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China #3 (Shenyang to Chengdu) - Summary

gavin

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That weird height restriction must be quite new. I went there fairly soon after the park opened, and it wasn't a problem.
 

HeartlineCoaster

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^If it's a reactionary rule, would love to know what happened.


Day 10 - Chongqing

Woke up to find it raining somewhat. There goes that day then.

Spent a bit of time dwelling on the catastrophe and it looked like it was going to rain the next day as well. Decided to reschedule the following day to allow the chance to come back to the damn place later in the week.

It had cleared by the afternoon, so took a chance on a smaller park.

Shenming Unoversal City

Struggled to get into the place as they were in the middle of setting up huge marquees for an upcoming food festival. As is usual on a day that once contained rain, many stares of what the f*ck are you doing outdoors were shot in our direction.
The park has no entrance as such, you just wander into a rides area in between some buildings and it’s a wristband token job. There were lots of staff milling around, cleaning things, running some kiddy flats for a laugh, but no guests.
Interrupted a bloke chatting up the token girl to ask if the creds were gonna happen.
It’s not safe, the track is wet.


Example of wetness.

Thought so.

Day 11 - Chengdu

Arrived first thing in the morning, sun was shining. Let’s get something done this time.

Happy Valley Chengdu?

Took a bus to the park. It did a Fantawild Zhengzhou, but worse, dumping people on the wrong side of 12 lanes of fast moving traffic with no way to cross. There wasn’t even an enterprise of tuk-tuks to come to the rescue. Ended up swearing a lot, getting back on another of the same buses until somewhere much further down the road where there was a bridge to cross, then getting another bus in the opposite direction to end up on the right side of the death trap.

Later worked out that there’s 4 bus stops for ‘the resort’ on the corner of spaghetti junction and it depends on which route the various buses that serve it are headed (east-west/north-south) as to whether you can actually get into the place without dieing or not.


Highlight of this experience? Chicken on a bus.

Well that took longer than expected. Let’s get something done then.

Got to the ticket window, read the sh*t that’s closed sign. All 3 major creds (Megalite, GCI, B&M) closed for today. Sweet.
Asked for a bit more info, stating we could reasonably come back in the next couple of days. Got some made up crap about annual maintenance for the 2 new lads (not a year old) and the ‘red one’ (Megalite) might be back tomorrow. Best if you buy a ticket, go inside and ask them yourselves ;)
Laughed in their face and went to see some pandas instead.

Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding



The place to see pandas of all shapes and sizes.




Unfortunately many of the shapes and sizes weren't accessible at the time.






But never seen so many in one go, so still impressive stuff.


Always been a bigger fan of red pandas to be honest.


Happened to catch the feeding time.


Some small birds came in to steal a portion, but they've emplyed a peacock security guard.




Awww.




Hmmm.

Quite enjoyed the place. It is what it is really. There's a few buildings with information, stories and interactive stuff around (panda porn included) and they're doing some good work.

Let's see if we can get back on track tomorrow.
 
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Howie

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Look at this way, all these spites and catastrophes does make for some hugely entertaining reading for all your CF buddies back home! :)
Highlight of the trip report? Chicken on a bus.
 

gavin

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My annoyance at having to go to these places at busier weekends rather than quieter weekdays is turning into gratitude given all the spite you've been getting on this trip. I've been very, very lucky at the vast majority of Chinese parks, but most of my visits jave been at weekends, which may have something to do with having more s**t open.

Have they stopped doing that "donate" money and hold a panda thing at the Panda Research Base? I did it years ago, but heard that it wasn't a thing anymore, but that was from people who didn't even know it was something you could do, so they may have missed it.
 

Ben

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@HeartlineCoaster this report is excellent and makes me feel so much better than my relatively spite free China trips!

We all wanna know though - how come you can talk to the taxi drivers? Do you speak the language? If so, how come? Do you live in the U.K. or elsewhere? Please tell me a bit about yourself.
 

HeartlineCoaster

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Highlight of the trip report? Chicken on a bus.
Thought you'd appreciate that one.

^By cheating. My wife comes from Singapore, the perfect place to grow up with that one-two punch of Chinese and English.
Life would be easier if I lived outside the UK but alas no, that's where work is.

Day 12 – Happy Valley Chengdu
The second journey was somewhat easier, now knowing what awaited at the other end. No chickens for our entertainment this time unfortunately.

