"There's no such thing as a Gruffalo?" There is now as Chessington World of Adventures Resort unveils a world first this weekend, with the opening of the The Gruffalo River Ride Adventure. Today (Saturday 18th March) celebrities and families alike took to the latest attraction at the Surrey Resort – following the Little Brown Mouse as he avoids any terrible tusks and terrible claws on a River Ride Adventure.

Julia Donaldson, author of the world-renowned book, cut a green ribbon to mark the ride's opening and was the first to experience the magic of the new adventure.  The star studded event saw a number of celebrity families in attendance, from the likes of Jodie Kidd, Sophie Ellis Bextor and Charlie Brooker, where they were photographed with the Gruffalo and took a spin on the brand new ride.

Pussycat Doll Kimberley Wyatt and JLS heartthrob JB Gill, along with their families, appeared on the green carpet and given access before the general public in an exclusive sneak peek of the ride within Chessington's very own deep, dark woods.

The competition was launched on Chessington's social channels to search for tots to confirm the Resort is completely toddler proof ahead of the opening of The Gruffalo River Ride Adventure.

Now open to the public, kids and parents alike will be able to join Mouse on a picturesque riverboat journey through the deep dark wood. As park-goers float down the lazy river, the story 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, says "We are absolutely delighted to open the Gruffalo River Ride Adventure at Chessington. We know how popular Julia Donaldson's book is and are thrilled to be able to take our visitors through the story in an interactive and magical way."

Alongside the celebrity attendees was the winner of Chessington's VIP (Very Important Preschooler) competition, a Facebook competition, searching for the most precarious toddler to take on a job advert with a difference. Talia Rose Bryant from Hampshire, aged 3, beat out over 4,800 entrants to experience the first ride and confirm it is tot-ally ready for Gruffalo fans.

The Gruffalo River Ride Adventure is 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 retail shop and 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.

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Further Information

Notes to Editors

Images of the event: 

Images of the Ride: 

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

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

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Opening times:

The full theme park will be open on selected days from Friday 17th March – Tuesday 31st October 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.

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

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