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Photo TR: 22 Days in China with TPR


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With the number of parks you have visited on the trip I can imagine it becoming a blur. Unless there is something to make a ride or park stand out everything starts to blend.

 

Bob - that was certaining the case as all the public parks had similar ride selections. There were quirks at many public parks that made some stand out but without my notes I can't tell you which parks had the following curiosities: homemade games of chances, the sleeping ticket seller, the spinning coaster that got stuck, the powered coaster where we had to line up in size order.

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Chapter 13: "Innovative" and "Delightful"--Happy Valley Shanghai with a Side of Giant Wheel Park

 

Apparently, Happy Valley Shanghai is both "innovative" and "delightful." It must be--they painted it on a wall!

 

Well, if you define "innovative" as the ability to clone rides from other parks, I guess you could use that word to describe the park. (And, hey, I was simply delighted that our guide, Tom, could find the place.) Yes, this park features Chinese versions of a Disney ride and a Universal ride: Soarin' Over California and Spider-man. Only you're soarin' over China and riding around inside a super storm, both while watching somewhat blurry computer graphics.

 

But although these rides were a bit "interesting," they were hardly the best that Happy Valley Shanghai had to offer. In fact, this park has a pretty damn solid selection of coasters. Wooden Coaster Fireball had received rave reviews when it opened in 2009 as an insane, airtime-filled ride--but had it aged well? Fortunately, the ride had undergone some extensive re-tracking (new wood all over the place), and it was running very well. Was it as good as a few years ago? I'll leave that to others, but I liked it a lot.

 

The park had an excellent Mega-Lite (Or is it redundant to use "excellent" in the same sentence as "Mega-Lite"?); a B&M dive machine, with the catchy name of Diving Coaster; a Zamperla Spinning Coaster (surprising, I know); and Lele's Chariot (a kiddie coaster). But, in a bit of a twist, the park had an Intamin Mine Train. (I guess they must've outbid Golden Horse and Vekoma for a change.)

 

Top it off with the North Pole Adventure shooting dark ride, Desperadoes, and some solid theming (particularly "Goldmine Town,") and you have a pretty nice park--I enjoyed it.

 

We hit another park that evening. More on that later. For now, let's have a look at Happy Valley Shanghai. (It was another gray day, so my pictures aren't exactly top quality. Sorry about that.)

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Welcome to Happy Valley Shanghai, a park that is both . . .

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You see? I told you!

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Look! It's Mario's brother, Luigi, and he's holding a horn! So innovative!

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Or how about a Transformer that looks like he's just waking up after downing boilermakers at Applebee's all night? Isn't that delightful?

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Must've Been Chinese Flag Day, or something.

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Wooden Coaster Fireball! (You know, this park could use some help with names.)

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Fireball is located in a section called "Happy Hour." Does this guy look happy to you? My guess is that his orthopedist and chiropractor will be very happy to see him.

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This looks one of Lewis Carroll's rejected concepts for "Alice in Wonderland." Old Lewis probably awoke from an opium-induced haze and wondered, "What the hell was I thinking?"

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Yes, it's another filming session.

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Action!

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Like I said earlier, I really liked this ride.

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This shot is pretty blurry, but Cheryl's "hairtime" should give you a pretty good idea of why I liked it.

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Everyone looks delighted--and relieved!

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See all that new wood? Nice work, Happy Valley!

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Nice shirts, too.

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Next stop, Diving Coaster! They actually drove us from ride to ride for filming. The park's staff was very nice.

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Hmm--I don't recall ever encountering a "pre-gnant" woman. I wonder if I've been around "post-gnant" women?

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Robb and Hanno at work.

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I had no idea that Robb and Mike were so "close."

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Diving Coaster is Sheikra without the theming.

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And that's OK--I really like B&M Dive Machines.

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I especially like them when they're floorless.

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Just in case you forgot where we were.

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Next stop, Mega-Lite--another ride with a catchy name.

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But a Mega-Lite by any other name . . .

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. . . would still be an amazing . . .

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. . . airtime-filled machine!

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Yeah, you could name this ride "Frank" or "Little Big Steel Coaster" or "Melvin," and it would still be great. (You know, let's go with "Melvin"--what the hell.) More to come from Happy Valley Shanghai!

Edited by cfc
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Still more innovation and delight from Happy Valley Shanghai!

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Welcome to "Goldmine Town." Again, this park should hire a naming consultant. Why not "Gold Gulch" or "Desperado Canyon"?

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Still, I guess "Goldmine Town" is better than "Mine Train Coaster."

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Hmm--I think I see a flaw in their approach to mining here. Might want to rethink that.

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The world needs more Intamin Mine Trains, and TPR was happy to provide footage of this one.

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It has a rather impressive mountain, too.

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My god! It appears that we must brave the terrifying "Ant Kingdom"!

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What horrors will we encounter here?

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Look! A reject flying dragon from the Main Street Electrical Parade! I thought it was "glowing away forever"!

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Our worst nightmare is realized!

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Yes, the true spirit of Yuletide is stripped, revealing its essence.

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And that essence is the terrific greed of children!

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I guess elves think that vertical-striped pants are "slimming." What do you think?

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Disney has the "backside of water." Happy Valley has the "backside of Christmas."

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Oversized pick = theming. (Sorry--that's all I got here.)

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Desperadoes! Yes! Larry is a very happy man now!

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"You strangers best take care. I hear that Divv Walsh feller is in town!"

