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Photo TR: Divv's Chinese Adventure


Divv3k
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Bet you never expected to see this!

 

I wasn’t going to post this as I figured it had been too long but here it is. I actually wrote this TR quite a while back and it’s been sitting in Word gathering dust for a long time. I was talking with Scottish Steve recently and he convinced me that at the very least he wanted to read this still, so hopefully there’s one or two others who will want to read this too. Hey, if Chuck can generate some interest from a 2006 TPR Trip report in 2014 then 2012 should be alright too, right?

 

Okay, here goes. I’ll try and post an update a day for the next couple of weeks.

---

 

UPDATES:

Part 1 – DISNEYLAND PARIS (Below)

Part 2 - SHANGHAI SIGHTSEEING

Part 3 - SHANGHAI CREDIT WHORING

Part 4 - MORE SHANGHAI CREDIT WHORING

Part 5 - HAPPY VALLEY SHANGHAI

Part 6 - GIANT WHEEL PARK

Part 7 - WORLD JOYLAND

Part 8 - DINOSAUR PARK

Part 9 - GUANGZHOU CREDIT WHORING

Part 10 - CHIMELONG PARADISE

Part 11 - CHUANLORD HOLIDAY MANOR

Part 12 - KNIGHT VALLEY

Part 13 - WINDOW OF THE WORLD

Part 14 - HAPPY VALLEY SHENZHEN

Part 15 - OCEAN PARK

Part 16 - HONG KONG SIGHTSEEING

Part 17 - HONG KONG DISNEYLAND

---

 

For the sixth straight year I embarked upon another TPR adventure, this year it was to China! But before I made it to China I took a stop at Disneyland Paris on the way...

 

Now I only really went to DLP because of the way my flight schedule worked out. It was a hot Saturday in September so I knew the place would be bust and was prepared to not ride much, but still this day sucked. I’ve never been in a place so busy in my life. Especially the Studios park. That place was just a joke – it took me two hours to get on Tower and that was WITH a Fast Pass! I actually just spent most of my time walking around and drinking beer and this was a total bonus visit because of my flights so I mustn't complain too much.

 

Plus the new fireworks show, Dreams is sensational. The things they did with the castle projections were unbelievable. Worth visiting DLP for that alone! Just don’t do it on a Saturday!

Alright, here’s the photos...

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It wasn’t a good idea. 45 minutes was the shortest wait I saw in this park.

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This was my first look at the new Toy Story land. It looks nice even if the attractions themselves aren’t anything spectacular.

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80 minutes single rider? I’ll get this pseudo-credit next time, thanks.

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Goodbye Toy Story land.

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Ratatouille already looks better than anything in this park.

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I look forward to coming back to check this out!

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Who needs Radiator Springs Racers when you can have this?

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Crush’s Coaster money shot. I didn't ride. The reason will become apparent in the next photo.

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This is the end of the line for Crush. I figured I wouldn’t encounter any place busier today.

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I was wrong.

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Weird and intriguing menu items do not make up for the fact that this McDonald’s is horrendous.

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Okay, hopefully this place will be a little less crazy!

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Doesn’t look too crowded so far.

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Certainly better than the other park. (Note: It was still horrendously crowded)

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OMG, Disney Popcorn! Here's the "Regular" flavour cart.

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Ah, Phantom Manor! At a 60 minute wait you just might be my best bet!

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Spooky!

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Phantom Manor is always cool. I love how they mix the western stuff in with the traditional Haunted Mansion.

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Next up I stared at Big Thunder. Three hours is a bit too long to wait to ride.

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I wouldn’t get on this if it was a walk on so I’m certainly not waiting in this!

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Oh cool, there’s the regular flavoured popcorn!

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If you ever wondered what French urine smells like have a sniff around in here.

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Alice’s Maze thing is cool but I can do without waiting in that.

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Good thing there’s more of that amazing regular flavoured popcorn to keep you going through the crowds.

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Even with the park crazy busy they aren’t letting anyone near EO.

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I did take this busy day opportunity to finally check out the 20,000 Leagues sub walkthrough.

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Exciting stuff. It’s actually pretty cool to walk through but I was just reminded of DisneySea by it and so it pales in comparison.

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Rather than put on some kind of show in the Videopolis (or whatever it’s called) they just show cartoons on a loop now.

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I’ll see you soon!

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120 minutes for Buzz. Pass.

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At least this bloody place sells beer!! Highlight of the day!

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Okay, time to try this again. At least I had a Fast Pass for Tower in my pocket that I had picked up in the morning.

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Still looking pretty busy...

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Good thing I’ll be able to bypass this queue, right??

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I mean, look how crazy it is!

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Two hours later I finally got on. (WITH a Fast pass!) Two of the shafts looked like this. Seriously, why the hell are two shafts closed on a Saturday when the park is rammed to the max?? F this place.

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Eve, please get me away from here!

