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Zhengzhou PTR: Part 3- Century Amusement Park

gavin

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Before the school term started properly a couple of weeks ago, I had a few days free, so obviously wanted to fill it with creds. Knowing that one of Fantawild’s new parks had just opened in the previous couple of months, I decided on Zhengzhou, about a 2 ½ hour flight from Hong Kong.

I arrived at my hotel really late in the evening thanks to being stuck in a taxi for over 2 hours because of an overturned truck on the highway connecting the airport to the city. It should have taken about half an hour. Because of that, I just stayed in the hotel that night, getting up early to try and fit as much in as possible the next day.

Zhengzhou Zoo

Chinese zoos are a mixed bag. A lot of them are nowhere as bad as you might think, and this one was mostly ok. Anyway, they often have creds, so bollocks to any moral issues.

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They had a large enclosure with about 10 red pandas, with a giant panda enclosure under construction.

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Spraying chemicals around the kangaroo enclosure:

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Plenty of room for the crocodiles:

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The amusement park area had two coasters: a jungle mouse and a kiddy worm thing.

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I’d arrived at 10 and was out by about 11, getting a taxi out to the Fantawild Resort, which has two parks: Fantawild Adventure, which opened about 3 years ago, and Fantawild Dreamland, which opened in July this year. There’s one park on each side of a main entrance plaza, with a hotel in between.

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Since the newer park had a Gravity Group woodie, and it was a Friday, I decided to hit that place first, figuring that it would be the quieter day and I’d get more rides in. Plus, with it being newer, I also figured that there was more chance of other rides of Fantawild’s that I hadn’t tried yet, with the older park mostly having stuff that I’d done before and wouldn’t mind missing if the next day was busier. I knew because of the way the parks are run, with a lot of attractions run to schedules and operations not being great, trying to do both in the same day might be pushing it.

Fantawild Dreamland

I couldn’t work out if there was a two-day, two park ticket (there seemed to be a 2-park, 1-day option), so just paid the regular one-day admission at about 22 quid. That’s an annoying thing about Fantawild. Signs inside the park, including ride information boards etc. are all in English, but there’s nothing at the entrances with all the price lists.
The main entrance/shopping area was stunning. Fantawild just keep getting better and better when it comes to the overall quality of how their parks look.

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I went straight to Jungle Trailblazer, which confusingly shares the same name with 2 other (and probably more once we find out the names of coasters under construction) Fantawild woodies, although they’re all different.

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There was a ride op standing at the entrance, which is clearly not a good sign. Yep; f**king closed because “there has problem”. Since I’d literally just walked in and had ridden nothing, I thought I’d try my luck with guest services, figuring that if it was due to be down for the day, I’d do the other park and come back.

There were a couple of people who spoke enough English for us to eventually work out what was going on. I asked what time the woodie would be open, pointing to it on the park map. “Always” was the answer meaning that it’s open with park hours. They had no idea that it was down and actually had to make a phone call to confirm it, being unable to answer if/when it would be open later in the day.

I tried to switch my ticket to the other park, or change the ticket to come back the next day, both of which seemed like a completely alien concept (“one ticket, one time, one ticket, one time”) as did the idea of a refund seeing as I’d been in there 10 minutes and done nothing. Shoddy really, but not necessarily the staff’s fault; they just clearly had never had anyone try it before, and the idea of using some initiative in Asia is just a f**king joke.

Anyway, I decided to suck it up and do the rest of the park, which turned out to be pretty fab and really not too busy either.

I think this was the building for China: 5,000 Years of Glory, which I ended up catching just before I left the park. Like many of the high-capacity attractions, they run it on an hourly schedule.

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This was a new one for me at a Fantawild park: a 360 degree 3D show based, on Chinese history, where everyone stands in the middle of surrounded by the screen. Pretty good really, but they’d f**ked up slightly by having the main focal point of the film projected onto the only visible split in the screen. Shifting the cameras around would fix this.

I’d seen this attraction, Boonie Bear’s Theatre, at another of their parks, but hadn’t tried it, so I gave it a go this time.

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It was a large theatre where he whole seating area rotated to face a bunch of different 3D screens. It wasn’t very good to be honest, and went on for way too long with characters just chatting s**t for ages.

