Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler is one of our absolute favourite books, so when we were invited to check out the new ride at Chessington World of Adventures it was very exciting.
I hadn’t been to Chessington since I was a teenager, so I wasn’t sure how much there would be to do for our toddler and four-year-old, however it’s ideal for their age group!
It was a bit of a trip down memory lane for me as we arrived at the park, as I remembered so many childhood days spent there riding on the Vampire rollercoaster and the swinging pirate ship.
Introducing my kids to a place that I enjoyed so much as a child was a lovely adventure for me as a parent!
Anyway, let’s talk about the new ride!
The Room on the Broom magical adventure is a really unique attraction. Instead of sitting in a vehicle and watching things unfold in front of you, you walk from room to room and the kids are encourage to interact with the scenes before them.
The ride is based in a large, old mansion. It’s the perfect setting for this supernatural story!
Chessington has used animated footage from the story, sculptures and moving characters to bring the book to life.
In the first room the witch introduces herself, and you see her conjuring a spell with her cauldron. The witch speaks to you from a video clip, while physically in front of you is a cauldron bubbling with smoke and bright lights. As the witch throws items into the cauldron, water actually splashes up from the cauldron. It’s a brilliant pairing of animated and real-life action that really engaged the kids in what was going on. It was like real magic happening in front of your very eyes.
Then a door opens and you travel inside the book, moving from page to page (or room to room) as the witch meets her new friends, the cat, the dog, the frog and the bird.
What’s great is the interaction encouraged in each room. In one, where the witch had lost her bow, children are encouraged to search in the haystacks to find the bow. In another, they need to touch some fireflies to help the witch.
The corridors taking you from one room to the next are covered in fairy lights to make it seem as if you are flying through the stars. One corridor featured a revolving tunnel all around you that made us all feel quite dizzy. It’s touches like this that make you feel like you’re on an exciting trip through the magical world of Room on the Broom.
It’s quite dark in places, so our two little ones wanted to stay close to us at all times. They were a bit nervous when we came face to face with the dragon, but they weren’t upset. It was just all part of the theatre of being involved with the story.
As you move from room to room, the words from the book are read to you, so children who are fans of the book will enjoy hearing the story they are so familiar with read out loud.
The Room on the Broom ride is suitable for all ages, and I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone.
What else is there for toddlers at Chessington?
After we enjoyed our adventure with the witch, we explored the rest of Chessington.
It’s heaven for fans of Julia Donaldson’s books, as there’s also the Gruffalo River Ride to enjoy. This is in place of the old Professor Burp’s Bubbleworks which I remember well from my childhood.
The Gruffalo ride is amazing, featuring some fantastic sculptures of the characters. The boat twirls all around as you travel through the story, and the colourful lighting makes it all feel as if you’ve been transported to a magical place.
My littlest daughter had her mouth wide open with amazement the whole way around, she absolutely loved it.
We took it easy for the rest of the day, enjoying a Room on the Broom Spooky Story Time at the outdoor theatre and exploring the Sealife Centre.
It was also lovely seeing the animals, including the gorgeous family of gorillas. There’s a baby gorilla there at the moment who was so adorable.
Toddlers can also enjoy the Flying Jumbos ride, Sea Dragons train ride, Toadies Crazy Cars driving ride, and a large outdoor adventure playground. There’s also a large soft play centre.
We had a magical day at Chessington with the girls and I am so glad we took them at this age, when the Gruffalo and Room on the Broom are two of their favourite stories.
If you fancy taking an adventure through Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s wonderful books, book tickets to Chessington.
We were gifted admission to Chessington in exchange for this post. All opinions are my own.