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Photo TR: China Theme Parks By Public Transport.


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Hello All.

 

This October I embarked on my latest trip to China. I've been to China on many occasions before but this was the first time I went almost exclusively for theme park purposes. Driving in China is only really for the suicidal so I decided to attempt as many parks as possible using Public Transport alone.

 

Chinese public transport is actually excellent and almost all major cities are connected by incredibly efficient bullet trains. Where the buses and trains let me down a taxi had to suffice but they are crazily cheap if you can convince a driver to go on the meter.

 

Where possible I will explain how I got to each park for anyone wishing to do the same one day.

 

Anyway on to the parks.

 

I flew into Beijing from Helsinki at 6am and caught the airport express to the city center, from there i caught the metro to my hostel and checked in. Since the day was still young I quickly downed a couple of cups of tea and headed for my first park.

 

Sun Park

 

Sun Park is an easy park to get to if you don't mind a little walking. Accessible from Tuanjiehu Station on Line 10 of the metro (light blue) it is a short walk (about 20mins) to the park gate. I arrived at the station and just checked the maps in the ticket hall which showed which exit i needed for the correct road east. The walk takes you past a large stadium and when you reach the park entrance you'll know. Its a massive yellow arch.

 

Sun Park operates a pay by ride system. You have to pay a small charge to get into the park itself and then each ride costs extra.

 

The park itself is actually quite nice and a lot of families appear to go for a picnic and to enjoy the parts of the park without rides. All the rides themselves are knock offs but there wasn't anything that bad about any of them. If you have the time the park is certainly worth a visit especially as it has 10 credits for the credit whores among you.

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Upon arriving I found the park rammed, Turns out the whole week was a National Holiday.

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Parachute drop towers are everywhere in China.

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The parks newest attractions was this knock off motorbike.

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Taking its layout from the Vekoma versions it is a clone of Booster Bike at Toverland.

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The ride was open when I arrived so I went and bought a ticket.

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The ride itself was as expected. A bit rough but not too bad and an OK launch.

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The rides a lot more sluggish than the Vekoma version.

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It does have some nice curves though and the transitions rode well enough

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The ride is called Flying Coaster in English but the Chinese translates as Motorbike Coaster

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The park also has a standard loopscrew. This wasn't too bad roughness wise.

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It ended up being one of the better ones on the trip.

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Although still not great.

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I do however love the crazy colour scheme.

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Some iffy transitions right there.

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The park had a standard mouse ride which was as standard as standard can be.

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I gave this a miss.

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Whatever this was it's gone now. But apparently Happiness can be found in a mask.

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First one of these of the trip. These are like the Chinese Starbucks. They are everywhere and a bit rubbish but you go anyway.

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This is another fairly recent ride. A spinning coaster. It offers a decent ride but a little rough

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It was originally thought that this was an original layout but it was taken from a Morgan design shown at IAAPA almost 10 years ago.

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This park has 2 starbucks coasters.

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The mine train was tough to take pictures of. But its not a bad ride.

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It gets quicker and quicker along the course and gives a nice lateral or two.

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If powered coasters are the Starbucks these are the Dennys, They make me feel queasy and they are all over the place.

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Classic Golden Horse mouse face.

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I headed back to the motorbike to find it broken down and shut for the day.

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Seems the ride wouldn't launch properly and the car would roll to the first hill and back to the station over and over.

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Still have to work out some kinks then it seems.

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And maybe make their own layouts for once... but hey... maybe thats just my view.

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The low to the ground turns provided a nice moment.

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It looks nice if nothing else.

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Launch Track. Or Non Launching track as the case was at this point.

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It lies.

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A quick second ride on the looper and I headed off too see some flats.

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This thing look horrible. So i gave it a miss.

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It really was busy but most of the ride queues were short. Most people had just bought picnics to the park.

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This looked kind of fun. Like a cheap diggerland.

