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Photo TR: An Englishman in the Orient

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Hey Guys


Over the last few weeks I have been travelling through some of China and South Korea visiting a number of theme parks and tourist attractions as well as the world renowned Harbin Ice Festival. I got to visit some of the worlds best as well as some of the worlds least know parks and experience parts of a culture that is so wonderfully different to my own that It will leave a lasting impression on me for some time.


I travelled with my good friend and long time world travelling partner Oli, Our first stop was the aforementioned Harbin International Snow and Ice Festival, The Ice Festival takes place in China's most northerly city during the months of January and February and consists mainly of three pay to enter parks each with a different style and theme. However throughout the city during the festival there are an incredible number of ice and snow sculptures just positioned for everyone to see and enjoy. The average temperature during our visit was around -12°C (10.4°F) during the day and -25°C (-13°F) at night, So wrapping up warm is imperative.

For the thrill seekers there are a multitude of huge ice slides and ice themed rides (Bumper cars, zip lines, tanks) to keep people entertained but more on those later.


I will start this report with the smallest of the parks. Zhaolin Park is not only the smallest of the three parks but also the most intimate. We saw many Chinese couples wandering the grounds and enjoying the scenery and it seems a popular spot for the locals. Although arguably the least impressive of the three parks it was a nice gentle start to the almost unbelievable things we would see in the next few days.


Anyhow for the most part i shall let the pictures do the talking.


Here you can see one of the main sculptures just found around the city, this is at the Flood Control monument.


The river through the city is completely frozen and there are gritted paths across for walkers (I was worried about the ice cracking under my weight until a taxi stopped on the ice and offered us a lift)


Oli shows off how to keep warm when it's -23°C


Zhaolin Park is the smallest but perhaps most relaxing of the three parks.


The little bridges and buildings across the park are mesmerising.


Not to mention beautifully lit.


There are plenty of places to sit and have a drink if you can handle sitting on the ice stools


We were consistently amazed by the sculptures across harbin.


In the summer this is a small lake running through the park


A view across a small part of Zhaolin Park


Oli takes in the view.


Oli recreates a scene from star wars.... but with more ice and less stars..... and wookies.


The giant dragon near the entrance, while not made of Ice was anamatronic to some degree.


Most of the sculptures are lit up from within using neon? tubes.


A wider view of the temple sculpture


A road sweeper made from Ice. It'll never catch on.


There are literally hundreds of these smaller sculptures around.


Towards the back of the park there was a stage with a woman in a box singing. Probably good she was in the box, that outfit doesn't look too warm.


Included at Zhaolin Park is this huge ice slide


Although not entirely made of ice like some of the ones we will see later, the ice surface of the drop allowed some serious speed before you hit the bottom.


Copyright infringement was only casual at best here :)


The bar outside our hotel was made entirely out of ice... Great in theory until you realise you are in face colder than your beer. Tommorow we moved onto the snow sculptures at Sun park and came across our first coaster of the trip.

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Day 2 saw us visit the second of the three main ice parks in Harbin, the Sun Island International Snow Sculpture Art Fair. Sun Island is essentially a giant recreation area across the frozen river from central Harbin. During the summer the park must look stunning and even includes a small amusement park and zoo. During the winter however it houses the snow sculpture fair.


The snow sculptures are impressive and amazingly well carved, some of them are just on an enormous scale that boggles the mind. However of the three parks i found this one the least impressive. The snow carving is incredible but for me it didn't come close to the insanity of the ice sculptures at the other parks.


Anyway without further ado here's some pictures.


A trip to Sun Island involves a trip over the river, today we took the handy cable car rather than walk again.


The view down onto the frozen river is impressive


The entrance to Sun Island


Perhaps the most spherical snowmen ever made?


The park is littered with hundreds of snow carvings


Some large some tiny


There is plenty of other recreational activity around the park but most of it seems more suited to the summer.




Some of the sculptures are insanely large


Buggy racing on ice was fun.


Some of the designs were a little odd


or a little creepy


The smurfs make another appearance


Ohhhh i see you hiding through the trees.


another of the larger sculptures.


