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Theme Park Review's 2008 Asia Tour!


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Wow, crazy disk-o monster RAWKS!! The Chinese Paris Hilton is much prettier than the real thing. And I totally wanna ride one of those hydro-hamster balls. Too bad about all the cats everywhere though - that's just nasty! And THUNDERCLAP? Now that CAN'T be good...

 

In Japan, I loved reading all the signs that were written in "Engrish" - nice to see that China has a lot of that as well. "Engrish" never ceases to entertain.

 

When I rode coasters in Japan, I often heard the Japanese people screaming "ITAI!", which translates to something like "OUCH! IT HURTS!" Do the Chinese have such a word? If so, you guys must be hearing a lot of it right now!

 

Good luck - I hope you all make it back in one piece! Riding death credits = AWESOME. Becoming a death credit = NOT COOL!!

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Wow. I think my fear of foreign amusement parks has just doubled. Such brave souls you all are. I don't think I would have ridden if the seat belt didn't latch.

 

Question. Is there a habit over there in China with spitting? I had a friend who went to China, not sure what areas, but I couldn't believe his stories about having to dodge as people sometimes spit... a bit more than "western" normal I guess. Of course in my mind I picture constant lugies flying left and right. LOL.

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We just rode Crystal Wings at Happy Valley. OMG what a difference theming can add to a S:UF clone! The pretzel loop was the only outdoor element and the rest of it was enclosed ala Nemesis or Black Mamba. The only annoyance was the one train operation but they were not only making a solid effort to fill every seat but were also dispatching in 30 to 45 seconds! (Hi Jahan)

 

Photos and maybe even a video to come later!

 

--Robb "posting from the blackberry" Alvey

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^Wow... Three posts in a row. lol. (If you're only seeing one post, trust me. The other two were there!)

 

Crystal Wings looks amazing for a B&M clone. Just in pictures alone the themeing makes a huge difference. I'm looking forward to the pictures and possible video!

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Hey all! Just stopping by before I disappear for another amount of time or something. Robb, I was happily eating Oreos when I got to the buttsniffing picture. Thanks Sun Park is like the antithesis of Disneyland, i think: it has a great entrance but not so great park and Disneyland has...

 

Have a great trip and keep the updates coming!

 

Scott

 

(BTW, KT is officially the second most adorable kid in the world..I have to be biased; we are expecting our 5th grandchild in Oct., my youngest daughter's first!!)

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Question. Is there a habit over there in China with spitting? I had a friend who went to China, not sure what areas, but I couldn't believe his stories about having to dodge as people sometimes spit.

Not seen much spitting at all. In fact I saw WAY more spitting on my last trip to Ohio than I've seen in China.

 

So far the country has been much nicer, cleaner, and friendlier than the stories I've heard.

 

--Robb

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Today we were at Happy Valley. This is a very new park, opened in 2006 and wow, this place looked AWESOME! Some of the theming was right up there with parts of Islands of Adventure or Alton Towers.

 

What this park lacked though was in the operations department. As far as ride crews go, they kicked ass! We saw 30 to 45 second dispatches all over the park and a real effort made to filling every seat on the train.

 

The bad part was the one train operation on all the coasters and the bizarre staggered opening times. Rides opened from 9:30am to 1:30pm, some of the major rides even opened late.

 

This created quite some massive lines because all the three main coasters opened one after each other. The hour long queue basically went from one ride, to the next, to the next. It was very strange.

 

Overall though it was a great day and it's amazing how a bit of theming really adds to a B&M Flyer (Superman Clone) or a Vekoma Mine train clone.

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"Even I'm enjoying my McDonalds...and yes, please keep that old man away from me!"

 

Tomorrow we fly to Guangzhou. We are hitting some parks in the afternoon, but it may take me an extra day to get the updates done. I hope you are enjoying these so far!

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"Hey little girl...why don't you sit on my lap and let this old man tell you stories about working in the sausage factory."

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McDonalds also has the "Hold on and Look Up" rule.

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MINE!!!! ALL MINE!!!!

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And you didn't think we wouldn't go back to McDonlads did you?

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Elissa would normally buy all her lingerie at the grocery store.

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I gotta feeling that's not the REAL Lion King!

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Good to know you can buy a scooter at the grocery store!

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"Ahhh....Tastey Fish!"

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All we need is a deep fryer and some Blazin' sauce and we're set!

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"Grab a bag and fill it with meat!"

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This made Joey insanely jealous!

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That's a lot of....yup....*FEET*

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"OH NO! I hope we don't get kicked out for taking pictures of the Snickers bars!"

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With a Tesco across the street from the park we figured we'd go check out a Chinese grocery store (Dan, this is where you need to pay attention)

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She's found yet another boyfriend!

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Once again KidTums was pretty popular with the locals! I take it they don't get many "Western" babies here very often.

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...and apparently, you're NOT ALLOWED to rent them if you're disabled! In china, the scooters are just a means of getting around the park!

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Scooter rentals were also popular...and we kept saying how it's odd that in the US it's fatties and disabled people who use them, but we haven't seen any of them here...

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Another odd thing about this park was the amount of vehicle transportation there was. These carts were everywhere and they would pick you up and drop you off someplace else.

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They had a wheel here just like the one Southport used to have. Too bad everyone else was in line for stuff!

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I have never been happier to see a *REAL* Vekoma SLC!

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Apparently you're not allowed to skip around the park.

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An overview shot of Crystal Wings from the flying island.

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Dude! Even the water cannons have a backstory!!!

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The splash down boat also looked pretty darn amazing...but this ride didn't open until like 4pm!

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Yes, it's a REAL TCBY...although with Mango yogurt!

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Hmmm....I just *know* I've seen something like this somewhere before....

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"I'm CRAAAAAZY Deformed Rock Guy...give me some special olympics!"

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The entire park was so heavily themed it was like being at IOA or a Busch park.

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Just look at how amazing that is!

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The bottom of the pretzel loop looked like it should have had a splash element!

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Thanks to the one train operation, we saw lines for the first time on this trip. The crew did kick ass though with their 45 second dispatch times (How's the Tatsu crew doing Jahan?)

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Meat on sticks was the desired meal of the day. I think we consumed at least a few chickens.

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And it *felt* like you were getting VERY close to some of those rocks!

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It was a lot more like Nemesis or Black Mamba the way it was hidden within the theming.

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I kind of wish Dueling Dragons was built more like this.

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The rest of it ducks in and out of the rock work.

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Same thing goes for the B&M Flyer. The pretzel loop is about the only thing you can really see.

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It's hard to believe that this is the EXACT same ride as Life in the Fast Lane at Hard Rock.

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Look at it! There is so much rock work and foliage that you can't even see the train!

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Someone should tell Hard Rock Park that THIS is how to theme a Vekoma Mine Train!

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Kidtums is all "Um, dudes, I can SEE YOU! You're not fooling me!"

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Ok, so the characters didn't have the actors faces inside hidden....CREEPY!!!!

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To pay homage to the Simpsons out front was the Duff Beeramyd.

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Yay! Another group photo! They have giant letters that spell out the parks name ala California Adventure.

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On our way to the park we passed a bus that was going straight to hell.

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Wow that is awesome. That has to be the best Superman clone simply for its theming. Thanks for spending the time posting these, it has been enjoyable to wake up and read these right before heading out to work.

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Awesome photo TR! Love to live vicariously through your adventures.

 

But it must be frustrating when you encounter a park with strange operating procedures. I guess the cultures in Japan and China are used to standing in line whereas the US people expect instant gratification.

 

Keep the great pics coming!

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