Ticket window sign had changed a little, Desert Rally had become Desert Storm (some guy with his feet on the table behind the ticket girl still maintained that this was ‘the wooden one’), and the B&M had been replaced with the mine train.
Well, nothing to lose now.


Discount China Dinosaur Park.


Circled round to the new area to begin with, to settle some anxiety and prove the bloke was an idiot.


Thankfully he was, Desert Storm being the closed flat ride and a posted opening time of 10:30 on the Woodie.


To be fair to him, they can never make up their mind on names. Dive on this sign is called Flying Asparas in Western Region, so here's a cultural lesson: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apsara


Also checked that out, posted opening time of 13:00.


Gonna be a long day.

Spinner nearby was running, so grabbed that first. Judging from old pictures it’s had a decent retheme to integrate with the new area. They were only running full cars, so had a good little sit down waiting for a couple of locals to rock up. Was alright for a car seatbelt model.


Hung around for a while longer, eventually joining the queue early with a few others to watch some test laps.




Finally the time came to do some stretching. Contrary to every other park in the chain, they hold a very firm belief in their exercise routine here. Where the rest of them treat it as a bit of fun and a laugh, the staff here will aggressively shout at anyone who is not following the instructions with the utmost seriousness. I usually half-arse it just to show I’m in the zone, but this wasn’t good enough today and I was one of many victims.


On to the ride then. Seems a while since I was last acquainted with a GCI and due to their consistency I was rather excited.


This one lacked something however. A Wodan style beginning with meandering up high bits and then nothing really came of it. Didn't seem to have the signature surprise moments that I've come to associate with the brand, everything just rode how it looked. Maybe Gravity has just spoiled me recently. Solid fun, but nothing amazing.


Having never seen them before and then seeing them at 3 parks in a row, decided to do the modern version of Flying Machines. Another good little sit down, slightly ruined by the parks bullsh*t of no glasses on a gentle observation ride and trying to force everyone to remain seated for a minute after it had finished, because if you get up too fast you will become dizzy...


Took a lap of the park from there to see what else was cooking.


Mine train closed, as promised.


Rapids looked cool, but been put off ever doing an HV one by my first attempt in Shenzhen.


Jumped on the flying island for some views.


Closed creds and high rise buildings, the usual stuff.







Had a Mcdonalds in the park out of boredom and for the novelty of HV not having it outside the park with a no re-entry rule.


SLC started testing. Joy.


Priorities though.


Forgot about the unorthodox loose article storage thing here, the suspended one that carries itself over the track to the far side. Seemed very flimsy up close and almost didnt trust it to not tip everything out halfway. Made it easier to get the seat you wanted at least.


Ride was decent enough. It's pretty. It does what dives do, just weird to have the straight drop at the top. The section after the second drop starts cool, with the tunnel and the woodie interaction, but then it's just two dumb corners and feels a little pointless.




Had a bit of an unpleasant situation on the second lap, when 2 Americans(?) appeared out of nowhere and started abusing the staff. First problem was nothing to do with Asian operations at all, in that they got shouted at for putting their shoes in the storage thing and trying to ride barefoot. Reply to this was 'you guyyys are F*CKING stupid', to which the staff just laughed in their face, which I respected.
Second problem was local operations, in that they didn't like the exercise concept, loudly booing the staff, making gestures at them and saying 'we just wanna get on the riiide', while I stand there thinking please don't associate me with this sh*t.

Staff then seem confused by the length of my legs and kept shouting and gesturing at me to sit back in my seat so they could try and get an uncomfortable extra click on me, even though I was as far back as I could go. They were getting quite worked up and frustrated with me while I physically can't do anything about it. I was rooting for you, d*cks.


Took a couple more laps on the woodie to forget that ever happened.


This proverb amuses me.


From there, found a dark ride I never knew existed. Panda Warrior 4D. Another spiderman job, like their storm one in HV Shanghai, but far superior to that one. It went on a lot longer and did a lot more.
Contrary to what the name and queue, showing Kung Fu Panda the film on tvs would have you believe, the panda is a magician. Some city is getting wrecked by an earthquake and magic panda is whisking you through it all for a bit of entertainment. He seemed rather emotionally disconnected from the destruction and death around him and was a bit of a d*ck in some cases, but he got rewarded with a medal for services at the end. Odd.


Also did another Soarin job, Flying over the West. This was alright, going over some different stuff from before. 'West' being 'West bit of China and neighbouring Asia' so lots of mountains, temples, buddhas and stuff. Think Wuhan is still my fave, cos dragons.


