed area which aren't typical and RCTish, so I'd hate to see a cop out and Beaonland replaced with some crappy theme.

I'll have a little think what I'd like to see there but we'll have to be sensible. For example, I'd LOVE to see a big monster thrilling mega coaster but would that blend in with the other attractions? No.
 

Nemesis Inferno

Well-Known Member
Topple Tower ;)

What sort of stuff do they want changed with the Beanoland area? Because like Ollie I'd like to see the shows back in operation again, as they were some of the better entertainment at the park... I shall check for you as well to see if the hand-'dryer' and fountain are working, cos I think they are...

Tbh, all I'd want is the old Vampire entrance being used, a little facade/decor on the Vamp/Bubbles building you can see from the Vamp batch, the rocks back on Falls incoporating the evac stairs, renovation of any broken queue fencing and other little bits like that...

Ride wise if they want to aim for the 10-12 age bracket, then obviously the first place is Rodeo's site, which has been a pit since it's proper removal, of course, the Topple Tower rumour has been going around for years since Rodeo's removal, and that would give Chessie an unique flat ride for the entire UK, which could only be a good thing...
If they want a coaster, how about a GCI twister behind (possibly replacing?) Madhouse, as the Area 3 people are desperate for a coaster to work on, and maybe it could lower the horrendous queues seen on Fury and Vamp... Probs Beanoland themed, unless they plan to change it?

Tbh that's about all the room available that is flat in the park area, since the field next to Fury is a slope, they could also improve Capers and Playhouse are they are rather crappily done imo... They could have so much more with the both of them...
 

danielfitzgerald99

Active Member
I think an S&S space shot on the scale of Hyperblaster at PI would go down well. Of course it has to be themed because it would be the epitome of tack otherwise. It is the right size for that age group and would definatley get them into more extreme things.

An Enterprise as well possibly.
 

furie

SBOPD
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
I think shows don't work for that age bracket. You're on the cusp of teenagerism, where it's just not 'cool' to watch shows. Younger than ten, YES, but ten-twelve? They just don't catch the imagination - unless they're interactive. That age, kids want to be more involved and active, rather than passive. They love the idea of (still, now) Crystal Maze and Takeshi's Castle. Shows were they end up as the stars. Something which I think is a massive task, and out of the bounds of a park the size of Chessington, but maybe some kind of PGL adventure climb system or something (cop out, I know...)

Rides wise, you need to be looking at the lower thrills I reckon - fun thrills. Shot towers, Screaming Swings, gyro swings, spin and spews.

All rides with a 1.2M or 1.3M height limit. You tend to find those rides (like the Screaming Swings) are popular with older visitors, but also loved by those who can fit (usually the 10+ year olds). They tend not to look too evil (like Samurai), so the younger thrill seekers are happier to go on them.

Chessington is already touching on that range, with Vampire and Dragon's Fury, but there isn't the selection of flat rides to back it up. They have plenty for the under 5's to do (seriously, Chessington is a good day out for those, easily as equal (in the under 5's eyes) to Legoland), so they're well covered there. It's that vicious gap in the middle they're lacking.

Something not covered here is the zoo. Again, it's fine for the under 5's, but there's not enough interaction or 'edutainment' for the older age range. I don't know if the zoo is covered in this remit, but it's in as much need of 'upgrading' as the rest of the park.

One major thing though - the theming quality needs to remain high. When I first visited Chessington four years ago, I loved the level of theming, it was excellent. Although it's worn now (I understand that budget's have to cover the important things first, so theming will always be one of the first to go by the wayside), the theming is still an important thing to all visitors.
 

Steven

Active Member
I think what ever goes in needs to be well themed and unique. When I go to a theme park I always look for the unique rides. That why I was very disappointed when they removed the Rodeo by Runaway Mine Train. The vampire is still good but some of the trees and bushes could do with a cut. They have cut me and I am sure it has happened to other people as well.
I agree with the pirate area as I always walk by. Hardly ever notice it in that crater.
Benoland could do with a few licks of paint. And the dodgem need a good service. I have noticed they are getting slower and more sluggish recently.
The log flume or Remises Revenge, why not have a seasonal water fountains like Florida (Dudley do right ripsaw falls, numerous rapid have them) they pay 10-20p a time. It’s also very fun.
Tomb blaster could bring back that unique show with the guy getting spiked at the end. (That’s my biased option because that was the second best ride in the park before it changed).
Zoo area in my mind is fine as it has added the Sea Life centre
 

Mat

Member
Hmm, ok then.

