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Photo TR: Divv's Chinese Adventure


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After Happy Valley we headed over to “Giant Wheel Park” in order to check out the elusive Vekoma Stingray!

 

This might have been the biggest surprise of the trip, I really loved the Stingray! It’d be great to see more of these pop up!

 

The visit was followed by a “traditional Chinese farmers meal”. Make of this what you will...

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Wonder what kinds of rides this place will have?

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To be fair, the wheel is pretty giant.

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Stingray, stingray!

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This thing was brilliant!

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Honestly, when you hear the words “compact Vekoma flyer” you fear the worst but this was great!

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It is pretty low capacity which is a negative, but if they could work on that somehow I’d love to see more of these!

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The small park had some really nice pieces of theming throughout.

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Anyone want a Double Decker? Yeah, me too.

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After riding the Stingray Larry ran about the park like a mad man in pure Overlord mode.

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Giant Wheel Park was a great surprise! Well done, Vekoma!

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After a little drive our government appointed tour guide had arranged for us to have a “traditional Chinese farmer’s dinner”.

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Say hello to Mr Prawn and all his family.

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It’s not quite the Chinese food you’d order at the local takeaway... All the random dishes are placed in the middle of the table and it was like Russian roulette between everyone to find something that didn’t stare back at you!

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Or scratch you.

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So there you go – some real Chinese “culture”. I could do with some Pizza Hut right now.

World Joyland is next!

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The Stingray was a real highlight of that trip. Surprisingly great ride with some quite weird twists and turns. I'm guessing the main reason for it not turning up elsewhere is due to it's low capacity. I still think it would be fine in it's current form at some of the smaller parks around though rather than a large one.

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^I was pleasantly surprised by Stingray, as well.

 

I realized the other day that I still have TONS of footage of coasters from this trip I never posted, but this update has reminded me why I haven't. I'm not even sure I can tell some of this China crap apart! I had to do a double take as to what some of these parks and rides even were! lol

 

They really run together for me, too, when I was putting my TR together. Especially all those knock-off spinning coasters.

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I realized the other day that I still have TONS of footage of coasters from this trip I never posted, but this update has reminded me why I haven't. I'm not even sure I can tell some of this China crap apart! I had to do a double take as to what some of these parks and rides even were! lol

 

Yes, all those small coasters spread out in those huge parks/gardens and the insane number of them make them very hard to identify a particular one! Maybe you could do a China compilation video?

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It is pretty low capacity which is a negative, but if they could work on that somehow I’d love to see more of these!

 

If elongate the break run one could stack more trains there but I guess 3-4 trains is the max you can do with this layout.

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I never thought I would say this about any Vekoma coaster, but I am intrigued by the Stingray.

 

dt

 

 

I honestly have to say that after riding more Vekoma rides in Asia, Vekoma really have made an amazing impression and made me change my opinion about them. Apart from their SLC's and boomerangs, a lot of their rides are great. Grizzly Mountain, Gravity Max, Space Mountain (Formosan), Big Air, Stingray, Space Mountain are all fine rides. I'm sure there are a load more I have missed.

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You all have forgotten though that for the Stingray they made all of us women wear HAIR NETS!!! We were warned we had to or else our hair could be sucked into the train and be scalped. Not sure this is a China or Vekoma thing, but could be part of the reason we don't see more of these!?!?

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You all have forgotten though that for the Stingray they made all of us women wear HAIR NETS!!! We were warned we had to or else our hair could be sucked into the train and be scalped. Not sure this is a China or Vekoma thing, but could be part of the reason we don't see more of these!?!?

There is a VERY weird story spread in China.

 

It was started from Chimelong Paradise's launch tower, it was closed because the car over launched and damaged the mechanism at the top and Chimelong didn't feel like fixing it. But a fake rumor said that a woman's hair went into the wheels and her head was pulled off, Chimelong blocked all the news about it so there aren't many people know what exactly happened. This fake news actually freaked a lot of parks and GP out and they tried everything they can to stop rides from pulling people's heads off. The Intamin drop tower at the top of Canton Tower requires riders with long hair to use rubber band and the ride op seemed to believe in that story when I talked with him.

 

This can't be design flaws, Vekoma is experienced enough to consider about things like that.

 

Very nice TR, that dinner though... I prefer McDonald's.

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World Joyland is a brand new park that opened in 2011 which draws inspiration for its theming heavily from video games like World of Warcraft apparently. Not being much into the games much I just thought it looked cool. From a distance at least. This is another of those parks that looks really cool in photos but when you get up close you realise that what’s inside is all cheap knock offs. Don’t get me wrong some of those cheap knock offs are fun and interesting but I actually think photos flatter this place a little.

