A huge thanks to Chessington World of Adventures for inviting us down to take a look at their brand new World of Jumanji area at the park and what will be the world’s first Jumanji theme park space! Join us for this World of Jumanji behind-the-scenes tour.
Set to open on May 15th The World of Jumanji is a £17m development project which marks the single largest investment in the history of Chessington World of Adventures Resort.
Industry experts from around the world have crafted this world-first experience that revolves around not only the original Robin Williams movie but the remake starring Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Nick Jonas, Jack Black and Karen Gillan.
From the old game pieces surrounding the centre jewel-style logo on the floor to the Bazaar market space from the remakes, there are lots of winks and nods to all Jumanji movies and many easter eggs for people to spot throughout the land.
I loved how they included the game pieces from the original and have also landscaped the area so that from above it looks like the Jumanji game board. Something that would go completely unnoticed if you were just walking around at ground level.
Children will be given little Jumanji maps to navigate the area and there is also a specially designed photo point for you to capture the ultimate World of Jumanji Instagram shot!
As of writing this article Chessington World of Adventures is running a competition to win VIP tickets to be the first to ride the brand-new winged coaster Mandrill Mayhem!
In order to be in for a chance to win, you have to play five games on the official website, complete the game and be in with your chance to win! Check out the official website and best of luck!
Creative Lead of Merlin Entertainment John Burton took us around the area and gave us all the insight about what was to come as construction surrounded us left, right and centre hard at work bringing the land to life.
Not only did we get a tour of the brand new area but the Mandrill Mayhem rollercoaster was testing so we got to see this double-launched winged coaster testing around the track (minus most of its theming).
The 1,148feet long coaster has a 42mph launch section and we saw it absolutely hurtling through the station, much faster than I think anyone in attendance was expecting!
Having the rollercoaster wrap around the land is such a great touch as for visitors of the area you’ll be surrounded 360 degrees with coaster track and great views and for the riders, you can explore the area in the arms of a Mandrill. It’s a win-win for both parties!
We were told that the Jumanji drums would be playing as you enter the land and other various sound effects and more will be added not only to the area but to the coaster experience as you make your way around the Jaguar Shrine.
A quick visit to the station building saw the beautiful concept art that had been released previously come to life and whilst unfinished you got the perfect idea of what it’s going to look like when completed.
Three years of designing, modelling and engineering coming to fruition in front of our very eyes. It was great to have this behind-the-scenes access and it felt very exclusive and we were honoured to be a part of it.
With lots of things still to be created including the Bazaar market and extra theming pieces still needed to be painted up including the ride Mamba Strike the area still had a certain charm and magic to it already despite being predominately a construction site as it stands.
Stampede Chase is another flat ride within the Jumanji area but it looked a little bit behind the others in terms of its completion next to it lay an overturned truck. The Mandrills have gone wild and overturned this Jumanji World truck to scavenge it for food but Alton Towers fans may think it looks familiar.
In fact, it’s the very same truck that was next to the Ripsaw ride that once resided at Alton Towers. A great reuse of theming!
The World of Jumanji has three rides that cater to a family audience but Mandrill Mayhem introduces Chessington’s first-ever coaster with an inversion and it’s suitable for anyone that is 1.2m or taller. Mandrill Mayhem is introducing a thrill coaster to a younger market and is the perfect ride for young (and old) thrill seekers.
The area marks a brand new expansion themed around a popular IP and Mandrill Mayhem marks the park’s first rollercoaster since Dragon’s Fury came to the park in 2004.
Check out our full behind-the-scenes tour of The World of Jumanji on our sister site Lift Hills and Thrills below:
With the 55ft tall Jaguar Shrine being the main focal point of the area and with lots of plants still left to go in until the final look is achieved it’s an exciting space indeed. The Jumanji jungle fits in perfectly with the animal-themed park, they go together hand in hand and will be a huge success.
I absolutely can’t wait for the Bazaar market to open and I wonder if Jumanji-themed merchandise will be available from this area specifically as opposed to a ride exit shop that frequents many rides.
Opening the ride out into the outdoor market straight from the movies, now that would be a treat!
The land follows a multi-territory exclusivity agreement between the Resort operator, Merlin Entertainments, and Columbia Pictures Location Based Entertainment.
This deal was announced earlier in the year and also included IP such as Uncharted which will be added to an indoor multi-dimensional coaster being built at PortAventura World in Spain as we speak!
Merlin’s broader global strategy is to work with leading UP and brands across its global estate. Sony is looking to further utilise its strong global film and TV presence in a variety of ways. The World of Jumanji ties in perfectly with the experiences that Merlin delivers across their entire portfolio.
I’m thoroughly excited to see the rest of this land come together piece by piece, everything fits wonderfully within the lush environment that Chessington already has.
The dedication and attention to detail that continues throughout the park are unmatched in the Merlin portfolio. Chessington is THE best themed Merlin park and this land further adds to the excellent quality and immersion that the park brings to its guests.
We sat down with Merlin creative lead John Burton to discuss the new area in a recent interview. John discusses the project from concept to fruition and the challenges and obstacles of a project such as this. Click the link below to find out more about The World of Jumanji below: