JUMANJI star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is a real mountaineer, but I’m sure even he would dread the Mandrill Mayhem roller coaster ride at Chessington World Of Adventures.
I mutter expletives as the 42-mile ride in the park’s new World of Jumanji land throws me in all directions as it reaches its 55-foot summit at the top of a jaguar shrine.
Then I curse even louder as the roller coaster ride, Chessington’s first inversion ride, repeats backwards.
The ride is the crown jewel of the new themed land, which took several years and millions of pounds to create.
However, just as much attention has been given to the park’s other new rides, Mamba Strike and Ostrich Stampede.
Mamba Strike catapults riders into the air and evokes faint memories of Ramese’s Revenge, which will please fans who remember the popular ride that left the park in 2019.
But my top pick among newcomers was Ostrich Stampede – best described as an adrenaline booster for younger guests who have outgrown their favorite flying elephant ride and are looking for something a little more exciting.
It had just the right amount of speed and bumps while we spun around as if trying to outrun a flock of stomping giant birds.
For little ones who can’t reach the minimum height of 4 feet, there are plenty of quirky Jumanji-themed activities across the country, including a board game-style maze of pathways.
My four year old loved playing one of the booth games which involved knocking down spiders with a ball – and there is themed merchandise for all ages, from stuffed animals to clothing.
For those looking for a Jumanji-style snack, there are giant turkey drumsticks, foot-length hot dogs, and jungle-stampede cupcakes.
The new site is one of the biggest additions to Chessington in several years and has significantly increased the number of adrenaline rides for older children and adults.
The Vampire and Dragon’s Fury rides are fan favorites and will stand up to the new additions, but Mandrill Mayhem will no doubt be enticing guests this summer.
The themed fun doesn’t have to end there, however, as Chessington’s Safari Hotel also has six new Jumanji-style rooms.
The rooms each sleep up to five people – in a double bed, a bunk bed and a pull-out single bed – and are brilliantly designed in jungle style.
There was a jaguar shrine above my bed and the bunk bed looked straight out of a safari camp.
The main attraction, however, was the interactive brick game, where guests must follow a series of flashing buttons to make the emerald glow.
We also took part in an in-room treasure hunt where you use a series of clues to crack a code and unlock the treasure in a hidden safe.
It was difficult to pick a favorite among the newcomers at Chessington.
I liked Mandrill Mayhem while the seven year old liked the Ostrich Stampede and the four and three year olds voted for the hotel room games.
But that’s certainly a good sign – there’s something for everyone.
STAY THERE: Jumanji themed rooms at the Chessington Safari Hotel are available from £439 per night.
Includes theme park and Savannah Splash Pool admission, plus breakfast, early drive times and hotel entertainment.
PLAY THERE: Find parking tickets online from £39 for everyone aged 3 and over.