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I couldn't figure out if this was an Official store... I'm going to go with no though.

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The entrance is actually pretty impressive. And easy to spot from the road. Next up Beijing Shijingshan Amusement Park.

Edited by Gutterflower
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Thanks for the pictures, didn't realize they got a new coaster since 2012. Sun Park was my first experience with old ladies trying to scare the crap out of me in a haunted house.

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Great TR! Motorbike coaster opened during the national holiday so you were very lucky FYI get a brand new coaster. I took a 2 hour trip to Sun Park during IAAPA this year but only rode the Morgan spinner knock-off and the Loop&Screw because I don't feel like paying that much for the knock-off coasters.

 

Did you ride Motorbike Coaster at the back row? Jiuhua told me they designed the first hill like that to offer some intense airtime in the back.

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I didn't ride back row but there wasn't that much airtime in the middle. It was an OK ride but its just a little shaky,

 

Next up for me was Beijing Shijingshan Amusement Park. A park that previously got in trouble for being full of Disney characters and the home of the first knock off SLC with that now ubiquitous layout.

 

Getting to the park is easy as pie. Using the Beijing Metro is easy and each trip costs around 20 cents. Several parks are easy to reach from the metro including Sun park, Beijing Shijingshan Amusement Park, Happy Valley and Beijing World Park.

 

 

Beijing Shijingshan Amusement Park even has it's own stop called Bajiao Amusement Park Station and is about 5 mins walk from the metro exit. One thing to note is that you can't get between platforms once you go down underground at this station so make sure you enter the correct side when you go home.

 

The park itself is a bit of a dump to be honest. It is split in two by a railway line and each side a decent collection of knock off coasters. The most impressive thing about Beijing Shijingshan Amusement Park is the insane collection of flat rides. There are tons of them in every form imaginable.

 

However even though i visited during one of the busiest weeks of the year about half of the flats were shut. Thankfully the majority of the coasters were open but the Indoor Jurassic coaster was closed as was the shuttle loop. The shuttle loop looked like it had been closed a while with the area taped off.

 

Overall I much preferred Sun park to Beijing Shijingshan Amusement Park. It's a big park with a lot of rides but it lacks character and just feels cheap.

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I've not been back to Beijing in 11 years and it was cool to see how it had changed, This is the street with my hostel on it. Flags everywhere for the national day holiday.

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This is the railroad that runs through the park. You can either walk across it or cross over the knock off Tower Bridge.

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My first ride of the day was the knock off SLC. Shenzhou Coaster.

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Themed to the Chinese space program, I hope the taikonaut's had a smoother ride than this.

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It's always worrying when a man has to re-attach a seat belt to the ride after it fell off on the circuit before.

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The ride itself is pretty horrible but better than I expected. By the end it just crawls into the brakes.

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One of the more worrying trips to the top I've ever had.

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I assume this is the lift hill recovery cart... it looks like a torture device to me.

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This bit of the ride was acceptable enough.

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This was weird. A lot of hang time.

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By this point its crawling.

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The ride actually had a zero-g after the loop when it was first built. But the inversion was replaced during testing for the airtime(ish) hill we have today.

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The park has an impressive collection of flat rides.

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Some of the classics can be found.

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This was a pretty intense version of a Top Scan, Although fairly sure it wasn't a real one.

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It's not quite Disney is it?

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The Overcast smoggy weather was omnipresent on this trip.

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This is arguably my favorite ride at the park.

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It's a good fun little ride with some nice spiraling turns.

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Nothing too thrilling but just good fun.

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Amusingly you need two people to ride. As I was on my own the Ride Op called over a bemused security guard to ride with me.

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Another one of these. The less said about it the better.

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I still don't know why they need the chain on the lap bar.

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The Atomic Coaster is a Senyo built ride with newer Chinese trains

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It actually rides pretty well and was one of the busiest ride in the park.

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Number 2 of the many loopscrews on this trip

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The obligatory ferris wheel has a huge queue.