The amusement park section was closed but you could still walk around it.


The cars for the spillwater


Oli tried to take the money but he was having none of it


The park has a small inverted wild mouse, similar model as can be found around the world but i suspect a Golden Horse version.


The cars are in hibernation until the warmer months


The model is the same one as seen at the Winter Wonderland in London recently


A wider shot of the ride


Another panoramic showing off the mouse


The main 2 rides at sun island


Wandering around a closed park was really quite creepy.


The park has a selection of flat rides too


Fake chinese Disko


I have no words for this really.


Double decker carousels are everywhere in China.


Top Scan, this one was real I think


We decided to pop in to the cafe for a beer while they lit up the snow sculptures


The sculptures look even more impressive at night.


The evening finished with another trip to the Ice Bar. :)

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Something about the snow sculptures actually impresses me more than the ice. I guess you think of ice being stronger and easy to carve into bricks and stuff, but seeing that stuff out of snow looks awesome!


As for the Golden Horse suspended mouse...that concerns me!

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Day 3 saw a visit to the third and final part of the Harbin Ice Festival, The Ice and Snow world is by far the largest of the three parks and contains the most impressive ice sculptures. The park is choc full of ice slides, zip lines and a selection of amusement rides to keep the thrill seeker entertained as well as a surprising number of small bars and cafes (and a KFC).


The park is a little further away from the town centre than the other two and requires a taxi ride (cost around $2) to get there. Some of the buildings made of Ice are truely staggering towering up to 50m above the surroundings. The pictures really don't do the scale justice but these things are HUGE.

Anyhow on to the pictures.


The park features tons of these ice slides.


Some of the buildings are staggeringly big, you can walk through and up most of them.


They must take months to construct.


There's a selection of amusement rides around including this slingshot.


A set of racing slides.


There's plenty of fun to be had riding rubber tubes down some of the hills, ask the ops to spin you for some serious nausea


As the sun goes down the lights start to turn on.


An ice climber clambers up one of the towers.


He's a braver man than I.


As the night draws in the buildings begin to take on their own auras


There were lots of times in China when i had literally NO idea what was going on.... this was one of them.


There's some advertising found around but not enough to be annoying.


Some of the ice runs, the toboggans on the right were fun but fairly painful as you hit the ice walls on the corners pretty quick.


The festival at night.


Even the slides look prettier at night.




This would be me, doing the customary Chinese photo pose.


More of the ice temples.


Is that a mickey mouse i spot in there?


The entrance building is one of the most impressive on the site.


The main concourse up to a russian style tower.


There's plenty of these smaller ice sculptures too.


And yet more slides.


Theres even a large show featuring among other things about 1000 people on skis and some furious flag waving.


You can take a ride in one of Cinderellas carriages


Or brave the massive zip line into the dark.


On the back edge of this castle you can see the longest ice slide in the park. you get some serious speed on that thing.


Now THAT is a beer. Harbin beer is actually really quite good.


The evening finished with a spectacular firework show over the entrance buildings.


More pretty shiny things


The whole display is repeated nightly.


And last quite some time.


Anyway it was time to say good bye to the Ice Festival, Tomorrow saw us seek out some of Harbins theme parks and the Harbin Tower.


Ahhh yes. One more thing. Even the Disney castle made of Ice is bigger than yours :p

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Day 4 saw a departure from the Ice Festival and we went in search of some thrills and spills in Harbin. I suspected the amusement park would be shut (Can you even run a coaster in -12?) but we had heard the Harbin Tower had a thrill attraction or two. I knew they still had the edge walk where you walk around the edge of the tower constrained just by a wire attached to a rail above but I was intrigued to see if they still had this



Unfortunately not only was the swing long gone but the edge walk was also shut so after a quick look around the tower we headed to Harbin Amusement Park, the park is a lot larger than Sun Island and features a good collection of rides including 3 coasters. The park as expected was shut but its kept open for visitors and you can just wander the grounds for free. To the extent on some rides you could easily go and sit in the cars if you were so inclined.


