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A Gem in the Chessington Shrine

May 16, 2023

After years in the making the partnership between Merlin Entertainments and Sony results in the World of Jumanji at Chessington World of Adventures and it’s wonderful! Here’s our World of Jumanji review.

Merlin Entertainments has brought the world’s first Jumanji-themed land to the UK as part of Chessington’s single-largest investment in its history.
Consisting of 144 tonnes of steel track bringing to life the world’s ONLY Jumanji rollercoaster Mandrill Mayhem to life with two supporting flat rides in Mamba Strike and Ostrich Stampede adding to the themed space.

In the time that it has taken to construct/build the World of Jumanji you could have watched Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle 1368 times but it’s finally here and it’s wonderful!
CEO of Merlin Entertainments Scott O’Neill was in attendance to officially open the brand-new area and he had the following to say:
“Whether you are a fan of the films, a fan of rollercoasters or are looking to take your family adventures to The Next Level, the amazing World of Jumanji is ready to welcome all ‘those who seek to find, a way to leave their world behind’. Years in the making by the best teams in the business and full of ‘firsts’, we can’t wait to share the adventures within World of Jumanji. And, with Chessington’s first inversion we know that we have created an experience that will turn seasoned enthusiasts – and a new generation of rollercoaster fans – upside down.”
Jeffrey Godsick, EVP of Global Partnerships and Brand Management and Head of Location Based Entertainment at Sony Pictures Entertainment, added:
“We are excited to have collaborated on a global scale with top tier industry talent at Merlin Entertainments and Chessington World of Adventures Resort for this achievement. The Jumanji franchise has generations of fans who can now enjoy the story in a whole new way. The opening of World of Jumanji will provide a unique thrilling experience for all adventurers for many years to come.”
World of Jumanji Land

Stepping into the World of Jumanji is a very unique and rather wonderful experience for UK theme parks as being immersed into an area is a rare experience across our UK parks.
The trees are growing nicely and Mandrill Mayhem loops around the area keeping everything contained and your eye-line can only see the area in which you are immersed, which already is a step up from most UK theme park areas.

Beautiful theming and a giant Jaguar shrine stands head and shoulders above the area and with the addition of the highly themed Bazaar area you can shop in a market stall space for all things Jumanji.
From explorer button shirts to Jumanji board game replicas from The Noble Collection, there’s a lovely selection of merchandise and with it being IP based there’s some wiggle room to expand in terms of merchandise variety. 

Lush landscaping and board game piece theming dot around the land to truly create a family-friendly experience. The three rides look wonderful in their surrounding areas and with queue line winks and nods to the games (and to the creators of the ride) there’s always something to see and do before you board one of the three attractions in the area.

Residing in the Bazaar are some game stalls where you can see if you’re as strong as Dr Bravestone or try your hand at getting some balls in a bucket to win a prize, it’s just something a little fun and it adds to the area as you exit Mandrill Mayhem.
World of Jumanji Rides

Personally, I feel as though the selection of rides is a hit-and-miss topic. Mandrill is a wonderful coaster that does the job perfectly to cater for a family audience but the other two rides feel a little lost. An area like this is crying out for something a little better in terms of ride offering and even a Jumanji dark ride could have been a special addition to this particular land if expanded in any way shape or form.
With a selection of three rides to choose from in the area there’s just enough to whet that thrill-seeking appetite, but what did we make of the three attractions? Keep reading to find out!
Mandrill Mayhem

The first adventure, Mandrill Mayhem, is a winged, launch, shuttle rollercoaster, with Chessington’s first inversion. Riders from just 1.2m tall, are swept up in the long arms of a mandrill only to be flipped upside down at 42 miles per hour while dodging the hazards of the jungle and spiralling to the summit of the 55ft tall Jaguar Shrine. Sound fun!? How about falling and braving the whole adventure again, this time travelling backwards!
Mandrill Mayhem took me by surprise as I wasn’t expecting such a snappy launch nor was I expecting so much hangtime from such a short layout. I found the second to back row the most thrilling as you shoot out of the station backwards and are hanging towards the back of a spike before flying down through the station onboard your Mandrill-themed train.
It’s a wonderfully done family coaster that for many children will be their first rollercoaster that goes upside down. An inversion later and your children will be as courageous as Dr Bravestone himself!
Mamba Strike

Next up, dodge the fangs of the black mamba on a dizzying, untameable ride in the bazaar, Mamba Strike, which has riders soaring into the sky before swooping back down again.
I loved the entrance to the queue line and the re-themed Mamba snake that was looking a little basic during our construction site tour a few months ago.

For me, the ride experience was rather rough and wasn’t really my cup of tea but I can see many others enjoying it all the same. As far as the flat rides go I feel as though not only the name Mamba Strike was severely underutilized (it sounds like a much bigger and more thrilling ride) but the two flat rides themselves are a little underwhelming to say the least.
Ostrich Stampede

Continue the adventure, swerving a herd of stampeding ostriches on a whirlwind ride in the dunes on Ostrich Stampede.
It bounces up and down and kept breaking down a lot during the opening day. No one was really getting off amazed or excited it just fills in the area and is shadowed by the main attraction. It’s a shame as they could have really gone to town on adding something special to compliment the main rides but it does feel like all the budget went into Mandrill with the other two rides being an afterthought.
Overall

Aside from the two flat rides that feel a bit… rubbish compared to the rest of the area in terms of their ride experience (not their aesthetic) World of Jumanji is a beautiful new addition to Chessington World of Adventures.
Not only have you got a well-themed and immersive space with a wide variety of merchandise on offer but you can extend your stay in one of the World of Jumanji hotel rooms (you get some free merchandise thrown in there too) which you can read all about HERE.

Hats off to John Burton the creative lead on the project and congratulations on designing your first rollercoaster from scratch in the shape of Mandrill Mayhem (what a start) and hats off to all the Merlin team involved in making this project happen.
The area fits Chessington down to a tee and it’s a wonderful space where families can come together and indulge in the World of Jumanji. I’m certainly hoping the IP lasts a long time but if one day that IP expired the area could still be reutilised as a non-IP jungle-themed area with very little effort required. 

Feeling like Dr Bravestone? Head on down to Chessington World of Adventures TODAY! 
Check out our VLOG from the press day event for World of Jumanji below:
 

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by filmibee.
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