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"They say he's the fastest gun in Glasgow!"

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Sheesh! We're always bumping into Piers at Happy Valley parks.

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Uh oh! I see the potential for shenanigans here!

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Potential realized.

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Yay! The Flying Island works!

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I rode this for spite, which apparently was a violation of park rules.

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This was some sort of theatre--we missed the show.

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I'd rather get up close and personal with Fireball, anyway.

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This should give you an idea of just how crazy this coaster is.

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We had great luck with woodies during this trip.

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Here's a "Fire Academy" knockoff. I think the crashed plane is a nice touch.

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Yep--Mine Train Coaster is pretty durn twisty. One more set of photos to come.

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Too bad they didn't have any burning bodies hanging out of the plane...

 

To put out, of course. *I - am - kidding*

But it wouldn't surprise me if they did that, at the park.

 

Great continuing TR as always Chuck. And it's fantastic getting those other smaller parks

in order. They are a blur to me at this time, and I don't think my brain is going to

sort them out, even with time, heh heh.

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The delight of innovation at Happy Valley Shanghai is nearly over. But we will be making a stop to ride Vekoma's Stingray at Giant Wheel Park. (Or is that Ferris Wheel Park? Again, the Chinese are making Cedar Fair's ride names sound brilliant.) Stingray is in no way related to this video:

 

 

In case you haven't heard, Stingray is Vekoma's hybrid of a Flying Dutchman and a Mauer Sohne XCar coaster--that is, a flyer with an "inverted" lift hill and a crazy, twisted layout. When you first see this ride, you wonder about the sick mind that dreamed this up. However, while it is rather intense, Stingray is a lot of fun. I wouldn't mind seeing this coaster in other parks.

 

This is also the ride where women were required to tie their hair up in a bun and wear a most likely used hairnet.

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You want to gaze upon the Mega-Lite (aka "Melvin") again! Admit this to yourself!

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Gotta love the setting here. This is a very nice looking park.

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Yes, I know you're all wondering, "Where's the Spinning Coaster? You have to show us the Spinning Coaster! It's Chinese law!"

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So, what else does this park have to offer?

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How about some implements of destruction? Perfect for your next game of Warcraft.

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This is Storm Chaser, the Spider-man knockoff. Essentially, you race and twirl around a building while watching blurry CGI while some guy yells in your ear in Chinese.

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And this is Soaring Dragon. This simulator uses the same system as the still-yet-to-operate simulator at Ferrari World in Dubai. The ride vehicles are mounted on a big arm that slowly rises up (the back rows rise higher than the front rows). It really wasn't all that good (but at least the movie wasn't too blurry).

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The ubiquitous haunted walk through. I remember nothing about it. (Was it even open?)

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More Fireball, because you know you want it!

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The Chinese seem to like it, too.

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I hope they keep this ride running well.

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Ferris Wheel? What Ferris Wheel?

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Oh--that Ferris Wheel.

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But here is our real objective. Robb and Elissa arranged for the park to let us in near closing time to film on Stingray. They were emptying the park for a buyout as we went in.

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Feelings of dread growing.

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Here we are.

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Oh, Holy Mother of God, what hath Vekoma wrought?

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You look at this and think that it can't possibly be any better than painful.

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But it's surprisingly good. (Low capacity, but fun.)

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Well done, Vekoma! I hope more parks become interested in these rides.

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It's always Christmas at Giant Wheel Park. That's all for now.

Edited by cfc
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For myself, I thought Sting Ray was The Coolest Coaster on the tour!

But I only rode it once. I did want to ride it more.

But it was getting late, we had gotten there around their closing time.

and Robb/Elissa was so good at getting us into the park... so I relished

my one ride on it.

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But it was getting late, we had gotten there around their closing time.

and Robb/Elissa was so good at getting us into the park...

It actually wasn't closing time, the park was doing a private event buy-out that the owners let us "crash" to come in and film Stingray for Vekoma. They didn't let anyone else ride until we were done with our filming. Thankfully, we were done pretty quick and no one who was at the buyout seemed to complain, which is a good thing, but I do believe the park did a good job of explaining what was going on and why we were there.

 

--Robb

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You forgot the best part about Happy Valley Shanghai!!!! SIT DOWN PIZZA HUT!!!

 

Mmm Delicious lunch and Mega-Lite!

 

 

Wasn't it this Pizza Hut that had Jack Johnson's Better Together track on repeat constantly? It completely drove me nuts! Other guests/staff in there really didn't seem to notice or it didn't drive them mad.

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You forgot the best part about Happy Valley Shanghai!!!! SIT DOWN PIZZA HUT!!!

 

Mmm Delicious lunch and Mega-Lite!

 

Yes, this was definitely an Elissa-friendly park. Double win! (The Pizza Hut had slipped my mind.)

 

Thanks for the clarification about Giant Wheel Park, Robb--my memory of that evening is a bit fuzzy (perhaps due to the forces of Stingray).

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^Corrected--thanks for the clarification. I usually look these things up on rcdb, but skipped this one. It is, indeed, a small miracle that Zamperla managed to sell one of their rides to a Chinese park.

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^ I love chicken and beef but when It comes to some of the stuff you got pictures of like jellyfish heads count me out, lol

 

Jellyfish head is pretty easy to avoid.

 

^The Happy Valley parks in general are fairly well themed (although it is a bit "skin deep," for the most part).

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