I couldn’t come up with anywhere else to go at this time of year for a major coaster fix so I ended up caving and getting myself another Chinese visa.
Using scientific method I have previously proved that the best time to visit in order to be spited least (unless you’re going to the seasonal regions of course) is actually January.
Previous China trip spites:
January 2017 – 5/32 (15.6%)
September 2017 – 15/52 (28.8%)
January 2018 – 3/11 (27.3%)
April 2018 – 29/61 (47.5%)
But did the science hold?
The most notable area of the country I hadn’t yet covered was the South West so we flew into Changsha which is sort of in the middle and worked from there. It wasn’t the most welcoming of returns with the immigration kicking up more fuss than they ever had before about 2 weeks in this unremarkable city?! That’s unprecedented. Well no, we’re going to other places too…
Changsha has one of the world’s few operating Maglev trains running out of the airport, I’ve always thought it was a cool bit of tech and seen it as a bit of a set to complete outside of the world of coasters. The one in Shanghai is impressive but is still a bit disappointing in the fact that the regular high speed trains in China often outperform it.
The rest of them (including this one) just potter along at a measly 100km/h and it seems entirely unjustified, so it feels kinda like collecting Powered Dragons at this stage.
Window of the World Changsha
Another new year spent in another theme park. Admittedly not quite in the same league as my Universal Singapore or Magic Mountain from previous years but they gave out wearable foam red noses at the entrance here and amazingly the Lost Gravity theme was played at some point during the night (a greater achievement than Walibi Holland, the park it belongs to, managed previously).
They’re building an S&S launch here and taking forever to do so, as is the trend at the moment. I figured there was a slim possibility that it had slipped under the radar and actually been completed by now, you never know with China. Sadly it didn’t quite look ready to receive me, unless it turned out to be a shuttle coaster.
It loomed high over the park at the top of the hill, mocking me. Reminding me how much of a tease this country is.
Other creds then. This is one of those unusual Zamperla Motorbike things with a lift hill instead of a launch. There’s an indoor one at Dinoconda park that caught me off guard before, though this one is a little more obvious.
It’s alright. It had quite an exposed feeling at certain moments which I don’t remember from the other models as they’re so compact. Runs out of steam very quickly though. More comfortable than the Vekomas (and Intamin…).
Chinese Reverchon spinner was next. The layout is far less adventurous for reasons I assume to be either manufacturing limitations or laziness. Stuff like the janky double up is just a straight line and the vicious little air time bump on the final diagonal is missing, sadly.
Which left the Chinese SLC.
OCT (Happy Valley) operations were back in full force here. You get batched into the station to unload your gear and select your seat, sit down but DO NOT touch the restraints. Once everyone is seated, you all get out again and stand to the side of your seat facing out at the queue. And yes, you then have to do an exercise routine while they watch.
I just want this over with.
It’s the layout that hasn’t yet graced the western world as far as I’m aware. The one you see pictures of with hilarious transitions and awfully shaped inversions. I’ll have to dig into my archive to find an example.
They’re a bit more ironed out on this particular one which I’ll put down to it being newer, but it’s still rather awful.
Creds complete we took a wander up to see the spiteful S&S. I gave them every opportunity to have it ready for ‘2019’ as indicated on all the posters by being here on the very last day but they’re just soooo slow. I’m not even sure if that other one I tried to ride in April 2018 has actually opened yet.
The remaining track is just lying on some grass to the side of a path and you can walk up and touch it, which of course I did. I do love these things, when they exist.
The observation tower took forever to load, but offered some decent enough views. It was from here that it struck me how different this park is to the other Window of the World in Shenzhen.
Bad glass, bad weather, not ideal for pics
It’s much more ride focused with a large amusement section and the ‘World’ bit, being the big replicas of famous landmarks and monuments from around the world seems secondary to that.
The fact that they’ve bought this beast shows a further commitment in that direction I guess.
The other park has one indoor themed cred which is meant to fit into part of the world stuff, a Bobkart in some trees and then is 95% landmarks.
It also sits pretty much over the road from a Happy Valley though, and this one has the opportunity to combine the two.
So here’s some landmark stuff.
Tasteful as always.
Took a spin on the ferris wheel for a few more grim views.
The city ain’t much of a looker.
Called it a night after that, as we were too tired for new year parties and there was plenty more important stuff to come.
Up next – my old friend Fantawild.