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The other coaster, Galaxy Express, was running. Running on one train and with sh**ty dispatching, but running.

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It’s an Orkanen clone from Vekoma, and is easily the best of this ride type I’ve done.

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Then this happened!

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Didn’t open though and didn’t get tested, from what I saw anyway, after that first run. Bastards.

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I headed for the shot tower though, which is the single most piss-poor way of running things that I’ve ever seen, and that’s saying a lot given how many Fantawild and Happy Valley parks I’ve now been to.

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It’s obviously designed as an observation tower, with a shot tower shoved on top. There’s an observation deck going right the way around it, which would’ve been great to get pictures from. However, that’s not how they’re running it. Instead, everyone waits at the bottom, they take 16 people in the lift to the observation deck where they go straight to the shot tower, which takes ages to load, then it’s to the lift and back down completely exiting the whole thing before the next group of 16 are taken into the lift. I only had to wait for 2 cycles, and it took almost half an hour. So yeah, that’s a capacity of 64 people per hour. Absolute pisstake.

Have some more pictures of SPITE:

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This was another new type of attraction, well kind of, Dragon King’s Tale:

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It was a 3D dark ride, but instead of using small vehicles with a range of motion, it used one, huge, trackless vehicle which held about 50 people and moved between various screens. It was all very impressive. The 3D work on Fantawild’s newer attractions just keeps getting better and better.

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They had Qin Dynasty Adventure, which I’d ridden previously at the Xiamen park and been really impressed by. This time, not so much to be honest. It’s an Indiana Jones/Dinosaur style multi-motion dark ride, but it just felt like the vehicles didn’t do a lot.

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Jinshan Temple Showdown is another ride I’ve done a few times now. It’s a huge boat ride through a an old Chinese town, with projection effects and live actors, finishing with a huge storm/flood scene. It’s FAB.

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This was another new attraction type, Hero of the Clouds:

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I was expecting a flying theatre with a different theme to the usual Sky Sailor attraction that they have, but it was something completely different. The whole platform with the seats rotates to see some crappy animatronics at first. Then the whole thing moves up into the ceiling, with the chairs tilting right back so that you’re looking up into a huge dome with a projection. They had two theatres, but were, obviously, only using one.

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Wizard’s Academy is a 4D dark ride in the vein of Spiderman/Transformers. It’s the second one I’ve done of these. The ride vehicles aren’t brilliant, but the 3D work is top notch.

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Some show:

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Some theming:

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This wasn’t yet open, but I think it’s the same as something I saw recently at Oriental Heritage. At least I think it’s the same based on the description, although it was going under a different name. It’s a projection/live action show with actors in the middle, surrounded by screens that get projected onto.

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Sad face:

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The rapids were absolute turd. The water was just way too deep for anything to be happening and the boats just floated stupidly slowly all the way around. Massive fail with this one.

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More theming:

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This, like the identical ride at Oriental Heritage, wasn’t yet open. At Oriental Heritage they have it included on the park map, but not here, which makes me think it’s quite a way off form opening.

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It’s called Devil’s Peak and is Fantawild’s take on the Harry Potter Forbidden Journey ride system, though from what I came make out the ride vehicles will have nowhere near the range of movement, following a basic horizontal track between screens.

So despite the amazing-looking woodie being down all day, I still had a decent enough time here, but left an hour or so before closing to mop up some coasters in the city centre that I’d planned on leaving for another day.

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People’s Park

This was just your typical Chinese city park with some rides thrown in.

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3D? 5D? 7D? All the Ds!

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Knockoff looper:

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Stuff:

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It took me ages to find the second coaster since it was in a completely different area. It was actually nearer the main entrance, and I’d come in from the opposite side. It was just a knockoff of a knockoff Golden Horse spinner.

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From there I walked to my hotel so I could see a bit of the city. The bit I saw was a f**king dump if I’m being honest, though other areas, like the CBD, are supposedly nicer.

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gavin

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Re: Zhengzhou PTR: Part 1 - Zoo, People's Park, Dreamland

After the disappointment of Jungle Trailblazer spite, I got one of my friends to call Fantawild to find out if it would be open the next day. Apparently, it had been open the whole day I was there. Yeah, right! Either a case of piss-poor communication or outright lying. They also said it would be open the next day, but since they obviously had no clue what they were talking about, I just thought I’d have to see when I got there.

