Following the sighting late last year of one of the UK's best-loved children's characters The Gruffalo*, Chessington World of Adventures Resort has revealed the reason for his arrival. The Gruffalo River Ride Adventure – a world first - has landed in the Wild Wood. Based on the book written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler, the new ride has been created in partnership with Magic Light Pictures.

Kids and parents alike will be able to join Mouse on a picturesque riverboat journey through the deep dark wood, when The Gruffalo River Ride Adventure opens Spring 2017. As park-goers float down the lazy river, the world of The Gruffalo will magically unfold in front of their eyes with exciting twists and turns along the way.

Tim Harrison-Jones, Divisional Director at Chessington, said: "We are absolutely delighted to finally reveal the reason behind the Gruffalo's arrival at Chessington World of Adventures Resort.

"The story of The Gruffalo has been at the heart of many childhood memories and we're sure Adventurers young and old will be eager to experience the first ever Gruffalo ride!"

Daryl Shute, Brand Director at Magic Light Pictures, added: “This is a fantastic opportunity for The Gruffalo brand and we're thrilled to be working with Merlin Entertainments and the team at Chessington to bring this to life. From page, to stage, to screen, The Gruffalo can now be explored in a fully immersive ride that will give fans the chance to experience the story in a whole new way.”

The Gruffalo River Ride Adventure opens to all in Spring 2017 and will be accompanied by many other Gruffalo offerings across the Resort, including four brand 

new Gruffalo themed hotel rooms in the Chessington Safari Hotel; a brand new Gruffalo shop and Gruffalo Bites food outlet both offering themed goodies; character meet and greets with the Gruffalo himself, plus much, much more!

With over 40 rides and attractions in 10 themed lands, a Zoo and SEA LIFE centre with over 1,000 animals, Chessington offers a world of excitement for the whole family.

An Early Booking Offer is now available, giving up to 30% off short breaks in 2017. This offer runs until January 31, 2017 and includes discounts for all accommodation options.

Visit our website and sign up to be amongst the first to find out more about the exciting new news from Chessington in 2017.


* © 1999 & TM Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler. Licensed by Magic Light Pictures Ltd.

Further Information

Chessington World of Adventures Resort

High resolution images of Chessington World of Adventures Resort are available for the media to download free of charge from 

Twitter: @cwoa    Facebook:    Instagram: @chessingtonworldofadventures    Google+:

Opening Times

The full theme park will be open on selected days from Friday March 17 – Tuesday October 31, 2017, please check the website for availability. For more information on opening times and to book tickets please visit

Short Breaks

Discover the perfect family getaway 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! For more information please visit

Additional Information

For 12 months unlimited access to Chessington and/or Merlin’s other UK attractions see our range of annual passes at Merlin Annual Pass<>

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.

MERLIN ENTERTAINMENTS plc is the leading name in location-based, family entertainment. Europe’s Number 1 and the world’s second-largest visitor attraction operator, Merlin now operates 111 attractions, 12 hotels/4 holiday villages in 23 countries and across 4 continents. The company aims to deliver memorable and rewarding experiences to its almost 63 million visitors worldwide, through its iconic global and local brands, and the commitment and passion of its managers and c26,000 employees (peak season).

Among Merlin’s attractions are - SEA LIFE, Madame Tussauds, LEGOLAND, DreamWorks Tours SHREK’s Adventure, The London Eye, Dungeons, Gardaland, LEGOLAND Discovery Centres, Alton Towers Resort, Warwick Castle, THORPE PARK Resort, Blackpool Tower, Heide Park Resort, Sydney Tower Eye and SKYWALK.  All brands which are distinctive, challenging and innovative – and which have great potential for growth in the future. Visit  for more information.

Magic Light Pictures

Magic Light Pictures makes imaginative entertainment for audiences, families and children worldwide.

The company creates high quality films and products and has built the wonderful Gruffalo brand over many years.  Its filmmaking includes feature films such as Oscar-nominated animation Chico & Rita, comedy thriller Wild Target and natural history documentary One Life

The company directly manages production, licensing, global distribution and marketing.  Magic Light has sold its Oscar and BAFTA-nominated half-hour animated films, The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo’s Child, to over 80 broadcasters worldwide.  It runs an international merchandising programme with over 40 licensees and 250 products.  In 2012, the company launched Room on the Broom – based on the best-selling book by Donaldson and Scheffler – with a Bafta and International Emmy-winning half-hour animation and a growing range of merchandise.


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