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Atomic Coasters first turn around.

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This area of the park is the kids area and probably the nicest part of the park.

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The themeing is pretty good but a bit random.

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The Batman apparently.

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The ride was shut, As i gather it has been for quite some time.

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I think there is a drop tower in here. But it was closed too.

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The splash ride has a nice theme but i gave it a miss today.

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It looked pretty long with at least 3 drops and the splash down had a huge watching crowd.

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Another closed flat but I like the theme.

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Every self respecting park has one of these.

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Also closed.

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Another closed ride. The ride is themed to a medieval tebuchet. I always thought the ride was next to that tower but the tower is quite a way behind the ride.

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Terrifying horses.

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Does anyone know if it is a tower ride in here? And if so has it ever opened?

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Taken straight from the Happy Valley parks, Not sure which is the original though.

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This perked me up a bit.

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Looking down to Atomic Coaster.

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More terrifying sculptures.

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This was the weirdest ride I saw all day. The flowers pop up and down and spin randomly it seems.

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Epcot style dome. Whatever was inside was also closed.

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The park entrance.

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The shuttle loop was closed and appeared to be SBNO

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Dinner tonight involved spiced Octopus. It was lovely. Next up is Happy Valley Tianjin

Edited by Gutterflower
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Awesome photos! Beijing Shijingshan Amusement Park looks like it is trying to be a mix between Six Flags, Disney, and Universal. I like how the rides (for the most part) all seemed to have good theming. Glad you had a good time! I can't wait to see the next park!

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I'm pretty sure there was a tower ride in the tower. During the 2012 TPR Tour it was also closed but there was a faded picture on a sign that made us believe a tower ride used to be in there or was intended to go in.

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Most of the closed flat rides you posted were also closed on our previous visits. I've also found it's very hard in China to tell a SBNO coaster from one that's just randomly closed.

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Most of the closed flat rides you posted were also closed on our previous visits. I've also found it's very hard in China to tell a SBNO coaster from one that's just randomly closed.

 

Indeed. You'd think that plants growing through the tracks would be a sign of "SBNO," but (as I recall) that wasn't always the case.

Edited by cfc
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Next up for me was Happy Valley Tianjin, The newest operating park in the Happy Valley chain.

 

Tianjin is about 30 minutes south from Beijing on the bullet trains and it's a really easy trip. The Bullet trains were the main way i traveled down through China this time and the system is excellent. There are a few things to know before you use them though.

 

Bullet train tickets in China go on sale 20 days before the train leaves and popular long distance trains almost always sell out. For foreigners the best way to buy tickets for these trains is before you leave. Everytime i get a train in a forigen country I use the excellent website The Man In Seat 61. I can't say enough about how useful this site is as it goes into so much detail and I highly recommend it.

 

To buy the multitude of tickets I needed in China this time I used one of the sites recommended by Seat 61 called China Train Tickets. These sites will let you book before the 20 day limit but they actually only buy the tickets when they go on sale and then send you the confirmation. They then deliver these tickets to your chosen Hotel or Hostel.

 

I saw one guy buy a ticket over the phone in my hostel in China and the company actually delivered the ticket to the hostel within 40mins by motorbike courier. Just don't get that service in the UK

 

Now to get to Tianjin from Beijing the trains leave from Beijing South station. Which as you would expect is easily accessible from the Metro. It's good to arrive at least half an hour early as the Chinese bullet trains use an Airport like system of waiting rooms and security checks. If you are a foreigner you WILL need your passport to catch any bullet train. For the first train of the week I chose the top class, Business class which was quite a bit more expensive at around $17 for the trip to Tianjin

 

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But wow are these seats awesome, Fully reclining to a bed and complimentary slippers and a blanket.

 

One thing to note is that Tianjin has 2 bullet train stations. For Happy Valley you wan't to go to the Tianjin Main station, Not Tianjin South station. The number 663 bus goes from outside the main station to the park. However as I was a little short on time (I went to the wrong station) I took a taxi which cost around $8 for a 40min drive.