This time, I went across to the slightly older park, Fantawild Adventure.

Fantawild Adventure

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The first thing I did was go to guest services to get them to check if Jungle Trailblazer was open in the other park. This clearly led to much confusion while they got out park maps to show me that I was in a different park and I was in the wrong place. No, I know all that, which is why I’m showing you the coaster on a map from another park. “Yes, always open”. It was closed yesterday, can you call across and check? “Really? Yesterday close?” They made the call and said that it was open. Great.

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I decided to grab the creds at this park and a few other things and head back over to the other place for the afternoon. Knowing how crap they are with dispatching, I went straight to Terror Twister, a Maurer Sky Loop, getting in the queue about 10 minutes before it was due to open.

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Opening at 10 in Fantawild actually means starting testing at 10. It opened at about 20 past, and I was on the third train of the day. They were sending one train every ten minutes, so I did the right thing by hitting it first. As I was waiting in the queue, it started to build up and even though there weren’t many people in it, the people who were joining as I was getting in would have been waiting at least an hour.

RCDB Stats: 600 pph (though personally I think that’s slightly optimistic)
Fantawild: 72

Next to this was the aptly-named Stress Express, a Vekoma Boomerang. Joy. Luckily got on within about 15 minutes though.

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I had a go on Dino Rampage just as I was leaving the park. I could have left it, having done about 4 of these now, but I had time, the queue was only at about 20 minutes and it's a decent ride.

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With Wizard Academy at the other park, they've got two 4D dark rides. I guess it’s no different from Universal having Spiderman and Transformers. Actually, the ride vehicles for Wizard are bigger than Dino, holding more people, and the themes/atmosphere are actually a lot different between the two, so they're probably less similar than the Universal combo.

I skipped the water ride though.

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This is the only picture I seem to have taken of Mount Tangula, which I’d taken as I walked past to get to the Sky Loop and grabbed a go on later. These Golden Horse mine trains are another Fantawild staple.

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I skipped the Special Effects Studio show. It’s absolutely f**king dire and really has no place in a newer Fantawild park.

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I also skipped Ghost Love Story as I’ve seen it a few times now. It’s another of those live actor/projection shows, in the same vein as Mystery Lodge at Knott’s. Some of their parks actually have a Mystery Lodge knockoff, while others have this version based on a Chinese love story, which is MUCH better.

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This means that they’ve actually got two of this type of show at this resort, one in each park, though the newer one at the other park has the audience seated on four sides, with the actors in the middle surrounded by four screens, rather than looking at it end-on.

I skipped Sky Sailor. Sick of it.

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This is the second time I’ve seen this at a park, and the second time I didn’t get to see it. It looks like a fairly major stage show, Tales of the Jungle, but only runs once or twice a day and I wasn’t willing to hang around for it.

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Origin of Life was about to start when I was walking past, so I went in. It’s just a 3D show, but the screen is enormous.

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I thought that Space Talent Show would have been something that I hadn’t done before.

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It turns out that I’ve actually done the identical ride twice, but at other places it’s called Space Expo. There are a bunch of large simulator platforms – which don’t really move a lot – which are loaded in one big room before sliding backwards into the showroom which has 3D screens on all sides.

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Space Warrior was a new one for me. I’d seen it at another of the parks – can’t remember which – but it had been down for the day. Turns out it’s a Toy Story Midway Mania type shooting ride, and it’s really good!

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There’s not much apart from screens, but there are loads of them and the whole shooting system works perfectly. They’ve also managed to get a decent throughput with this, despite only having one of the two sides open.

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Other stuff:

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The worm coaster was kids only. I’ve managed to get on two of these at other Fantawild parks, but failed at the last three. Either they’re stricter at some places, or they’ve introduced new rules across the board. The latter seems much more likely since there’s a complete uniformity of sh**tness in their operations.

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Conch Bay is a multi-screen 3D show and always worth a watch.

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After this, I decided to head over to Dreamland, checking first at the ticket booth if Jungle Trailblazer was open since I’d been told that it was after making staff call across and check. “No”. Are you f**king kidding me!

I went to a different counter to check. “No”.

