Do you remember your first "upside down" roller coaster? Making the step up from junior coasters to "grown-up" thrill rides can be an intimidating one, with inversions perhaps the most intimidating element of all.
That is why I appreciate attempts to design something in between - a step-up experience that allows young coaster fans to conquer more intense elements one at a time. Chessington World of Adventures this week has opened just such an experience with Mandrill Mayhem, the anchor of its new World Jumanji land.
At £17 million, World of Jumanji is the single largest investment in Chessington's history. And Mandrill Mayhem is the first coaster in the park to include an inversion. Mandrill Mayhem's in-line twist might be a perfect introduction to going upside down for the young fans who visit this London-area theme park. At 66 feet tall and with a top speed of 44 miles per hour, this Bolliger & Mabillard wing coaster will not intimidate skittish riders with towering drops and loops.
The ride does get down to business quickly, however, with a multi-pass launch from its station before winding around the land, making that twist, then climbing up a spiral around the land's Jaguar Shrine. That's when Mandrill Mayhem stall and drops back through the course, allowing riders to experience the ride a second time, but in reverse.
Unless... you choose the back row. Chessington has flipped the seats there, meaning you will start backwards before finishing the ride facing forward there. It's a neat switch to help increase re-rideability on the attraction. Here is the official front-row POV from the park, which starts with the final passthrough launch out of the station.
World of Jumanji also includes a maze and two flats from SBF: Mamba Strike and Ostrich Stampede. For more theme park news, please sign up for Theme Park Insider's weekly newsletter.
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