First of all Beanoland. I feel that this area is aimed at the current market of 6-8 year-olds and definitely not the 10-12year-olds. Personally I would say to completely re-do the area. Gut the place and perhaps add some new rides, but ultimately team up with Disney or a similar company and see what they believe is popular with this age bracket and theme an area around that super hero or even an entire film. Also a interactive dark ride? After all this age group loves playstation and computer games so another like shooting game. I realise that Chessington already has a dark ride, but another couldn't hurt. However I feel the danger here is that they become too similar to each other - it is important to make them as different as possible to make them more unique and not just the thought, that they have ridden one, so they will get the same thrill and experience from the other ride.

Regarding new rides for the rest of the park. I believe that the introduction of a new coaster could enhance the park and also a few high capacity flats or Thrill Rides. I do not believe that a S&S Screaming Swing would work well at all! This is a very high thrill ride and aimed at the middle aged teenagers, not 10-12 year olds. While Chessington ultimately does need to appeal to all ages, a Screaming Swing is a step too far. If they want ultimate thrills Thorpe is just down the road. I don't know any specific rides, but keep make sure that they are as interactive as possible, including the queue lines! 10-12 year-olds get bored very easily and a hour long queue is going to make them impatient and start getting bored. Making the queue experience as fun as possible with buttons to press and some simple games will help! As I say I don't know any specific rides but I say to do as much research and see what rides work at other family parks and which don't. PLEASE don't start filling them up with 200ft coasters and massive thrill rides because Chessington will loose its family atmosphere.
 

spicy

Active Member
I thought that Beanolands sponsorship expired at the end of the season?

If Merlin plan to keep Beanoland I would like to see all this restored back to how it was when Beanoland opened in 2000.

http://themeuk.net/chessington/Beanoland1.jpg

Bring back the show, like has been said and bring out Dennis and the characters alot more. Take an idea from Disney and sell autograph books in the shops and you will have kids queueing for Dennis the Menace's autograph in no time! It all makes for a brilliant atmosphere for the kids in my opinion.

As for adding in attractions that appeal to the 10-12 year olds, how about some rapids? EVERY family park should have some rapids in my opinion and its something that Chessington are lacking, I know Merlin have just added in some new rapids into Legoland so add some into chessie aswell. They would fit perfectly into the park, maybe into Mystic East to compliment Dragon Falls? Or even better interact it with animals, that could be amazing.

Another idea could be a wooden rollercoaster like Tomahawk at Port Aventura.

http://www.rcdb.com/id761.htm

Built by CCI I thought it was a brilliant attraction which I found thrilling myself and would appeal to that age group perfectly. A small version could fit nicely in behind Beanoland aswell.

A Vekoma booster bike would be brilliant for the 10-12 age group, could work on the land next to Dragons Fury?

Also I know the topple tower rumor has been about for a while thats just because it would be such a brilliant replacement for Rodeo and something that I think Merlin should look into in my opinion.

And as already been said I think the overall maintenance of themeing should be looked into by Merlin, Chessington is such a beautiful park that deserves to be looked after :--D
 

Ollie

Well-Known Member
I agree with Spicy. Chessington are in need of a rapids ride. And perhaps could mix in around the zoo area. Also what would be nice if you had a back field behind the hotel where you had animals wild. Imagine how magical it would be to look out your back window and see Giraffes walking round.

A booster bike could also work well. But I think what Chessington needs is a ride that interacts with the zoo. Not like what the Skyrail does.

Perhaps like that Jeep ride in America (someone can help me out with the name of it and the park it's at). You start off by going round a safari and looking at all the animals, then the Jeep goes across a bridge were it gives way and you go down the rapids. Something like that would be great for all ages and will also encourage people to go to the zoo as most people miss it to get on the rides.
 

Dave

Well-Known Member
Ollie said:
I agree with Spicy. Chessington are in need of a rapids ride. And perhaps could mix in around the zoo area. Also what would be nice if you had a back field behind the hotel where you had animals wild. Imagine how magical it would be to look out your back window and see Giraffes walking round.
Maybe even something like what Lost River does at Flamingoland, where it snakes round the zoo area and has the large drop at the end to soak the riders. Could be an idea round it.

I think the park needs a good capacity thrill ride that can cater for teenagers and for adults, like furie said with rides like a Gyro Swing, or Spin & Spew, and lets go for the obvious a Topple Tower.
This ride should go on the Rodeo site as it seriously needs something there as that corner looks so lifeless with just Runaway Mine Train there.

Speaking of that area of the park it really needs some revitalising, because you only ever go to the Mexican area for Rattlesnake and RMT, but if there was more i.e. a ride then it could help make the area more busy, and ease the strain on DF and Vampire.
 

Ben

Social Media Team
Social Media Team
^You're thinking of Rhino Rally at BGA, but don't copy that, that ride is rubbish.

