How to do Chessington World of Adventures on a budget

Here are a few of my tips on how to have a fun day out at Chessington World of Adventures on a budget. Obviously, a day out at an amusement park is bound to be expensive, but hopefully some of these tips will help you save money. This was inspired by my older post, How to do Legoland Windsor on a budget, which is one of my more popular posts - check it out too!

My tips are mostly around how to get cheaper tickets and different tickets options, saving money on eating, and hotel breaks. If you have any extra tips I'd love to hear them in the comments!

chessington world of adventures fountain

feeding parakeets at chessington

asian section at chessington

How to get cheap tickets?

There are a few options for avoiding paying the full ticket price - currently £57 on the day per person (price goes up a bit over summer weekends). 

Under-3's are free!

Remember, kids under three are for free, so don't buy a ticket for them!

Online term-time deal for pre-schoolers - £25 for two tickets

If you have a child aged four and under, you can get a term-time weekday ticket for £25, for both you and the child. What a fantastic deal! Link here - and I think Chessington World of Adventures is great for the little ones, lots of suitable rides for the little ones, and the zoo is great for them too. 

Students from £20

And if you or your child is a student and registered with Student Beans - tickets start from £20Anyone over the age of 16 and in full-time education including university, college, sixth form, and high school can use Student Beans. You can also use Student Beans if you are studying for an apprenticeship. Sign up here

My favourite - Tesco Clubcard 

Tesco Clubcard do a fantastic deal where 50p of points you spend equals £1.5 for Chessington World of Adventures tickets. If you book the tickets at least one day before going you also get a discount from the full price and pay the online saver rate - at the time of checking £36 instead of the £57 day ticket. For example, you could spend £48 in Tesco vouchers to pay for a family of four. 

The full process is fairly quick, but involves a bit of faff. You log on to Tesco, go via their link to check the price for the day you want to book, go back to Tesco and buy the amount of vouchers you need. You then get emailed the code and the booking link, on which you log on and use the code to buy the tickets which are sent to you electronically.  Hey presto, cheap(er) tickets.

Cheap on the day tickets - 2 for 1 

You can regularly find two-for-one and 50% off vouchers from various promotional packs in the supermarkets. These can usually be used in most Merlin attractions, so several amusement parks, London Eye, SEALife and so on. 

The brands to watch out for are 
  • Carex, 
  • Kelloggs, 
  • Dairymilk 
  • McDonald's Happy Meals, and 
  • Bear snacks 
There is some variation year to year which companies are doing these, and I regularly see other brands doing similar deals. Kellogg's do these discount codes usually every spring and summer, and probably a brand that does these codes the most. This is a handy tip especially for people visiting UK - just go to your local supermarket and look for Kellogg's packets with the voucher! With most of these you have to pre-book them using the promotional code, and you get a discount or 2-for-1 deal off the day price, so a discount off £57. For a family of four you might spend £114. Remember to bring the code/pack with you - I've never been asked for it, but the rules say you should. 

Cheap yearly promotions - The Sun Superdays 

You can also get cheap tickets by buying The Sun newspaper - check here for my tutorial on how to get Sun Superdays deals

Once a year The Sun does Superdays - this means you buy The Sun paper on 9 consecutive days, add these codes to the Sun Savers app, and then when the booking opens (the app will have the date) you can book two "free" tickets! They aren't quite free, as the paper costs £7.2 altogether, and then a £2 booking fee, but still very cheap if you can bear the faff. There are promotional deals for several other amusement parks too, such as Legoland, Alton Towers and Thorpe Park. These promotions happen once a year, so check the code collection dates in the link. 

As a tip, school holidays and weekends go in a flash, so if you are after those, you need to be booking as soon as the booking page opens. Weekdays and term time tickets are easier to get. You are by the way limited to two tickets per household with this deal. 

What if it rains?

