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Photo TR: Japan and southern China


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Really enjoying your TR of your travels and the Japanese parks! I've never been to Asia and even though there are lots of Japanese TRs every one is so different with new pics and reviews. I love reading them all. Is it normal for the hotels over there to have two twin beds instead of two doubles? How often do you get to see your wife since you mentioned she lives over that way? Looking forward to the upcoming installments.

 

 

Thanx, I hope you are enjoying the TR 'cause I like to share and maybe inspire someone to visit these great countries. You have to understand when I say a spacious room pertaining to Asia it is still small, most rooms I have encountered are between 19m2 and 22m2 so twin beds are what usually fits in the room and still give room to move around. I try to get to Guangzhou at least 3 times a year, she should be here in the states next year so my travel to China will be less but her family will still be in China so of course we will still be going back often.

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Sorry for the delay in the pics...

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Here is the park map so you can get an idea of the layout of Universal Studios Japan.

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And here is the haunt locations map. Unfortunately this map was only available in Japanese.

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Mandatory spinning Universal globe in the entry plaza.

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Beyond this archway movie magic fills the air.

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Pops and I take our selfie.

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Any theme park that has a coaster flyover is okay in my book.

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Universals "main street" has a canopy much like Tokyo Disneyland's Main Street.

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To the right is the entrance to the Hollywood Dream Backdrop coaster, a nice B&M coaster that runs one train backwards.

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Awesome to see a B&M train go backwards up a lift hill.

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And Jaws is alive and well in Japan. This version also has an operating single rider line so 65 minute wait for stand by or walk on in single rider, hmm. We opted for single rider.

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Oh them beautiful blue boats and crazy Japanese boat skippers, how I have missed you.

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In memory to all the fallen fishermen.

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Amity Landing restaurant in Amity Island.

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In Amity Island.

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Amity Island bait shop.

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Randomness in the Jaws the Ride que.

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Photo op with Jaws.

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As a SoCal resident of Long Beach, I can only hang my head in shame every TR and post from Tokyo Disney Sea thinking of what could have been...great TR so far...I've read so many of the Japan TRs now that I feel like I've been there...

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So it is no secret that Wizarding World Of Harry Potter is the new hotness here at Universal Studios Japan, I have even read reports that Disney admits their attendance in Tokyo has slightly decreased since Wizarding World has opened. This version is almost a clone of Orlando's with the exception of Dragon's Challenge is missing but they added Black Lake next to Hogwarts. One nice thing about this version is you do not just come to it you actually walk a long wooded path until you enter hogsmeade village which kept the illusion of secrecy well kept, here is the tricky part, though, you can not just enter when you want, you must obtain a timed entry ticket (the machines are located near the helix of Hollywood Dream coaster) and you then enter at the allotted time on the ticket and they enforce this very well so be prepared if you go.

 

I ramble too much, I know. Onto the pics...

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upon entering the trail to Wizarding World Of Harry Potter.

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About halfway down the path you come to a photo op with the Weasley's flying car.

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This path is seriously long and it really adds to the secrecy of Hogsmeade, kudos to you Universal Japan.

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You finally arrive at the entry arch to Hogsmeade.

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Once you pass through the arch you are greeted by the Hogwarts Express.

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Hogsmeade village.

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More Hogsmeade village.

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Do not worry, Butterbeer is here and it is identical in taste to Orlando's. It is very popular here, I waited in line for 15 minutes. the only thing was sticker shock, even with the great US dollar to YEN rate now it still cost around $8 USD and that was not with the souvenir glass, that was around $15 USD.

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The building with the owls in the arches and owl poop is here also.

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And here is Hogwarts in all its glory. This version actually has 2 entry gates inside, The forbidden Journey ride and the rest of the cool castle things meaning if you do not want to ride the ride you can go in and see everything else. Funny thing is the ride line was 40 minutes and the non ride line was 60 minutes, but while in line for the ride you do not see all the cool effects inside only a couple of them.

