Pre-season annual pass day at Chessington World of Adventures

I only found out by chance about the pre-season weekend for annual pass holders at Chessington. I was browsing the Chessington website to check the opening hours so we could plan a spring day out when I spotted something about it. What I didn’t realise was that the first wave of tickets was being released at that moment. By the time I found out, they’d already sold out. Thankfully, I was ready when the second batch was released and managed to get our tickets before they sold out again. We’d spent our last family day out before Jessica’s op at Chessington. It was quite nice that our first full family day out post-op would be to go back there.


Jessica and Sophie on the Adventure Tree carousel ride - "Pre-season annual pass day at Chessington World of Adventures"



As always, we headed for the Gruffalo River Ride Adventure first. We had quite a long wait in the queue for this. There were a few technical problems with the ride which caused it to close briefly while we were in the queue. Thankfully these were fixed fairly quickly. The Gruffalo River Ride Adventure is our favourite ride at Chessington. Jessica and Sophie love seeing the characters from the Gruffalo along the way as the story unfolds. The splash down the little slope towards the end is always fun too. They now know to be ready for the photo at this point too!


Our family photo from the Gruffalo River Ride Adventure



We’ve learned over previous trips to get lunch early in order to beat the queues if we are eating in one of the restaurants on-site. The Smokehouse BBQ & Bar is hubby’s favourite place to eat at Chessington. He loves the Smokehouse Signature Platter with beef brisket, pulled pork and ribs. We usually share this while the girls have a hot dog each. This time, we couldn’t resist having some Gruffalo-themed cupcakes too!


Gruffalo-themed cupcakes



After lunch, the girls enjoyed a couple of rides on Toadie’s Crazy Cars before heading over to the Gruffalo Arena for a meet and greet with the Gruffalo. The meet and greet has become another favourite activity with the girls. I love the way they always run over to the Gruffalo for a big hug before posing for a photo.


Jessica and Sophie driving one of the cars on Toadie's Crazy Cars


Jessica and Sophie having a cuddle with the Gruffalo


The girls love seeing the animals at Chessington as well as going on the rides. The meerkats in the Wanyama Village and Reserve are a favourite with Sophie. We were hoping that Sophie would be big enough this time for us to go on the Zufari safari ride. The minimum height for this ride is 1m though and Sophie is still just below it. Maybe later in the year! We did at least get a glimpse of the giraffes through the trees this time.


Sophie in the Wanyama Village and Reserve



Our next stop was the Amazu Treetop Adventure. The girls had lots of fun climbing across the net walkways above our heads. It was so nice to see Jessica up there with Sophie. She doesn’t always have quite as much confidence as her little sister when it comes to play areas like this so to see them both up there having fun was wonderful.


Jessica and Sophie exploring one of the net walkways in the Amazu Treetop Adventure



We then headed over to see the Humboldt penguins. The girls loved being able to get so close to one of the penguins who came right up to the glass to say hello to them both. I was quite glad that the friendly penguin distracted them. They didn’t spot the pair of penguins further up the bank who were busy getting jiggy with it! I’m not sure I would have been prepared for the questions that might have resulted from that!


Sophie getting close to one of the penguins


Jessica and Sophie getting close to one of the penguins



We finished off our day out with another ride on the Gruffalo River Ride Adventure. Sophie and I then went for a ride on Sea Storm while Jessica and Daddy went to get some ice-cream.


Sophie on the Sea Storm ride


Jessica coped really well with her first full day out post-op. She spent most of the day in her buggy which wasn’t too surprising. She didn’t seem too tired out by our day out either, although she did sleep on the way home! It was lovely to have a day out together again as a family. The nice thing about having annual passes is not feeling the pressure to pack too much into the day. We took things at quite a leisurely pace throughout the day but still felt we fitted plenty in.


Jessica playing the African drums in the Wanyama Village and Reserve


We’ve had such a fun time over the last year visiting Chessington thanks to being Chessington Blogger Ambassadors for 2017. I’m really looking forward to continuing as a Chessington Blogger Ambassador in 2018 and seeing the new attractions that are due to open this year. The Gruffalo Groove is due to launch in the Gruffalo Arena on 30th March and Tiger Rock, a log flume ride through a big cat enclosure with overhead trails, is due to open on 5th May. Hubby’s looking forward to trying that one out!


Hubby, Jessica and Sophie posing in the Tiger Rock boat



I am a Chessington Blogger Ambassador, I was given a Chessington Annual Pass to do this review with my family and I was not paid to do this post. If anyone would like to confirm any details in the post, please email


Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

22 thoughts on “Pre-season annual pass day at Chessington World of Adventures

  1. Gosh that was a popular event and you were lucky to get your tickets. It looks like such a lovely time and a great first big trip out for Jessica. Those Gruffaloo cakes look very tempting and my three would have loved everything to do with the Gruffaloo #countrykids

    1. I was so glad we managed to get them. It was such a lovely day out and seeing the Gruffalo is always a highlight for my girls 🙂

  2. We were supposed to be going to the Thorpe Park one today but sadly they have cancelled it because of the weather. Looks like you had lots of fun, we love the Gruffalo ride

  3. What a great day out, the girls look like they were having as much fun as usual exploring Chessington World of Adventure. Some of the new rides they’ve got planned sounds awesome, being on a log flume ride through the big cats sounds awesome. I look forward to reading more of your family fun adventures at Chessington later on in the year.

    Thanks for joining in with me on #CountryKids.

    1. The log flume ride does sound like fun – we’re looking forward to that one opening! 🙂

    1. Until last year, I hadn’t been for a similar length of time. There are a lot of rides that I remembered from my teenage years as well as the new ones 🙂

  4. Looks freezing but fun! We haven’t been to Chessington but it’s on our list for this year – thanks for sharing! Love the gruffalo cakes – so sweet! Hope all went well with your daughter’s operation. #CountryKids

  5. I love the fact you don’t have to cram everything in to a day when you have an annual pass. Looks like a lovely day out and Jessica looks as though she coped amazingly well x

  6. I really miss my annual pass. I might buy annual passes again next year when Bear is a little bigger. It looks like you had a fab day out and those gruffalo cupcakes have made me hungry! #CountryKids

    1. It is lovely to have the annual pass – we’ve enjoyed being able to make the most of it 🙂

  7. I didnt even realise they did pre season tickets or that you effectively have to buy them. Will have to bear that in mind as we have annual passes too so would like to make the most of them. Hoping to visit over the Easter Holidays although I am expecting it to be busy x #CountryKids

    1. The pre-season tickets are free but need to be booked in advance and there are only a limited number. We will probably be back sometime over the Easter holidays and I’m expecting it to be busy too! 🙂

    1. It’s changed a lot over the years! I’m looking forward to the Tiger Rock ride opening 🙂

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