Fans have taken to social media to express their devastation following last week's shock announcement from Chessington World of Adventures Resort that the iconic Bubbleworks ride will be closing after 26 years. Everything from name changes via Deed Poll to online petitions have been organised in a bid to save the ride.
Oli Matthews, a 27 year-old superfan from Kingston, is Bubbleworks' self-proclaimed biggest fan. After learning of the ride closure he applied to change his name via Deed Poll to 'Professor Burp' in memory of the character from the Bubbleworks factory.
Superfan Oli Matthews, said: "I've been visiting Bubbleworks every year with my family since I was a baby and am totally gutted to learn that it will be permanently closing. I know I needed to do something to try and make Chessington change their mind on this shocking decision, so I applied to change my name to 'Professor Burp' in memory of the ride."
The news of its closure has hit fans hard with three online petitions created to save the ride. The petitions have over 3000 signatures combined so far with participants sharing their childhood memories, calling the ride a 'family favourite' and 'a classic'.
Tim Harrison Jones, Divisional Director at Chessington World of Adventures Resort, said: "We've received an overwhelming response to the news that
Bubbleworks is closing with visitors sharing hundreds of memories from their time on the ride. Bubbleworks is a much-loved ride here at Chessington, but we feel now is the time to bid farewell to the Bubbles and introduce something brand new and equally magical for families."
Bubbleworks is due to close on 6th September 2016 but has a host of activities taking place over the summer for fans to sign up to including VIP tours, a ride prop auction and a celebratory VIP event.
The park has added a brand new VIP Package to their existing range of VIP Experiences, especially for the superfans. The Bubbleworks Behind the Scenes Tour will run for a very limited time only – on Sunday evenings only from 14th August-4th September – perfect for those eager to get exclusive behind the scenes access to the ride plus all guests on the tour will receive a goody bag and brand new and exclusive Bubbleworks pop badge! Book now to secure your place by calling 01372 731 673*.
Guests visiting the park over the summer will also have the chance of taking a piece of Bubbleworks memorabilia home** when the ride closes. Chessington will be revealing which props and elements of the ride are up for grabs in their silent auction in the coming weeks and guests will be able to email email@example.com to register their interest and then submit their bids accordingly. All proceeds from the auction will be going to a worthy charitable cause of Chessington's choosing.
With over 40 rides and attractions in 10 themed lands, a Zoo and SEA LIFE centre with over 1000 animals, Chessington offers a world of excitement for the whole family. Find out more about all of the adventures available at the Resort by visiting our website: www.chessington.com
* Phone line is open 10am – 12noon and 1pm -4pm every day of the week
**Guests entering bids in the auction must be able to collect props on Wednesday 7th September and have suitable transport to do so.
Notes to Editors
· The full theme park will be open on selected days from Friday 18th March – Monday 31st October 2016, please check the website for availability. For more information on opening times and to book tickets please visit www.chessington.com<http://www.chessington.com>
· Discover the perfect family get away at the Chessington Resort Hotels - Safari Hotel and Azteca Hotel - where you can enjoy themed rooms, an indoor swimming pool, spa and Savannah Splash pool and two fantastic themed restaurants. Or for the ultimate outdoor accommodation experience try our Explorer Glamping – brand new for 2016! For more information please visit http://www.chessington.com/glamping
· For 12 months unlimited access to Chessington and/or Merlin’s other UK attractions see our range of annual passes at Merlin Annual Pass<http://www.chessington.com/tickets/annual-passes.aspx>
· The Zoo at Chessington World of Adventures is a member of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA). BIAZA represents its member collections and promotes the values of good zoos and aquariums.
- £33 for Gorillas (16 years +)
- £25 for Baboons (10–15 years over 1.4m)
- £18 mini Tarzans (children over 1 metre tall)
- Tree Top Junior (Primary Schools) £13 per pupil. Supervision ratio: one adult to eight over 6’s.
- Tree Top Adventure (School or College – meeting the below Tree Top Adventure restrictions) will save 20%. This is for a group of 10 or more students Monday – Friday in term time only.
- Minimum Age – 10yrs
- Minimum Height – 1.4m (4ft7″)
- Maximum weight – 20.5 stones (130kg)
- Minimum Height – 1m (3ft3″)
- Maximum weight – 20.5 stones (130kg)