-They are spending the money rather than doing nothing
They are spending the money because they have to, really. The old rockwork was condemned and Runaway Train and Dragon Falls both rely very heavily upon their theming, so to leave them completely bare would be to lower themselves to Gullivers standards. They're not quite there yet. But I don't think Chessington is much better than Flamingo Land anymore, in honesty.
-The areas which they have done do look good
Depends how recently we're talking. Since Merlin came in they've introduced Wild Asia which, yes, is magnificent. But meanwhile they've let the rest of the park slip into a seemingly endless spiral of decline and then, this year, introduced Zufari which is a fine example of half-arsedness. This is also the park that recently brought us (admittedly pre-Merlin) the abomination that is Land of the Dragons. Easily the tackiest area of the park, and with the most utterly bizarre layout I think I've ever seen for a theme park area. Nobody even knows about Griffin's Galleon!
-New area audio going in
This is good. It's a cheap way of improving guest experience and I approve of it. However, they counteract good decisions such as this one by running rides such as Vampire (low throughput at the best of times) on one train and overselling fastrack tickets. Queues at Chessington needn't be nearly as long as they are, and it spoils guest experience.
-Zufari is a hit for the park, but many people seem to be disappointed when they go in cold weather and the animals are inside or they compare it to the US parks who have so much more space
Depends on your definition of a "hit" really. It gets long queues partially down to low throughput and partially because it's new. We'll see just how popular it is in a few years. It's failure is not down to space - Chessington had much more land to play with if they had wanted to - it all comes down to budget, and Merlin have decided to build this ride on the cheap. It shows. Besides, with the closure of Runaway Train and now Rameses Revenge, Chessington has still seen a decline in the number of attractions on offer between 2012 and 2013. That shouldn't happen, ever.
-We really need to wait for all the work to finish before we judge, yes the scaffolding looks a mess and it should have been done out of season, but the work is being done and lots of theming is getting put back
But will it ever be as good as it used to be? If Runaway Train isn't rethemed to the same standard, they should have just thrown it on the scrapheap and used the space for something new. It's a poor ride, but the previous 'experience' was more than the sum of its parts.
-Plus one of the most positive things is they are listening and adjusting, for example, removall of seatbelts from Zufari, painting animals on the fences by Zufari
Things like this go on all the time at all theme parks - minor touches to improve guest experience. They're just better noticed at Chessington becuase they're the only
My personal opinion is they really need a 10 million upgrade and they need to sort out the car parking as well
Agreed. Car parking is a joke at Chessington. And, yes, £10million would be nice, especially when it seems that we're getting this instead of any new attractions over the next few years - not even a much-needed Bubbleworks retheme.