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About the rides, as you can see Flight of the Hippogriff is here and it is a clone of Orlando's version and of course inside Hogwarts is The Forbidden Journey which is identical to Orlando's EXCEPT they have them KUKA arms turned up to 11. This version is violent, and I mean that in a good way, this version really throws you around a lot and you are sent upside down several times. Pops could only do it once each day because it was affecting him pretty good but I rather enjoyed the experience. On a side note I rode this several times and it never broke down once so YAY

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Looking up at Hogwarts from the entryway.

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The best thing about the Black Lake is the great photo opportunity to have Hogwarts reflecting in the water, with a good camera that is (Stupid HTC and your Ultra pixel crap gimmick... sorry).

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Hogwarts castle at Sunset.

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Wow, great pictures! I always enjoy any TR from parks in China/Japan. The theming over there is amazing at all of the big parks. Now does that region get a lot more rain than where the US parks are that the covering over the entrance areas is a necessity, or is it just that they have the budget to create a nice covered area for Guests to shop and hang out when it rains?

 

This is one of my favorite Tokyo DisneySea TRs because I didn't realize how many little small areas and to catch your breath or enjoy a great view of the park there are. I like parks that include plenty of small areas to get a break from the crowds providing a more personal experience, and the fact that DisneySea even has their theming top notch is incredible.

 

I hope to visit the Disney & Universal parks in the future, but for now the trip reports are always really nice to see. Now my question is how will the Six Flags parks look in Asia? With someone else owning it and due to the competition, I'm hoping they will really have great theming.

 

Edit: With the ticket to get into Hogsmede, they did something similar at IOA for a while because it was so crazy (They still do it a couple days a year maybe if it's too crazy). I wonder when, if ever, crowds will get down to the level where that is no longer needed. I do appreciate the system, as I would rather wait until later in the day if it means having a more enjoyable experience in terms of crowds.

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Wow, great pictures! I always enjoy any TR from parks in China/Japan. The theming over there is amazing at all of the big parks. Now does that region get a lot more rain than where the US parks are that the covering over the entrance areas is a necessity, or is it just that they have the budget to create a nice covered area for Guests to shop and hang out when it rains?

 

This is one of my favorite Tokyo DisneySea TRs because I didn't realize how many little small areas and to catch your breath or enjoy a great view of the park there are. I like parks that include plenty of small areas to get a break from the crowds providing a more personal experience, and the fact that DisneySea even has their theming top notch is incredible.

 

I hope to visit the Disney & Universal parks in the future, but for now the trip reports are always really nice to see. Now my question is how will the Six Flags parks look in Asia? With someone else owning it and due to the competition, I'm hoping they will really have great theming.

 

Edit: With the ticket to get into Hogsmede, they did something similar at IOA for a while because it was so crazy (They still do it a couple days a year maybe if it's too crazy). I wonder when, if ever, crowds will get down to the level where that is no longer needed. I do appreciate the system, as I would rather wait until later in the day if it means having a more enjoyable experience in terms of crowds.

 

 

Thanx, I am glad you are enjoying the TR. As far as the canopies over the main shopping area I can't answer that with 100% accuracy but I do suspect you are correct in regards to giving guests a comfortable shopping experience. I have been at both parks when it was hot and humid and also with torrential downpours. This trip we came into Tokyo just after typhoon (hurricane) Phanfone (the biggest typhoon to hit Japan in the last few years) and we left within hours of typhoon Vongfong hitting Japan (the largest typhoon to hit Japan in the last 30 years and Osaka suffered a direct hit) so the weather does get to both extremes of the spectrum.

 

I love finding little nooks and crannies at Disney, and to an extent Universal, because they leave absolutely no stone unturned and something that 99.9% of the guests will probably never notice the Disney machine knows that the .1% will see and they give attention to it. At Disneysea my favorite area has always been Cape Cod (because of my family background), it is just a small section of the American Waterfront area but I always spend about an hour there just sitting on the benches and taking the whole thing in.

 

With the Six Flags being owned by someone else the ride ops can't get any worse BUT I have been to happy Valley Shenzhen and the ride ops were just as bad as any Six Flags park in America, LOL.

