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TR: Two short Happy Valley Park visits in 5 Days


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Both of my park visits were planned the night before my visit and lasted for only 4 hours. I usually plan everything a few months or even a few years ahead.

 

 

Park 1: Happy Valley Tianjin.

 

I went to Beijing on November 10th for college interview and spent the night in our great capital. The tickets for the flight back to Guangzhou sold out so we had to fly from Tianjin the second day. That's when I remembered there is a Happy Valley park! Fjord Flying Dragon seemed to have very great review from last year's Mitch hawker poll so we decided to visit that place.

 

Me and my mom planned the park visit at around 9:30 PM and took the Beijing-Tianjin bullet train in the second day's morning. I was so excited that I could post the first Happy Valley Tianjin TR on TPR so we were rushing the whole way. We arrived at the park at 1:30pm due to some transportation issues and I immediately ran into the line of their El Loco. My mom is not a fan of hang time so she skipped it.

 

Crazy Bird review: The coaster was originally named Angry Bird, OCT probably had some copyright issue so they changed the English name. Crazy Bird is my first El Loco and I enjoyed it. I think it is a perfect family coaster, it looks intimidating but actually it is tame enough for the whole family to enjoy. First drop gives more of a hang time feeling than airtime, lateral G force is a bit much but that's probably the point of this design, final brake hits really hard that I saw an unprepared GP getting her chin hit into the lap bar. Overall it's a very great design and I can imagine how awesome the Vegas one would feel like! This is also my first time experiencing hang time on lap bar only coaster.

 

After two rides on Crazy Bird, we went to the main reason why we visited the park: Fjord Flying Dragon. The park was absolutely dead so we had to wait in line for 10 mins to wait for more riders as told by the ride op. What's the best thing to do on queue line(or basically any free time)? Browsing TPR forums! When I opened the page, Gutterflower's Happy Valley Tianjin TR was at the top place

 

Fjord Flying Dragon review: It is my mom's first wooden coaster and my 20th wooden coaster. I think this ride feels more like a rougher GCI coaster with super sharp transitions. PTC really doesn't work on this layout well enough, turns are rougher than a new coaster should be and the trains bounces around quite a lot. Straight sections are fine and smooth though. There are two twists that are way too sudden IMO, the quick transition after the second hill and the transition to the turnaround next to the station. Airtime is incredible for the first half but second half was affected by the high wind too much. For this layout I would say Timberliners would work better even though my Hades360 experience readjusted every bone and organ in my body. Among the three Gravity Group woodies I've been on, it is my favorite one simply because Fireball and Hades360 were too rough. Fjord Flying Dragon is a fun coaster, but world's top 10? I don't think so. I ranked it at my #5 spot after American Eagle. Try to avoid wheel seats and brace for sharp transitions for a smoother ride experience.

 

Then I went on the Christmas Tower thing which is a "drop tower" by Golden Horse. It's so clear that a 2-year-old can figure out it's a Tower of Terror knock-off. But Golden Horse used their magical power to make the copy of possibly the best drop ride in the world a kiddie dark ride that's even slower than the 30-year-old elevator at our local hospital. All things worked like a huge disaster, sound effect wasn't even on, noise of the hydraulic system is too much, wind effect takes 15 seconds to turn on, glass at the top window was partly broken, the cheap seat belts take the ride op 10 minutes to do safety check...

 

Members of RCD told me that the Mine Train is Golden Horse's first good ride and it is surprisingly the smoothest coaster at the park. How can I miss it? Expedition of Volcano is mostly in a very dark room with a short outdoor/indoor section and a helix wrapped around a volcano. I have to say, IT WAS SO FREAKIN' SMOOTH!! Golden Horse really did a good job on this custom Mine Train. They even put silent lift, magnetic brake etc on it (Yes Intamin started using those thing 10,000 years ago but this is a first for Chinese manufacturers) There are still some flaws on the design: the turns aren't exactly as even as those coasters by European and American manufacturers, the train design is very cheap and the switch track gives some bumping at the end of the ride. Hopefully they can start using the wheel bogies that push the guide wheels towards the track soon.

 

Happy Valley Tianjin is a nice park with a good ride collection. Their atmosphere is better than I expected and their Halloween celebration attracted a lot of visitors at night. November 11th is the Single Day for China so a lot of single people went to the park. This is part of the reasons why OCT kept their Halloween event till Single Day. The park was dead the afternoon but it started to get busy at around 5:00 PM. BUT, the park's remote location really prevented a lot of tourists from even getting interested in visiting there, OCT made no advertisement at the bullet train station or any public transportation. Happy Valley parks are famous for their low efficiency and Happy Valley Tianjin is no exception. They aren't taking on-ride photos at the station yet, but the employees don't seem to like or care about their jobs. The minute I walk into the park, I get the "Ride it or not is your choice, I don't give a crap about anything, I'm getting paid anyway" feeling. When I was at Fjord Flying Dragon, they were arranging seats and put everyone at the front of the train because high wind can cause valleying if the barycenter is further the back. I talked to a ride op when standing in line and asked for a non-wheels eat row before they arranged the line, she said I'm "crapping dog sh*t out of my mouth" because she never heard that wheel seats give rougher ride.