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70 minutes for Pirates. At this point I gave in and just waited it out. Woe is me.

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At least I didn’t have to line up for this guy.

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Yeah, still pretty busy.

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Everyone is trying to make sure they get some of that regular popcorn before they run out.

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Finally, something worth visiting DLP for!

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Despite all my complaints about this day I was BLOWN AWAY by their new fireworks show. This is now my favourite Disney fireworks show in the world. (TDS Fantasmic doesn't count as a fireworks show, right??)

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The castle projections are terrific.

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Plus, anything with this amount of fire is instantly good in my book.

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So this day at DLP kind of sucked. But I hadn’t expected it to be great. It’s a risk you run when you visit this place on a Saturday in the middle of September. But hey, it was on my way to China so it’s all good! Plus those fireworks were awesome!

 

Okay, now that’s out the way stay tuned for China itself!

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The way my flights worked out I had a spare day in Paris so figured I’d spend the day here.

Edited by Divv3k
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Thanks, Larry. That does make me feel better. The Doritos count is currently at 100.

 

I've decided that if I go to DLP this year for Ratatouille I'm going to try and go on a weekday in the hope that the place might be tolerable to visit!

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Damn, I thought you had at least double the Doritos number, Divv!

 

Great TR start - sorry to read DLP turned into a series of long queues.

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I will be reading all of this, as your reports always entertain. Loved all the photos of the regular popcorn!

 

I visited DLP once in 2005, and have not been able to work up the energy to go back, despite having been in Paris many times since then. The crowds just don't make it worth bothering with.

 

dt

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PART 2 - SHANGHAI SIGHTSEEING!

 

The next morning I was up and on my way to China! Upon arriving in Shanghai I was prepared for a hellish wait and process to get through security and so was pleasantly surprised to find one of the easiest airport security arrivals I’d ever been through. I guess maybe all the tough work was done at the stage where you get the Visa or something. Anyway, I got my bag and made my way through the airport to see someone holding a card with my name on it.

 

Elissa had arranged a driver to take me to the first hotel (I was meeting the TPR Beijing Tour participants the next day) and this was my first real experience of what China’s roads are like. In a word, crazy. I’ve never seen people with less regard for their own or other vehicles. The driver was obviously well experienced at it though as he darted his way between cars, cones, stray dogs and any other obstacles that got in his way.

 

The hotel was awesome, this was a something to get used to on the China Tour, Elissa is great at choosing hotels and there were some of the best I’ve stayed at on this trip.

 

After settling into the hotel I met up with Russ and Stacey who had also arrived in Shanghai early and did a little sightseeing around the city.

 

The next day the whole tour group arrived and we headed off for more sightseeing and our first credit of the trip!

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CDG airport is made marginally more tolerable when you start your morning with a traditional French McDonald’s breakfast!

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On to Shanghai!

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This will be home for the next half a day...

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We hovered over the marshmallow fluff for a very long time.

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At last, I made it to Shanghai!

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It's filled with some crazy big buildings!

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Here’s the “Bottle Opener”, we ventured up for a look around.

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At the bottom there’s this really cool model of the city.

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Check that view!

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Oh yeah, Russ and Stacey were here too!

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Lights and stuff.

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I’ll be back to see this one day!

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Hands down best view you could ever legally get whilst taking a leak.

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A great way to finish my first night in Shanghai!

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The next morning we met up with the rest of the tour and head out to this thing!

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Going up?

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The viewing level in AB Tower gave a great look at the city.

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Hey, I was just there!

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Hey Russ, where’s our hotel??

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Love that smog!

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It’s a glass floor. I’m contractually obliged to take this photo.

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Shang-high!

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Oooh, what’s this??

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Yay, a credit!

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When I took my seat I saw this abandoned pair of tights in the loose articles tray. I’m not sure I want to know the story behind them...

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If you’re a fan of playing cards then Shanghai has any fetish catered for.

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Aha! My first Chinese McDonald’s!

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And what a first it was! These “Black & White” burgers were really cool! The Bubble Tea was rank though.

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More big buildings.

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Remember what I said about the roads? Yeah, stuff like this happens all the time.

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Now this is exciting – Maglev!

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I feel like the train is looking at me.

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Laq gives the Maglev two interlocking claws up.

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This thing’s fast!

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Tonight’s meal was served on a BOAT!

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Over here they just call it food.

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After dinner some of us took a late night boat ride to see the city. I think we may have bought them out of beer.

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The riverfront of the city looks pretty cool at night.

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Here’s Larry getting ripped off for a dodgy laser pen.

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And that was my introduction to Shanghi! China’s a weird place and I didn’t always love it but it sure was interesting!

 

Up next – something somewhat resembling a theme park!

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Thanks for posting Divv. It sure was an interesting place to visit and I wouldn't mind taking a trip back there. The river cruise that evening was really great though and yes Larry attempting to barter for the laser pen was hilarious. Especially when the one he ended up with was nowhere near as good as the example shown to him!