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Okay on to the rest of the Universal pictures...

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Universal has a large body of water and the attractions surround it. this picture is looking towards the rear of the park.

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And looking towards the front of the park.

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A pier that jetties out onto the center lake. The Friday the 13th haunt and the Dark Restaurant were located on this pier.

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I can see the water floats backstage from here. One of these times I am going to get in a taxi and have them drive me over that bridge in the background, it is huge and towers over the park.

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The entry plaza to the New York section of the park.

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Some of the structures in the New York section.

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Spider man with its new 4K film looks great. I think the Amazing Spiderman wants one of them Amazing hot dogs. Funny fact about this ride, I am sure everyone knows that in the Florida version in the scene where our vehicle hits Spiderman and he flies backwards there is a theater with a phone number on it that actually is a working number for that theater. I was looking for the number in this version thinking it would be Japanese number to call but it has the Florida number, I was kinda disappointed. If anyone is curious IM me on here and I will give you the phone number.

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Structures in the San Francisco area.

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Backdraft entrance (one of the attractions that transforms into a haunted experience) and the Dragon Pearl Chinese restaurant.

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Back To The Future is still here (this ride also transforms into a haunted attraction).

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Universal Wonderland is Universals kids land. During the haunt this area an Potterverse are safe zones meaning no scary activities. This is inside the enclosed ride area named Snoopy Studios. The coaster in the background is Snoopy's great race and IT IS A CREDIT.

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More inside Snoopy Studios.

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Hello Kitty meet n' greet and gift shop.

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Someone tickled him and he ran up a pole.

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Even the snoopy statues were dressed for Halloween.

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Jurassic Park entry arch but more important it is getting dusk meaning the monsters are coming out.

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Inside here was a haunted maze with laser tag mixed in. I did not get to do it but I hear it was really good.

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Chucky maze building I really had fun in this haunt.

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The que for the Chucky haunt. They really did a lot as far as details in this haunt.

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One of the scare zones.

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Another scare zone.

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Angry Zombies were the theme this year.

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Lots of zombies roaming around.

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This scene looks perverse at this angle but they actually pull a "random" person from the crowd and throw him on the hood of this truck then start eating his organs.

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These were undead scaracters that performed the dance every 20 minutes.

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On a side note I just noticed that my Trip Report was linked on the TPR Twitter and Facebook pages so I want to thank Robb, Elissa and the staff of TPR for that.

Edited by la2lvtom
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Hmm...maybe next year instead of trying to do HHN Florida and HHN Hollywood the same day I should up the ante and go for Japan! Great TR.

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As a final post in my Japan portion of this Trip Report here is a "voyeuristic" style video I filmed of just walking from the end of the San Francisco area to the Harry Potter entry machines. It lasts 11 minutes and you get to see many guests wearing costumes for Halloween Horror Nights.

 

 

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Coming up will be my adventures in China with the wife and family. Parks will include Chimelong Paradise, Chimelong Ocean Kingdom, Hong Kong Disneyland and more parks and attractions in and around Guangzhou China.

 

 

Hope everyone is enjoying the updates and I hope you will enjoy what is to come.

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Hmm...maybe next year instead of trying to do HHN Florida and HHN Hollywood the same day I should up the ante and go for Japan! Great TR.

 

 

I would always encourage everyone to go to Japan. It's my absolute favorite country on earth.

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Coming up will be my adventures in China with the wife and family. Parks will include Chimelong Paradise, Chimelong Ocean Kingdom, Hong Kong Disneyland and more parks and attractions in and around Guangzhou China.

Great TR so far, look forward to know what you think about the two Chimelong parks!

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look forward to know what you think about the two Chimelong parks!

 

Since our home in Guangzhou is about 25 minutes by Guangzhou METRO from Chimelong Paradise I consider that my home park and have been there several times. Chimelong Ocean Kingdom was a first time park for me and I think you might be surprised by my report.

