Chessington World of Adventure's Expansion Plans

Chessington World of Adventures: Chessington, a Tussauds park in southern England, has announced massive expansion details, including a hotel, beach complex, new lands, and safari area.

From Scott Preece
Posted May 15, 2003 at 1:21 PM
Chessington, a Tussauds park in southern England, close to Thorpe Park (another Tussauds park) has announced massive expansion details, including a hotel, beach complex, new lands, and safari area. There will also be a shuttle bus between Thorpe and Chessington. More news at

This announcement comes after Tussuads anounced record profits, and higher earnings per customer than any other themepark operator. Tussauds also own Alton Towers, one of the UK's best and most well known parks.

From Ben Mills
Posted May 15, 2003 at 3:13 PM
The problem that is raised in my mind is that whatever CWoA does, the locals protest like crazy, often severly cutting down what happens. So go and read the report. How much of that will happen? It seems to me that they'll get the attractions (maybe not the entire safari, though) but if they do manage to persuade the locals to give them the hotel and beach area, it will have to be the more expensive on-site option, so they get the illusion of being able to see it even less.

I'm just curious; is there anyone on TPI who lives in or near Chessington that is opposed to the plans?

From Thomas Payne
Posted May 15, 2003 at 5:05 PM
I'm glad to see Chessington finally regaining its focus and get back to what put it where it was at it's peak: quality. Attractions since the Rattlesnake have been half-hearted at best - something of substance at last! Also nice to see the zoo making a resurgance. Back to basics and some.

From alan dadmeister
Posted May 16, 2003 at 2:46 AM
I think Ben Mills as usual makes sensible points.

Is there anyone nearby who objects?

From Philip Curds
Posted May 17, 2003 at 2:42 AM
A good friend of mine who owns a restaurant in Central London (Mode on Endel Street, between Covent Garden and Holborn) lives very close to Chessington World of Adventures. He believes that any expansion of the themepark will be severely curtailed as Ben Mills has stressed, the locals are opposed to anything which will lead to increases in traffic down the main road that leads from the M25 (Orbital Motorway around London) to Chessington. According to him, Chessington has made numerous applications for expansion in the past and failed nearly everytime. He points out that the likelihood is that this offer is merely a way of persuading nearby Thorpe Park to accept the plans there instead, in other words, it is rather a political motive to lobby Surrey District Council (both Chessington and Thorpe Park are located in the same county) to allow them to implement the plans at one of the two parks. Due to Thorpe Parks better height restrictions, less effect on nearby residents and less harmful effect on traffic levels, thus making sure Thorpe Park rather than Chessington implements these plans. But who knows, I just think the likelihood for a Chessington expansion is very unlikely, the residents just won't have it!

From Anne Evans
Posted May 17, 2003 at 5:30 AM
Bad idea.
Sure, if Tussuards hadn't already started transforming AT into WDW for englnad, then yes, go ahead. I don't live anywhere near CWoA but I object due to my loyalty to AT. If this did happen, something like a new park would have to happen at AT to keep it the flagship park.
But the planswould work better if they were transforming TP and CWoA into a resort instead of a park with a hotel. Hotel for CWoA, no!!!!!!!
Hotel for TP and CWoA, OK!!!!!!!!!
Hotel, park, entertainment area for AT, best idea since carpet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

From Michelle Pilling
Posted May 17, 2003 at 11:14 AM
if the expansions are like Alton Towers, new hotel, i wouldn't bother, was going to go for a few days to the splash landings, but got a sneak preview, last weekend, when at Alton Towers, not inpressed, if they are selling the tussauds business why bother expanding?

From Thomas Payne
Posted May 18, 2003 at 4:38 PM
Apparently a shuttle bus service between Chessington and Thorpe Park is on the cards, so in a way they would function together as a kind of "resort".

Remember that Charterhouse, who own Tussaud's, are venture capitalists. They will do what they think necessary to pump up the value of their companies before eventually selling them on or floating them for a tidy profit.

From Anonymous
Posted September 27, 2003 at 3:47 AM
i am doing a project at school on the expansion of chessington, if chessington did decide to expand whould most of the share holders vote for yes or no, and would the pressure groups try to stop this.

From Anonymous
Posted October 2, 2003 at 6:35 AM
Anonamous - I've worked in Chessington for the past two seasons and you probably understand the whole planning law business.
In my opinion though, I think pressure groups are backing down slightly as Chessington are doing lots of things to work together with the locals to reach compromise.
Thus far the rides have actually been built to an extent where they're very well hidden and in a place where any noise is unheard of (with the exception of Vampire). If you look at plans for Land of the Dragons, you can see that four rides to come through in one go is quite something.
I think, personally, that there should be no objections to the hotel if CWoA can plan it so any flaws such as traffic previously mentioned are mopped up in schemes that satisfy the locals.
Besides, wouldn't you say the with people staying the night at the park it should actually STEM the traffic flow rather than increase it, what with currently 10,000 people all leaving the park at once on a busy day?
Also, consider that noise was a big problem in the planning law - Vampire makes an absolute racket. A hotel doesn't make a noise (provided there are no unruly guests).
It'll be interesting to see what develops, at the moment the signs are promising for Chessington.

From Anonymous
Posted October 27, 2003 at 2:21 PM
Thomas has hit the nail on the head. Big expansion plans look great on the strategy documents when selling. Tussauds know they will not get a 100% of their plans thru planning just as they know they will never get the £50m required to do everything. However the plans do look impressive to prospective buyers.

From Ben Mills
Posted October 27, 2003 at 6:46 PM
And more importantly, they look good to potential investors. And when does a park most need investors?

Welcome to FlotationLand!

That's why we've been seeing all these fantastic development plans right now. Because Tussauds are building up for their big jump to floating on the market, and they need to seem at the top of the game to do that. Don't expect everything you read here to go through and be completed.

From Feanaro Helyanwe
Posted November 20, 2003 at 7:45 AM
Well, it seems as though the stock market's gone sour (pardon the pun if there is one...)
Not entirely sure what the gameplan is now, I think they might just wait and see how sucessful this rennovation is before looking for a buyer.

From Neil Preece
Posted March 23, 2006 at 12:29 AM
Well they have been losing older families lately i.e. teenagers, because of stealth and sumari at thorpe. And now they have got the project on hold till 2007, and they say that if they do it earlier they need some sponsors and funding

From JasonK K
Posted April 6, 2007 at 4:55 PM
Went to Chessington for the 1st time on 5 April. I thought it was a very pretty looking park with some good rides. However, one thing that really annoyed me was that they were charging 50p for park plans. I refused to buy one because of the principle of the matter. When I asked at Guest Services about this they told me it was a 'new initiative to stop waste!' The cheek of it.

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