Revenge, Chessington World of Adventures
I could sound like David
Attenborough describing fair rides in their ‘native environment’.
Like a male peacock, fair rides use bright colours and dazzling displays
to entice you. Of course, at home (German fairs, naturally), rides are
run to full potential, offering a tough challenge to those willing to
Theme parks seem to try their
hardest to ensure subdued versions of these rides shoehorn their way
into parks. Like caged lions, they offer merely a glimpse of their
former majesty and are overly tamed, offering little more than an idea
of what it must be like to enjoy these beasts in their indigenous home.
Chessington have gone
surprisingly and almost unnecessarily over the top for Rameses Revenge,
whereby the majority of a whole area – Forbidden Kingdom – has
actually been built around the ride.
As such, it looks well settled
in, and with the theming, the ride doesn’t seem as out-on-a-limb as
many other park-based spin rides.
Imagine if you will
a 40ft tall structure consisting of two arms supporting what is
essentially an elongated sofa. This sofa itself is 20-seats wide,
consisting of two tiered rows. This sofa is suspended from the arms and
swings freely below as the arms can rotate in large circles.
At given times,
this sofa can be flicked over backwards and/or forwards and in the case
of Rameses Revenge, lowered slowly into fountains below.
The ride is as much fun to watch
as it is to ride. The ride is situated in a small hole, so the fountain
finale, as it were, is well observed from the surrounding pathway where
pained expressions of riders can be clearly seen before their cranium is
doused in water.
The entrance is hidden behind you
under a crumbling stone archway, emblazened with the modern Rameses
Revenge logo. Uneven steps take you up to a balcony walkway crossing
over the Arabian Camel Derby below, and crossing a mock rope-bridge.
The sandstone walls are richly
decorated with lanterns and masts supporting the canvas roofing, whilst
you follow the wall to a staircase leading down into the lush oasis that
Rameses Revenge is nestled in.
If you’re someone who wants to
focus on the fun of the ride and not get soaked, you have to be quite
cauculating at this point. Sitting at the ends of the gondola will
secure you a ride sans H20, so make sure that these seats aren’t taken
– or are unlikely to be taken – by the time you make the short walk
to the ride.
Riders are expected to fill up
every row, but should you wish to stay dry, there are about 12-or-so
seats on the outer edges that escape the plumes of water. People sitting
in the middle of the ride and not filling seats up further stall the
loading of this ride, something which is hardly it’s forte.
The seats are snug but feel well
formed. As the last person sits, first the overhead restraints
automatically lower, before a lap bar tightly pushes down on top. People
curse and scream for nothing more than effect, as although tight, the
restraints being tight will only make the rest of the ride far more
The ride whirs into life. Slowly,
the 40-seat gondola is taken backwards, upright until the arms
supporting you get to around 45-degrees. You then slowly swing forwards,
the ride motion scooping you up towards the sky.
On your back, you slow and again
swoop backwards in a gradual arc. So far, movements have been slow,
gradual and unassuming. You swoop forwards again, climbing towards the
sky before you pause upside-down. As the blood runs to your head, you
continue skywards before with a hiss of pneumatics, the gondola rolls
around 180-degrees, barrelling around the back of the ride towards the
ground below, swinging sharply towards a wall of water.
The water drops just in time as
the ride once again continues to tease you. This time upright, you
gently go backwards and forwards. Suddenly, you quickly accelerate,
rushing backwards and over the top like a magic carpet before returning
to the top, where you pause.
Slowly, you creep forwards. Like
you’re teetering on a cliff edge, you slowly turn downwards, staring
towards the fountains below. Suddenly, like you’re falling, the water
rushes towards your face. As your eyes close, the cool water soaks you,
as the ride swings into an upright position.
On quiet days, if you blush
whimsically at the ride operator, you may be entitled to another ride,
normally a far more intense program.
You slowly creep up backwards,
and just before you get to the top, you stop. Slowly, you’re taken
backwards towards the ground, before the ride speeds up, climbing up to
the top, before flicking you over the very summit of the ride, over, and
over, and over about five times.
On the fifth flip, you teeter
upside-down above the ground before you swing upright, go back up to the
top and are once again soaked by the satanic ride operator.
On busier days, you only get one
rather unfulfilling program that spends time building up to something
that doesn’t materialise. Obviously this is a capacity issue, but I
would far prefer the ride to get down to the nitty gritty and spit you
out after a whirlwind of sensations than to nonchalantly saunter
backwards and forwards before soaking you.
With two rides in a row, you will
come up trumps. The second program, whilst not fairground quality, is
highly entertaining, balancing the subdued swinging well with the
intense rolling of the gondola.
Unfortunately, Rameses Revenge is
a watered-down version of what can be found at the fairs. Rides on it
range from moderate to fun, and although visitor reaction seems to be
somewhat favourable, why run a ride so it is good when it can be great?
▪ A good variety of
▪ Not too fast
▪ Fits well into the
▪ Often run on poor or
▪ Relies too much on
spraying riders with water