 

Enjoy the pictures, my phone was dying so I didn't take a lot of pictures like I did at Ocean Kingdom.

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Beijing! Can you believe that? They stopped all the factory and heat in Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei area and limit the private vehicle on the road for APEC.

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Our plane by Hainan Airline. Boing 787 really is good.

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Bullet train!

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This is Victory Kingdom AKA Fiasco Kingdom. It's pretty close to Wuqing station.

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Here it is, in the middle of nowhere.

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This is CCTV's building, 1.3 billion people are saying it looks like a giant boxer but I guess only me, the designer and 10 other people think it is a beautifully designed masterpiece.

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Here it is, must see it to prove you are in Beijing.

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The building for Zhongye, where horrible knock-off SLC's with Suicidewinder was designed.

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A Beijing restaurant with very nice traditional house theming. While I'm really not a fan of Beijing food because Canton area wins the whole China on food, I really enjoyed the atmosphere.

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This thing looks so good but I'm not brave enough to eat it.

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Yay for another woodie!

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It's a beautiful day thanks to the government's hard work.

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Closer

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That drop!

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That turn!

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El Loco!!!

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There is a stage right after you enter the park.

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Just to let you guys see how empty this place is.

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No one, no one, no oneeeeeee

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Welcome to Happy Valley Tianjin, this is where the magic starts.

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See? Actually not bad for Happy Valley standard.

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Pumpkins on spider nets?

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They turned off the lights for Halloween event.

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This ride is surprisingly fun. Unexpected airtime is a good thing.

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Found this at the airport. Strangely it gives me a nightmare.

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Yay!

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There's a bridge with two rows of Chinese zombies. Chinese zombies jumps with their arms reaching out straight. Different from those on Walking Dead.

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Just look at the creepy face! Imagine her eye following you when you walk past it.

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The Subway castle. Unfortunately we had to leave the park early because our flight is at 9:00 PM so I didn't get to experience their Halloween event.

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This is the kiddie dark ride with disastrous special effects.

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Imagine riding a woodie with Arrow horseshoe collars

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This actually looks smaller than I imagined.

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The other train is resting, there's no need for two train operation when you need to wait 10 mins for 7 riders.

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Empty station with the rudest park employee I've ever seen

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Heartlined track is a pretty thing.

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PTC! Finally see you again after Mean Streak.

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That weird flat by Nanfang looks like a vomit machine.

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Where the roughness kicks in

Edited by gerstlaueringvar
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Nice report! It's a shame to hear the woodie is rough. You're right, PTCs don't work well on rides like these (with lots of turns and twists) and I Imagine Timberliners would suit it.

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Finally part 2 is coming! Sorry for the delay everyone.

 

Visiting Happy Valley Shenzhen is also a last minute decision, when my cousins and I found out there's a Michelin ranked restaurant in Shenzhen, we booked a table for lunch. Happy Valley Shenzhen was planned for the afternoon and night. But thanks to the horrible traffic on the highway, we had to push the plan to 8:30 PM and visit Happy Valley earlier.

 

A lot of people here have been to Happy Valley Shenzhen so I would skip some negative reviews about the park operation. I visited the park since 1998 when no roller coaster was there yet, I remember screaming to my mom when she was riding the S&S Space Shot because I was afraid the car would derail at the top. The park brought my family from Meisho rides to amusement rides with higher quality. I still have the picture of us riding the Vekoma mine train from more than ten years ago... The place is full of memory and it will always stand at a special spot in my heart.

 

BUT there is a reason why I haven't been back to the park for 5 years and never rode an amazing GCI even though it's only 1.5 hours drive from home! You think SFMM has horrible operation? Try any OCT park! Last time I visited the park, they were dispatching the SLC every 20 minutes and the line was 4.5 hours long! Before entering the entrance(only two out of 10 lanes were opened while 200 people were entering the park), we were expecting the worst operation we've ever seen but the park really brought our expectation to the new low. Bullet Coaster was the main reason we visited the park, it's been so long since I rode a good launch coaster an my cousins haven't experienced the power of an air compress launch before. We waited 1.5 hours for our front row ride with one train operation(of course), slow safety check, assigning seat, weird exit policy and that weird exercise they do.

