With over 40 rides and attractions plus over 1000 animals to see, Chessington World of Adventures is a fun-packed theme park and zoo which has something for everyone.
- See Chessington’s magnificent resident Amur tigers as you descend the Tiger-Rock log flume which runs by the tiger enclosure.
- Hop aboard the Zufari truck expedition ride and get up close to the animals of Africa.
- Steel your nerves and take to the skies above the treetops with the family-friendly rollercoaster, Vampire.
What to See and Do
Head to the Zoo
It does not matter how old you are, seeing some of the world’s most iconic animals up close is still special. Chessington World of Adventures has over 1000 animals which you can admire at your own pace.
Including Land of the Tiger, Trail of the Kings featuring lions and gorillas, Penguin Bay, Sea Lion Bay, Amazu and more, this walkthrough attraction has an impressive range of animals to see.
There is also the Zufari expedition to enjoy where you get to see African animals up close, while the little ones will love the Children’s zoo.
All the Fun of the Rides
With over 40 rides and attractions to explore, there will be something for all the family to enjoy. From the thrill of rollercoasters and rides like Vampire, Kobra and Dragon Fury through to attractions aimed at younger family members such as Griffin’s Galleon, the Gruffalo River Ride and the gentle Sea Dragons ride, the whole family is catered for at Chessington.
Take the Jungle bus for a bus trip with a difference as you go up into the air for a view over the Wild Asia area of the theme park.
Explore the underwater world of the oceans at the Sealife centre. The aquarium hosts a large array of species which can be found around the shores of the UK as well as from much further afield.
Watch ocean dwellers such as the Bonnethead shark swim by as you pass through the walkway tunnel. Exhibitions, feeding sessions and rock pools offer excellent opportunities to learn about life beneath the seas.
Go Ape provides high rope adventure, bringing a thrill factor to your fun. There are two courses you can try, the Treetop Challenge and the Treetop Adventure. You can explore the tree canopies as you encounter some intricate rope crossings, bridges, rope ladders and a variety of further obstacles. Zip wires add to the fun as you test your head for heights.
As well as seeing the animals you can join the zoo staff as they provide fun-packed talks on the animals they are feeding. You can enjoy learning more about the zoo’s penguins, sea lions, sharks, rays, tigers, lions and more during these daily activities.
The meet and greet sessions at the children’s’ zoo allows the little ones the chance to meet guinea pigs, sheep and kunekune, a small breed of domestic pig.
Did you know: (4 interesting facts!)
- The zoo was originally opened by entrepreneur Reginald Goddard, a flight lieutenant from the Great War, in order to display his private collection of exotic animals to the public.
- During the second world war, 21 bombs fell on the grounds of Chessington Zoo and three people were killed. A doodlebug also exploded over the polar bear enclosure but its occupant Jack survived despite being thrown against the side of his cage.
- For many years a circus operated within Chessington, removing animals from the performances and becoming a fully human circus in the early 1980s.
- Chessington zoo runs successful breeding programs as part of its animal conservation centre, with many of the animals found there threatened or endangered species.
- July 1931 – Zoo opened to the public by animal enthusiast Reginald Goddard.
- 1941 – Amalgamates with Paignton Zoo during the war with some animals re-located to Devon.
- 1945 – Animals and staff return to Chessington after war as contract with Paignton zoo ends.
- 1978 – Zoo bought out by Pearsons who were also to buy the Tussauds Group.
- June 1987 – Chessington World of Adventures with the theme park is opened to complement the zoo.
- 1990 – The Vampire ride opens.
- 2001 – Major development of the big cat and gorilla enclosures with the creation of the Trail of the Kings.
- 2008 – Sealife centre is opened.
- 2010 – Large investment sees new areas added including Wild Asia and Wanyama Village & Reserve.
- 2018 – Multi-million pound Land of the Tiger development opens.
Facilities and Accessibility
While Chessington World of Adventures tries to make the theme park as accessible as possible some rides may not be permissible with certain health conditions. The theme park operates a ride access pass for those who would not be able to queue for extended periods of time.
Before arriving it is recommended to download the accessibility guide to familiarise yourself with the park if you have mobility issues. Toilets with disabled access can be found throughout the theme park plus there is a disabled changing places toilet located in Wild Woods, the first theme park in England to offer this facility.
As you go around the park you will have access to free Wi-Fi. For parents peace of mind, their children will be given a wristband on entry to the park, on which your mobile number can be written for someone to call if you become separated from your child at any point. In case of mishaps, a first aid centre can be found by the entrance to Zufari.
There is plenty of choice when it comes to food and drink during the day. Depending on your fancy there are a range of sit down and takeaway eateries, plus coffee, sandwich, and sweet treat options catering for various dietary requirements. This level of choice extends to the shopping too as there are several retail outlets around the park where you can buy gifts, toys, books, treats and souvenirs.