The view from Harbin Tower is somewhat messed up by the omnipresent smog layer.


As shown here. The smog layer is pretty bad in most Chinese Cities i've visited.


You see padlocks attached to towers all over China and are supposed to symbolise a couples love for each other, these are larger than the usual sets :p


This is what we came for but it was sadly shut :(


These are the harnesses you use to walk round the outside of the tower.


Oli liked the drums at the top of the tower.


The tower used to be the tallest in China, but is somewhat lower down the list these days.


The glass floor was a little too scratched to be effective.


The small science museum at the base is best avoided.


The lobby to the tower also contains a small dinosaur museum.


They didn't go for aesthetics with the tower.


Unfortunately they didn't go for aesthetics with Oli's jacket either.


Our next location was the interesting Harbin Amusement Park located right in the city centre. The parks main ride is this BSA SLC. This was the only Fake SLC i saw on the trip and was just a little (but only a little) sad it was shut.


One for you lift hill enthusiasts.


Some of the transitions look fairly evil.


Ride trains keeping warm for the winter.


This transition looks horrendous.


The rides first inversion.


The rides final helix.


You can wander the queue line and the exit path if you please.


Oli hides among the plentiful trees in the park.


The parks golden horse wild mouse. There's a fair few of these in China.


Another double decker merry go round.


The cycle ride's track seemed somewhat lower than I would have expected to be classed as safe.


The park has a fairly good selection of flat rides.


The park as many Chinese parks has a massive ferris wheel


The parks looping coaster has recently received a new mine theme.


a panoramic from the back of the looper


The ride entrance.


The parks lake was rather frozen.


This guy didn't look to happy about it.


The parks drop tower was a decent size.


Another shot of the looper


And a shot of the spinning coaster for good measure.


Back out in Harbin we had a look at some of the more random ice structures on the shopping street.


This rather lovely lounge set up was quite nice.


Oli takes a relaxing moment on the ice couch in the ice lounge.


Many of the buildings are nicely lit in Harbin


I love you too Harbin


One final shot shows the extent of the Smog over Harbin, Tomorrow we head back to Shanghai and visit Happy Valley for some proper coaster action.

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Day 5 was mostly taken up with flying back to Shanghai from Harbin and settling in to the excellent new Hostel. Shanghai is a wonderful city but it takes forever to get anywhere on the Metro due to the sheer size of the place. The Metro is also being built unbelievably quickly with 10 new lines being built in 20 years.


Day 6 we decided to head to Happy Valley Shanghai. Happy Valley is really easy to get to from almost anywhere in Shanghai and just involves a trip on the Metro Line 9 to Sheshan (circled below)



It takes a little while to get there but the metro at this point is on raised stilts and you can see the park from miles away. Once at Sheshan station you just pop over the pedestrian bridge to the other side of the main road where you can get a free shuttle bus to the parks front gate (the bus is coloured in bright Happy Valley logos so it's impossible to miss).


Now Happy Valley Shanghai is an interesting beast. They have some world class coasters and some interesting flat rides but they let themselves down with some of the worst operations I have ever experienced at a park, The ops on the Dive Machine for example would require a certain number of people to ride, I don't think there were more than 100 people in the park that day so it often involved a 20 minute wait in a nearly empty station to ride just once, This was park wide and true of flat rides and coasters alike. The only coaster running more than one train was the Zamperla spinning coaster. I don't mind 1 train operations if there's so few people there but getting guests to wait for 20mins for no obvious reason is ridiculous.

As for the rides


Fireball: This is an excellent GC woodie but it's beginning to suffer from some shuffling on the train, The first half especially is getting pretty rough. Don't get me wrong it's still a superb ride and easily in my top 3 wooden rides, its nowhere near ghostrider rough, but it is noticeable. The ride experience other wise is superb, it just doesn't let up the whole way round and there is some good airtime and quick changes in direction. The Ride Ops asking you to do exercises is pretty funny too. The queue here was constantly about 2 trains long but the ride ops still managed to take a good 10-15mins a time to despatch a train.