 

The park itself was probably my favorite park of the trip. Happy Valley's are usually well themed but lack atmosphere. This park seemed more cohesive and while it's a whole lot smaller than the other parks, it packs a decent ride collection into it's small space. More than half the park is contained within a massive dome and a separate dome holds the water park.

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The entrance area is classic Happy Valley.

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But unlike the other Happy Valley parks you enter into a massive dome. The Main park is accessed on the left and the water park to the right.

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One of the first things you see as you walk into the park is this S&S El Loco.

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Called Crazy Bird the ride is the same as almost every other El Loco but with the smaller trains.

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I actually really like these rides and it was a decent example of the model.

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The ride stands out well and just about fits into the dome.

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The dome itself is enormous.

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The ride was very popular and I guess it is the only example in the country.

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The Crazy bird theme is a little weird but fits into the Rain forest area nicely.

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If you've ridden one of these you'll know what to expect.

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Love the airtime on these drops.

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The mini coaster is still closed. No clue as to when it will finally open.

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The themeing is top notch, apart from one small area between Bavaria and the Jurassic lands.

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The indoor splash down was a first for me.

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This is the parks main restaurant and is found in the Viking area as you leave the dome.

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The Viking area is the parks only outdoor area.

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And has some nicely themed rides to boot.

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Of course the main reason for coming was this beast.

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Fjord Dragon is an excellent Gravity Group Woodie.

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The indoor drop tower was unfortunately closed today.

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The whole outdoor area is lovely.

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Fjord Dragon is brilliant and full of air time.

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It places a little below Fireball for me, Fjord Dragon has more airtime but Fireball has the insane jinking return run to the station.

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This ride was also closed, But it looks good.

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The first drop is almost a double down with a low airtime hill following. Its difficult to see from the park though.

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Some of the standard flat ride collection can also be found around the area.

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As with many parks in China the operations were pretty poor with only one train running.

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The queue was about an hour but well worth it.

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Airtime all round.

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There was a lot of screaming.

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The pacing just never lets up and it really flies round the course

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The first turn around was the only section that felt a little rough, Not too bad though, And Happy Valley actually seem good at keeping their woodies in good condition.

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Some of the multitude of airtime hills, The ride has a double out and back layout.

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Why hello there.

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The exit from the dome looks like this.

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Back inside you can see the parks other main coaster a Chinese built mine train.

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Some more dinosaur themeing.

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This is the only section of the ride not housed in the giant Volcano outside the dome.

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I think the ride is built by SBL but I'm unsure.

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Interestingly it is a custom layout, And actually really smooth. The ride finishes with a large helix round a glowing pool of Lava and easily took the title of best mine train on the trip.

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There are plenty of viewing areas for the main rides too.

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Despite having two lifts they were only running one train. But the queue was about 15mins

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They really cram the rides in.

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No idea whats going on here. Creepy as hell though.

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The park seems to have 2 disco rides. One outdoors and one indoors. The Indoor one doesn't have the middle hump though,

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Crazy Bird was my last ride of the day as I'd skipped it earlier.

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They were running 4 trains but were still pretty slow.

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The ride broke down while I was in the queue meaning I waited almost an hour in the end.

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They've wedged it in well though.

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The locals loved it. Saw plenty of people leave the exit only to walk right back on.

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Just before the brake run.

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You can walk round the entire ride giving some good photo opportunities.

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So close... yet so far.

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This is Tianjin Main Station. An impressive structure. The Bus station is just behind where I took this picture. Next up Happy Valley Beijing

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Awesome trip report so far, love seeing all these pictures from parks you normally don't hear much about. Happy Valley looks like an excellent park, except the poor operations. Really funny to see a viking themed area in China, but it looks great!

