Quite possibly my favourite kid’s place to go that doesn’t take tooooo long to get to! I fell in love with it when I first went, and there are a few tips and tricks which have made our trips so much better each and every time we’ve been.
First things first, Chessington can be quite pricey if you don’t do it right. For example, on the day you can get massively ripped off paying £49 for an adult and £45 for a child, with a family ticket still breaking the bank at £38 a person. However, savings increase the earlier you book so if you book online at least 5 days in advance, you can get tickets for everyone for £28 each. At the moment, if you sign up for a kids pass on the kids pass website (for the grand total of £1 if you cancel it before the free month membership ends), you can get in for only £23.50 a person which is a 52% saving from the original on the door price.
Our favourite thing to do when it comes to Chessington though, is to make the absolute most of the parent and toddler tickets which are suitable for parents with children up to (and including) the age of 5. These are non-peak tickets only valid on weekdays, during term time so try and go when your other kids have staff training days and you will be saving LOADS. You pay for one ticket per parent and child couple at the price of £20, so it works out £10 each and this covers literally everything in the park. They like to hide this option on the website though, so go to day tickets, scroll all the way to the bottom and press “all tickets” where a drop box will then drop down with all the hidden bonus, cheap tickets and this is by far the best one! We always go in March or May when Logan has extra days off school and spend the entire day there, knowing we are only paying £10 each. Even if your child would usually be free because they are under 3 anyway, still buy the parent and toddler ticket because it still works out cheaper than a standard adult ticket.
Some of the things which make Chessington worth the trip:
Chessington Zoo has a variety of different animals, including a Sealion bay, walk through penguin enclosure, tigers, lions, gorillas, a walk through bird enclosure where you can feed them and so much more. There is also a little animal-related show for the kids now about a panda which is a laugh if you want to sit and watch it while eating your lunch.
Please bare in mind that Perrie was over 90cm when she first went to Chessington at 2 as she has always been quite tall for her age, so make sure you check height restrictions to avoid any disappointment.
There is SO much for young kids to do in the theme park at Chessington, Perrie’s favourite ride was Bubbleworks, which has recently been taken away and replaced by the Gruffalo ride, opening later on in March. However, this does look equally as good and as far as I’m aware is also suitable for all ages. There is also your standard carousel which is suitable for all ages, elephant ride, treetop hopper which is for kids over the height of 90cm, a truck ride and wind in the willows related ride which are also suitable for toddlers and lots of adventure play areas. Our kids love the play trail that goes through the monkeys the best because you can literally play with just netting between you and the tiny monkeys. In the theme park, they also have a Madagascar show which our kids watch every single time we go because its so funny and everyone joins in. You can also do a meet and greet with the characters…
As if you’re not getting enough for your money with the zoo, rides and shows; there is also a relatively big Sealife centre to check out too where you can hold star fish, see stingray and walk through a tunnel in a huge tank and see Shark. We tend to hurry around this bit as our kids prefer the rides and zoo, but you could easily spend ages in the centre learning and looking at loads.
All in all, I would happily go to Chessington every other week and get a season ticket if it was a little bit closer as there is too much to do properly all in one day. Now the hotel is there and they are running some good deals, it might even be worth going for a couple of days and making sure you take your time, rather than having to do everything really quickly like we do. I definitely recommend to go off peak, we’ve never been when its been really busy and probably wouldn’t because you would spend most of the time queuing.
Food wise, we usually keep the cost down by going to mcdonalds on the way home and just getting hot dogs or donuts while we are there. We did go to the pizza buffet place once which was really nice and not overly expensive but sit down meals obviously take up more time and we like to make the most of all the things there are to do.
Chessington also has a rainy day guarantee, so if you do go on a rainy day, they will give you tickets to come back on another day absolutely free!