Diving Coaster: Diving coaster was my first large style B&M diving machine and i thoughrally enjoyed it. The ride is massive and can be seen from everywhere in the park, it's smooth and although not massively forceful it is very good fun. The first drop is the highlight of the ride but the sheer scale of the rides drops and turns keeps it interesting till the end.


Mega-Lite: I had been looking forwards to this ride for some time. Mega-Lites have a great reputation and deservedly so. My first thought upon seeing the ride up close was "Wow it's really small"... However don't let size deceive you, This is the ultimate in good clean coastering fun. I may be more an inversion guy than an airtime one but this ride offers an excellent ride and one I wouldn't mind any UK park picking up "hint hint"


Spinning Coaster: What is there to say about spinning Wild mice? It was pretty standard but didn't really spin very much. I would rate this Zamperla lower than the Golden Horse rides just due to the lack of any real spinning.


Mine Train: This was a nice surprise, This Intamin mine train packs a nice little punch while still being an excellent family coaster, the themeing on the ride is really well done and it keeps up its speed nicely. If you like big swooping turns and speedy little helixes then this is the ride for you.


Other Rides: The Gyro Swing here is excellent and easily the best I've ridden so far. Even if I did have a Chinese guy shouting "I LOVE LONDON" in my ear for the most part, The Soaring Dragon ride is a nice take on the Soaring Rides seen at Disney with a nice flight over many Chinese landmarks.


Storm Travel is a 3D simulator ride not dissimilar to Spiderman at Universal, However this ride is truly terrible. Very few of the effects appeared to be working, One projector was completely off and several didn't line up properly so things jumped between sections of the screen. I wouldn't bother if its anything more than a walk on

The Rapids ride is a decent ride but you will get Soaked, there are a couple of points where the boats travel through unavoidable waterfalls, ponchos are available at the entrance


There is a ride called Jungle Rescue which is the same idea as the Fire Service rides at Legoland, pump the car to the front of the downed plane and put out the fires before pumping back to base, We ended up racing against 3 teams of giggling Chinese girls.... We stuffed them

There was also a nice haunted house walkthrough, It's not the actor type but there's some good scares to be had and some really effective trap door effects.


On to the pictures.


The entrance area to Happy Valley, It wasn't very busy.


These ants are everywhere and are the main characters in the kiddies area "Ants Kingdom"


This is more my sort of character. :)


The weather wasn't playing ball for good photos but at least all the coasters were running.


Oli tried chatting up this Ant.... But she was having none of it and just stared blankly forwards.. how rude.


The first thing you see at the end of the main street is the excellent Fireball.


Just to the right is the Soaring Dragon ride, similar to the Soaring rides at Disney, Very well done and nicely relaxing.


Just beyond Fireball is the excellent Diving Coaster.


A little panoramic shot of this massive coaster.


the view of the ride across the lake is very impressive.


You won't see the ride cycle very often with their stupid loading policy.


The ride is pretty much a Shiekra clone.


I believe it is one of only 3 B&M coasters to feature just one inversion.


A little further round the park is the superb Intamin Mega Lite.


It's not a big ride but it packs a sweet punch.


Airtime abound on this hill.


There is a lot of nice themeing around the mega-lite, but it doesn't actually seem to have anything to do with the ride itself, the mega-lite is behind this rock face but there's no themeing on the ride itself... odd.


A view across the lake at Fireball on the far side of the park.


There are still some nice touches on the themeing, it just doesn't really seem to interact with any of the rides. It's just kind of there.


LeLes Chariot was a small kiddie coaster with a slightly odd layout, que weird looks as two grown western adults ride the parks smallest coaster.


The spinning mouse, a rare non rip off in China.


Also in the Ants Kingdom is this giant indoor kids area with some nice lighting and a selection of kids rides.


Another view of LeLe's Chariot


And another view of the spinning mouse, I didn't rate this at all and put it lower than the Golden Horse rides.


Over the nearby bridge is this excellent Intamin mine train.


There's some lovely themeing around the ride too.