 

This is a place that hasn’t been reported on a great deal and that’s apparently because the various license holders that the park has infringed upon are pretty pissed off about it. I couldn’t tell you how close the lands in this park resemble their supposed source material but it did look like they put a lot of effort into making the place “look” legit at least.

 

It’s not just video games though – the kids land is a shameless knock off of the Doctor Seuss land at Islands of Adventure right down to the trolley ride above the area.

 

What is not a cheap knock off is the B&M Flyer, “Sky Scrapper” – this is the real deal and it’s pretty darned good. As far as fleyers go it’s pretty intense and is certainly one of the better options out there. There are a couple of other coasters, including a Maurer Sohne Skyloop that operated a limited number of times this day. Thanks to Robb & Elissa for helping make sure we got on that one!

 

The park also has a Soarin’ knockoff which may well have fallen apart by the time you’re reading this and a Spider-Man knockoff that seemed to blatantly rip it’s scenes from video games like Resident Evil (fun ride though!). All interesting for sure, I just question how long this place can last. Even in China.

 

Alright, here’s some photos...

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Entrance photo!

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Look, I’m at World Joyland!

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Hanno was going a bit doo-lally this morning...

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As soon as you enter you get the impression that the designers really like Islands of Adventure.

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Over to the “Sci-Fi” land at the back of the park...

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While we waited for the coasters to get up and running we checked out this weird 3D simulator thing.

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Not much to it really. This park had a number of weird indoor attractions like this.

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Alright, scrap everything else – it’s B&M time!

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Yes, you’re reading that right. This ride is called Sky SCRAPPER!

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Scottish prepares to scrap the sky!

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Larry’s all “Scrap this!”

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Everyone get your scrapping hands out!

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In all seriousness, the ride is very good. Definitely in the upper tier of B&M flyers.

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Whatever’s at the top of those stairs will have to be left to my imagination. Scrap walking up those!

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Random theming.

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Another credit!

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Who’s ready for some Golden Horse mine train goodness?

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Nom, nom, nom!

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Soul Hunter – Now this was a unique and interesting attraction...

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We walked through the entrance and were each handed some sort of video game firearm which also has a camera on it. (Demonstrated admirably here by Chuck).

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You are then sent in your team of six to walk around a haunted house firing at ghosts which appear on the screen on your gun.

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Bustin’ makes these guys feel good!

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More random theming.

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Russ is at one with the game.

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Much like IoA there’s a big lake in the middle of the park. (The similarities don't end there)

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Here’s Josh, chatting to a bunch of Chinese girls. I'm guessing he's just quickly asking for directions.

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This is certainly a “Happiness Factory” for us!

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Free samples!

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Don’t drink your shot of Coke all at once now!

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Next area – Seuss Land... I mean Mole’s World!

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Certainly an original looking land if ever I saw one.

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I’m sure Mr Mole came up with the idea for this ride all by himself.

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Russ and Stacey tried the fried ice cream. It looked weird.

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Speaking of weird....

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This thing was really strange. The group sat in a theatre that is divided into different colours. You all then take part in a video game against each other.

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It’s in 3D. You have a joystick and a microphone in front of you too.

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Russ and Stacey gave everything the had for the red team. Did I mention this thing was really weird?

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Just in case you were wondering what kind of bathroom Mr Mole uses.

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The creepy babies did not scream cute kiddie theming to me!

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Alright, what’s inside the Spaceship Earth building knockoff?

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Something called Fantasia Atlas! (AKA Soarin’ Knockoff)

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This isn’t any ordinary Soarin’ Knockoff though. This one has X-Wings and Tie Fighters to add to the worry that the thing might fall apart at any second!

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In this building – random video games!

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Larry thinks he knows how to play Kinect.

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But this dude shows him how it’s really done.

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Housed under this scary looking thing is World Joyland’s Spider-Man rip off!

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Predator guy watches over you while you queue.

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Here’s your Spider-Man knock off vehicle. I remember the ride being pretty long with lots of scenes stolen from various video games. It’s a fun ride for sure.

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After you get off the ride you exit into a gift shop which has a selection of swords and blades for you to purchase. Seriously.

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Russ loves a horny dragon.

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The drizzly weather meant that the Maurer Sohne Skyloop would be closed for the day. But thanks to some magic worked by Robb and Elissa the ride ran a limited number of cycles for TPR people who got there quickly!

