If you read my earlier post you'll know that the Penguins of Madagasar movie is out on DVD and Blu-ray this week. To celebrate, Chessington has a whole host of penguin fun at the theme park as part of their 'Year of the Penguins' spectacular.
Re-live all the fun of the film with the Dreamworks live show Penguins of Madagascar - Operation Cheezy Dibbles; check out the new themed ride in the park; visit the new arrivals - a family of Humboldt penguins in their new enclosure and extend the penguin fun with a stay in the on-site hotel's brand new penguin themed rooms.
An all-singing, all-dancing cast of characters from the film take to the stage in live shows at Chessington. The energetic show will appeal to all ages and the compares do an excellent job of introducing it and teaching the audience how to do the penguin shuffle dance.
There's tonnes of special effects in the stage show, and the children were thrilled at the finale to be showered with 'cheezy dibbles' frantically scrambling around to collect up as much as they could.
The costumes are spectacular and, in line with the film plot, involve some changes and metamorphosis which were particularly clever.
The singing was worthy of a west-end production - particularly the character of Dave who camped it up spectacularly on stage.
The action is fast and furious and frankly quite bonkers and had the kids in fits of hysterics. You can catch the stage show at Chessington at 11:30; 1pm (with character meet and greet); 2pm and 3:15pm.
Grab your seat early at the Africa stage area to get the best view.
New Penguin-themed ride:
Right next door to the stage area you'll find the new ride Treetop Hoppers. Pop straight over once the show has finished for some high-rise fun (height restrictions apply, minimum height 90cm). This was a fairly gentle ride that our 7 year old went on her own.
"Young adventurers are invited to join the Penguins of Madagascar in their latest secret mission. Climb up the jungle trees by riding in Kowalski's latest wacky invention: The Treetop Hoppers and help to retrieve the Penguin's extremely valuable supply of Cheezy Dibbles"
Brand new Penguin Bay has been completely refurbished for 2015. Meet the Humboldt penguins in the deluxe penguin area, with extended viewing and covered seating. Listen to the expert talks at 11:30 and 2:30pm and get up close and personal with the penguins.
Originally from Peru and Chile and the Pacific coast of South America, these adorable penguins feed on fish (anchovies are their favourite). They mate for life and bring up their offspring together.
When we visited they were feeling a bit shy, but if you go over at feeding time you're sure to get a much more interactive experience.
New Penguin Themed Hotel Rooms:
The hotel at Chessington World of Adventures is a real treat and a great way to make the fun last longer. The new extension means there's now effectively two hotels and brand new for this year are two exclusive penguin themed rooms.
We stayed in the hotel (a full review on that will follow) and can vouch for the excellent service, incredibly varied buffet breakfast selection and quality children's entertainment.
There's a movie zone area with comfy beanbags for the kids, evening disco, fabulous splash pool, access to the outdoor play area and smart TVs in the rooms.
Children have their own themed bedroom zone area with bunk beds, separate reading lights, a quiz trail to complete and unlock special prizes in the secret safe - and in the penguin rooms an X-Box and TV!
An overnight stay in one of the family penguin themed rooms is not cheap at £349 but it does give you loads of added benefits including free entry the following day to the park; a designated VIP parking space, fast-track wristbands for each person and access to the splash-zone and pool.
See the website for further information and booking.
If you have little penguin fans, then Chessington is definitely the place to be!
Disclosure: We attended a special event courtesy of Dreamworks and Chessington World of Adventures for the purposes of this review.