We were fortunate enough to be invited along to the preview night for Zufari: Ride Into Africa! The new attraction features a whole host of new animals, a story-driven ride experience and more than a few surprises. Join us as we take a look back and share our thoughts on the new attraction.
The night started off in the hotel with refreshments and animal encounters. With a talk from the team behind the new ride. We learned more about the creative side of the development and got to hear from Divisional Director David Smith. After that, we were escorted over to the attraction for our very first rides.
Zufari: Ride Into Africa!
Before we start, it’s important to state that the ride as we saw it was unfinished. Some of the animals were still undergoing quarantine and the weather wasn’t ideal.
Before we embarked on our first ride, we were greeted with the new land of Zufari. The land is small, but the area is wonderfully themed. Fantastic themed fences, lots of planting and simple yet effective pathing with sets the tone for the area. Upon entering the queue line, we discover that the originally planned ornate queue has been replaced. Instead of a lushly planted queue with natural barriers, we face a series of switchbacks and fences. Unfortunately, not the nicest of queues.
Once we reach the preshow the theming gets better, however. The large themed building has plenty of detail. We step in through one of three doors and take our seat on one of many benches. Sat down, we join Chase Van Driver and his pet lemur, Gozee. We’re told the story of Zufari. Joining the crew at ACRE. We’re now on a research mission to discover more about the local wildlife.
So, about the experience. We joined the explorer Chase Van Driver as he took us on a tour of Zufari. Taking us up close to some fantastic animals, including Giraffe and Rhino. Along the way, we’re greeted with a host of fun facts. We learn more about his friend Gozee and go for a ride into Zufari.
We’re told there are warnings on the rocks from an ancient tribe. Advising us not to go into a nearby cave. Following the route through the rough and bumpy terrain. We eventually come to a blockage on the path ahead. Turning around, we are forced to enter the cave we were warned not to enter.
What happens in the cave? Well, you shall have to find out for yourselves!
Honestly, we were left a little bit surprised by Zufari: Ride Into Africa! Much of the experience is not what we envisaged. As much as we enjoyed it, we felt let down by the queue line. We also felt that the preshow left a lot to be desired. What the attraction has and does was strong.
Although the attraction has lots of bedding in to do. With animals still settling into their new enclosures. Planting is still too mature and drivers still getting used to the timings. We enjoyed what we saw. We look forward to seeing the attraction develop over the coming years. Seeing the plant life grow and the animals relax.
We hope you enjoyed our preview night coverage on our social media channels. We enjoyed our trip and look forward to what Chessington has to offer for the rest of the season ahead. Be sure to keep an eye on Chessington Buzz for all the latest news and updates in 2013!