Reviewed by Emma Booth
Oh help! Oh no! It’s a Gruffalo, and this year he is celebrating his 20th anniversary at Chessington World of Adventures where you can help him celebrate his birthday at the Gruffalo Summer Party.
I was lucky enough to go to the Gruffalo Summer Party preview event with my family, my little ones aged two and nine were super excited as we made our way to the Gruffalo Arena located in Africa, which is very central in the park and very easy to find. The arena is a large open outdoor seated area with lovely wooden seats with a great view of the stage wherever you sit.
And so it began, The Gruffalo groove. Onto the stage came a lovely enthusiastic young lady who had boundless energy as she arranged a party for The Gruffalo and all his guests. The show had all the characters you’d expect, who each came on stage and had a dance to songs that even the adults loved, my little boy’s favourite was Stick Man and ever since we got home he’s been looking through the Stick Man book constantly. My daughter loved Betty o’Barley and Harry o’Hay, but she really loved all the tunes and thoroughly enjoyed singing along,
Another big hit for any Gruffalo fan is the Gruffalo River Ride Adventure which replaced the Bubble Works back in 2017. This river ride is fantastic and takes you along a gentle river through the deep dark woods, I loved all the sensory smells and the projected vision of the owl which I thought was amazing. Everyone loved going under the archway of water and going past the big imposing Gruffalo, my two-year-old found it a little scary but still thoroughly loved it. The River Ride was one of our favourite rides of the day, we loved that you could ride as a family and there’s loads to see on your way round that makes it fun for everyone.
The other Julia Donaldson inspired attraction is “Room on the Broom – A Magical Journey” which is new for 2019. This is completely different, unlike a ride. On this, you walk through the different rooms where you have to help the witch find her missing belongings and along the way meet Frog, Bird and more with little videos and interactive features along the way, this is ideal for the younger members of the family and something everyone can enjoy. The video clip sometimes ran a little fast for us but if you just wait it restarts again so there’s no need to rush through to the next room.
What I loved about the Julia Donaldson inspired rides/attractions and The Gruffalo Summer Party is how all of it is designed to be enjoyed as a family and suitable for all ages. This is just a small selection of the rides available here and we spent all day exploring the vast amount of rides and animals, there is so much to see and do, you really can’t fit it all in in a day.
On the day we went the weather wasn’t the best but it did mean we didn’t have to queue at all for any of the rides we went on. The park was well signposted throughout and there was plenty of places selling food and places to refill your water bottle for free. I found all the staff very pleasant and helpful and we had a full-on enjoyable day.
The Gruffalo Summer Party is running from now up until the 2nd of September where there’s also meet and greets with your favourite characters going on throughout as well.
A fun and entertaining family day out.
Tickets cost from £29.50pp (book in advance for cheapest price).
For more information or to book tickets online visit www.chessington.com/gruffalo-summer-party.
Chessington World of Adventures Resort, Leatherhead Rd, Chessington, Surrey, KT9 2NE