25 May Bubbleworks refurbishment – Chessington World of Adventures
Bubbleworks was originally opened in 1990 and built by Mack Rides. It’s a six minute dark ride that was designed to carry 1,200 passengers per hour in four person circular tubs. The idea behind it was to carry you through a Bavarian Fizzy Pop factory and meet all of the characters involved.
It’s proved very popular since day one and has been re-themed a number of times, but until now, has never undergone a major re-engineering. This shows to us that quality is worth it. For a ride to work well for 25 years before a major engineering refurb, justifies the initial extra expense. Even running at 50% capacity, it will have carried over 40 million passengers already. You can enjoy the ride here in full with this POV ride video.
Our role was to re-engineer the entire lift mechanism. This lift is around four minutes into the ride and takes the tubs into an upper level, but had become unreliable. The lift is a 20m section and we completely re-engineered it to meet and exceed all of the latest standards and ensure it is good for another 25 years service.
So, the work included a new galvanised structural steel tub, new gearbox for the lift section, re-vulcanizing the belt, new bearings throughout and a completely new automated greasing system. The main drive roller had to be installed by a monorail crane we fitted to the roof in order to complete the work and the final piece in the puzzle was to completely re-tank the trough itself to ensure it remains watertight.
All of this to some may seem like very unglamorous work, but for us, it’s one of the areas that we can make a real difference to the long term good health of a ride and we love it!