A visit to the World of Jumanji

Room on the Broom – A magical Journey

Where the goblins once caused mischief in Hocus Pocus Hall, the nameless witch is now searching for her hat, bow and magic wand. In the process, we meet some animal helpers who gradually join us (just like in the children’s book). All in all, Room on the Broom – A magical Journey is a successful attraction for the youngest visitors to the animal and theme park.

Croc Drop

Where the Croc Drop now rises into the air, the HUSS Top Spin Rameses Revenge used to stand. The ride on the SBF Visa Drop’n Twist has no real sense of momentum and is therefore mercilessly insignificant compared to the more typical representatives of this type of ride from Zierer. It’s a shame that the old HUSS attraction has been replaced in such an unworthy manner.

World of Jumanji

One year after Gardaland unveiled a surprising and wild dark ride with Jumanji – The Adventure, a new theme based on the classic cursed board game is coming to the park in the World of Adventure. The World of Jumanji consists of the Mandrill Mayham rollercoaster, the Mamba Strike Miami ride and the Saltamontes Ostrich Stampede. While the roller coaster is from B&M, the other two rides are from SBF Visa.

Ostrich Stampede und Mamba Strike

Merlin Entertainments has been buying from SBF Visa a lot in recent years. The Italian ride manufacturer generally offers mass instead of class, and so the rides on these two rides offer a lot of wasted potential, as well as the uncomfortable seats and restraints that are typical of the manufacturer. As filler attractions in the World of Jumanji themed area, they are quite nice to look at, but a ride here is only worthwhile if no one is actually queuing.

Mandrill Mayhem

The big top dog in the World of Jumanji is B&M’s Mandrill Mayhem rollercoaster, which completely encircles the themed area. In addition to two smaller launch areas, the coaster consists of an overbanked spike right at the start of the ride, a long roll and an upward spiral around the towering jaguar statue.

The Mandrill Mayhem ride starts with a short backwards ride out of the station. With momentum we go through a dip and then up the overbanked spike, which is a very nice introduction to the ride, especially in the last rows. Shortly after, we pick up speed again and leave the station in a left turn that takes us straight into the ride’s rollover element and over the entrance portal to the World of Jumanji. In a turn we pass the Ostrich Stampede ride and after a short turn we approach the upward spiral to the Jaguar statue. Once we put the Jaguar’s Eye jewel back in its place and call out Jumanji, the curse is broken and everything goes back to normal. Including us. Now we go through the short chicane again, turn upside down in the inline twist and then enter the station again.

Mandrill Mayhem is a very fun coaster. Similar to Maximus – Der Flug des Wächters at Legoland Deutschland, the ride is rather short, but scores with its staging and integrated elements. Despite two roll-overs and numerous launch sections, the ride is very family friendly and a great introduction to roller coasters.

Pictures Chessington World of Adventures


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The Gruffalo and Tiger Rock

The changes of the past five years

The UK’s greatest theme park has been going through a period of renovation, or rather transformation, for some time now; there is no other way of explaining the changes that have taken place over the last five years – apart from last year’s Adventure Tree Carousel, no new attraction has been added to Chessington World of Aventures. For example, the Runaway Train is now the Scorpion Express, the dark ride BubbleWorks is now Gruffalo’s River Ride Adventure and the log flume Dragon Falls is now Tiger Rock. Sadly, there have also been some retirements, such as the Monorail, which used to dominate the area around the Hocus Pocus Hall and the Zoo, and the Peeking Heights Ferris Wheel.

Scorpion Express

This development started with the Runaway Train rollercoaster, which lost all the artificial rock that had so impressively decorated the ride. Although Scorpion Express now stands relatively naked in the area, it is hard to miss. A huge mechanical sculpture in the shape of a scorpion adorns the rear helix, creating all sorts of effects that make for a very fun and lively ride. There are also a number of terrariums in the queue to entertain the waiting passengers. All in all, the upgrade of the ride has been successful. In any case, a ride on the Scorpion Express is a lot of fun.

Gruffalo’s River Ride Adventure

Similarly, the squeaky duck dark ride BubbleWorks in the Transylvanian area, next to the awesome Vampire suspended coaster, was a lot of fun – let’s see what happened to it.

Originally opened as Prof Burp’s BubbleWorks, the first 15 years were spent in round boats sailing through a fizzy drink factory before Imperial Leather’s ducklings took over the dark ride. In 2014, the soap manufacturer’s sponsorship with Merlin ended and all references to the manufacturer were removed from the park. While the theme of the ride may have lasted for the time being, the design elements used did not. So a new IP was needed, and a classic children’s book was chosen to fit in easily with the theme. The last ride with the old design followed in 2016, before Gruffalo’s River Ride Adventure opened on 18.03.2017.

The ride itself offers a very healthy mix of static design elements and video projections. The atmosphere inside is now very dense; it feels like following a stream through a forest in a small boat. Each room tells a part of the first children’s book, in which the Mouse stops the Fox, the Owl and the Snake from eating him by threatening them with the Gruffalo – a hitherto fictional creature. In the following rooms, the Mouse meets the aforementioned Gruffalo, who also wants to eat him, but does not, thanks to the Mouse’s explanation that all the other animals are afraid of him. Together, the Gruffalo and the Mouse climb up the ride’s lift and then make their way to the former bathing room. There they meet the other animals, who take to their heels. This scene succeeds despite the relatively open design and retains some of its old charm thanks to some of the remaining fountains. On the way back to the station, the Mouse chases the Gruffalo away, leaving him to crack his nuts in peace.

As I am not familiar with the franchise, I will refrain from making a comparison at this point. The ride itself is once again fascinating. The mix of static design elements and video projections works very well and doesn’t seem out of place anywhere; despite the rotation of the gondola, you can actually catch it at any time. In general, the ride is now consistently well attended.

Tiger Rock

The Tiger Rock log flume, on the other hand, is much less popular, although this does not apply to the new and much larger tiger enclosure which now occupies the former open areas of the log flume. This is where most of the work has been done, as the renovation of the log flume was unfortunately not carried out. So you float through a channel that could have been re-coated and have a great view of the animals in the (at least partially) surrounding enclosure. This is a good thing, especially as the animals really do congregate in these areas and it is actually the best view from the Tiger Rock log flume, but it could have been more. The hardware of the ride contrasts with the new layout of the ride and in my opinion this is a missed opportunity. As Tiger Rock is the last remaining log flume of the group in England, it is sadly foreseeable that the ride will be closed in the next few years.

Pictures Chessington World of Adventures

Conclusion about the visit

Of the three theme parks near London, Chessington World of Adventures remains my first port of call. The three major additions of the last five years all have their place and are all either fully or largely successful. With a revamp of the Hocus Pocus Hall walkthrough already announced, we can look forward to more to come. In any case, it’s a park to include in your UK plans, especially if you’ve never been there and want to visit a theme park near London.


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Click here for the overview page of Chessington World of Adventures