It was with heavy heart that I drove to Chessington World of Adventures Resort on Tuesday evening to say Bye Bye Bubbleworks! A ride that was one of my earliest theme park memories closed for the last time and I was one of the last people to ride it.
Chessington had laid on an event for the press and theme park enthusiast community to say farewell to this iconic ride. There was also an appearance by ‘Professor Burp’ – the original ‘owner’ of the ride (before it was
ruined rethemed by Imperial Leather in 2005. As well as some information boards about the ride, and some props / themeing elements to look at.
After the group had assembled we were led to the ride for it to complete its few final circuits. It will be fondly remembered by many families, mine included. As my boat bobbed around, it was clear that the time had come for it to go. It’s not really been the same since 2005, there just wasn’t much thought and love put into the retheme. The life and soul of the ride was removed, as well as most of the moving theming elements. What was left was has slowly died, and whilst the ride system has been looked after – not much else has.
When all the riders had finished, all that was left to happen was for Professor Burp to ‘switch off’ the ride. Before joining us for a meal in the Azteca Hotel Restaurant.
I’m hopeful that the ride being created in the Bubbleworks building will have some of the flare and magic of the original. There are plenty of rumours about what the ride will be, with the same name popping up repeatedly. Chessington are due to officially announce it next month.
There is a real chance for Merlin to sprinkle some magic for 2017 – let’s hope they can.
Below is a video I recorded on my last voyage, if you’d like to read more about my memories on the ride, with links to a fantastic documentary about the history of the ride – look here