>I recently spent the day with my family at Chessington World of Adventures and the stand out moments for me was riding on the Dragon’s Fury rollercoaster and observing some of the bizarre operational practices that are designed to extract revenue.
Welcome to the world of the q-jump
The queues for major rides are long, very long, and you can typically wait for an hour or more to enjoy a five-minute adrenalin rush. So, how do you solve the problem of people queuing? Easy, you create a new class of ticket called a q-jump and charge an extra £6 for the privilege of jumping to the front of the queue. It’s brilliant – brilliantly dumb, and must have been dreamt up during an oh-so-short brain-storming session. Meanwhile, everyone else with the ‘q-dump’ tickets is left feeling like third-rate customers.
Coke, more Coke and yet more Coke
Good to also see the care being taken over the food and drink offer. The unlimited Coke offer caught my eye. Buy a refillable container holding 925 ml of Coke (equivalent to three cans) and then get it re-filled as often as you like – all day long. That’s over 400 calories for each re-fill. From there it was over to the pick-and mix where the smallest size is ‘medium’ – small is just too small. Then over to the ice-cream shop, then the waffles AND ice-cream store, and so-on and so-on…
I am sure Chessington will say, ‘come on, relax a bit Ray, the kids are on a day out’, but after a while, sweets stop becoming a treat and morph into their everyday diet.
However, to be fair to Chessington, I did see some evidence of healthy food other than sweets – it was on a poster in the car park as we left! Come on Chessington, you can do better than this now that you are part of the world’s second largest visitor attraction business.