This ride swoops and turns among the rocks with a fair amount of pace.


There's plenty of statues around the Wild west area but most rides were closed.


Oli makes some friends.


Again some excellent themeing


Wandering back to the entrance area we came across the terrible Storm Chaser ride (just off camera on the right here)


Some nice themeing again


This ride was running but due to the cold weather we gave it a miss.


The park has the usual selection of flats too.


We walked back round to the mega-lite and waited 20mins for some more riders, here you can see the 2nd train hiding away.


A panorama from the exit line.


the view from the gift shop.


Where's Oli?


These rapids will soak you, buy a poncho if you are allergic to water rides.


There's something creepy in the bushes.


The themeing on the rapids is nice but not over the top.


This ride can clearly be seen from anywhere in the park


The Disko coaster was closed for the day


Jungle Rescue was good fun though.


We made one last trip back over to Diving Coaster


Another train hide from the cold in the shed.


20mins later we are still standing in the station waiting for more guests.


Track type fail.


The gyro swing in the background here is superb


There is some weird themeing near Fireball.


Yeah I have no idea either.


We took the chance to have a few more rides on Fireball before leaving


The ride may shake you around a bit but its still forceful and fun.


The space shot was closed... although i did see a maintainance guy stood right on the top with no harness i could see.


And finally a nice panorama of Fireball, Happy Valley you were an odd mix of excellent rides and terrible operations. Next Up a trip to the worlds highest indoor coaster at the Pearl Tower.

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^ Afraid not, As with about 1/3 of the rides in the park it was shut, The flying Island, Suspended Monorail and 3D theatre were all rides I would have done but were closed. I guess its possible it opened for a few hours later in the day as some rides seemed to open and close at random but we missed it if it did. Oh well Den of Lost Thieves at Seoul Land more than made up for it

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Yeah thats the impression i got, the sign on the gate had a whole list of rides listed as temprorily closed, including the mega-lite, thankfully the mega-lite seemed to be running all day, but there were a ton of rides that opened at random hours, the mine ride was shut till 1pm for example.


Overall i liked the park but it just seemed to be run really poorly, not sure if that's because i visited on a weekday but it felt the park had a whole lot more potential than it showed.

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Day 6 Continued - After Happy Valley we headed into the center of Shanghai. When having lunch at a rather nice Thai place I looked up the RCDB and realised the Pearl Tower just over the road actually had a credit in it.


Central Shanghai has some stunning buildings including the worlds 3rd tallest building (at the time of writing) the Shanghai World Financial Center which i think is one of the most beautiful skyscrapers yet constructed. It's simple and sleek and stunningly lit at night. It's not garish like the pearl tower or overly angular like Taipai 101. It also doesn't rely on stupid spires and antennas like the Willis Tower or to a certain extent the epic Burj Khaliffa. In my opinion It's Gorgeous and looks like it could open the world's largest beer bottle.


But enough architecture fetish, We ended up visiting the Pearl Tower which is miles better than the Harbin Tower we did a few days before, if not a little steep for what you get at £16, especially considering the Shanghai World Financial Center is over the road and twice the size.

The view is stunning though and the views of the ships heading up and down the river are breathtaking. On top of that when you descend to the games area (the lowest of the 3 balls) there is a decent sized Vekoma Junior coaster.


Now this coaster will not rock your world, But it is a nice ride with some decent drops and a good low down turn or two. It's good enough that it would fit nicely into any park as a kiddie coaster, Its just a pity you cant see out while riding. There is a small observation area so you can view part of the coaster run its course but when riding there's no way of telling you are hundreds of feet up in the air.


We arrived a little before dark after getting the metro up from Happy Valley, here we had our first glimpse of the massive 492m Shanghai World Financial Center.


The Pearl Tower over the road is only half the height and a lot less aesthetically pleasing but it does house a credit.


After dinner the sun had gone down and down town shanghai came alive.


The Party Bus turned up too :) Oli likes anything Neon so it was like a moth to a flame.


After drawing Oli away from the pounding techno bus we were immediately drawn to the steps outside the pearl tower. They show adverts on the underside of the step, very clever.


