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Photo TR: 22 Days in China with TPR


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I think this was called the Pearl Tower. I'm not sure because everyone referred to it as the "Anal Bead Tower." This was a bit disturbing, as it resembles my parents' old Chirstmas tree topper.


Your parents' old Christmas tree topper was an anal bead tower?

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When we were there, I think we got like 4 laser pointers for around $12 total. Which was the starting price for one! But the joke was on me because mine was short a battery and I had to pay about $3 to get one off some vendor that night.


The glass floor in the tower freaked me out. I got dizzy when I looked down.


I found the mag-lev train to be rougher than any of the bullet trains in Japan and was not impressed.

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Yeah it was a total bait and switch on the laser pointers. They showed these awesome ones that could take down planes and then the one you got was like a flashlight. As for the McDonalds Delivery, there are several countries and places that offer it now. I'm in trouble if they ever start it here!!

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I think this was called the Pearl Tower. I'm not sure because everyone referred to it as the "Anal Bead Tower." This was a bit disturbing, as it resembles my parents' old Chirstmas tree topper.


Your parents' old Christmas tree topper was an anal bead tower?


It looked very much like this.


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Chapter 11: Whose Brilliant Idea Was This?--A Looping Toboggan and Other Shanghai Credit Whoring

Another day of culture was behind us, so it was time to get back to what we came to China for--visiting parks and riding coasters. There certainly was an interesting variety of stuff on this day. Oh, there were the usual Chinese knock-off Wacky Worms and Dragon coasters--but where else are you going to find a Looping Toboggan?


Nowhere else except China, I'll wager.


Yes, one day a ride manufacturer named Credible has an idea. An awful idea. Credible had a wonderful, awful idea: "Hey--why don't we add a loop to a Toboggan coaster? Every park will want one! This will put us on the map! B&M, Intamin, Mack better watch out! Credible is coming for you, baby!"


At least, I think the company who built this beast (aka Outer Space Flying Car at Fisherman W[h]arf) is named "Credible," as that's the name on the cars. I may be mistaken.


Be that as it may, this revolutionary ride concept didn't exactly set the world on fire. In fact, I never rode it, because the restraints couldn't accommodate me (and a number of other people). But based on what I saw, and heard from those who did ride it, this is probably all for the best. In addition, this is the only ride I know in which you're offered optional protective headgear (like a boxer would wear while sparring).


There was a ride on this trip that required women to ear hairnets--we'll get to that one later.


For now, let's visit the first stop of this five-park, credit-whoring marathon: Fisherman Warf. (Yes, it's spelled that way on rcdb.com.) If you've ever wanted to save a few yuan by buying an already opened and partially drunk Pepsi, this park can set you up. Just ask Robb.


Follow me.


Welcome to Fisherman Warf. Or should that be "Worf," like on Star Trek?


I wonder if we should pray at this temple or shrine or whatever it is before we enter the park?


Yep. Klassy.


"Welcome to the Crypt, kiddies! Here's a tale of twisted steel and not much sex appeal I call . . .


. . . Loop de Doom!"


It looks like some steel foundry had a some random spare parts from a railroad-tunnel job and decided to make a coaster out of them.


So, so wrong.


Here's a look at the optional headgear. I got a pretty clear picture because the ride often stops there for a moment or two (I guess to allow another car to make it to the station).


You see? "Credible."


"This is not the death I had pictured for myself!"


"What the hell was that?"


"Ow! I should've worn the damn headgear!"


I'm sure this part of the park will look beautiful when they finish it.


Welcome to the Island of Misfit Rides! Will you please tell Santa about the poor rides here? Surely he can find good homes for them all.


This was a bit more conventional.


This giant crab crowns the ticket booth for . . .


. . . Pine Forest Flying Mouse?


Disney's lawyers are, no doubt, on their way to China as I post this.


Er, that doesn't look quite right.


This was somehow missed during the ride's no doubt vigorous morning inspection.


Well, it really wasn't any worse than the other Jungle Mouse coasters, which was a bit surprising.


Blue Gumby bids you good day. More to come.

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Apparently we were very 'lucky' to get that credit as surprise surprise looping toboggans don't run very much!!!! I know you're all really surprised.


Learning a few words in Chinese such as "No, thank you, ok" was worth it just to turn down the helmet complete with Chinese Lice!

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^"Luck" is relative.


Our next stop was a park I rather liked: Jin Jiang. This park marked a first for me--riding an honest-to-god Vekoma Giant Inverted Boomerang. And, like the Skyloop, I was dreading this one a bit. Again, I was pleasantly surprised--the ride was smooth and a lot of fun. But there was one little kink. When we hit the second spike, our train was slowly lowered down to the evac platform. We sat there for a moment or two, then went up the spike and finished the course. All's well that ends well. (It ran normally the rest of the day, from what I could tell.)