Confirmed the Megalite was indeed closed. ‘Annual maintenance’, further going against the web of lies the previous day. It’s only a clone, but someday it’ll spite me the set and I wanted it at least for research purposes, with the previous one being so inferior.

Just the SLC then. Oh God, the SLC.


Queueline consists of half a mile of narrow cages, just to get you in the mood.
Had the exact same issue with the staff, angrily telling me to sit further back when I can’t. Not like I’m trying to trick them into a loose restraint for a bit more airtime on an SLC is it.
Another observation here on how they worship the exercise. If the train is half empty and you’re sitting in it ready to go, but 2 more people rock up into the station, everything stops and they’ll make them do the whole routine separately before letting them get on with it.
It rode awful as well, I think Vekoma wins worst of the trip. Just really unpleasant shaking, haven’t felt it that bad since Condor. Ugh.


Can’t really say no to the shooting Santa rides, though I should have learnt to by now. Staff were bored to death and rude, no one does it and absolutely nothing works on it any more. For somewhere that loves maintenance so much, they really don’t look after these.


No idea.


What other stupid ideas can we come up with? Let’s ride the ferris wheel.


Already had some views with reasonable ventilation, but it’s only 35 degrees outside and about 45 in this greenhouse that’s scratched to sh*t.


In case you can’t tell, I wasn’t particularly fond of this place by the end of the day. Thought I would have had the worst of Happy Valley behind me, but Chengdu hit new lows. As much as some of the others had their faults, I’ve very rarely had issues with staff as well and they haven’t even got a killer ride to aid any kind of forgiveness.


Highlight of the park? This sign.


I need a reboot after that.
 
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gavin

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Ew. I went years ago and found it quite pleasant, but the SLC is one of the worst I've ever done. Got spited by the 4D ride though.

Going back in a couple of weeks for the woodie and dive machine and not planning to redo the SLC at all.
 

mouse

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Thanks for the great reporting so far. Particularly enjoying all the signs - my favourites being 'Garbage is not feeling beautiful' and the safety warning 'Don't keep frolicking'.
 

HeartlineCoaster

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Apparently it had finally stopped raining back at Chongqing, so I guess there’s time for one more excessive day trip.


Is this the right place?


Oh there it is.

Day 13 – Happy Valley Chongqing

The final park in the chain (achievement unlocked). Didn’t know what to expect from this one, other than it was very new.

For somewhere very new, had a shocking amount of things closed on a sign outside. Didn’t bother translating, too late now.


Got told the ferris wheel was closed while entering the turnstyle. That was a lie, it wasn’t.


The park entrance is on a big hill, so spent the first few minutes going down escalators watching the creds intently for any signs of life with the usual anxiety. I’d like to make the hill comparison to Liseberg, but it’ll probably end up with a more unfortunate one like Legoland Windsor. It is different for HV at least.


Ooh, that looks tasty.


The whole ride sits on top of another hill, with the queue area being at the bottom. At the final batch point, a trains worth of people gets let into a lift which takes you up to the station.
That was all rather fun and from what I could see at the top, this could be a mini Python and the GCI excitement that had faded the previous day was temporarily restored.


It’s rather good, but to be honest it should have been fantastic, so can’t help feeling a little underwhelmed again. They seem to have developed an obsession for large swooping drops which do absolutely nothing.


There’s plenty of good stuff in there, some of the hills in particular, but again less of their surprise moments.


That thing next then, doesn’t look far.


It’s actually miles away. The park layout is 2 huge s-bends around the water, another central hill and the entire length of this beast.


The one with the airtime(?) hill and the loop. Still not entirely sure how I feel about this one. Was it really good? Or was I just f*cked by this stage of the trip.


It felt pretty damn intense for a wingrider. Is that what I want out of one? Probably.


All hope of any vest relief goes out the window from the first dip so the hill ain’t great. I’ve concluded that airtime only works on these out of a straight first drop, so you can’t have any positive force on your restraint preceding it.


It’s then a very fluid sequence of inversions as it winds its way downhill, passing over the pathways as it goes.


Ends with the classic slow inline, but instead of just mild discomfort and not being able to breathe for a second, I was seeing stars on the brake run. What just happened.

Operations were pretty dire, with one half being loaded at a time and then the standard practice of having to let previous riders sort their sh*t and clear the station before even considering batching any new ones. The park was also filled with a ridiculous amount of school groups of varying ages on this day, and very little else, so didn’t arrive at the ride at a very good time and it was such a ridiculous journey to go back again more than once or twice in a day.