The view from the t op was so much better than the Harbin Tower.


Down town Shanghai is just like nothing in the UK.


These buildings would be among the tallest in the UK, here they seem but minnows.


the Shanghai World Financial Center is lit up with a slowly changing blue green light display.


We spent well over an hour just watching the city go by.


Shanghais smog layer seemed a lot better than Harbin and provided good views.


Oli got stopped by about 100 people today asking for pictures, his fault for looking like something out of braveheart.


Down in the lower bubble you can find a small arcade with a space museum, 3D theatre and a coaster.


You can win all kinds of tat... such as these slightly creepy mouse thingys.


ET is also hanging around, strangely in a dark unlit corner of the space museum...


much like Russian Roulette or strip Trivia Pursuit , Junior Coaster is a dangerous game....


The Coaster cars for the interestingly named "Space Switchback"


despite what this picture may lead you to believe... this coaster does not go upside down. Also by the sounds of this sign it works well as a contraceptive.


Part of the coaster is viewable through a small window to one side.


Its a decent little ride, especially considering where they've crammed it in. The lifthill here actually comes at the end of the ride.


Outside the coaster is this glass floor, This is much more effective than the Harbin One and as i hate heights (Yeah I know odd for an enthusiast) this had me literally a blubbering wreck.


There was also an outside area that had even clearer views of the river.


The round about outside the tower, the mall to the right is superb.


You are actually outside here, although behind a large wire net as Oli demonstrates.


But the views are stunning.


It was a tough choice choosing between the pearl tower and the Shanghai World Financial Center but the credit did swing it.


One last shot of the Space Switchback


Thats it for day 6... tomorrow we get to visit my new #1 coaster...

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/\ Yeah its amazing. I went in to Toys-R-Us to get some Tomica train stuff for my 3 year old niece and spent a small fortune on bits and pieces you cant even get in the UK.



Oh well I guess I will have to be that cool uncle who turns up every few months with more train track

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Day 7 saw a trip to a park we've all heard a lot about. The brand new World Joyland, This park is a complete pain in the arse to get to from Shanghai but it's worth it. Boy is it worth it. In my opinion this is one of the best parks I've ever been to. The themeing is top notch and the rides are almost all excellent. Ok they really have taken a complete disregard to all copyright almost across the board which may get them into trouble sooner rather than later but if you can look past that you will have an excellent time.


I've read reports slating the unfinishedness of the park and the general mess but they seem to have cleaned up their act recently and the park is beautiful and on some occasions draw dropping. The park does come across as a little unfinished in areas such as the tower at the back not being open and the water park still being built to the side of the park (it was 2degrees C so I wasn't too fussed about the water park )


Anyway bear in mind all opinions in this are mine and mine alone, (Although Oli also thought this place was amazing, And I would consider him a pretty standard member of the GP)

I shall start my review with tip on how to get to the park


Traveling to and from the park: The park is miles away from any major station which makes public transport a bit of a pain. Myself and Oli caught the bullet train from Shanghai Central to Wuxi (It also stops at Shanghai West Station). This takes about an hour but the train really goes some and rockets along like it's associated bullet. However if you are a foreigner in Shanghai wanting to buy long distance train ticket there are a couple of things to remember.


1) Take your passport, i cannot stress this enough, you will not even get a ticket without one and there is no way round this.


2) The ticket office at Shanghai Central Station is across the road to the right of the main entrance (it's a few minutes' walk) there is only 1 English speaking window and its not easy to see the little sign above the window. I would advise taking pictures of the Chinese station names you wish to visit and a pen to write down times.


3) Chinese stations operate a lot like an airport. you will have a carriage and seat number on your ticket and you will be told to wait in a specific waiting room (all trains have numbers which are easy to spot on your ticket and on the departure board telling you where your waiting room is) you will then be let out on the platform a couple of minutes before the train arrives. The platforms all have carriage numbers on them so you can find where you carriage will be and wait in the right place.