I've said for a long time now, and I still say it, Chessington would benefit SO much from a mid-level launch coaster. Something along the lines of a Booster Bike or one of the Zamperla alternatives, a Vekoma LIM-Bowl like Rock N Rollercoaster, or a small Intamin Rocket along the lines of Kanonen. Something with one or two "simple" inversions that aren't too daunting, but give the 10-12 audience something to aspire to riding. I think that would be perfect. Maybe theme it to Beanoland. You could have the idea that you are "riding" something Dennis has made for a trick, or something similar. I'm not familiar with the Beano stories beyond what I've seen in Beanoland, so I'm afraid I can't be that suggestive.

Or, if not a coaster, a Disk-O. One of the ones with a hump in the middle. Something along the lines of Survivor at Great America, make it a fun, interactive experience (water jets?) and you've got instant re-rideability which the riders would love.

A Topple Tower or Rapids would really work, as others have suggested.

Or a GCI Woodie, but that's just what I want, lol.
 

marc

Well-Known Member
I think 10 to 12 year olds are ready for top thrill rides and thats the problem, I know when I was 12 I was already doing the main rides in theme parks.

What would a 12 year old rather do, see animals or go on a coaster. I think most would choose a coaster.

I would love to see Chessington go for rides and attractions such as a really well themed drop tower with a good story just like Tower of Terror. Also something like Soarin.

The problem is always going to be the height limit that they can build to so a drop tower is really out of the question.

I dont know any thing about comics so I am of no use with that land.

I would also scrap the log flume, re-theme the area get rid of the dragon theme and make it more fun. Create a dinasor area it works in other parks, create a ride like Jarrsic Park (spelling) this works really well in the 2 Universal Parks and the whole family can enjoy it.

Scrap the current runaway mine train and get a proper one like at Disney. These are more thrilling and can be really well themed. They could build more wild west themed rides in the area, some good flat rides would go well like a Roundup.

I dont know if anyone else finds this but the area with the Bubble works just looks so dull, it needs brighter paint and happier area after all its a fun happy ride.

The Vampire area, what is happening with the ride staying or going? If its staying build a good ghost ride like the Haunted Mansion and just make the area more Vampire darker themed.

As for the zoo, well open it up more. Have more interaction with the animals, dont have full cages have open areas so people can look in. All they need to do is go to Colchester Zoo and they will see what can be done.

I also think they should look at what Flamingo Land have done, as that park now works for all ages.
 

Mike

Active Member
My youngest sister's 11 years old at the moment, but she's been able to get on the 1.4m tall rides since she was 9. Considering that most people come to 1.4m at about age 10, I think that this opens up loads of more possibilities for new rides.

I'll start with Beanoland. As it is at the moment, it caters for the 5-9 year old range very well. However, once you turn 10 years old, you begin to find that you are growing too tall for things such as the ball shooter thing, and the shows begin to get very boring. On the other hand, the chair swings and the dodgems still work well, as the 10 year olds will now be able to drive their own dodgems and they like getting wet on the chair swing.
I think that if they are going to tap into the 10-12 market more, then Beanoland really does need a good retheme, maybe to something such as an Action/Adventure area, which could also be extended to that "private picnic" grassy area. Action and Adventure opens up a wide range of decent roller coasters that you could use in the area, and I think that something that launches could be perfect. It doesn't have to be tall, and something along the lines of Kanonen could be very good.
If they don't want another launched coaster "as they've already got one down the road at Thorpe", then another type of coaster which could fit in very well with the 10-12 age range is a wooden roller coaster. My sister loves the wooden coasters in Blackpool, and something that the south of England (apart from Norfolk) is really lacking in is wooden coasters. I really wouldn't care who built it (although, of course, I wouldn't mind seeing an Intamin/Gravity Group/Great Coasters International built :))
As far as flat rides go, there are loads which you could use in an Action and/or Adventure area, such as a Gyro Swing (Huss).
Also, as it is an adventure area, and 10-12 year old love good stunts, an Adventure Stunt Show, anyone?

Moving on to the rest of the park now.
I like Forbidden Kingdom as an area, but a lick of paint here and there really wouldn't harm anybody. The main concern for this area is Ramesis Revenge. People in the 11-12 range may like the ride, but it's looking worse-for-wear everytime I see it and I don't think it's going to last much longer until it fully falls apart. I'm not sure on what a good relacement could be here, considering the limited space. Maybe something like a shot & drop tower (S&S) could be good. You're already starting below the pavement level anyway, and this would be advantageous in making the ride taller without worrying as much about the ride going well above tree level. However, a shot tower won't be very helpful if you end up building something like a Topple Tower somewhere else in the park.

I also like the Land of Dragons area. However, moving to the 10-12 market, is there really much use for the rock n tug tucked away in the corner? Another decent flat ride could be placed here, maybe a small spin 'n' spew?