There was a Shijingshan-like shuttle loop, as well, but this one was OK--that is, it didn't "drop" out of the loop. The park also had the obligatory Golden Horse Spinning Mouse, an indoor powered coaster themed to dinosaurs, and a Zamperla Motocoaster (it was fun).


Here's a look at Jin Jiang Park.


Again with the Blue Gumby guy. He was the mascot of Expo 2010, which was held in Shanghai.


Welcome to Jin Jiang.


"Who can stand before the combined might of the Two Towers of Isengard and Mordor?"


It amuses me that I had to travel to China to finally ride a Giant Inverted Boomerang. I've missed them in the U.S.


Not a bad ride at all. Just wish they were a bit more dependable.


Let's hope that we don't break this one.


"Aw, you coaster enthusiasts all look so tasty! I'm sick to death of eating Chinese!"


Aren't you in awe of the immersive theming of the station and train?


Yes, I felt I was back at Animal Kingdom riding the GREATEST ATTRACTION OF ALL TIME.


Golden Horse. Ka-ching. That's all there is to say.


Oh. lordy lord.


Jeebus, we could use a little help here.


Shades of Mitsui Greenland.


And, like the old shuttle at Mitsui, it didn't fall out of the loop. Whew!


You know, I think this was a first for me, too. I've ridden Vekoma Boosterbikes and even an Intamin motorcycle coaster, but not a Zamperla Motocoaster before.


Yay! A dark ride! Granted, it wasn't a good one, but, hey--dark ride!


Time to party with buck-nekkid Satan!


This is as scary as it gets.


"There was no buck-nekkid Satan in there! I call shenanigans!"


Larry and I grabbed lunch at this restaurant. Let's have a look at the menu.


No, I had that for breakfast.


I want my lunch to at least know what it is--no confusion, please.


OK--as long as the chicken feet are lightly sauteed. More of this amazing credit-whoring day to come!

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Jin Jiang is a nice little park--good times. But it's time to credit whore three other places: Chang Feng, Zhongshan, and Shanghai Zoological Park! Head 'em up and move 'em out! Ho!


The entire Blue Gumby family welcomed us to . . .


. . . Chang Feng--a park with lots of rules (some of which make sense).


It's a very nice park . . .


. . . with lots of culture. But who cares about that? It also has a . . .


. . . bona fide credit--a non-powered Sliding Dragon!


Yay for Dragons with tire-lift hills!


Aye, 'tis a grand and glorious discovery, indeed!


I think this is Zhongshan. But even if it's not, at least we're in the right place if there's a zombie apocalypse.


These men are practicing their zombie kung fu skills.


Hello! What's this?


Could this be the Big Worm Inertia Train the ancients once spoke of in hushed tones?


Yes! The prophecy is fulfilled! The Worm will show us the way! (To what, I have no idea.)


This was the biggest challenge of the day. The zoo was closing in less than 20 minutes, and Tom, our guide, went in ahead to find the coaster--but he went the wrong way!


Surely a "4-A" tourist attraction has a coaster.


Robb ran in himself, went the right way, and found the coaster. Oh, frabjous day! First the Prophecy of the Worm fulfilled, and now this!


Well done, Robb. You've earned this ride! (Tom showed up when were were nearly done riding. He seemed astounded that we'd found it.)


Not even angry Chinese horses could keep us away from the Sliding Dragon.


We finished up in this rather "Tokyo like" shopping-and-dining district, which wasn't far from the hotel. That's all for now.

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I think those food pictures are one of the rare times when I actually lose my appetite after seeing food pictures! I can't believe how terrible some of those rides look! It definitely did look like the island of misfit rides! Awesome report, thanks for the updates!

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See I would have trouble on trips to China (probably Asia in general!) because I would totally order the Crystal Horseshoe Confusing just to see what it is, and end up never eating anything very appetizing. Thanks for this report, your's are particularly enjoyable and I enjoy your sense of humor quite a bit.

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It was deifnatly worth going trying all the food, even if it looked less than desirable. When you finally came across something special it made its own moment and a surprise dumpling made my day.


I'm glad the GIB was a decent ride, it didnt feel like a filler attraction and was my highlight coaster of this park.

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^I've always been a bit put off by the GIBs because of their reliability issues and the fact that, well, they're bigger versions of Boomerangs. But I was very suprised at how smooth this ride actually was (at least toward the front). Sometimes Vekoma pleasantly surprises me.

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^Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of my lunch, but your description is essentially correct. It was sort of a Chinese version of a chicken-fried steak, in a very rich sauce.


Dave, I think the formula for developing a Looping Toboggan goes like this:


(Fifth of Vodka + Case of Beer) x Regular Carnival Toboggan = Looping Toboggan


I imagine there's an alternate formula involving some sort of hallucinogenic drugs, as well--but that may be how Volares were invented.

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Chapter 12: Still More Shanghai Credit Whoring--or How to Fix a Golden Horse Spinning Coaster with a Big Stick

This was another marathon day for hitting coasters in Shanghai's city parks. As you've probably gathered by now, nearly every city park in China seems to have some sort of amusement park with either a Spinning Coaster, a Jungle Mouse, or a Sliding Dragon, or perhaps all three.