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Thankfully we were among those who get there quickly! Thanks to Elissa who alerted us to this as she was leaving the trip for good! Even when leaving Elissa is always looking out for the best interests of her trip participants! The run from the front of the park to ride almost killed me though!

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So that’s World Joyland. Certainly it’s a curiosity worth visiting and by Chinese park standards it’s one of the better ones.

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After running for the Skyloop there’s no way I’m walking up those stairs!

 

Alright, that’s it for this park. Next up – Dinosaur Park! ROAR.

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The run from the front of the park to ride almost killed me though!

Haha! I know what that's like. Once I also ran all the way from the entrance of Portaventura to the China area to get one last ride on Shambhala and Dragon Khan. Pretty exhausting.

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It is somehow "strange": As soon as they bought the Skywheel a year later they built their own knock-off. But companies big enough like CocaCola have their rights done even in China - but lets see when China puts out their knock-off Cola right down to the original Atlanta recipe..

 

I guess many ride manufacturers fear the loss in business instead taking action. Zamperla at least drove them out of one of the IAAPA shows if I remember correct. Hope other companies will follow someday...

 

I may sound a little a grumpy but I do not like when I get letters for posting a single copyrighted picture on the web and whole countries get away with infringement in large scale...

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You all have forgotten though that for the Stingray they made all of us women wear HAIR NETS!!! We were warned we had to or else our hair could be sucked into the train and be scalped. Not sure this is a China or Vekoma thing, but could be part of the reason we don't see more of these!?!?

 

Seriously?! This is terrifying! Oh wait, I'm talking of China, it's TERRIFYING!

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Our team of Westerners got Robb when they awarded Mr. Mole Challenge to a bunch of 7 year old Chinese kids. We destroyed them.

 

I wish we knew what we were doing while playing Soul Hunter because I liked the concept.

 

That sprint across the park to the SkyLoop damn near killed all of us.

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We actually caught our breath when, after we had lucked out on first ride on the SkyLoop,

watched small groups of the tour running past us, back towards it, running fast, too. As we

were heading back to the entrance of the park. We hoped everybody would make it in time.

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The next stop on our Chinese adventure was an anticipated one – Dinosaur Park! Just hearing the name of this place I knew it would be a trip highlight. A park filled with statues of Dinosaurs seems like something China can handle pretty well. On top of all the cool statues this park was also going to (finally) give me my first opportunity to ride one of the fabled “4D” Arrow/S&S coasters.

 

This was a quick visit to the park but looking around this place was pretty cool – there’s a cool indoor booster bike coaster and a decent amount of flats all with pretty decent theming. Dinoconda, the 4D is obviously the big draw and I was pleased to finally get to ride one of these. It’s a little bumpy but certainly a unique experience which is always good to encounter when you’ve been visiting parks for a while.

 

Here’s some photos...

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We’re still in China but everything just got a little Jurassic!

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Entrance photo for Larry.

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Right away you could tell that this was another of these Chinese parks that had some money thrown at it to make it look good in photos!

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Coming soon in Jurassic Park 4 - dinosaurs don armour in the ultimate battle to the death.

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Dino booster bike!

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You can thank Larry for the topspin being included in the park index.

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I'm so eating here if I ever end up at this park again.

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If you were starting to get impressed with all the cool theming and armoured dinos, don’t worry – this is still China so there’s a Golden Horse spinning mouse right in the middle of it all.

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Don’t we just love these things?!

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I can’t decide if this is cute or terrifying.

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James takes his chances with some mystery meat.

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Rock and roll dinosaurs live in here, I think.

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As you can see, the majority of rides had dinosaur theming of sort.

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Buoyed by James’ success, Karl and Steve take their chances with some mystery meat of their own.

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Alright! Dinoconda time!

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This station is Divv-aproved.

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The station is also incredibly well themed. Eat this , Magic Mountain!

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Jon and Larry prepare to assume some sort of fourth dimensional position.

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There it goes. These rides certainly look impressive, which I guess is the point in these new Chinese parks.

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All in all, it’s well worth a few rides. I’m glad I finally got on one of these but I’m not clamouring to see more built anywhere.

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Larry got some scary flashbacks to the umbrella thievery of 2011...

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The Chinese sure like their ponchos!

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This part of the park was certainly going for the “Jurassic Park money shot”.

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They look cool from afar but when you start to get up close to the statues you realise they don’t look so great!

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This was a horror maze that was being prepared while we were there. A dinosaur themed Halloween haunt would be pretty awesome!

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So that’s Dinosaur Park. A really cool looking place that's probably in need of a few more attraction but certainly worth visiting in China!

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