Mexicana next. Again, a new lick of paint wouldn't do much harm (if they haven't done this already). Also, for being one of the largest areas of the park, it only has 2 rides here. The area doesn't need a new coasters (as it has already got 2), so maybe a new well-themed (well, everything should be well-themed anyway) flat ride would be good. Obviously been mentioned before, and although I don't know what it is, by going by how everybody's suggesting it it must be good, a Topple Tower (Huss)?

The next area, and maybe one which could be improved the most, is Mystic East. First up, I feel that the Pan For Gold and maybe the Peeking Heights can go straight away. This would open up a nice little bit of space for another new ride. I'm running out of ideas now, but maybe someone else could suggest a ride?

Pirates Cove. Definitely somewhere that can be greatly improved. If I'm not mistaken, isn't there also a nice bit of land on the left of the path connecting Pirates Cove and Land of Dragons? Could be used for a very decent large coaster, flat ride or other ride. Maybe something that goes upside-down at least once?

Toytown could be the new specialist "kiddies" area if Beanoland goes. A few new kids rides could be placed there to make people more aware of the area.

You can't do much with Transylvania, due to the extremely limited space. Vampire still entertains all ages of people, and I think it's still got at least a few more years left in it. The Bubbleworks could be replaced, but that wouldn't be fantastic in keeping their partnership with Imperial Leather, nor would it be popular with families and fanboys to see one of the parks "classics" be taken away.

Finally, onto the zoo. At the moment, it looks very dreary. To appeal to the 10-12 year old market more, it has to be much more interactive than it is.

Bear in mind that these are all my opinion. I've just asked my sister what she would like to be built at Chessington, and she replied with "Anything, as long as it's good!" :)
 

Ollie

Well-Known Member
Reading Mikes post reminded me that Land of the dragons DESPERATELY needs an entrance down by market square as it is a huge pain in the ass to have to walk all the way up to come back down.


Also, bring back the Action Man assault course, that was ****ing awesome. :p
 

Nemesis Inferno

Well-Known Member
What people need to realise is that Chessie really has a lack of expansion space... Mainly behind RMT and Falls, as it moves onto Green Belt from there...

Tbh I'd rather see a focus on renovating the really dodgy areas (Mexicana, mostly RMT for example), than add anything new, or maybe do both if it isn't too hard...

As long as they replace Rodeo with something half-decent flat-wise and then add a coaster (of what-ever kind, as long as it isn't sommat like a X-Car) which can help develop this change of audience, Chessie can start to become better...

In the future, I think that a safari-type ride would be perfect to sit behind the hotel, and maybe renovate the Creature Features area to make it more akin to a safari base, doesn't have to be full blown, but if they send people to research AK and BG for new style exhibits, the zoo will look immensely better...
 

MouseAT

Active Member
Chessington could certainly learn a lesson or two from Flamingo Land on how to create a good Zoo. However, I don't think that's an urgent requirement right now. If they can improve the park and bring in additional visitors, they can work on the Zoo in future years.

As many people have already suggested, a mid-sized coaster would probably benefit the park, especially if it was a wooden coaster or featured inversions.

I'd like to see a couple of "fun but not too scary" flat rides, such as an Octopus, or as Ben suggested, a Disk-O. These have some fun forces without being too scary for the younger kids. Then maybe add a bigger, higher thrill ride (of similar intensity to a gyro swing) as a bigger, more intimidating "flagship" ride.

As much as I'd love to see a shot tower at Chessington, I'm not sure where they'd put one, or how they'd make it fit in with the rest of the park.
 

Mark

Well-Known Member
Hey guys, cheers for all the feedback so far...

Just a little note though, when making suggestions of rides and so on, if you could chuck in the manufacturors names too. I know we know them etc, but when I hand the details over and so on, the team will need to know what the manufacturor is etc, so they can look into things further. (Im literally printing out the pages of comments and passing them on, so the team gets a full scope of your views)

Cheers.
 

ryan462

Member
I think that a magic carpit style ride like Quatum at Thorpe Park would be a perfect addittion or a Gyro swing because there both 'thrilling' but not 'too thrilling'.

If they are going to invest in any type of coaster I think a booster bike style would be great if there is enough room. If they want to go for a looping coaster then i would vote for a Euro fighter if its well themedand has a small footprint .....
 

Hixee

Flojector
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
^I wouldn't opt for a Eurofighter.

I haven't been to Chessington yet, but I'm pretty sure that most people who visit Chssington will have heard of Thorpe's new Eurofighter.

Chessington does NOT want guests thinking "oh look, that ride is really similar to the one at Thorpe Park". That's why I think a Vekoma Booster Bike would be a sensible option.

Or a compact and well thought out woodie.

If Chessington are going for a new ride, for a different age group, then I think is should be unique to the region, if not the whole country.
 
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