This day really is a bit of a blur for me--we just hit so many parks! But it does stand out for one amusing moment: "The Curious Incident of the Coaster with a Wedgie." Yes, our last park of the day, Century Park, was home to a Golden Horse spinner dubbed "Rotating Pulley." One of the cars on this ride didn't always reset itself properly after completing a circuit, which caused it to get wedged in place just before making the turn into the station. In a amazing show of Chinese technical prowess, two park workers freed the car by 1) poking at it with a very large stick from below and 2) pulling on it from above.


It was easy to tell that this was a common occurrence on the Rotating Pulley--the stick was already in position when the car became stuck. I imagine the two guys running the coaster took turns in this procedure, too: "OK, I'm the stick man today. You get up on the track!"


Never in America (or most other countries).


Well, there were two other memorable high spots to this day: a hallucinogenic trip under the river via the Bund Sightseeing Tunnel and dinner at Elissa's favorite dumpling place. (And damn good dumplings they were, too--thanks, Elissa!)


Off we go.


You know, I'd really like to buy a kite. Anyone around here sell kites?


Welcome to Gongqing Forest Park--looked like a nice place.


Well, I don't know if I'd go as far as "luxurious," but it was a pleasant park.


This ride, the Inertia Roller Coaster, had strange effects on people.


Some were simply overwhelmed by the experience.


Bill was transformed into a many-armed god!


As for Brian and Robb, well, . . .


. . . they're just having way too much fun.


I think you can guess the effects that the Loop and Spiral Coaster had on people.


We've all experienced that moment where one realizes, all too late, that a fatal mistake has been made: Robert E. Lee when he ordered Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg, us when this train left the station.


I hate it when a lawn pretends to be something it's not! Stupid, specious lawn!


Oh, China, you're just asking for it now! Remember what happened to Golden Horse at IAAPA!


Now you may think this is a powered Sliding Dragon.


But the Golden Dragon Roller Coaster is, in fact, Big Worm Inertia Train in disguise! One might say that it is a "Specious Sliding Dragon."


This is Peace Park at Heping Park. Or was that Heping Park at Peace Park? Or maybe it was neither. Hmm . . .


Whatever its name, the park did have the Outer Space Flying Car! Eat your heart out, Space Mountain!


Yes! A dark ride!


Larry can scarcely contain his excitement!


My god! It's a Chinese lamp! And it's red--like blood!


The whole ride was worth it just for this. More to come.

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Do you think you can handle more Shanghai madness? Are you prepared for what may be the trippiest attraction since Nights in White Satin: The Ride? If not, look away now!


You have been warned.


Welcome to Luxun Park.


One of my biggest fans was there. (Ha! I am on fire! Or maybe I should just be set on fire for that one. Sorry.)


I think the guy who was doing the gymnastics on the bar here has strong kung fu. Or maybe he's about to fall on his head.


There was some sort of "festival of lights" going on at the park. Of course, it's a bit hard to appreciate in broad daylight.


"Rub mah belly, yankee dog!"


Lucha libre! (Actually, they're masks from Chinese opera, which probably doesn't involve body slamming people or ramming them into turnbuckles.)


This is part of a very long sculpture of a dragon made entirely out of dinner plates. How long to you think such a sculpture would last in the U.S.?


Behold the splendor of the Gliding Dragon--which is not made out of dinner plates.


We went to yet another Peoples Park. I think.


Another park, another Gliding Dragon.


There was an enormous mall across the street--and it had a Carl's Jr.! Western Bacon Cheeseburger! Hot damn!


And now, our last park of the day.


Hmm--I guess an inactive bike could be said to be "fallow." Or perhaps, in China, bikes grow like weeds in fallow fields?


I don't see any bikes sprouting out here. Nice flowers, though.


And now, "The Curious Incident of the Coaster with a Wedgie." Cheryl and Divv were spared the horror of this occurrence. But others were not so lucky.


"Aw, crap! It's happened again. Best get to pokin', pushin', and pullin'!"


I'm pretty sure that this procedure is in the Golden Horse operator's manual for this attraction.


Good luck, folks--looks like you're gonna need it.


Divv is evidently shocked by something at this tea house. I have no idea what it could be.


No thanks--maybe some other time.


And now, the Chinese version of Nights in White Satin: The Ride. This conveyance goes through a tunnel at the bottom of the river.


Marijuana smoke and vaporized LSD are pumped into this capsule while you ride.


"Nights in white satin/Never reaching the end."


"Letters I've written . . . never meaning to send . . ."


"Beauty I've always missed . . ." Oh, wow . . .


Aghh! Bad trip! Must have dumplings! That's all for now.

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The credit-whoring days are a lot of fun, but all those Jungle Mouse and Sliding Dragon coasters tend to run together once the trip is over. Again, my thanks to Larry for his list of Chinese parks and coasters.

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