I wasn’t about to pay again to go into a park that I’d done yesterday, so started heading out. Pissed off that I'd been told it would be open, I'd exited the other park with no chance of going back in and I now had an afternoon unnecessarily free. I started heading out to the taxis out front, but you can see a tiny bit of the coaster's turnaround at the top of the lift from the car park, and I just caught it going around, with what looked to be people riding it, so I headed in.

Seriously Fantawild! F**KING SPEAK TO EACH OTHER!!!!!!

Fantawild Dreamland – AGAIN

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I went straight to the coaster and yes, it was open. It wasn’t too busy, and I ended up waiting about 30 minutes for it.

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Wow! It was absolutely f**king amazing. Soooooooooo much airtime right the way through the whole course. The first of the back-to-back high five things is nuts. You get thrown right out and then, somewhat painfully, dragged right down by your thighs. It’s what the overbank on Cu Chulainn should have been.

I went straight back around for another ride, this time waiting twenty minutes, then 10 minutes for the next one. After that it was walk-on or a one-train wait.

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The park was busier than the previous day, and busier than Adventure, but the weather was horrendously hot and humid, so people were just doing all the indoor attractions, happily hanging out for ages in air-conditioned queue lines and making them all really busy, but leaving the outdoor stuff dead.

There were always people on the coaster, but I’m guessing most people just did it once and moved on. Since I’d done the whole park the previous day, I mostly just rerode the coaster I’d missed, getting 8 rides in altogether, mostly heading for the back row.

I made a bit of time for another go on Galaxy Express though.

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I also rode Wizards Academy again at some point.

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I’ll finish of by throwing some more Jungle Trailblazer because it’s amazing and most of you need to realise how basic you are.

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POV from the manufacturer here:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUJCUv1dRXg[/youtube]

Crappy Chinese park to finish off next time.
 

ignace

Mega Poster
Re: Zhengzhou PTR: Part 2- Fantawild Adventure/Dreamland

gavin said:

Is that a monorail? Did it work? :eek:

Thanks for the reports Gavin, it's a pleasure te read about these Chinese parks. Too bad a country with such a massive population doesn't understand how to operate a coaster properly.
 

ignace

Mega Poster
Re: Zhengzhou PTR: Part 2- Fantawild Adventure/Dreamland

gavin said:

Is that a monorail? Did it work? :eek:

Thanks for the reports Gavin, it's a pleasure te read about these Chinese parks. Too bad a country with such a massive population doesn't understand how to operate a coaster properly.
 

gavin

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Re: Zhengzhou PTR: Part 2- Fantawild Adventure/Dreamland

It was, and it did.

Any pay-per-ride place generally operates very well, but the rides don't get any queues. The Chimelong parks are run very well and Hot Go did a decent job, though it's hard to tell since it was very quiet.

Fantawild are the absolute worst though. Worse than Happy Valley even.

Their large capacity attractions are actually fine. Some of their stuff takes 100 people+ at a time. Since they're run to an hourly schedule, with a bit of planning you can walk straight onto them.

It's the rides that run constantly which have the problem, especially the coasters. They only ever run one train, keeping people out of the station area until the previous riders have cleared, then they let people in and make them wait behind the barriers looking at an empty train while they give some safety instructions. Then they check restraints twice, restraints which always have pointless extra belts.

It's literally a train every 10 minutes, and it drives me fu**ing insane.
 

gavin

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Re: Zhengzhou PTR: Part 2- Fantawild Adventure/Dreamland

I had a flight back to Hong Kong sometime in the early evening on the Sunday, so had the morning to get another park knocked off.

Century Amusement Park

This place was very typical of a local Chinese park. Part of me thinks that with the likes of Fantawild throwing parks up all over the place, this kind of park may not last long. However, they’re a lot cheaper and easier to get to since they’re usually in, or very close to, city centre areas, meaning that they’re much more convenient to get to.

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There was an ongoing train theme throughout the place, with loads of old train carriages scattered all over and bits of trains used to make signs etc.

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I didn’t try the (presumably) knockoff mixer.

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The park was actually pretty huge, with a lake at one end with stuff placed around it.

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The looper was pretty vile.

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Those apartments would give an amazing cred view.

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This was closed. He building was fairly big and I’m assuming it’s a ghost train.

