Chapter 12: Still More Shanghai Credit Whoring--or How to Fix a Golden Horse Spinning Coaster with a Big Stick This was another marathon day for hitting coasters in Shanghai's city parks. As you've probably gathered by now, nearly every city park in China seems to have some sort of amusement park with either a Spinning Coaster, a Jungle Mouse, or a Sliding Dragon, or perhaps all three.
This day really is a bit of a blur for me--we just hit so many parks! But it does stand out for one amusing moment: "The Curious Incident of the Coaster with a Wedgie." Yes, our last park of the day, Century Park, was home to a Golden Horse spinner dubbed "Rotating Pulley." One of the cars on this ride didn't always reset itself properly after completing a circuit, which caused it to get wedged in place just before making the turn into the station. In a amazing show of Chinese technical prowess, two park workers freed the car by 1) poking at it with a very large stick from below and 2) pulling on it from above.
It was easy to tell that this was a common occurrence on the Rotating Pulley--the stick was already in position when the car became stuck. I imagine the two guys running the coaster took turns in this procedure, too: "OK, I'm the stick man today. You get up on the track!"
Never in America (or most other countries).
Well, there were two other memorable high spots to this day: a hallucinogenic trip under the river via the Bund Sightseeing Tunnel and dinner at Elissa's favorite dumpling place. (And damn good dumplings they were, too--thanks, Elissa!)
Off we go.
You know, I'd really like to buy a kite. Anyone around here sell kites?
Welcome to Gongqing Forest Park--looked like a nice place.
Well, I don't know if I'd go as far as "luxurious," but it was a pleasant park.
This ride, the Inertia Roller Coaster, had strange effects on people.
Some were simply overwhelmed by the experience.
Bill was transformed into a many-armed god!
As for Brian and Robb, well, . . .
. . . they're just having way too much fun.
I think you can guess the effects that the Loop and Spiral Coaster had on people.
We've all experienced that moment where one realizes, all too late, that a fatal mistake has been made: Robert E. Lee when he ordered Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg, us when this train left the station.
I hate it when a lawn pretends to be something it's not! Stupid, specious lawn!
Oh, China, you're just asking for it now! Remember what happened to Golden Horse at IAAPA!
Now you may think this is a powered Sliding Dragon.
But the Golden Dragon Roller Coaster is, in fact, Big Worm Inertia Train in disguise! One might say that it is a "Specious Sliding Dragon."
This is Peace Park at Heping Park. Or was that Heping Park at Peace Park? Or maybe it was neither. Hmm . . .
Whatever its name, the park did have the Outer Space Flying Car! Eat your heart out, Space Mountain!
Yes! A dark ride!
Larry can scarcely contain his excitement!
My god! It's a Chinese lamp! And it's red--like blood!
The whole ride was worth it just for this. More to come.
The credit-whoring days are a lot of fun, but all those Jungle Mouse and Sliding Dragon coasters tend to run together once the trip is over. Again, my thanks to Larry for his list of Chinese parks and coasters.
gisco wrote:With the number of parks you have visited on the trip I can imagine it becoming a blur. Unless there is something to make a ride or park stand out everything starts to blend.
Bob - that was certaining the case as all the public parks had similar ride selections. There were quirks at many public parks that made some stand out but without my notes I can't tell you which parks had the following curiosities: homemade games of chances, the sleeping ticket seller, the spinning coaster that got stuck, the powered coaster where we had to line up in size order.
As usual, my analysis is free of charge! Original enough to not steal someone else's quote as a signature
Chapter 13: "Innovative" and "Delightful"--Happy Valley Shanghai with a Side of Giant Wheel Park
Apparently, Happy Valley Shanghai is both "innovative" and "delightful." It must be--they painted it on a wall!
Well, if you define "innovative" as the ability to clone rides from other parks, I guess you could use that word to describe the park. (And, hey, I was simply delighted that our guide, Tom, could find the place.) Yes, this park features Chinese versions of a Disney ride and a Universal ride: Soarin' Over California and Spider-man. Only you're soarin' over China and riding around inside a super storm, both while watching somewhat blurry computer graphics.
But although these rides were a bit "interesting," they were hardly the best that Happy Valley Shanghai had to offer. In fact, this park has a pretty damn solid selection of coasters. Wooden Coaster Fireball had received rave reviews when it opened in 2009 as an insane, airtime-filled ride--but had it aged well? Fortunately, the ride had undergone some extensive re-tracking (new wood all over the place), and it was running very well. Was it as good as a few years ago? I'll leave that to others, but I liked it a lot.
The park had an excellent Mega-Lite (Or is it redundant to use "excellent" in the same sentence as "Mega-Lite"?); a B&M dive machine, with the catchy name of Diving Coaster; a Zamperla Spinning Coaster (surprising, I know); and Lele's Chariot (a kiddie coaster). But, in a bit of a twist, the park had an Intamin Mine Train. (I guess they must've outbid Golden Horse and Vekoma for a change.)
Top it off with the North Pole Adventure shooting dark ride, Desperadoes, and some solid theming (particularly "Goldmine Town,") and you have a pretty nice park--I enjoyed it.
We hit another park that evening. More on that later. For now, let's have a look at Happy Valley Shanghai. (It was another gray day, so my pictures aren't exactly top quality. Sorry about that.)
Welcome to Happy Valley Shanghai, a park that is both . . .
You see? I told you!
Look! It's Mario's brother, Luigi, and he's holding a horn! So innovative!
Or how about a Transformer that looks like he's just waking up after downing boilermakers at Applebee's all night? Isn't that delightful?
Must've Been Chinese Flag Day, or something.
Wooden Coaster Fireball! (You know, this park could use some help with names.)
Fireball is located in a section called "Happy Hour." Does this guy look happy to you? My guess is that his orthopedist and chiropractor will be very happy to see him.
This looks one of Lewis Carroll's rejected concepts for "Alice in Wonderland." Old Lewis probably awoke from an opium-induced haze and wondered, "What the hell was I thinking?"
Yes, it's another filming session.
Like I said earlier, I really liked this ride.
This shot is pretty blurry, but Cheryl's "hairtime" should give you a pretty good idea of why I liked it.
Everyone looks delighted--and relieved!
See all that new wood? Nice work, Happy Valley!
Nice shirts, too.
Next stop, Diving Coaster! They actually drove us from ride to ride for filming. The park's staff was very nice.
Hmm--I don't recall ever encountering a "pre-gnant" woman. I wonder if I've been around "post-gnant" women?
Robb and Hanno at work.
I had no idea that Robb and Mike were so "close."
Diving Coaster is Sheikra without the theming.
And that's OK--I really like B&M Dive Machines.
I especially like them when they're floorless.
Just in case you forgot where we were.
Next stop, Mega-Lite--another ride with a catchy name.
But a Mega-Lite by any other name . . .
. . . would still be an amazing . . .
. . . airtime-filled machine!
Yeah, you could name this ride "Frank" or "Little Big Steel Coaster" or "Melvin," and it would still be great. (You know, let's go with "Melvin"--what the hell.) More to come from Happy Valley Shanghai!
Too bad they didn't have any burning bodies hanging out of the plane...
To put out, of course. *I - am - kidding* But it wouldn't surprise me if they did that, at the park.
Great continuing TR as always Chuck. And it's fantastic getting those other smaller parks in order. They are a blur to me at this time, and I don't think my brain is going to sort them out, even with time, heh heh.
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