With all of this in mind it is with some trepidation that we've been starting to take the boy to theme parks as he is now old enough to enjoy going on rides with the promise of going "a bit fast." He also wants to drive so this is one way to keep him out of the driver's seat of the family car and still satiate his curiosity.
I was very keen to take him to Chessington to try out some of the new attractions they have for under fives so we were delighted when Mumsnet invited us to a VIP day at Chessington World of Adventures. The park has undergone many transformations in the years since I was at school so it's a bit of everything now. There is the zoo, the sealife centre, the rides for grown-up thrill seekers and now specific activities and rides for little ones too. As part of our VIP day at the park we were invited to the Holiday Inn which is right next to the park and where you can watch animals roam while you eat your breakfast. My boy was less interested in the exotic zebras than the everyday ducks though - typical !
We had time to go on some rides before lunch so the boy and Hubbie went on the flying Jumbos where the little one was able to control how high they flew. It looked a bit too fast for my pathetic and feeble stomach to cope with, but they seemed to love it. In the course of the day we took him on the truckers ride and the toadies cars as well, but the latter was pretty difficult to locate. The noise and commotion from the Bubbleworks ride was enough to put our boy off so we left that one out and bought him an ice cream instead.
All in all it's a fun day out for the family, but there are a few small things that would make it a bit easier for families. The directions in the park are sparce and the map is so full of information it's not as simple to follow as it could be. We did wonder if they couldn't have put the rides for smaller children a bit closer together as very young children get tired out and might not make it round all of them.
It was a busy and sunny day when we went and the staff are very helpful and everyone we asked for help was able to assist us willingly and cheerfully. I think Chessington is trying very hard to be all things to all people so most visitors will find something of interest. It is up to you whether or not this is enough to warrant more than one visit though.
If you have a Merlin pass you can use it here - visit www.chessington.com to plan your visit.
I hope you have a fun day out :o)
I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Network Research Panel , a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid to attend the event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity.