The world’s first Jumanji-themed land has opened its gates in the UK.
The £17million ‘World of Jumanji’ attraction, set inside the Chessington World of Adventures Resort, ‘deep dives into the adventurous, action-packed stories seen in the box-office-hit Jumanji films’.
Billed as the theme park’s ‘wildest adventure yet for families’, the new land features the world’s only Jumanji roller coaster and two more rides – ‘Mamba Strike’ and ‘Ostrich Stampede’ – based on the film franchise.
Visitors are encouraged to follow in the footsteps of the film series’ characters as they try to ‘locate the Jaguar’s Eye Jewel, lift the curse and save Jumanji’ during their time in the themed land.
To get inside, visitors pass through an entrance portal that’s ‘shrouded in the ominous and overgrown Jumanji jungle’.
The world’s first Jumanji-themed land has opened its gates in the UK
The £17million ‘World of Jumanji’ attraction is set inside the Chessington World of Adventures Resort. It features the world’s only Jumanji roller coaster (above) – Mandrill Mayhem
The Mandrill Mayhem roller coaster boasts Chessington’s first inversion, which is when the track goes upside down
First-look photographs of the attraction show how a focal point is the cat-shaped ‘Jaguar Shrine’ structure, which ‘looms 55ft (16m) tall, keeping a watchful eye out over all who enter as it awaits the return of the curse-lifting Jaguar’s Eye jewel’.
The shuttle roller coaster, Mandrill Mayhem, has been made from 144 tonnes of steel track – ‘the equivalent weight of 96 hippos’, the theme park notes.
Boasting Chessington’s first inversion (when the track goes upside down), Mandrill Mayhem ‘sweeps riders up into the long arms of a mandrill [monkey]’ and flips them upside down at 42mph (68kmph) ‘while dodging the hazards of the jungle and spiralling to the summit of the Jaguar Shrine’.
While riding on Mamba Strike, visitors ‘dodge the fangs’ of the black mamba snake while ‘soaring into the sky before swooping back down again’.
Ostrich Stampede, meanwhile, sees visitors ‘swerving a herd of stampeding ostriches on a whirlwind ride in the dunes’.
The cat-shaped ‘Jaguar Shrine’ structure ‘looms 55ft (16m) tall, keeping a watchful eye out over all who enter’
While riding on Mamba Strike, visitors ‘dodge the fangs’ of the black mamba snake while ‘soaring into the sky before swooping back down again’
The Ostrich Stampede ride sees visitors ‘swerving a herd of stampeding ostriches on a whirlwind ride in the dunes’
The new land is billed as the theme park’s ‘wildest adventure yet for families’
Alongside the three new rides, there are other Jumanji-themed activities to explore, including a maze of pathways reminiscent of the board game from the original 1995 Jumanji film, starring Robin Williams and a young Kirsten Dunst.
When they’ve worked up an appetite, visitors can also pick up ‘themed refreshments’ from the Bazaar café, and if they want to extend their trip, they can spend the night in one of the six new World of Jumanji-themed bedrooms at the Chessington Safari Hotel.
A statement notes that a person could have watched the 2017 film Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle 1,368 times in the time it’s taken to construct and build World of Jumanji – around 684 hours.
The themed land is said to be Chessington World of Adventures’ ‘single largest investment in its history’.
The long and lucrative history of the Jumanji film franchise dates back to 1981, with the release of the fantasy children’s picture book Jumanji, written and illustrated by Chris Van Allsburg.
It tells the story of a magical board game that is played out in real life, with exotic animals, stampedes and monsoons jeopardising the lives of the players.
The 1995 film adaptation was a hit with cinemagoers, raking in £197million ($262.8 million) at the box office.
More than two decades later, the first sequel, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, was released. This time, the board game morphs into a video game. A group of teenagers are sucked into the virtual world of Jumanji, with Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, and Karen Gillan playing their avatars as they battle a villain in the hopes of saving Jumanji – and escaping the game.
Alongside the three new rides, there are other Jumanji-themed activities to explore, including a maze of pathways reminiscent of the board game from the original Jumanji film
The themed land is said to be Chessington World of Adventures’ ‘single largest investment in its history’
A person could have watched the 2017 film Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle 1,368 times in the time it’s taken to construct and build World of Jumanji
Two years later Jumanji: The Next Level hit cinemas, following the same group of teenagers as they yet again get trapped inside the game – this time with Danny DeVito and Danny Glover joining the cast.
In April of last year, the world’s first Jumanji ride opened at Italy’s Gardaland Resort, which lies to the west of Verona on the shores of picturesque Lake Garda.
Commenting on the launch of the new UK attraction, Scott O’Neil, CEO of Merlin Entertainments, which operates Chessington, said: ‘Whether you are a fan of the films, a fan of roller coasters or are looking to take your family adventures to The Next Level, the amazing World of Jumanji is ready to welcome all “those who seek to find, a way to leave their world behind”. Years in the making by the best teams in the business and full of “firsts”, we can’t wait to share the adventures within World of Jumanji.
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (pictured) sees the ‘Jumanji’ board game morph into a video game
‘And, with Chessington’s first inversion, we know that we have created an experience that will turn seasoned enthusiasts – and a new generation of roller coaster fans – upside down.’
Jeffrey Godsick, EVP of Global Partnerships and Brand Management and Head of Location Based Entertainment at Sony Pictures Entertainment, added: ‘We are excited to have collaborated on a global scale with top tier industry talent at Merlin Entertainments and Chessington World of Adventures Resort for this achievement.
‘The Jumanji franchise has generations of fans who can now enjoy the story in a whole new way. The opening of World of Jumanji will provide a unique thrilling experience for all adventurers for many years to come.’
Visit Chessington.com/Jumanji to book tickets.