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After our time in Japan was over pops and I parted ways, I flew to Guangzhou China to be with my wife and daughter and pops flew back home to Vegas (pops is an old time military guy and he refuses to step foot on communist soil so he has never been with me to china, I respect his view and do not question his reasoning as long as he has no problem with me being married to a Chinese woman). I arrive in China only to be told that my wife and daughter have Dengue Fever so I knew this was going to be an interesting trip.

 

I had a few days in China before the wife and I went on our little mini vacation/first anniversary trip so we went out to check out our home town. Here are some boring pics of our time before we set off...

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Down this street is where our home is, definitely not like what you would see in America. It will be a huge culture shock when the wife comes here for the first time.

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An American car with Chinese badging... WHAT???

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Fruit stands are everywhere with a lot of delicious food.

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Here I am doing my best Asian impersonation. Actually we went to the hospital several times and I bought us these masks so I would not get sick on this trip.

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There is a new Korean restaurant that just recently opened near our home so had to try it out.

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I love the sound of sizzling meat at our table. I am drooling just thinking about it.

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A Running Man inspired feast. I wonder if anyone will catch that reference.

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Mmm, Haagen Dazs

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In China the 7-11 drinks are setup a little differently than in America.

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I was so happy to find Cheetos in China, only problem is they were available in Beef or Chicken flavors only. I chose the beef and lets just say...well, lets not say anything and move on.

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We traveled down to Beijing road, which is a major shopping street in Guangzhou, because they were displaying a tribute to China in the movies over the years. I hadn't seen a boom box like this in over 25 years.

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The police command center on Beijing road. It is so cute.

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Coca Cola had a display on the street where they were serving frozen coke products. I think I need to tell the wife she can't do these things in America because it may be innocent there but here that might be taken the wrong way, LOL.

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There was this new building that appeared since last time I went to Beijing road. This building was beautiful, I thought it might be a new hotel or something.

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The architecture was stunning.

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This guy was carving on the wood pillars by hand.

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The wife wound up taking me to the other side of the building and showed me it was an addition the Buddhist Temple. We watched a prayer ceremony inside with the Buddhist monks, it was really awesome.

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Yes Disney, I will give you all my money. I have now seen Guardians Of The Galaxy in 2D, 3D, 4D and on a plane at 32,000 feet. I AM GROOT.

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Random people would come up to me to get a picture with me. No, she is my Chinese cousin (but it does happen a lot when I am there). Everyone in my wife's family is a darn twig, when I stand next to them I am like super fat (instead of just regular fat), I am depressed.

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I've never seen the White Chocolate Popcorn flavor at Tokyo Disney either! So new it is!

 

http://www.themeparkreview.com/parks/park.php?pageid=486

 

I added it to the Park Index

 

 

Thank you, I tried to find the list of Disney popcorn flavors but could not find it. Now I know where to find it next time.

 

I added it to the Park Index as a joke a few years ago and Robb loved it so I kept it there. Now if only the US parks would sell flavored popcorn.

 

FYI - your photo just forced me to make popcorn with black pepper and ranch powder.

Edited by larrygator
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I've never seen the White Chocolate Popcorn flavor at Tokyo Disney either! So new it is!

 

http://www.themeparkreview.com/parks/park.php?pageid=486

 

I added it to the Park Index

 

 

Thank you, I tried to find the list of Disney popcorn flavors but could not find it. Now I know where to find it next time.

 

I added it to the Park Index as a joke a few years ago and Robb loved it so I kept it there. Now if only the US parks would sell flavored popcorn.

 

FYI - your photo just forced me to make popcorn with black pepper and ranch powder.

 

I had no idea there was a PI for it, there was a cranberry one on my trip that's missing from the PI: http://themeparkreview.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=65226&start=50

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Time for our mini vacation/first anniversary trip. We catch a bus at 7am to Gongbei port of entry in Zhuhai (this is where you cross the border into Macau) and arrived at 10am, we then catch a taxi from there to Hengqin, Zhuhai for our first stop... Chimelong Ocean Kingdom.

