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Chessington World of Adventures | Project Amazon | Roller coaster and children’s rides | 2023/2024

Will

Strata Poster
Looks like a family boomerang to me, though with some kind of Merlin twist to it, by the sounds of it (possibly the wing riding seats) - I don't disagree with the concerns about capacity, but I don't dislike the idea either.

Can't guess at manufacturer, but I don't see it being a B&M, for cost reasons as much as anything - and I also can't see it having a 1.4m restriction (despite the Rattlesnake problem), but those are just my unsubstantiated opinions.

I like Amazonia as a theme, but that's largely because I'd be hoping for a bit more zoo expansion - there shouldn't be a lion in the Amazon though :p
 

Matt N

Strata Poster
Looks like a family boomerang to me, though with some kind of Merlin twist to it, by the sounds of it (possibly the wing riding seats) - I don't disagree with the concerns about capacity, but I don't dislike the idea either.

Can't guess at manufacturer, but I don't see it being a B&M, for cost reasons as much as anything - and I also can't see it having a 1.4m restriction (despite the Rattlesnake problem), but those are just my unsubstantiated opinions.

I like Amazonia as a theme, but that's largely because I'd be hoping for a bit more zoo expansion - there shouldn't be a lion in the Amazon though :p
With regard to the bolded, the 1.4m height restriction was confirmed by the park in the consultation. It’s not just a rumour being plucked out of thin air.

This is certainly a very bizarre-looking ride, nothing like I’d expected a new coaster at Chessington to be, and I think it’ll certainly keep everyone guessing until the full planning application goes in in July!
 

Jared

Mega Poster
Right, so I'm back home and I've had a little time to digest what was said at the consultation.

The planned new roller coaster is part of a series of investments into the park over the next few years, with other attractions likely to open before/after etc. The new ride is planned as a 1.4m height restriction ride and the park we very tight-lipped when I asked about manufacturer and launches/lifts/switch tracks etc. The ride will be a form of shuttle coaster featuring winged trains, as outlined by both the over-view and the station concept artwork. How the shuttle concept would work in terms of station/trains etc is unknown as again, it's not something they were forthcoming about.

The plans shown were rough outlines of the final layout and proposals, which are due to be released in July alongside the full planning application. The images shown were placeholders. The park is currently finalising the layout of the ride as well as what the other two attractions in the area will be. These will again feature in the full application in July.

The consultation is all about addressing any concerns from the local residents before the formal application process takes place. From what I gathered from the locals in the room, they seemed fairly content. The park believes there will be no adversely loud noise produced from the ride, stating that newer rides are quieter due to newer parts and better engineering than some of those older counterparts in the park. It was also stated that there will be very little visibility of the ride outside of the park, with extra planting going in place to cover those areas where the ride penetrates the surrounding tree heights.

All in all, it all sounded very exciting. A lot of the questions from locals were directed at noise levels, transport concerns etc. A noise survey is currently being conducted and will be included as part of the application.

From what I've heard from a few sources in the park it is highly likely that this ride is being constructed by B&M, but that is of course unconfirmed until we get the full plans. I'll be keeping an eye out for them!
 

JoshC.

Giga Poster
Thanks for that info and added context!



If when Swarm opened I was told the next B&M coaster to open in the UK could be at Chessington, I would have laughed that person out the room. Now, who knows...
 

Marcus

Roller Poster
Very interesting choice by Chessington for the reasons previously listed. Think the theme and adding a couple of rides to the area are very wise ideas. Am a tad concerned about capacity and confused about the 1.4m height, still see it being absolutely heaving for several seasons due to the long drought of a new coaster.

Hope it isn't plagued with issues as that will really not be what Chessington need (not that any park needs that but at Chessington I feel it would course alot more grief than somewhere else). Some of the coasters that seem to fuse lots more advance elements, switch tracks, turn tables, launches, backwards launches, backwards sections have quite often teething issues and are just normally less reliable than a standard lift hill. Still very glad they have gone with a launch and am eagerly awaiting more information in July.
 

Pokemaniac

Mountain monkey
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
It is interesting that B&M is being proposed as a manufacturer here. I've wondered for a while when they would make their entry in the compact coaster segment of the market, which in recent years has become a relatively large share of the total market.

If memory serves correctly, the smallest coaster B&M ever built (save for the two family inverted coasters in China, but we'll come back to those later) is Dæmonen. With its three inversions, a height of nearly thirty meters, and two six-car trains, even that one is vastly bigger than anything most parks out there could even dream of building these days. Problem is, B&M's entire portfolio is filled with nothing but huge coasters (again plus two family inverts, we'll get to those in due time). Hypers, Wing Coasters, Dive Machines, Flyers, and the occasional thrilling Invert. Even the "small" dive machines by B&M are quite big coasters all things considered (both Krake and Baron 1898 have drops of up to 40 meters and cost 12 million Euro to build). B&M is almost exclusively working in a market segment few established parks can afford to shop in.

Of course, the exception is those two Family Inverted Coasters, but those are a pretty hard sale considering that both Vekoma and Intamin offer essentially the same, presumably at a lower price. It's telling that B&M only ever sold two of those, both to the same Chinese chain. Meanwhile, Vekoma has sold 31of their SFC models, of which 8 in China. Clearly, the FIC competes in a segment that's a little too crowded for B&M to make reliable business with it.