If you bought a promotional ticket, too bad, you won't get your money back with the Rainy Day Guarantee. If you bought a ticket on Chessington World of Adventures, and it rained continuously over an hour, you can re-book your ticket. Mind you, there are very few days a year that the Rainy Day Guarantee applies for, so you are probably better off with the cheaper tickets nonetheless. 

The cheapest deal - £33.2 for a family of four

So, using my previous examples, if you use The Sun deal for a family of four, you could pay £9.20 for the Sun promotion tickets and £24 in Tesco Clubcard points, so £33.2 altogether.  

This is the cheapest I can book these, on a regular year - occasionally there are some other deals as well. I'll update here later if I find any cheaper deals in the future!

view of the gruffalo ride

family on an elmer elephant ride

child looking at giraffes up close

child on a climbing area

child and dad feeding parakeets

child feeding parakeet birds at chessington zoo

How to get a cheap hotel break?

Staying in a Chessington World of Adventures resort - ain't that the dream... Definitely would be for my kids! You can choose from a hotel or glamping, which both sound like quite nice options. With both you get access to Savannah Splash Pool

We haven't done this but there are a couple of things I've spotted during my bargain-hunting. At different times of the year there are different deals on Chessington World of Adventures website. One popular one is a Splash-and-Play. The resort is closed during these stays but you can stay in the hotel for a reduced price.

With a bit of luck you might be able to check-in a day before the resort opens. You check in, have fun at the hotel, sleep, have breakfast, check out and go have fun in the resort (obviously after buying cheap day tickets via the tips I've provided earlier!). At the time I've looked the dates were very limited and this wasn't available, but worth a look!

Chessington also do cheaper mid-week stays when the theme park is open, and these are a bit cheaper if you do not need to attend school - great for homeschoolers perhaps. 

Glamping at Chessington World of Adventures is a bit cheaper than the hotel, and looks like a fun exciting activity for kids - but mind you, the bathroom and shower facilities are shared just like at campsites. 

How to get on the rides I want without paying extra?

At Chessington you can get a Reserve and Ride, which costs from £15 per person - this allows you to reserve a ride and wait somewhere else for it, and then jump the queue when your alloted time comes up. Slightly speedier wait times are availabel at £30 per person, and at £70 per person. 

What you can do on a budget though is download the Chessington World of Adventures app, and check the queue times for various rides, and jump in where they are at their lowest. 

Another handy trick is to get to the resort really early and go to your most-wanted popular ride first, or alternatively, leave it very late and join the queue about five minutes before closing time as they let you wait until everyone has done the ride. You won't then have to spend loads of time waiting during the day if the ride you are after is one of the most popular ones.

While some theme parks have a Parent Swap, where the parent with the baby waits at the priority entrance, and after the ride they swap so the other parent doesn't need to wait. However, Chessington does not explicitly state they offer this - it may be worth enquiring from the staff manning the rides.  

Do you have to pay for parking?

Sorry, yes, you do. You can save £1 if you pay online or via the app though. 

What to do for food if you are on a budget?

This one is easy - take a picnic! There are plenty of places to sit down and have a packed lunch, and indoor locations too if the weather looks poorly. There is a Lidl a five minute drive away, so easy to pop by either on the way in or out for some cheap food. 

We drank water, and the kids had a carton of juice with their packed lunch. Didn't see many refilling stations for bottles, but there probably are some. 

family at chessington world of adventures

I hope that was helpful to you!

While it is not a cheap day out, Chessington World of Adventures is fun and you don't have to spend hundreds on the day. We spent about £24 in Tesco vouchers for the tickets, £9.2 for Sun Superdays tickets, £10 for coffees and drinks, £4 for parking and then of course petrol, the packed lunch costs, and £25 for McDonald's on our way back home, so all in all our day out cost less than £100. Not the cheapest day out but something you can certainly do as a treat!

And if you are hoping to go to Legoland and have some ideas for cheap tickets, have a look at my Legoland on a budget post. In addition, you might like my How to use Sun Superdays promotional deals post too for top tips. 

What are your tips for doing Chessington World of Adventures on a budget?

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