We were told there was a bus from Wuxi Station to the park but it appears that it doesn't run year round and was not running the day we visited. As we found out later the bus to Changzhou station wasn't running either. In the end we caught a taxi for the hour long trip to the park. this cost about £12 between the 2 of us which wasn't too bad.


Getting back was more of a nightmare. There were no taxis to be found outside the park and the only bus went to Changzhou bus station. Thankfully a friendly university student helped us catch the bus we needed to get to Changzhou train station. Overall it took us almost 2 hours to make it back to a train station and almost 4 hours in total to get back to Shanghai. In fact we spent 6 hours total travelling today and that's actually more time than we spent in the park.


The Park:


When we visited the park was dead, there were probably less than 50 people in the whole park all day, however the ride ops were streets ahead of the happy valley counter parks, The two of us rode Starry Night Ripper repeatedly as the only two people on the train and the ride ops allowed repeat rides if we wished.


The themeing in this park is a notch above Happy Valley too. As I mentioned at Happy Valley the themeing doesn't appear to interact much with the rides themselves. Here the themeing is an integral part to many of the rides and it really works, even the warcraft restaurant was superbly done and served excellent food.




Heaven Trip of the Demogoagon: This ride is a 3D ride similar to Spiderman at Universal, It's not quite as good as Spiderman but is is excellent and the effects are stunning, this is easily the best simulator ride I've ridden since Spiderman and is well worth trying out. There are plenty of good slow motion 3D effects and the ride has been designed with very little dialog so its easy to follow.


Starry Night Ripper: I've heard people say this ride is good.... in my opinion they are wrong, this ride is amazing. I'm not one to rate my rides much but this is up there with Nemesis and Olympia Looping for my favorite rides of all time. It's been a while since I've ridden a forceful B&M and I wasn't holding out too much hope having ridden Black Mamba and Silver Bullet last year but the forces on the entrance and exit to the vertical loop are incredible and that weird inversion under the lift is just a really bizzare feeling, like a zero-G-roll that just keeps going. The ending lets up a little on the intensity but it's still brilliant fun and that straight first drop just is awesome. This ride is worth the hassle of getting here alone.


Cosmo Hacker: THis is another 3D simulator ride but you sit in large vibrating chairs in front of a giant screen, I have no idea why it's called Cosmo Hacker as the movie was a Canyon themed rollercoaster ride. But its a solid attraction with some nice 4D effects.


Soul Hunter: This is one of the strangest attractions I have ever seen. It is essentially an alternative reality shoot-em-up, When you enter you are given a backpack attached to a large gun with a big LCD screen on top. You then proceed to walk through a haunted house where you shoot ghosts you can only see on your LCD screen. Once you have cleared each room of ghosts you move on to the next room. The AR system works quite well with ghosts coming out of holes and darting behind objects in the room. It's not perfect but it's a nice idea and is great fun, especially the boss fight at the end where you must take out power orbs before being able to hurt the boss.


Kart Attack: I'm not sure on the exact name of this ride but again its something i haven't seen before, It is essentially real life mario kart. The ride system is similar to the race track ride at Magic Kingdom as your card is attached to a rail which you can move left or right on slightly. However the difference here is you have another Alternative Reality screen in the front of the car which overlays a Mario Kart style world over the track. You can then pick up power ups like rockets and banana skins to slow down other drivers. There are different tracks each of which takes a slightly different route (although they are mostly parallel. With only 2 of us on the course it was a bit empty but I can see this being a great laugh with a ton of people.


Dragon Roaring Heaven: This is a golden horse knock off Vekoma mine train. Its essentially the same as the Happy Valley versions you may have seen and the one at Walibi Belgium, Not a bad family ride but a little slow. The themeing does manage to set this appart though with a massive Dragon skeleton covering the lift hills and much of the track.


3D theater: This is housed in the giant dome in the starcraft section of the park. It's essentially a giant 360 degree theatre and the story follows the quest of our heroes to collect 3 elemental beasts to kill the fire dragon which has corrupted your world. The effects are really very good and some of the landscapes are stunning and reminicent of Avatar. There are only a few showings a day but it's well worth catching if you can.