Of course, B&M has made decent business in China, with 17 coasters sold since 2011. I guess this could compensate somewhat for their declining sales numbers in Europe and the US in the same period. However, only three of B&M's Chinese sales were sold to parks that were already operating. Those are the two aforementioned Family Inverted Coasters and one Wing Coaster (sold to the same Happy Valley park that built one of the FICs). It seems like Chinese parks are happily investing in big B&Ms when establishing the park, but they aren't repeat customers. That's going to pose a bit of a problem as the Chinese theme park market becomes more saturated.

So I think it is in the cards that B&M has to diversify with adding smaller and more affordable coaster types to their product catalog. They can't keep selling "luxury coasters" exclusively when so few parks are buying them. In that case, it makes sense for them to cooperate with Chessington. At some point, they have to go to the "second tier" parks for their business to survive. It will be interesting to see what their take on the compact family thrill coaster concept looks like.
 

roomraider

Best Topic Starter
However, only three of B&M's Chinese sales were sold to parks that were already operating. Those are the two aforementioned Family Inverted Coasters and one Wing Coaster (sold to the same Happy Valley park that built one of the FICs).
I'm being a pedant but that was a hyper coaster model rather than a wing :)

It's great to see chessie finally do something interesting. I used to love visiting the park but haven't for ages now as its just not done anything interesting for ages.

As for the B&M rumours. I'll believe it when I see it but it would be an interesting addition.
 

Furiustobaco

Mega Poster
What a strange move- i actually quite like it. It is something that nobody expected, a launched wing shuttle at Chessington? Huh.
I know people are going to bring up this ride probably being more geared to towards thrill seekers, i actually see this in a different angle.
I'm assuming this ride is going to have one inversion, and i also presume they are not going to make the launch too fast either. Wing coasters from B&M are usually very graceful rides, and a great gate-way coaster. The only indimidating part of the wing coasters are the wing-over drop, which would not be present here. So maybe this could be a coaster for those who are scared of Swarm, but would like to experience their first coaster to go upside down.

When it comes to other companies building this, i do not see any viable options. But maybe Vekoma/Intamin will prove me wrong (i doubt it)
But yeah, i could see this being the 'gateway' coaster at Chessington, that ride that is not quite as intense as Thorpe's, but has a launch and a inversion.
Dragon's Fury would 100% be more intense and extreme than this anyway tbh (Fury is shockingly great)
 

Furiustobaco

Mega Poster
B&M have never built a shuttle coaster before right?
Honestly with Chessington/Thorpe as my home parks, i would appreciate having this strange ride nearby.

I want a hit of whatever Merlin Magic Making are smoking.
 

Nemesis Fox

Roller Poster
It is a little surprising in fairness tho it points that B&M are most likely due to the two rows of air gates. Additionally the layout is quite drawn out so again B&M are definetly suitable and they’ve built many prototypes with the Tussauds and Merlin parks including the first Wing coaster at Gardaland so in fairness doesn’t surprise me working with B&M on prototypes. The one thing I’m concerned about is the throughput however. I would very much hope it will have a transfer at minimum for a two train service perhaps by moving the station further right and the launch further left. In an ideal world I’d love for there to be a pre launch segment of the ride perhaps that if the station was to go further left, that dips under the launch and has a pre show on ride or pre launch with an overbank however I’ll look forward to final proposals in due course.
 

oriolat2

Giga Poster
Are we really sure it is going to be a B&M?

After all, even though they are the most successful at the wing coaster model, Intamin and Mack have also had their share of (somewhat failed) winged coasters. Over the years, maybe they have perfected their models and are ready for a new take on them.

Then again, B&M surprised us with an in-house launch system with Thunderbird at Holiday World, when nobody was expecting that from them. Maybe they are, in fact, expanding their brand to second-tier parks with smaller models like shuttle coaster and such...

Really intrigued by Chessington!
 

SaiyanHajime

Strata Poster
Chessington getting a B&M is like BGW getting an Intamin.

Oh wait...

In seriousness, first thing that comes to mind looking at it is Furious Baco! Lmfao.

The 1.4m height restriction is weird, huh? But it wouldn't surprise me at all if that isn't set in stone and is merely a "we're considering it cuz we just took out Ramases". And that's the kind of weird dumb logic I expect from Merlin. Like, if it were down to me, I'd go with as low height for as much thrill as possible - but the focus should ultimately be capacity because that's been a chronic problem that's only gonna get worse at Chessington in particular. Everything is always kinda weird and backwards with Merlin.

The thing is - this is just to show off the levels of potential disruption to the locals in terms of noise, visuals aaaaaand economic payoff. Nothing else. So the height restriction being 1.4m is kinda like saying "an adult thrill ride is the upper end of noise we are expecting to make" ...So that if it gets rejected, they can come back with "fiiiiine, something akin to or less than Fury". I remember the planning applications for Zufari listing the noise of Flamingos expected to be no worse than a Goose.

So, yeah, that's my guess. Don't focus on that too much.

My only predictions at this time could be made with or without any of the current info because Chessingon...

Beige and low capacity.
 
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