When we heard that the World of Jumanji at Chessington World of Adventures was opening, we couldn’t wait to visit and check it out. The girls are huge fans of the Jumanji movies so when we told them that we were visiting they were so excited.
This is our review of the World of Jumanji at Chessington World of Adventures.
The World of Jumanji
First stop for us was the newest area to open at Chessington World of Adventures, the World of Jumanji which is the first Jumanji themed land anywhere in the world.
I knew we would like the World of Jumanji as soon as we stepped through its impressive entrance, it was like walking into the boardgame made infamous by the movies starring Robin Williams and Dwanye Johnson. Chessington have really created an immersive jungle-like experience here, and we loved it.
Mandrill Mayhem dominates the skyline, the world’s first Jumanji roller-coaster, wrapped around a 55ft tall jaguar shrine. The new Jumanji land is located next to the explorer entrance to the theme park and opposite one of the Chessington’s most popular rides Dragon’s Fury.
At a cost of £17m this has been the largest investment ever into the park and at its centrepiece is the Mandrill Mayhem roller-coaster. Taking full advantage of our early ride access for Chessington hotel guests we managed to ride this twice with little or no queuing.
The attention to detail and theming here in the queue line with everything from the festoon lights to 4 x 4 vehicles is just as impressive as the ride itself. The design of the coaster is unique, it’s a B&M winged shuttle coaster so you sit either side of the track under the arms of a Mandrill monkey.
This is also Chessington’s first inversion coaster, taking you twisting and turning around the entire Jumanji area at speeds at up to 42mph, before spiralling up to the 55ft summit around the Jaguar’s head. If that was not terrifying enough, the ride then repeats itself backwards to the start, with each seat on the ride providing its own unique experience. This is by far the best ride at Chessington and offers something for all and is a great coaster for families, with a minimum height requirement of 120cm.
Ian and Chloe were lucky enough to ride at the very front of the coaster, which provides a unique experience where you feel like you are going to shoot off the end of the track, but instead zoom backwards – both of them were beaming with excitement as they exited the ride and couldn’t wait to ride it again.
Even though this is billed as family friendly, the inversion put me off and I left this ride to the thrill seekers Ian and Chloe to enjoy while Holly and I checked out the other two rides in Jumanji.
Ostrich Stampede is one of the two other new rides here and inspired by the Jumanji movie, which bounces you up and down which echoes what it must feel like riding a stampeding ostrich – this was fun, but I wouldn’t wait in a long queue for it. What is a really nice addition is that each of the three rides here have their own soundtrack which really brings the Jumanji experience to life.
Next up was Mamba Strike in the bazaar area, which had us soaring into the sky before swooping back down to earth in a circular motion, watched by a giant snake. Whilst both were fun and really well themed it would be great if Chessington add more high quality attractions to this area in the future to match the quality of Mandrill Mayhem, such as the excellent Jumanji dark ride in Gardaland, Italy.
Other things to see and do at the World of Jumanji
One of my favourite areas to walk through was the bazaar area, which contained fairground style games and a market stall selling all types of Jumanji gifts. From Jumanji board games and clothes to backpacks and toys, Holly was in her element and couldn’t resist getting herself a new Ruby Roundhouse plush.
The theming here is what sets this land apart from any other Merlin theme park in the UK. The land itself features a clever mix of old Jumanji references such as its maze of pathways and boardgame pieces based on the boardgame from the original movie to other Jumanji-themed activities and photo opportunities from the latest films.
Dining at the World of Jumanji
When it comes to food options, there isn’t that much choice here with only one food fast food outlet, next to Ostrich Stampede. The Jumanji inspired menu was really cool though with Jumanji cupcakes and huge turkey legs, which brought back memories of visits to Disney Orlando. It’s also worth noting that there are no toilets in this area so you need to visit another area of the park if you need toilet facilities.
Other things to see and do at Chessington
After taking in the sights and the sounds of Jumanji, we made our way into the rest of the park, managing to fit in some of the more popular rides at Chessington such as Croc Drop and Rattlesnake in the first hour without having to wait.
We explored the rest of the park, using our reserve and ride on our phones to skip the large lines on the rest of our favourites including Vampire and Dragon’s Fury before cooling down from the heat at Tiger Rock.
We planned on riding Mandrill Mayhem again later in the day using its virtual queue system via the Chessington app but it didn’t work for us and a traditional queue system would work much better. This was coupled with the fact that the ride kept breaking down in the 32-degree heat, so I’m really glad we managed to ride this as soon as we entered the park.
Instead, we spent the rest of the day enjoying some of the 40 other rides and attractions on offer at Chessington and revisiting our favourites from our visit last year. These included the riverboat adventure with the Gruffalo, exploring the world of Room on the Broom and flying high on Monkey Swinger to seeing the wonderful African animals such as White Rhino, Giraffe and Zebra on Zufari.
Along with the new Jumanji area, another new ride that was a new addition since our last visit was Barrel Bail Out, which was a great way to have fun and cool off in 30-degree heat and brought back memories of the amazing Ankor ride at PortAventura World.
Chessington Safari Hotel
With the option of a 4-hour drive in the early hours to get to Chessington for park opening or to stay on-site at the Chessington Safari hotel (you can read our review here) and take advantage of the early park access we chose the latter. It’s been several years since we last stayed on-site in one of their Gruffalo rooms and it still remains one of the most memorable hotel stays we have ever had.
We booked last minute and wanted to stay in one of the six new Jumanji themed rooms at the Chessington Safari hotel, but these are very popular with limited availability Instead, we stayed in another of the premium category rooms here, a penguin themed room inspired by the Madagascar movies, which was amazing.
The premium rooms at the Chessington safari hotel are expensive but are a far higher quality than their standard rooms. Our room looked out over the resorts Wanyama Reserve where we spotted zebra and giraffes, it’s like a British version of, Animal Kingdom lodge at Disney and the girls loved it.
The main benefit of the premium rooms is that along with 1-hour early park access that all hotel guests receive, our room also came with a ‘rangers reserve and ride’ allowing us to fastrack onto 3 rides during our stay which is essential if you are visiting during school holidays or on weekends.
After a good sleep and breakfast overlooking the Wanyama reserve, we set off bright and early to make the most of the early entry to the park, via the hotel guest entrance.
If you love Jumanji, then a visit to the world’s first Jumanji land is a must visit, we had such a great time here. This is a great addition to Chessington which is getting bigger and better each year. If you are planning a visit, it’s well worth staying on-site at the Chessington hotel to extend your theme park experience. Hopefully Chessington will continue to expand this area in the future and add more world class rides, the potential with this Jumanji franchise is endless.