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Adventures into the Gruffalo’s deep dark wood

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Take a walk through the deep dark wood with the Little Brown Mouse

Take a walk through the deep dark wood with the Little Brown Mouse

Just an hour drive north there is a magical place, writes Officréche mum Sarah Booker Lewis.

We were ready to make a journey through the deep dark wood, where a mouse saw a nut and the nut looked good.

Yes, Chessington World of Adventures beckoned for my daughter’s fourth birthday treat, and the new Gruffalo River Ride was first on our list.

Set in what was Professor Burps Bubbleworks, the ride is everything you hope it would be.

Boat ride

After a half hour wait, we boarded our little road boat and followed the tale.

Beautifully crafted animatronics brought the story to life.

Every element of detail matched Axel Scheffler’s iconic illustrations.

Transparent screens had animated elements, with the little mouse running away.

Of course the mouse outwits everyone and then comes face-to-face with a quite enormous Gruffalo.

Fountain finale

Those who remember Bubble Works will be delighted to know some of the fountain finale remains when the mouse takes the Gruffalo back to see the tricked animals.

It was an absolutely magnificent, magical experience leaving one newly minted four-year-old completely thrilled.

Of course you exit through the gift shop with its beautifully crafted soft toys.

While this was the highlight, there are many other offerings at the resort, which is geared up for young children rather than thrill seekers.

This time my daughter was not over keen on seeing the animals or the Sea Life Centre as she has in the past.

Interactive elephant

Instead she drove trucks and Mr Toad’s car.

She went exploring in the Land of Dragon’s soft play and had a close encounter with a couple of grumpy mythical beasts.

A talking elephant trapped inside a tree kept her occupied for a good 20 minutes.

It responded to children’s questions making it great fun.

Chessington World of Adventures is on the A243, just off the A3. Rail users can change trains at Clapham Junction for Chessington South railway station.

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