January 21, 2019: Dali Allies Happy Valley (Dali, Yunnan, China)
I spent Martin Luther King Jr. Day experiencing racism. I visited Dali Allies Happy Valley (no relation to the Happy Valley chain) and I was Chinard there. At the ticket booth, I explained that I wanted to ride both of the coasters and the lady happily sold me a ticket. I went into the park and headed for the loopscrew coaster. I was told by some employees that it was open and a Chinese guy motioned for me to go up the entrance. Once the Chinese guy got closer to me and saw that I was not Chinese, he turned me away. He used the excuse that I was too tall for this ride. On the way down the entrance ramp, here came two Chinese guys who were the same height as me and they got to ride. I had my wife ask other employees what was going on and they all asserted that I could ride the coaster, so I try again and I am turned away a second time. The ride op told them I was too tall. I pointed out to him that other people who weren't any shorter got to ride.
Needless to say I was very disappointed. I did get to ride the jungle mouse coaster, but this is another example of being turned away from the large coaster and being permitted to ride the smaller coaster. I have been traveling through southwest China for the past few days with my wife and I have tried to ride 6 coasters at 5 parks. Four of these coasters have been kiddie coasters and one (the jungle mouse today) is more of a family ride. The last remaining coaster is a large thrill ride (the loopscrew today) and I was turned away from it (while being permitted to ride the smaller rides). I am beginning to think that maybe the bigger rides are reserved for Chinese only while foreigners are going to be regulated to doing the White Monkey Dance and have to settle for 2nd and 3rd tier rides.
Many of the other employees seemed apologetic for what happened, but why did the guy change his mind after seeing that I was not Chinese? Why were two Chinese who were as tall as I am get to ride?
With the jungle mouse today, I have now ridden 1181 coasters and discovered 458 coasters before ACE or RCDB. My next coaster trip may be outside of China seeing how they screwed things up for me over the past two days (see my Colorful Yunnan TR for more).
Let's check out a new park in southwest China.
This is the carousel at the park.
I have been on so many of these.
This should be fun. I like this design.
Unfortunately I did not get to ride. One person, the ride op, refused me after he saw I was a foreigner.
If I stop going, then I am a racist for not supporting Chinese parks. Perhaps Chinese people need to learn how to run these places in a sensible manner and be glad that a foreigner like myself is willing to be visit and, if I have a good time, tell the rest of the world.
That doesn't make you racist, it makes you a savvy consumer who doesn't support racism with your spending dollars (which this isn't really; discriminatory sure but I'm not really sure it elevates to that kinda level).
I have zero desire to go to any Chinese parks and ride their cobbled together, rusting-out, contraptions or do any sort of tourism in China. Does that make me a racist? No, it makes me someone who values their life and doesn't want to support oppressive communist regimes who couldn't come up with an original idea if their existence depended on it.
And, @bill_s, LOL at the concept of China having any sort of sensible legal system. You're talking about the land of copyright infringement.
-Mike Total Coasters: 134 Top 10 Steel: Maverick, Skyrush, Intimidator 305, Banshee, Millennium Force, Raptor, Superman: The Ride (SFNE), Top Thrill Dragster, Big Bad Wolf, Volcano Top 10 Wood: The Beast, El Toro, Phoenix (Knoebels), Boulder Dash, Thunderbolt (KW), Mystic Timbers, Comet (Hershey), Hercules, Shivering Timbers, Jack Rabbit (KW) Top 5 Hybrid: Twisted Timbers, Goliath (SFGAm), Wicked Cyclone, Great White, Gemini
I know of no accidents involving foreigners here, but I do know that these types of issues started to become more commonplace during the summer of 2017 when I was turned away from four large coasters in about 10 weeks time.
I have a wonderful wife who is from China and I think that it would be unbecoming of me to not be open to embracing her country. With that being said, with the amount of time it takes to plan a trip, travel, the cost of train tickets and motels and such all adds up and when I experience this type of thing, then all of my effort to get there was a waste. At what point do I just start flying to Taiwan or Thailand or Japan to enjoy my hobby?
If China takes over the amusement park industry, an obituary may be written because things like I have experienced the last two days can kill the industry.
I do not think that is it. I may have been the first foreigner to visit this place. A lady told my wife that hardly anyone visits it. Sadly, I used to tell people back home to come to China to visit the parks, but I have stopped telling them to come here. If many Chinese continue to be bent on ruining the experience, it will be very hard to tell people to come to China. Let's also think about what this could do to the parks in the rest of the world. Think about this-now many Chinese have money and travel overseas. What if a Chinese person has a bad experience at a Chinese park and then travels to America and visits Ohio and says "Dali Allies Happy Valley was crap, I am sure Kings Island will be crap as well". In short, poorly managed parks in China could cause Chinese people to bypass parks in other countries.
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