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Thanks for the report. Had the kiddie coaster opened yet? Looks like they have had trouble getting it to open.

 

Edit: I have reading comprehension problems. Just saw where you posted about it.

Edited by ernierocker
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Thanks for the look at the newest Happy Valley park. It's good to see an El Loco there, rather than yet another Golden Horse "barely spinning" mouse.

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Thanks for the comments guys. Always nice to know people read these

 

The next park for me was another Happy Valley park, I had visited Tianjin as a day trip so I was still based in Beijing, The location of the second Happy Valley ever built. The park is currently a bit annoying to get to as the nearest metro station Jinsong is about a 40min walk from the park, However it was a lovely day so I took the opportunity to enjoy the weather and ambled my way to the park entrance.

 

Of course with Beijing's ever expanding metro by the time you read this Line 7 may be open (due to open before the end of 2014 and currently testing) which includes a handy station right outside the Happy Valley gates.

 

This was my 2nd Happy Valley park of the trip but my 4th overall and I liked it a lot. It's not as cohesive as Tianjin which is a shame but it is smaller than both Shanghai and Shenzhen and requires a bit less walking. The main attraction here for me was Extreme Rusher the S&S launched coaster. Bullet Coaster in Shenzhen was one of my favourite coasters of my trip last year and I was interested to see how the other layout holds up. In short it's a great ride although I prefer the Shenzhen and Wuhan versions. The launch is excellent on all 3 and they've quickly become some of my favourite coasters anywhere. The layout on this one just felt a little less varied than the others.

 

Golden Wings the B&M flyer was also excellent and confirmed Pretzel loops as my favourite elements on any coaster. The SLC was a welcome step up from the knock off across the city. I quite like this layout and when it's done well it's a good ride. I especially liked the Himalayan queue themeing. The mine train was a standard Vekoma affair but perfectly rideable.

 

New for 2014 the park has added an undersea themed indoor area including an Air Race, 3D cinema and a number of other flats. They have also added a new boat ride similar to Small World at Disney.

 

For those who are wondering, The spinning mouse looks like it is now SBNO and has been removed from the park map.

 

Unfortunatly due to an oversight on my part my camera died halfway through the day so I lack many pictures. I did end up using my phone but as you will notice my phone takes pink pictures in dark situations... grrrrr

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The walk to the park is quite far at the moment but the day was lovely so I went for a wander.

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Noted!

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Golden Wings looks much better in it's yellow paint job.

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A real Vekoma... praise be.

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The park certainly has a decent ride lineup

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A view over the lake to the parks two main coasters.

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This looks the same as the one as BSA across the city. But better.

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This is the new boat ride.

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Sorry about the pinkness. It was a nice ride though. Quite long.

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Not quite up to Disney standardh as you cant imagine.

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The use of big video screens was pretty cool

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The entrance to the new boat ride HAPPY WORLD... they certainly were happy

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This is the new indoor area themed to look like life under the sea. It's similar to the indoor area at Shanghai's park. But this one has an Air Race.

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The park map noted NEW for 2014, Dream Coaster.

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But it was not quite what I hoped for. but about what I expected.

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This is what I really came for.

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I really like these rides

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Extreme Rusher is in my opinion the weaker of the three but still an excellent ride.

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I love the 4 across cars.

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Looking over to Golden Rusher. The positioning of the pretzel is excellent.

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I managed to get front row thanks to a group of 3 taking the front and me being on my own.

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The queue was huge however at almost 2 hours.

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Love these elements. Probably my favourite elements on any coasters.

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Flyers may be my top B&M coaster type.

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Theres plenty of good themeing around the park. It's just a little haphazard in places.

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The first drop on this ride is excellent.

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Waiting for a launch.

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This is such an odd turn.

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Sorry for the lack of pictures but next up is Victory Kingdom

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^Looks amazing.

 

Really nice report. Those new S&S launched coaster certainly look very interesting. I would like to see some getting built outside of China.

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