We recently booked a last minute, weekend break to Chessington World of Adventure and we had an absolute blast! I packed up the car, we picked the girls up from Nursery and School and we told them about their surprise weekend, as we set off on our way, as you can imagine their excitement levels were through the roof! We travelled from Kent, so it only took just over an hour to get there, which is an added bonus.

Considering it was a last minute booking, we didn’t get a bad price, our package included; Two nights in a room with a King size bed, bunk beds and a view in the Chessington World of Adventure hotel, breakfast, dinner, two day park tickets, plus entrance into the Savannah Splash Pool and Gym for around £650. There is plenty of parking right outside the hotel and if you book a premium room, you also get an allocated, VIP parking space. Check in was speedy and the girls absolutely loved watching the giant Tortoise’s in the lobby area.

There are only two lifts, so we did have to wait a bit every time we wanted to go up to our room, but it was never an issue. There are two restaurants at the hotel including Temple Restaurant Bar and Zafari Bar and Grill, we were quite lucky to get a breakfast and dinner slot, although they were quite late bookings, because you have to book in advance. We had dinner in the Temple Restaurant & Bar, which is a buffet style restaurant. The food was ok, it was the usual mixed grill, chips and vegetables for adults and fish fingers, chicken nuggets, macaroni, chips and vegetables for kids.

There was evening entertainment each night, including games and quizzes that the whole family could get involved in, at one point all adults had to get up on their feet and show off their best dance moves, the girls were thrilled to see this Mama throw shapes around our table. Bella particularly loved the disco and she managed to keep up with the hosts on stage. I was a bit disappointed at the range of drinks for adults, there wasn’t much variety, I appreciate that it’s a family venue, but a well earned cocktail wouldn’t go a miss!

The Savannah Pool & Gym is worth a visit, the girls absolutely loved it! There is a normal swimming pool and a separate Splash park where the water literally comes up to above your ankles, so it’s perfect younger children or children that aren’t confident in the water. There are fountains, water guns and slides and it’s the perfect way to break up the day or to kill time if the weather is bad. Entrance costs just an extra £3 per person and you have to prebook before your visit.

If you have younger children, it definitely helps to spread out your visit to the theme park over two days. When you stay at the hotel, you get early access to the park an hour before it opens and a few rides including The Vampire Ride, Blue Barnacle and Elmer’s Flying Jumbos are available to ride. The queues were as expected, some as long as an hour’s wait, we queued for 45 minutes to go on the Rainforest River Rafts, which is a mini log flume ride, Flo chickened out half way through, but she looked really smug when Bella and I stepped off the ride absolutely drenched.

I was surprised at how many rides the girls could get on, Flo was particularly chuffed because she is just over 1 metre tall, so it meant she could go on all the rides with her big Sister. Bella is just over 1.2 metre’s tall, so she could go on quite a lot of the bigger rides, her particular favourite is The Vampire Ride and the Blue Barnacle, she is a thrill seeker in the making. The new The Gruffalo River Ride is a must for The Gruffalo fans, Flo was freaked out and ended the ride in tears, it was a bit dark and creepy and she was not impressed that she got sprayed by the water fountains at the end (such a Drama Queen), Bella on the other hand really enjoyed it.

Before we started our day of queuing I brought a couple of cups of Pick n Mix sweeties from the sweet shop, they were an excellent distraction from queuing and kept hissy fits at bay! As well as rides, Chessington World of Adventure also has a Zoo and a Safari ride, we got right up close to the Giraffes, which the girls absolutely loved. I would recommend that you do the Safari ride early on as it can get very busy later in the afternoon, with over an hour wait. If you have small children, be warned that there is a scary bit towards the end of the ride, it goes really dark and the music is strange and it’s as if the ride has been hijacked by spirits!

The girls really enjoyed the Sea Life Centre, it was a welcomed break from the sun, they loved learning about the different types of fish and spotting “Nemo and Dory”. The gift shop at the end almost caused an epic meltdown, when Bella spotted a rather cuddly and irresistible Hammerhead Shark teddy that she wanted. After already forking out for five teddies, Daddy put his foot down and said no. Flo was owed a teddy, so it really didn’t help matters when she sauntered past with a cuddly penguin, looking like the cat that got the cream.

There are a few different restaurants available in the theme park, I wouldn’t recommend the The Vampire Burger Kitchen, the food was naff, it was burnt and really not that great at all. The menu looks a lot like McDonalds, but the food doesn’t come close. We ate in Pizza Pasta and that was ok, you get your own pizza in a take away box and a portion of Bolognese pasta. There is also a Hot Dog stand if you want a quick bite and a Fish & Chips restaurant and pub. There is also a cafe that sells coffee, hot chocolates, ice cream sundaes and doughnuts.

I would recommending packing waterproofs, even if it’s to sit on, there is nothing worst than miserable soggy children or parents for that matter, Decathalon or Mountain Warehouse sell them quite cheaply. If you can afford to splash out on fast track passes do it, you will get on popular rides and beat the queues, which is a god send if you have small children that just don’t like standing still. Bella loved Chessington World of Adventures so much that she has asked to go back for her Birthday in October, so we are now planning a short break for then, we are planning on going around mid October which is also when their Halloween celebrations begin, stay tuned and I will keep you posted!