Hi everyone! Tonight we’re looking at the latest addition to Chessington’s lineup, Room on the broom, which has replaced Hocus Pocus Hall located near the entrance to the park.
Let me start by saying I intend to keep this as spoiler free as possible throughout as I can – so for those who have not experienced the attraction yet will be able to base a judgment on what to expect without having to worry about major spoilers inside the attraction, although there will be a mention of some of the effects in use.
So onto the attraction, what did I think? Having been a fan of the former, fun, with some innuendo hidden away Hocus Pocus Hall and not a big fan of IP’s replacing original stories I entered the attraction with low expectations, which once inside were a pleasant surprise, with a variety of physical effects, projection mapping and interactive elements the attraction really captures the target audience. It is fantastic to see Chessington bringing characters to life again using animatronics which really make a huge difference on the experience for the guest. The route has remained mostly the same although you can’t tell with how much has been done to the attraction to make it unique, and is certainly some of Merlin Magic Making’s best work to date in terms of improved detailing.
While I felt mostly positive about the attraction there was a few things I really felt could have been improved on, which I will mention below and my reasons why.
Exterior aesthetics – while I understand what the park was trying to do, and fully respect that, the wooden queue line doesn’t compliment the old existing structure, Hocus Pocus Hall featured a nice black metal fence for its queue and something that really would have looked a lot more in place with the building. The 2D entrance arch also felt very out of place to myself and would have liked to have seen something more complimenting of the area, saying this the main entrance sign above the door way looks great! And with the special effects it features too very authentic too.
Inside it was quite easy for people to be left behind, in several scenes they’d already been started before everyone had even turned up, after a long queue time this was not great as it felt as if you missed a lot of the attraction. Children in other peoples groups around us also couldn’t get to the scenes and as such missed out on fully experiencing the attraction. If it was suitable it’d be great to see the trommel in use too, which has been painted but turned off.
The attraction could do with a way to manage larger crowds, with what would have normally been a minimal queue for any other attraction, the queue was around 45 minutes, with huge amounts of room in the queue line behind (at least 4 or 5 times as much) it would be ideal to see the attraction space groups better to allow higher capacity as when it hits peak periods I can imagine the attraction will really struggle with the crowds and excessive wait times.
Despite these issues, ROTB is a solid addition to Chessington’s line up for young families and will delight anyone who’s a fan of the books. Offering an interactive and fun experience for all. With a few small tweaks the attraction could be even better! I’d certainly recommend at least giving it a try on your next visit to the park.