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They also had a Ghost Ship Gothenberg walkthrough.

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The flash makes it look extremely cheap and tacky when, in fact, it was just very cheap and tacky.

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Some other stuff:

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This “Snow White” castle housed a sealion show, but based on the work being done, I don’t think it was running.

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Golden Horse Spinning Coaster of joy:

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The park’s newest coaster, Suspended Looping Coaster Over Water, opened just last year.

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It’s one of only two SLCs from Hebei Zhongye, yet another Chinese manufacturer to get in on these.

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It was obviously built with the intention of being “over water”, but is in fact over a big concrete slab which they haven’t actually filled with water yet. I’m thinking that perhaps when the water level of the lake rises, it will spill over into the ride area and make it seem like it’s part of the lake. No idea really.

It’s great to see that with a one year old ride they’ve been very timely with clearing up any construction efforts.

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After I got a ride in, which was on the border of “ok” and “awful”, this happened:

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I haven’t seen this system for a very long time. You get a card with all the rides listed, which gets punched as you ride each one, meaning no re-rides. Fine with me!

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Other stuff, not all of which was open:

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In case you forget where you are:

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The dome was a motion theatre which was actually ok for something so small.

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Inside/under the pyramids was a 3D theatre. Unfortunately, the projection was just much too dark, so it was difficult to make it out. It seemed like it could have been pretty decent otherwise.

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Clearly not open, but a mechanical bull over concrete would be an excellent idea and provide more incentive for people to stay on.

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Some more of the SLC which tested and opened up again a bit later.

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There was a huge ferris wheel, but I didn’t feel like trying it since it was moving very slowly, it was really hot and I couldn’t imagine it would be to comfortable siting in a glass box for 40 minutes.

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The park was very close to Zhongyuan Tower, currently still just inside the top ten of world’s tallest.

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On the way out, I did the shooting 3D dark ride, which was really piss-poor. The 3D element was just one screen, using a section of the film from the Egyptian 3D show and totally unconnected to anything else in the ride, which was mostly just dark with a few model animals and nothing actually working.

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And that was it. I’m in no rush to get back to Zhengzhou to be honest, but the two-park Fantawild resort, especially the woodie, made it worth the effort. It would actually be a great place to go if you hadn’t done any Fantawild places before and wanted to see how they are as it basically covers their whole ride/attraction catalogue at the moment, and with both parks being on the newer side, they’re actually pretty nice parks as well.
 

davidm

Strata Poster
Good to see you are still finding more Golden Horse spinners and Jungle Mouses ; they must be your equal-favorites by now!

Do the Chinese-chain parks do "annual pass" type things (making popping back into parks to pick up the odd ride feasible), or is the prospect of the level of faff involved in trying to buy/use such a thing just not make it worth any effort? ;-)
 

Hyde

Matt SR
Staff member
Moderator
Social Media Team
Excellent photos Gavin! So interesting seeing the theme effort around some of these parks... and lack there of at times! :p
 

cjbrandy

Hyper Poster
Did Jungle Trailblazer make it into your top 10 wood? It certainly looks like one of the better wooden coasters on the planet.
 

peep

CF Legend
Yet another interesting report Gavin!

Those Fantawild parks look amazing, really want to visit one of these soon. Especially one with that water based dark ride with the epic finale.

Look forward to reading about your next random travels.
 

gavin

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Social Media Team
david morton said:
Do the Chinese-chain parks do "annual pass" type things (making popping back into parks to pick up the odd ride feasible), or is the prospect of the level of faff involved in trying to buy/use such a thing just not make it worth any effort?

I think Happy Valley do them, but I think they're only for individual parks rather than the whole chain like you get with Merlin, Six Flags etc. I could be wrong though; I've never properly looked into it.

cjbandy said:
Did Jungle Trailblazer make it into your top 10 wood? It certainly looks like one of the better wooden coasters on the planet.

I haven't thought about a top ten for a while actually. Maybe I should have a go at it. But yeah, it would definitely be in there, along with Jungle Trailblazer at Jinan and possibly Dueling Dragons (I refuse to call it Dauling Dragons just because of one spelling mistake on one sign) at Happy Valley Wuhan.

Basically, the M&V/Gravity Group woodies popping up recently in China are absolutely excellent coasters.
 
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