I managed to convince my brother to come along to Chessington on Sunday 29 July to help me with the little monsters. They absolutely love their Uncle Jack (or Uncle Cat) as Afro Baby used to call him. So they were bouncing around the car with excitement as we set off to pick him up from his house.
The car parking situation at Chessington is really odd and not what I was expecting: A sea of cars in fields; luckily, as it was so sunny they weren’t muddy fields. We managed to get a spot quite close to the entrance. Now, I haven’t been to Chessington since I was a teenager and it was so strange how it didn’t bring back any memories at all – it was like a totally new experience for me (and I was just as excited as the kids were).
At the booking office we were given our complimentary tickets. Renting the double buggy was a lifesaver as my daughter can be a bit of an athlete when it comes to running off and evading capture. For £8 for the two of them I thought it was a reasonable price given that not losing my children in a theme park is priceless.
Now, I am useless at reading maps to the point that I once asked a tube worker where the local bus stop was and he actually took the map out of my hands and turned it the right way up… Erm, that’d be why I couldn’t work out where the stop was then! So, map duties were given to my brother.
The first ride we found was the Jungle Bouncers, which I thought the kids would love. How wrong I was! I tried to squeeze in between them but couldn’t get my bottom in the seat properly, so was kind of perched on the sides, which was painful. As it wasn’t safe, I was told to move to the end of the ride where I managed to wedge myself in. Poor Phoebe freaked out on the ride as it went up in the air and I had to reach across Ted to try and console her. You can just make out in the picture above an intertwined row of hands and arms as I try to keep hold of them both.
Unfortunately, after that ride she refused to go on anything else! I tried the Flying Jumbos, The Tiny Truckers and The Jungle Bus. But all of them were met with a “Nooooo! I don’t like it”. So my brother and I, fifteen minutes into our arrival, were wondering what on earth we were going to do with the kids for the rest of the day.
We found a really great area of the theme park that for £10 got you four goes on a mixture of climbing walls, trampolines, a bouncy trampoline wire and a huge inflatable ball that my son was zipped inside before being set afloat on water. He adored it! And Phoebe became a wild thing on the bouncy wire.
Her face was a picture, I adored watching her bounce around! This pic shows her just landing and feeling very proud of herself.
On to the trampolines and the kids were beginning to wear themselves out. It was such a sunny day that I was counting down the hours to them having a major crash out at the end and Afro Baby sleeping in her own bed!
I am a huge Madagascar fan, to such an extent that I have downloaded the soundtrack and have it on my phone and iPad and listen to it on the way to and from work on the train. It makes me so happy and reminds me of watching the film with the kids, all snuggled up on the sofa until “I like to move it, move it” comes on, at which point we all stand in a line and wiggle our bottoms to the music.
So when I saw that the Madagascar stage show was on I nearly squealed with delight. Popcorn at the ready, we sat down on the benches under beautiful sunshine and waited excitedly for the show to start. The music started and I was off, tapping my feet and wiggling my hips and shoulders. My brother was totally embarrassed and skulked off under the pretence of “I have to make an important phone call.” He didn’t re-emerge until 20 minutes later when the show had finished.
The kids were beside themselves with joy when Alex and Gloria came on stage. They were waving, hollering, dancing along with the routines and I have to say we were all thoroughly disappointed when it finished. We could have watched it over and over again.
I think for me this was the highlight of the day, watching my children in awe of their favourite characters, thoroughly engaged with the show and enthralled. Afterwards, we met Alex and we had our picture taken. I tried to pull a fast one and tell Teddy that Alex was real and he retorted with “no he’s not as his mouth doesn’t open properly”. That’s mah boy! Quick off the mark and not easily fooled.
We stayed at Chessington for about three and a half hours, had a good wander around and a quick peak in the Creepy Caves (much to my horror). Whenever I have to go into anything that has creepy crawlies and lizards I always end up rigid and itchy – to the kids’ amusement.
On our way out we visited the shop to pick up the photograph of Alex the Lion. But by this time the kids were crabby and ready to let loose major tantrums, due to tiredness and too much sugar from ice creams and other goodies we had consumed along the way . Ted refused to let either Gloria the Hippo or Alex the Lion go, demanding one of each; Afro Baby proceeded to steal ice creams from the cabinet and threw herself on the floor when I made her put them back.
After some tense negotiations I managed to bribe them with five smarties each and left the shop with one toy each.
Both kids crashed out in the car on the journey home, snoring away and I have to say after a busy day in a busy theme park the silence was bliss.
Once home, the kids demanded to watch Madagascar in the ‘big bed’. Seeing as my husband was away on business in Singapore, I thought why not! Fifteen minutes into the film and they were sleeping like babies. Getting them into their pyjamas was a little tricky, two floppy half-asleep children was quite a challenge.
I was so tired myself I made my dinner in one dish for the ultimate lazy meal (a recipe of roasted tilapia, asparagus, cherry tomatoes and garlic). Gloria and Alex helped me to open a bottle of wine and then we had our own little party.
All in all, a fantastic day, an experience none of us will forget. I found the staff extremely helpful and there was a great selection of rides for all ages. I was even tempted to go on Rameses Revenge and then bottled it at the last minute and walked back through the queue. Like mother like daughter!
A big thanks to Chessington World of Adventures from all of us for a brilliant day!
If this has inspired you to take your family on a day out to Chessington World of Adventures, check out this feature to get all the best ticket deals on offer. Plus here you’ll find a whole host of cheap theme park tickets for other great days out with the kids.