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Chessington World of Social Studies?

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Yesterday, we took in Chessington World of Adventures – a study in pure capitalism and social status.

The day began with a special trip to my local supermarket – Asda (Walmart, US giant and therefore evil) – to buy two boxes of Kellogg’s (US giant and therefore evil) cereal to gather tokens that would allow free entry for any adult accompanying a child.

I didn’t hold out much hope. The deal will be over? Or the deal is still on but they’d sold out of every last box.

With my two boxes of Fruit n Fibre (middle class) – complete with tokens, I headed home dizzy with excitement because we don’t do tokens or offers (middle class or stupid?) – and we made the short trip to Chessington in leafy Surrey (middle class) with two children and tokens in hand.

I am very excited when the teller agrees that the adults – my wife and I (middle class) will indeed get in free.

Yes. Get in you little beauty. (faux working class)

‘That’ll be £87 please?’ The teller said politely with a little knowing grin.

Immediately I baulked. 90 quid for two ten year olds, a mistake surely?

‘But we get in free right? My wife and I?’

‘Yes sir. That’s right. It’s £87 for the kids.’ – hence the knowing smile?

A little deflated and desperate, I enquire just how much it would have cost without the tokens but he can’t tell me because it seems that everyone has a voucher. I grimace and realise that the tokens are much like the DFS sale – it’s year fucking round you bastards…

Still, the sun is shining. Paddy and his best mate are excited and all is well. But for the first queue that we encounter immediately.

A queue not for a ride – not for Dragon’s Fury or even Ripped Off Parent’s Fury…

No – it’s a queue for another ticket booth – the fast-track ticket booth (rich versus poor).

This is classic supply and demand (capitalism). Chessington use their popularity (profitable) as a way to eke out further money from their patrons (shear greed) – based on,

‘we are sooo popular and busy today – that the queues for the rides are going to be a nightmare, but by buying a fast-track ticket – your little darlings can skip the people who can’t afford fast-track (class) and head straight to the front. (Just like private schools?)

It makes sense I suppose. Especially since the adults got in for FREE.

Queuing for Fast-Track, I come over all AB1 – to use the language of the BBC’s, Alan Yentob.

Because if anyone can afford Fast-Track tickets then it’s me. I’ve been on telly. I’ve written books…

Until I get to the front…

£6 per ride.

Are you fucking kidding me?

Per fucking ride?

In a park where we’ve already shelled out nearly a £100 to just get in? Where the only thing that hasn’t got a queue are the bogs?

I am stressed now. Not because I can’t afford it but because I understand now that I am being royally shafted. The whole Kelloggs thing, it’s all bullshit. We are all being ripped off and yet here we all are, queuing up again. Which will mean that we’re all fast-track and so won’t we cancel each other out? (You Nazi C****)

I duly shell out – take my chances and off we go.

Two adults and two excited kids.

Nikki and I are agreed that we won’t go on any of the rides (Age) – and that it’s a day for the kids (smug middle class).

And quickly the boys are on to a ride. Avoiding the long queues with a digital sign indicating a wait time of 90 minutes. This sign buoys me. (Class, Guilt). Not 90 minutes for my boys – who swan to the front. This feels a little like Business Class on a flight – albeit everyone gets the same seats at Chessington and none of them recline.

And then something utterly remarkable happens – certainly a first for my family – my wife suggests a coffee while we wait and she pulls out a flask…

Earlier in the day – my wife almost goes in to shock when she remembers that we have run out of solid wood floor cleaner (middle class) – and with the cleaners arriving today (middle class) – this is a complete and utter disaster. I am dispatched to the local wood floor store (handy, middle class) and waiting for them to open I have a mooch in the camping shop next door. I don’t need a BBQ but I admire them anyway and remind myself that this time next year these beautiful machines will be covered in grease, bird shit and rust – and then I spy some rather beautiful looking flasks. And I am completely out of control and I just have to have one.

Back at home with the cleaner – my wife can now breathe again – and immediately she gets busy making coffee for the flask.

And so at Chessington World of Adventures – waiting for the boys to complete a ride, the impromptu cup of coffee tastes even better when considering the money we were clawing back from the evil capitalist machine.

And credit where it is due.

Chessington delivers because the boys had an outstanding day- and we drank more coffee than either of us really wanted as we people watched all day.

And what people to watch – people from all over the world (modern Britain?) and of the white British people at the park yesterday – it seems that tattoos are now unisex and universal and judging by the waistlines – I would wager that Kellogs sold many more boxes of Coco Pops than All Bran (class).

0 thoughts on “Chessington World of Social Studies?”

  1. so basicly Disneyland …even worse there, close to triple digits in dollars just to get in. And enough people pay to be packed in like sardines and spread previously almost extinct diseases (another topic).ill waste my money on a ballgame thank you very much (old).

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