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Chessington World of Adventures theme park consists of themed areas styled on a range of world cultures.
It currently has 10 themed areas including the Adventure Point, Mystic East, Mexicana, Pirates' Cove, Wild Woods, In the English Civil War it became a royalist stronghold, and Oliver Cromwell's Parliamentary forces razed it to the ground.
In 2014, "nearly £15 million" was invested in the resort as the whole, with a new wing built next to the Safari Hotel, advertised as a second standalone hotel, named "Azteca Hotel".
Theme park developments for the year included the refurbishment of the Runaway Train roller coaster as Scorpion Express and Amazu Treetop Adventure, a chidren's raised play area within the zoo.
Other support rides were also opened, and the park opened just five themed areas: Calamity Canyon, Mystic East, Market Square, Toy Town and Circus World.
Besides Chessington, Merlin also purchased Alton Towers, the nearby Thorpe Park, and Madame Tussauds, which made Merlin the second largest entertainment operator in the world in terms of attendance numbers, behind Disney.
2008 saw the opening of the Chessington Sea Life Centre, at the time comprising three areas: Our Shoreline, The Reef and Ocean Tunnel. Also in 2010, the Wanyama reserve was opened, giving the Africa-themed Safari hotel guests a view of animals In the same year, the annual Halloween Hocus Pocus event included a new attraction, The Mystery of Hocus Pocus Hall, featuring projection-mapped visual effects.
The Burnt Stub site was rebuilt as an inn, until the 18th century, when the Vere Barker family rebuilt it in neo-gothic Victorian style.
The park was built on a relatively small budget of around £12 million, to test the still-emerging theme park market.