My children love Chessington World of Adventures. Moozles goes on the big, scary rides (with her daddy), and Dubz and I go on the gentler rides. The amusement park is about 20 minutes, in the car, from our house so we visit several times a year. Last year, I bought an Adult & Pre-schooler Annual Pass for Dubz and me. And I thought I would let you know if I found it to be good value.
First of all, the annual pass is for adults and children up to, and including, the age of five. At £60 for the pass, you would need to visit three times to break even (the one-day entry cost for a parent and pre-schooler is £21). But the pass gets you a 20% off discount off food and the gift shop, which is great. Even if you bring a packed lunch, you might still be tempted with donuts, ice cream or a cuddly toy. It helps having that extra little discount.
The pre-schooler pass cannot be used during the school holidays and most weekends, so is better suited to a child not attending school. Chessington partly closes during the winter and holds 'zoo days', which can be accessed on the pre-schooler pass. The zoo days offer access to the wildlife, aquarium, petting zoo and the smaller rides. It is perfect for a winter day outing with your little one (sadly, my nine year old refuses to attend zoo days anymore).
Perhaps, you are considering buying the pass when your child is four because he/she is too much of a terror at age two or three. Will you get your money's worth if your child is about to begin school? Well, yes. I bought our pass after Dubz turned four. I could not imagine taking him on such a busy day out when he was any younger. Not by myself anyway. Two of our visits were on INSET days, which meant that we could all go as a family (and just pay for Husband and Moozles).
The newest attraction at Chessington is The Gruffalo River Ride, which is perfect for young children. When we went, my son did get a bit scared, but I am sure he will be fine the next visit. I remember him being scared the first time he rode Bubbleworks. There's also a new Adventure Tree carousel, which is lovely. Dubz loved the old carousel, but this animal-themed one is more in keeping with Chessington.
It's amazing how much Dubz has changed in the past year. He now loves Sea Storm and Treetop Hoppers. Before I know it, he will be riding Vampire with his sister and father while I find an excuse not to go on the scary rides. I'm sharing some of our old photos from our Chessington visits as well as the latest ones. It's crazy how quickly my boy is growing up. Although, you can see from his strop at the end, some things never change.