Trying the new Gruffalo River Ride at Chessington

The Gruffalo is one of our favourite children’s books of all time and we really enjoy taking part in activities that are related to the story.

Last month we were one of the first to try the new Augmented Reality Trail at Moors Valley which was packed full of fun facts about forest animals and the chance to make the Gruffalo come to life on your mobile phone or tablet which Sebastian adored.

The Gruffalo Moors Valley

Not long after doing the trail we saw an advert for the new Gruffalo River Ride at Chessington and Sebby was insistent that we had to visit.

Last week, Hubby had two days off together and having promised Isaac a visit to Legoland for his birthday, we decided to stay close by at a the gorgeous Bel & The Dragon and do Chessington one day and Legoland the next.

After collecting our Merlin Annual passes, the Gruffalo River ride was our first port of call with a queue time of approximately 60 minutes. There were a few activities dotted along the queue line, along with the Gruffalo music, to occupy the kids and all the forest artwork along the walls looked just like it had come straight out of the book. If you have been to Chessington before, the ride follows the same route as the old Bubbleworks ride, although the queue finishes as you go inside the building as you need to pose for a photo at the green screen at the beginning.

Gruffalo River Ride

The river ride follows the Gruffalo story with Mouse taking us through the deep, dark wood to meet a series of huge models and large TV screens portraying the characters as you twist and turn along the river, under water fountains spinning gently.

The Gruffalo River Ride

Isaac, Eliza and Sebby were transfixed and were happily reciting the story as we progressed along the ride. The music from the TV show continues inside and you also get a lovely forest like smell as you continue along. To carry on the Gruffalo fun, there is also a meet and greet area by the HUB centrally in the park which is run three times a day, alternating with film shows of the Gruffalo on a big screen.

The Gruffalo - Chessington

Chessington World of Adventures has over 40 rides to enjoy and over 1000 animals across the zoo and the Sealife Centre. Isaac, Eliza and Sebby are not really big on rides so once we had finished with the Gruffalo we headed off in search of the zoo.

Chessington Zoo

We timed our visit just right and watched the Lions for ages as Dad was at his ‘roaring’ best and then just around the corner we got to watch as the Tigers were fed giant legs of beef.


We spent about an hour at the AMAZU Treetop Adventure where you can play amongst real life monkeys and other amazing animals as you follow the adventure trail and release your own inner monkey. We did manage to squeeze a couple of gentle rides in too.

Chessington World of Adventure

We were so focused on the Gruffalo River ride and the zoo that we only saw about half the park so will have to revisit again soon.

Disclaimer: We are Merlin Annual Pass ambassadors and received a Merlin Annual pass for the purpose of a review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.

18 thoughts on “Trying the new Gruffalo River Ride at Chessington”

  1. This looks brilliant my son isn’t that bothered with the gruffalo but I do love book and definitely want to take my son to a children’s trail. The river ride looks fun though and i can see him loving it when he is a little older.

  2. This looks like such a fun day! You’ve totally sold me on going to Chessington- with the zoo, the rides and all. I can imagine you could spend a couple of days there.
    The Gruffalo ride is great- I like how you seem to feel the size of the Mouse.


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