Just got back from Festive Zoo Days, and have a small review of the event.
I arrived at the Zoo just after 10am and quickly noticed the sheer amount of decoration, you could physically see the decorations in the Hotel from the entrance, there was holly on the ticket booths and garlands on pretty much every fence in public eye. The Zoo Shop and the Sea Life Shop had also received some Christmas related theming. Hocus Pocus Hall was the only attraction open, however most guests seemed more than happy about the offering of the zoo, no one seemed disappointed. Now onto the construction around the resort.
First off is the refurbishment of Market Square for next season with Fun Fort being covered in Scaffolding and Chessington Shop receiving a repaint. The trees and stalls in the centre of the area have been removed as well as the charis. The stone wall dividing Pizza Pasta from the zoo has been repainted and fitted with what looks like new gates. I can only guess that the area is being overhauled to go back to a more realistic english town, similar to the Stubb's Sweet Shop refurbishment.
Image is taken through the bars next to Adventures Services from the Children's Zoo.
The Capybaras have been moved to one of the old bird enclosures next to Penguin Cove after it was redeveloped. Some of the old monkey enclosures are still existing but empty, however guests can still view and walk around this area. Further down in monkey and bird garden, the path is blocked by a wooden fence where new enclosures are being built.
(hotel construction can be seen at the back of the photo)
Following the fire at the café, market square was closed and hidden behind a banner, this hid the theme park very well and you didn't feel restricted at all as to where you could go. There was some tall fencing hiding the fire aftermath is trail of the kings, but by holding the camera at the right angle, you can get a good look at what has happened and what type of damage it has caused. I can confirm that Bubbleworks it 100% ok and has not been affected by the fire (the facade might be as you can't see it), however apart from the chimney and one corner, pretty much all of creaky cafe is gone, and as a result the Transylvania tower has gone into heavy scaffolding, presumably because it has been slightly damaged.
Other, smaller thing have/are taking place, with the skyway trains all being clogged up from Sea Storm (where the track is missing) round to Hocus Pocus hall, with one train also remaining idle next to the children's zoo. Most of Mexicana is in scaffolding but with no work taking place to Runaway Train yet. The Sea Life centre's roof is having some trouble after being ripped by the storm last monday leading to large rattling noises and ceiling tiles occasionally popping up. Creepy caves is also having new enclosures refurbished and having a new entrance is under construction. Despite the hideous weather today, the staff were all in a really jolly mood (always the case with Chessington) and offered my family with free donuts, as well as starting the sea lion show an hour early because we and a few people were just standing nearby.
Once again Chessington have managed to put on a very good show with the restricted areas they have open as well as the reduced capacity caused by the fire. It amazed me that managers could provide something so well prepared and jolly even after having what must have been a hellish Christmas following the fire. Next up, African Adventures.