This weekend, Chessington World of Adventures Resort invited the media and celebrities to a special preview of the Resort’s new addition for 2018 – Land of the Tiger. Promising an update to the Resort’s popular log flume, as well as the arrival of four new Amur Tigers, SouthParks attended the preview for a first look at Land of the Tiger.

One of the most anticipated elements of the new area is the re-theme of popular log flume Dragon Falls to become Tiger Rock. With its striking tiger rockwork theming surrounding the main drop, Tiger Rock is now once again a prominent feature of the area. The entrance plaza area has been updated and whilst it retains its oriental theme, it now has a much more detailed theme to that of a Chinese fireworks festival and includes several detailed elements of theming. Perhaps one of the most impressive elements of the attraction’s transformation is the ride station. The station is totally transformed from its previous incarnation as Dragon Falls, now having a stunning feature wall which has a tiger scene in silhouette backlit by feature lighting with a show sequence running every 5 minutes. As guests leave the station they pass underneath a tiger head which features projection mapped effects to represent the spirit of the tiger. Throughout the ride there is a range of new audio accompanying riders’ as they make their way round. The tunnel has also received a transformation with a range of effects being added to the interior (we won’t give too much detail so as not to spoil the surprise), although it is sad to see the loss of the colourful dragon exterior with the outside now a plain grey, something which somehow doesn’t quite fit with the colour of the rest of the area. Effects have also been added to the main drop – as guests descend through the mouth of the tiger rockwork, smoke and mist effects are triggered adding an extra element to what was previously a straightforward drop. Overall Tiger Rock is a vast improvement on its predecessor, Dragon Falls, and is an attraction which will be able to be enjoyed by a wide range of guests.

At the heart of Land of the Tiger is the new tiger enclosures which are home to four endangered Amur Tigers – Olga, Kalinka, Tsar and Kyra. These enclosures have been carefully designed and constructed to offer a spacious environment for the tigers, with a range of enrichment opportunities from platforms at different levels to pools of water and scratching posts. They also feature Europe’s first overhead tiger trails, allowing the tigers to move freely between their three enclosures and enabling them to choose whether to spend their time together, or on their own. The enclosures also offer plenty of viewing areas for guests, as well as an area for staff to give twice daily feeding demonstrations which offer a great opportunity for guests to learn more about the tigers as well as get to see them up close. Having moved from Kolmården Zoo in Sweden, the Resort’s newest residents appear to have settled in well and during our visit we got to experience some lovely moments of interaction, including one of the tigers running alongside our boat on Tiger Rock!

Located next to Wild Asia and Land of the Dragons, Land of the Tiger is situated in what was formerly known as Mystic East. Whilst much of Mystic East’s infrastructure has been retained, the Resort have transformed the area into one which incorporates a lot more colourful and vibrant theming to create a much improved overall look and feel. However, it is a shame that whilst the majority of the existing buildings have been re-painted, there are some parts of the area that have not been cleaned or refreshed which makes them look somewhat tired. The flooring for the new area is also a missed opportunity, with the area being laid with harsh black tarmac, something which looks out of place against the colourful look of the rest of the area. Despite this, it is great to see Chessington investing in its animal environments and breathing new life into an area which was looking very tired. Land of the Tiger is sure to be a hit with families visiting the Resort when it opens on 5th May.

Are you planning a visit to Chessington World of Adventures to experience Land of the Tiger? Make sure you share your thoughts over on the TowersTimes and SouthParks Forum.

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