Chapter 5: Hard Rock Park China?-- Victory Kingdom and Random Credit Whoring
Victory Kingdom, TPR's next stop and last "major" park before pushing on to Chendu, brought to mind Hard Rock/Freestyle Music Park in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. How, you may ask?
1. Flat expanses with no shade at all 2. An odd location that seemed to be, despite the presence of numerous apartment buildings, the middle of nowhere 3. Total surprise if it lasts more than one or two years
Now, to give Hard Rock credit, it was the better themed of the two--and at least you understood what the theme was. The only part-finished Victory Kingdom, despite the indications of "themed" areas on its map, was just a random assortment of rides plunked down on grass and concrete. (Perhaps a better name would be "Themed Sign Kingdom." The park had plenty of those, if very little actual theming to go with them.) This was a park with an identity crisis--hell, its original name was "Triumph Kingdom." In fact, it had just opened a few months before the TPR trip.
The park had two coasters operating. Well, "operating" is a relative term in China. The Golden Horse SLC knock off did, indeed, operate; but the Spinning Mouse, despite what we were told at the main gate, did not. Fortunately, Robb and Elissa had found many "bonus credits" for this trip--another great reason to travel with TPR. We hit up a few of those after spending a few hours at Victory Kingdom.
To be fair, if you were into flat rides, Victory Kingdom had some good ones--along with a soaker of a splashboat. I just hope they can get their other rides (for example, an Intamin Half-Pipe) up and running soon.
Here's a look at our last day in the vicinity of Beijing--and it's another beautiful one.
"Victory" over what, one wonders? Common sense? Expectations of profit?
Or just shamble around like a zombie. The choice is yours.
Here are the "themed" areas. There was no Blackhawk Helicopter Ride "In Somalia."
Ah, at last! A place to dispose of that annoying "organism" I've been carrying around!
Pegasus claims its first victim of the day.
Victory Kingdom does have an impressive entrance plaza.
But this guy seemed a bit out of place there.
Er . . . oops?
The knock-off SLC wasn't open yet, but the mouse was supposed to be.
We did wait in "civilized comity" to see what would happen.
Nope--another Golden Horse Spinning Mouse denied! The single most common coaster in China!
I blame the wrath of the vengeful ghost of Saddam Hussein . . .
. . . working through the president of Iran!
"Despair not, o ye enthusiasts! Victory may be yours yet!"
Well, here's a wee bit of theming, anyway.
Of course, it doesn't suggest old Tombstone or Deadwood as much as those residential/retail developments that have been sprouting like weeds in the southeastern U.S.
OK, who wants to ride the Half-Pipe? Then come back in a few months, I guess.
Their car ride needs a few finishing touches, too.
They haven't even finished unwrapping this one yet.
Uh oh! Looks like some "Nemesis" theming is sprouting in a kids play area!
Eventually, we made our way to the one ride that was actually open. Doesn't that water look inviting?
Foolhardy or courageous? With TPR, there is no difference!
Those who have chosen to remain dry and disease free salute you.
My. That's a big one!
Gotta love the backwash.
"Victory is ours!"
To get to the Golden Horse knock-off SLC, one must first pass "Through In Infinite." (I'm sure the Doors, Yes, and the Moody Blues have a song about this.)
"Hello--I'm Barry White, the 1970s king of soul, and I'd like to welcome you to pure passion."
"My coaster is so, so yellow . . .
. . . and so, so sexy. Especially if you like it rough, baby. Oh, yeah."
"Who is this Barry White fellow, and why does he keep growling so soulfully into my ear?"
"Just go with the flow of the soul . . ." (OK, that's enough Barry White stuff.)
I'm glad that Victory Kingdom recognizes the importance of having a place for "stuff." Why, it could be the "stuff dreams are made of," but being as this is in the bathroom, I rather doubt it.
As I said eariler, to be fair, Victory Kingdom did have a few good flat rides.
And many of the group took advantage of them. More to come from here and elsewhere.
There's still a bit more from Victory Kingdom--along with some other credit whoring! Are you quivering with excitement yet? You should be!
Oh dear lord . . .
I think "Nanfang" is Mandarin for "Chuck will not ride this."
Lauren and Cheryl are devil-may-care and ready to rock!
But Brian is contemplative while appealing to a higher power to save him (possibly Jeebus).
My thoughts and prayers go with ye!
As I recall, the flat-ride fans in the group gave this ride pretty high marks.
Here's some of the klassy merchandise you can buy at Victory Kingdom. Homer says to kiss his communist butt, yankee dog!
Cute--in a creepy, Chairman Mao way.
If you've reached this point, squat toilets are looking pretty sweet.
Next stop--the Tianjin Youth Center.
But first, an artistic interlude with a butterfly: Little butterfly, Enthusiasts pass you by, But they won't eat you.
Best haiku I could come up with in 15 seconds.
This did not inspire confidence.
But maybe the guy sleeping in this ticket booth can help.
"What? You have over 30 people with money? KA-FREAKIN'-CHING!" At one point, the ride e-stopped because one car (mine) was dispatched to the lift hill too soon. I was amazed that the thing had working sensors, or whatever. The crew got it going quickly, though--thanks to some timely pushing.
Sweet, sweet victory, again!
In your face, Victory Kingdom!
Of course, the brakes could use a little work.
"Let's see. We're in China, and we're sitting in mouse cars. Chicks will now throw themselves at us. Cool."
I love how the bumper cars are run with old car batteries.
Yes! Another Sliding Dragon!
It did need a bit of work, though.
That was fun. Peace out, Tianjin Youth Center.
Our last stop of the day was Langfang Children's Paradise. First, we had to survive a Chinese flea market.
I'm sure I could've bought this chair cheap. Might have, if they'd had a set of four.
It was quite a walk to find that credit.
Wait! Over there by the peppers!
Yes! Another amazing Jungle Mouse! (I think these may be more common than the Golden Horse spinners.)
The underside of the station doubles as a "U-Stor-It."
Yes, your eyes are not deceiving you--there are two cars on the lift hill at the same time. But not to worry . . .
. . . for this ride has passed the safety test!
"I've been on much worse than this."
"Screw Intamin! I'm all about the Chinese Jungle Mouse coasters now!"
Tell us where we must go now, o disturbing half-sheep, half-goat creature with a flute.
This is probably street legal in China.
Go karts such as these help prepare Chinese children for typical Beijing traffic.
It seems that some sort of horrible Satanic ritual was practiced here recently.
Oh no! The Goat of Mendes! The devil himself! Better get out of here! That's all for now.
This is a seriously amazing report. Victory Kingdom (I think the "victory" is if you get to ride anything!) looks like a strange place. And why would anyone on Earth want to theme a park area to Somalia?!? That seems like perhaps the oddest choice for a theme ever. Though it's likely still better than Pottertown...
Always trying to keep YOU entertained! Now with more Ice Bat!
The world would be a better place if Dave programmed our iPods - Derwood
As far as I can remember, all the flat rides were Chinese copies (or their attempt at copies).
I decided to try all 3 as two of them looked different to any ride types I have ridden before apart from the frisbee. The frisbee was extremely intense as was the waikiki wave top spin thing. It didn't freely rotate but was powered around the inversions so was extremely intense and uncomfortable. Hated both of those.
That other strange flat ride Chuck posted wasn't actually as bad as I had expected.
Suffice to say that I didn't feel to well after enduring a horrible SLC and 3 knock off flat rides and I'm not really a flat ride person, but if you go all the way to China, you might as well try out these unique once-in-a-lifetime style rides!
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