Clouds of Fairyland: This is a standard X-Car sky loop ride. If you have been on one then you know what to expect. It's good fun if a little short and I'll never get used to that up and over lift. It's not as good or as long as Abismo in Madrid but It's a solid enough ride.


Rapids: This rapids ride is pretty good, theres nothing groundbreaking about it but its a solid ride. One thing i noticed is the Queue line features some slides at various points which kids can use while you queue. A nice idea but I'm not sure how it works on a busy day.


In summary all the rides we rode at this park were above average and I rate this park up there with PhantasiaLand for experience. It's not a perfect park by any means but I think it has the potential to be one of the best in the world if they iron out the bugs.


This was the scene upon arriving at the park.


Needless to say it was not a busy day.


Even at the entrance you start to get a feeling for some of the detail they've added to this park


Very Universal.


The main street has plenty of shops selling terrible knock-off goods, Disney, Universal, Warner Brothers... they are all here.


The entrance to the Warcraft area.


Oli could easily fit into the Warcraft.


This is the entrance to the excellent 3D simulator ride Heaven Trip of the Demogoagon


It has a good Splendour Index


The restaurant across the way which we shall visit later.


Even the restaurant themeing was good.


Oli really just wants to be an Orc.


No they don't have any of the licences... but that hasn't seemed to stop them.


This water ride was shut.


But again the themeing is pretty impressive.


The entrance to Terrain of Warcraft from the Starcraft area.


The Starcraft area is very distinct.


The first rides you see are these S&S shot and drop towers. They provide nice views of the park but are pretty standard otherwise.


This is what we came for though.


This turnaround provides a lovely flying feeling.


The ride finale.


One of the most intense elements I've ridden in a long time.


A panorama of one of my new top coasters.


Surprisingly this is one of the least themed rides in the park.


A view from the back side of the ride.


Not sure what this is, but we didn't get a chance to find out as we kept missing the show times.


Cosmo Hacker is another 3D motion simulator., Oli shows off the 3D Glasses.


These are the large vibrating, air blasting seats.


Plenty of random details around the starcraft area.


This dome houses a large 360degree theatre which we shall come back to in a bit.


Across the way is this well themed Golden Horse knock off mine train.


No riding broomsticks?


It's not a brilliantly thrilling ride, but as the parks family coaster it serves its purpose well.


The dragon theme works well too.


Not sure on the name though :)


More casual copyright infringement.


The Sky-Loop was fun.


Some more nice themeing round the rapids ride queue.


This rather garish castle sits in the centre of the lake and houses a nice little tea shop.


More good themeing.


The kids climbing area was nicely done too.


Ah so almost a boob credit.


This is the inside of the previously mentioned 360degree theatre.


It's a fairly impressive film.


Some of the landscapes are stunning and very avatary


Another trip over to ride the excellent B&M Flyer.


Although the ride does appear to have 2 names.


We headed back to the Warcraft restaurant we saw earlier.


The interior was really nicely done and the food was excellent.


Yet more casual copyright infringement.


The Cosmo Hacker entrance


Soul Hunter is a bizzare alternative reality romp through a haunted house with a big gun. (see review at the top)


The Mario Kart style kart shooter was a real WTF moment.


You can shoot other riders with power ups you pick up such as rockets and banana skins.


There are nice details all around the park.


There is a big Nvidia sponsored games area towards the childrens area of the park with loads of 3D games and Kinects set up.


There is also yet another 3D theatre.


Some of the themeing in the land of adventurers.


These girls pretty much stalked us round the park taking pictures of us, You can't get away when you are strapped into a ride either :s


The kids area is nice but it really is a shameless rip-off from IOA, Tomorrow I head to Seoul to try out some Korean style parks.

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That flyer really does look pretty great.


It's incredible how all of these Chinese parks have such massive pieces of themeing. I can't imagine that any of that rockwork or huge set pieces are particularly well-built, especially with how ubiquitous they seem to be. It's amazing that their park-building bubble hasn't completely imploded yet.

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