A huge new waterpark with themed water slides, an infinity pool and safari ‘beach’ could open at Chessington World of Adventures under new plans.
The famous theme park in south west London has revealed proposals to expand in a bid to rival the likes of Disney and Universal Studios.
Owner Merlin Entertainments wants to expand the safari hotel at Chessington to build the waterpark.
The attraction would include wave, infinity and spa pools, along with lazy and rapid rivers, themed water slides, an aqua play area, splash pad, safari ‘beach’, cabanas, snack bar and café.
Planning documents submitted to Kingston Council warned visitor numbers will drop at Chessington without investment and the scheme is ‘critical’ to its future.
They said the resort must improve its attractions to continue drawing in guests as it deals with the impact of Covid-19 and ongoing economic uncertainties.
They continued: “By not doing so it becomes more likely that it will lose ground on the competition, affecting its share of the market and its ability to continuing delivering local economic benefits to the borough.”
The documents said a waterpark at Chessington would ‘diversify its offer, differentiate it from its competitors’ and help it become a ‘multiday short break destination’.
They added: “The ability to encourage visitors to spend more time at the resort is central to its success.
Overseas resorts such as Disney and Universal Studios are highly successful at this by providing guests the opportunities to fully immerse themselves in the experience.”
Further documents said: “The vision of the project is to offer a unique and immersive water park experience where guests can encounter live creatures and animals throughout their visit.
“This project aspires to create an unparalleled water park adventure in the UK, while also respectfully and sensitively integrating into the Green Belt environment and the wider context of the resort.
“The goal is to provide an unforgettable and memorable experience for all visitors.”
Chessington first opened to the public as a zoo in 1931.
It was later transformed into a theme park and now has more than 1,000 animals in its zoo and sealife centre, over 40 rides and attractions, two themed hotels, a glamping site and Go Ape course.
Building works for the scheme could be completed as soon as 2025 if it is approved, according to the planning documents.
Kingston Council will make a decision on the application in due course.