 

Bullet Coaster review:

This is a wild ride! The launch was incredible, currently my second favorite launch after that of TTD. Elements gives a lot of strong laterals and throws you around even more than the quick transitions on Powder Keg. There aren't much airtime besides the first drop and the twisted airtime hill. Wave Turn doesn't provide the Outlaw Run level of intense airtime but only floating sideways is awesome enough to make it my favorite element of the whole ride. I don't know if OCT maintained the ride properly but the train jerks around A LOT! Not sure if it's designed like that but after a while it gets pretty hard to enjoy the ride when your elbow is constantly hitting the rider next to you. Plus, the train bounces up and down, not as bad as those B&M rattle but definitely noticeable. I wonder why they don't use the bogies that push the upstop wheels towards the track (what are they called?) Bullet Coaster is a very fun coaster that has some very intense moments like the launch, first drop at the back row and strong positive G at the bottom of the first drop. I ranked it my 14th steel coaster.

 

After two rides on Bullet Coaster, we went to the SLC Shenlin. You know what to expect from an SLC so no review needed. Shout out to Happy Valley for making an effort to dispatch the train every 10 minutes instead of 20

 

Mine train is my first non-kiddie coaster, we ride it once for the childhood memory. It is a smooth ride, but Golden Horse's mine train at Happy Valley Tianjin is much smoother.

 

Then we did some credit whoring on the Golden Horse spinner and the Wacky worm knock-off, did the shooting Santa dark ride and the bouncy kiddie ride. Shooting Santa dark ride is pure awesomeness!

 

We left the park at around 6:20 PM for Lei Garden which is the famous restaurant. They only got Michelin 1 star but it is already one of the best Chinese food I've ever had. Price was sky high but definitely worths a try.

 

Enjoy the pictures!

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Entrance

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Fountain!

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Souvenir shop!

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Plaza!

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Top hat!

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Now let's pick up some memory.

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A bit of theming.

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More twisted airtime hill! This hill looks very sexy.

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Oh no this is never a good thing.

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A super steep first drop with very nice airtime in the back.

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People that are afraid of walking!

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Twisted airtime hill!

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Track!

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Now it's time for some Vekoma spine readjustment.

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Thank god there's a building for the queue line! It was 95 degrees outside when it's Snowvember in US.

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Actually looks pretty nice for Happy Valley park's standard.

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People in line for Bullet Coaster.

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More track! (This kind of description is getting silly)

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Long line!

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Final helix!

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Some theming inside of the station.

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A great first drop.

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Ouch ouch ouch ouch ouch.

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Let's get physical!

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My favorite coaster element. It's been so long! I miss Outlaw Run!

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A mask in the river. Creepy.

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Can you tell it's in a queue line?

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More flags, more fun, slower operation.

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Finally here comes a train.

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Powder Keg! This park gave me too many Silver Dollar City flash backs that I wanted to cry.

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The theming is nicely done.

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Lift!

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Empty queue line is always a good thing especially when they are running one train.

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I see you!

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I took like 100 pictures of it because I can't wait another 10 years to catch another train.

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Wheeeee

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Huge turnaround with funky lateral force.

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The little hill after this turnaround gives some nice floater air.

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Splash battle! Looks great but I don't feel like getting wet.

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Train!

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Another train that I was lucky to spot thanks to the huge noise the launch makes.

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See? Very nicely done. But the tall buildings behind kinda ruins it.

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Airtime in the tunnel!

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Very wise! Sally managed to put their name here. Shooting Santa dark ride is a hilarious concept.

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Now let's do some credit whoring.

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Their most famous dish. Roast pork. The skin is super crunchy yet juicy.

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This is a classic.

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Now some desert.

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It tastes so good! This is rib+orange+Ginger and some other delicious things.

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Now we are here, Lei Garden. It's at Shenzhen's MIXC. There's a Ding Tai Fung in the mall as well.

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But what a true credit whore would do is... Thumbs up on the front row! My cousins are too ashamed to do this with me.

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The famous weird souvenir.

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Thank for bringing us a better life!

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Here comes the happy riders!

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Flash back to 2002, we had a lot of fun on this ride. I look bored but I was actually having a blast. Thank you Vekoma!

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Nice shots! I'd really like to try one of those new S&S launched coasters. Too bad this one is rough (but it still looks like a really fun ride)

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^ It's not rough, it throws you around a lot. It's a strange feeling for steel coaster. Even the final helix throws you around. Can't say I like such experience but it's quite unique. The bouncing issue is no where near the B&M jackhammer, frequency is much lower and it feels like the train is doing very small jumping.

 

If RMC is doing launch woodie in the future, I would expect a Bullet Coaster with more even lateral, stronger airtime and no trim. Bullet Coaster somehow feels like a wooden coaster TBH.

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^ It's not rough, it throws you around a lot. It's a strange feeling for steel coaster. Even the final helix throws you around. Can't say I like such experience but it's quite unique.

 

I don't think it was rough either. The reason I thought it was strange is because the back seat support was not contoured. Therefore my upper body was swaying side to side much more than normal on a steel coaster with a high seat back.

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