 

Chimelong Ocean Kingdom is a must for every TPR member's bucket list. This park is stunningly beautiful and attention to detail is apparent everywhere you look (even the horrible pollution couldn't take away from it). A lot of money was spent on this park and it shows. I would compare this park to probably Sea World Orlando but with everything ramped up to the next level. I had a couple of little problems with the park but they weren't enough that I would call out attention to them here, they were just a couple of little behind the scenes that bothered me.

 

Before I get to the pictures I will say that this park is small, it just opened earlier this year so they will expand in time, they were building a 5D attraction while we were there and they still have the rumored wooden coaster and tallest observation wheel planned for the future. The layout reminded me of Islands Of Adventure (large lake surrounded by the attractions) but smaller than that park. as far as large rides goes there are only 3 right now, a B&M flyer and 2 Mack water coasters. There is a little Mermaid style ride where you ride in clamshells and several smaller flat rides scattered about. Also 3 shows and the star attraction is the aquarium which has 5 world records to its credit. Like my Disneysea report I will place the pictures as if you are walking through the park so there might be some day and night pictures mixed together.

 

Now on to the pics...

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Here we are on the bus to Zhuhai. Lily was still feeling a little ill from the Dengue fever so she is a little tired here.

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The park opened at 10am and we arrived at 10:20. This was the parking lot 20 minutes after the park opened. I had heard horror stories about how busy this park was and I was worried that we would need 2 days because of the crowds. Needless to say the park was empty today.

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Yes, this is where we want to go.

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They are building a second on site hotel at the entry plaza.

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The Chimelong tiger mascot an her new animal friends in the fountain at the entry plaza. The round building behind the tiger is the new 5D theater building under construction, it was huge so I will need to revisit the park when it is open to check it out.

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Nicely themed ticket booths.

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Here is the park map so you will have an idea of the layout.

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The entry gate to our adventure.

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Through this portal you will enter into a world of wonder and happiness.

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Poor Chimelong character, no one is at your park to meet and greet you.

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The detail on the entry plaza buildings was incredible, I knew I was in for something special with this park.

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This is the video screen over the entry portal and it is AMAZING, the clarity was like nothing I have ever seen before in a large video display. I have been to cowboys stadium and that screen was incredible but does not even compare to this. Can you tell that I was blown away by the display?

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Here is a video of the giant video display in the entry plaza. Even recorded in HD at 60fps I do no justice for this screen. 2 things, please ignore my goofy talking, I was trying to get a smile from my wife. Secondly I deeply apologize about this video filmed vertical, I was not thinking when I faced the camera up at the screen, I promise no more vertical videos.

 

 

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That is a very impressive entrance for a park. Chimelong Paradise was one of the nicest parks TPR visited back in 2012, and it looks like Ocean Kingdom is a big step up when it comes to theming.

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On to more pics...

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Once you pass through the entry portal you come to the fork, err, island in the road where you choose to go left or right.

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We chose to go right towards Parrot Coaster (the reason why I came to the park) but that section did not open until 11am... so left it was.

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The first building you come to is the Squid King restaurant, I did not eat at this restaurant.

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Next to Squid King was the Octopus carousel. A typical carousel with sea animals in place of horses.

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The first "land" you enter is mt. Walrus, within this land is 2 rides and the sea lion show.

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The first ride we come to is Walrus Splash, this is much like Journey to Atlantis at Sea World Texas only longer and very highly themed. And yes it does say 5 minute wait, the park was seriously empty.

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The theming was really nice and well done.

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The walrus looks so life like.

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The theming continues throughout the ride. After this turn you enter a show building that has live walruses swimming around, it was a nice feature.

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And the theming is carried throughout the ride.

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Rooster tails are awesome.

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You really do not get too wet on this ride.

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All those crazy people spending 10 yuan each for plastic rain protectors and me in the front with just a couple of drops on me, Silly locals (that statement will bite me in the butt later on).

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The other ride in this land is Spirit of Adventure.

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Sealion show at the sealion theater.

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Sealion show.

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Audience member having a sit up contest against a sealion.

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Aww, sealion love.

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Headbutting balls into the audience.

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