Can't be good for their necks.


There’s a junior boomerang overlooking a quarry. Themed to planes or rainbows or something.


Decent enough for family creds. Good to see HV still trying some different products at both ends of the scale.


This was very enjoyable. Mouse of Chocolate style shooter but without getting a sore arm, as you can just press buttons with your thumbs.


Also reminded me of Lotte World’s, but slightly less evil, as you have to shoot dragons. They’re making meals or interfering with the preparation of said meals by standing around and pelvic thrusting.


Bits between screens were of decent quality as well. Hope they look after it more than the Santa ones.


One more cred. It’s built into the hill, but it’s the same damn layout as always, so that was a disappointment.
Oh yes, they’re still making mine train clones. This Golden Horse exists alongside Vekoma in the park and they’ve adopted the new style track from somewhere.
Queue was awful, filled with a million schoolkids, half of which were too small to actually ride but were getting as far as the station to find that out and then traipsing back past everyone in groups of 100. The ones that were big enough spent an entire half an hour trying to slowly nudge past. +1.


Back to this thing for a bit then. Rode it with some Koreans. That improved it slightly.




Jumped on the closed Ferris wheel on the way out for some views.








Decent park then overall. No major issues.
Good lineup, but an arse to get around for rerides and stuff, a much more prominent issue due to Chinese operations.


And with that, we’re gone from China. Not sure about the love.
 
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HeartlineCoaster

Active Member
Summary

Thought I'd have a crack at one of these as they seem quite fun.

Like to think I made the most out of one visa by getting 3 big trips and 1 side trip knocked out over the 2 years. Looks a little something like this:



Fun facts and scary statistics:

Total parks: 37
Total creds: 104
Total mine train clones: 11
Total woodies: 10
Total Fantawilds: 9

Total train distance: 11615 km/7259 Miles
Total train time: 64 hours 21 minutes

Spites:
January 2017 - 5/32 (15.6%)
September 2017 - 15/52 (28.8%)
January 2018 - 3/11 (27.3%)
April 2018 - 29/61 (47.5%)

So what have we learnt?
January is the best time to go apparently... and the more you do it, the worse it gets.

Anything else worth calculating?
 

MestnyiGeroi

Active Member
@HeartlineCoaster this report is excellent and makes me feel so much better than my relatively spite free China trips!

We all wanna know though - how come you can talk to the taxi drivers? Do you speak the language? If so, how come? Do you live in the U.K. or elsewhere? Please tell me a bit about yourself.
I’m reading through all these trip reports, waiting to finish so I can ask my two questions — Is this level of spites in any way typical? and How are you having so many conversations— do you speak Chinese? — and here you go and steal my thunder on both counts.
I was really going to word it nicely, too. More poetry than prose, really.
 

MestnyiGeroi

Active Member
Summary
Total parks: 37
Total creds: 104
Total mine train clones: 11
Total woodies: 10
Total Fantawilds: 9

Total train distance: 11615 km/7259 Miles
Total train time: 64 hours 21 minutes

Spites:
January 2017 - 5/32 (15.6%)
September 2017 - 15/52 (28.8%)
January 2018 - 3/11 (27.3%)
April 2018 - 29/61 (47.5%)

So what have we learnt?
January is the best time to go apparently... and the more you do it, the worse it gets.

Anything else worth calculating?
37 parks is amazing! But 104 creds seems like such a poor return for so many places.

Also, is there an obvious peak season for Chinese parks, the way that July and August are peak season here in the States?
 

HeartlineCoaster

Active Member
^I don't feel like it's a poor return really. There's a fair bit of quality over quantity there. Not a huge amount of parks have large numbers of creds to begin with and I don't really do places like this just for the numbers, I prioritise spending a decent amount of time with the high quality stuff.
There's only 2 currently operating things I'm actually bothered about missing - Wood Coaster and Time Travel, which would have completed the Chinese GCI and unique layout Gravity sets. Everything else would be a +1/clone, so I don't really care.

is there an obvious peak season for Chinese parks,
They usually have a big cluster of public holidays in February and October which I imagine can get messy. July and August is the usual school holiday stuff, but no experience on how much impact that has.
April again seemed the worst for me on crowds. All other trips and times of year, every park was completely dead (except Disney) and only limited by how slow they run things in those conditions, but I hit my biggest queues by far (1 hour+) on a couple of weekdays in April.
 
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