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LOL! Larry and that ripoff Laser pointer.

 

I certainly did not get ripped off, I paid less than everybody else and it still works. I use it at school all the time. I found out 6 months ago that you can unscrew the kaleidoscope dome and it works like a true laser pointer.

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LOL! Larry and that ripoff Laser pointer.

 

I certainly did not get ripped off, I paid less than everybody else and it still works. I use it at school all the time. I found out 6 months ago that you can unscrew the kaleidoscope dome and it works like a true laser pointer.

 

Yeah, yeah.

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Our first day of visiting parks certainly gave a real insight into the range of different types of parks China offers. The first park was a personal favourite of mine – Fisherman’s Wharf is about as ghetto as you can get. Situated on a beach in the (seemingly) middle of nowhere there are many great attractions to behold. From the discarded pieces of rides littered between the working ones to the awesome theming that came in the form of clothes being dried on washing lines hung between ride supports. I hadn’t seen anything like it. The scariest part though was the weird head protection they gave you before they let you on their toboggan coaster. That was nasty!

 

Our next park, Jin Jiang was a little more “modern” and had obviously attracted some recent investment in the form of a Deja Vu clone. The park was nice for what it was, it also a few quirky dark rides and some extra credits.

 

We finished the day credit whoring our way around some zoos and parks. Take a look at the photos...

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Whenever possible I always try to get a photo of the park’s entrance for eventual inclusion on the TPR park index. Welcome to Fisherman’s Wharf!

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Robb led us over the sand to our first ride. We already knew we were in for some TPR trip gold.

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Anyone want to ride the abandoned log flume??

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I think this control panel just ate Dan.

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Looks like we arrived a bit too early to ride this one.

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Safety standards are nothing if not relaxed around here.

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Oh wow! Now this looks fun!

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When you’re in a park like this and they still care enough about your safety to make you wear this gear maybe you should give a second thought to riding it!

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Ow, ow, ow!

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Powered credit or clothes horse? You decide!

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Mmm... lunch!

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Over to our next credit!

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I think someone may have been living in this booth.

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Yes, Mickey. I am ready to road rally.

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Disneyland has nothing on this place!

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These guys like to give the personal touch by pushing you up the lift hill.

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This is probably the most ghetto park I’ve ever visited. But I got out alive (and hopefully without lice)!

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Up next - Jin Jiang Action Park!

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This place already looks a bit more upscale than the last one!

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What’s that I see? Chinese Deja Vu!

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This train didn’t go anywhere, it just served as a restaurant.

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It was actually pretty nice inside.

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Moto Coaster!

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If you couldn’t tell by the non-descriptive name this ride is a Moto Coaster.

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There’s Larry overlording it up.

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It had obviously been built a while ago but some effort has certainly been put into this park.

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Look at the fun these guys are having – let’s try it!

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Ready for fun? What wonders await us on this indoor coaster?

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Rooaarr!!! Jurassic Boat Ride eat your heart out!

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Speaking of boat rides...

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Corridor of fun.

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Here’s the first Small World knockoff of the trip!

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This knockoff was pretty unashamed. As most knockoffs in China are!

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Bigger than Disneyland’s castle.

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Just in case you missed the key message of the ride.

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Get your knockoff iPhone 5 here.

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Transformer dude welcomes you to Chinese Deja Vu!

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Unlike most other Deja Vus, we got on this one on our first visit to the park!

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It did breakdown while we were riding though! So it's not totally unlike most other Deja Vus. At least we got the credit!

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Some people just can’t pass up on a quirky ghost train.

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Racey are prepared for TERROR.

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Who’s hungry for some BBQ?

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Who’s still hungry for some BBQ?

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Oh yeah, there was another coaster. This seems to be the only photo I have of it! I don’t think it ran much!

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Thanks Chinese Army Man, for a fun visit to Jin Jiang!

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Here’s your entrance photo for Chang Feng Park!

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The real credit whoring fun begins here!

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Our government appointed guide tries to figure out where the rollercoaster is.

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Ah, a Dragon Wagon!

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There’s a lot of little parks like this with a few rides dotted around them.

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Cha-ching! Next?

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Zhongshan Park entrance photo,just to satisfy your entrance photo needs!

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Park map!

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Anyone seen a rollercoaster?

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Line ‘em up!

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WACKY!!!

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Cha-ching squared!

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Shanghai Zoological Park entrance photo!

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No ride sign for the coaster here but apparently its called Sliding Dragon. The only coaster in China to sport this name.

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No, this isn’t the same coaster we rode earlier.

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Cha-ching cubed!

 

More credit whoring to come!

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The water in the fish pond looked cleaner than on most Chinese log flumes I have seen so far..

 

If I remember correct the second park has some non-knock-off coasters. I take in China are some parks I call "blueprint parks" with original coasters and flats which can be studied to be turned into knock-offs.

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