The next basecamp was Nanjing, where I had allowed a couple of days to make up for the fact that the last time I visited this city it was a total washout and I achieved precisely nothing in the area.
With a quick phone call ahead to ask my favourite question in the country “Is the woodie open?” “Yes.” “I’ll hold you to that”, first thing on the agenda was a bit of vengeance at a certain Crappy Valley, which was within reasonable (for a madman) striking distance after another hour on a train.
Day 5 – Happy Valley Shanghai
It’s taken me 3 visits to get this park dusted off and I rather resent it right now, but I don’t get beaten that easily.
Just to be extra spiteful the place was completely rammed on a weekday, which was unprecedented in my experience of China. Too far gone now. Straight into the queue for Fireball.
It took about an hour (the current record holder for me in China) with one train operation and the famed exercise faff going on in the station.
This ride is unique in the chain in that it has it’s own exercise song built into the sound system, so you can hear the torturous inefficiency and you know exactly what’s coming for the whole time you’re in the queue.
Train 2 basking unused in the sunlight.
Finally got on the damn thing and it’s really good.
The ride has more big hills than most Gravitys in the region, it’s always good to see strong variation in layouts.
There’s also a fantastic section of about 6 aggressive and twisty hills progressively downwards in the second half, packed full of the sort of sensations these rides are really good at.
Definitely in the upper reaches of their builds over here, I’ll enjoy plenty more of that later, but…
The final cred needed here was Mine Train Ulven #2, so sweated over to the other side of the park for that.
It has better theming and rides about the same, just doesn’t quite have the charm of the Danish original.
Back row was a must, for the very punchy first drop and at least it’s two days in a row now of not another Vekoma/Golden Horse layout. Damn Turkey for spiting me the set.
Wandered over to see if the B&M Suspended Family Coaster was worth a quick spin. Closed.
Would be rude not to ride a Megalite while you’re standing next to one. Closed.
How’s the dive coaster doing? 1 car operation and a longer queue than the woodie. Disgusting.
Back to Fireball then.
Queued another hour. Loved it again.
Then as I ran back round for another go they did a Phantasialand and closed the ride 3 hours and 40 minutes before the park was due to close to ‘clear the queue’. Heartless bastards.
Diving Coaster was still open so took a token lap on that. Normally easy to get whatever seat you want out here, but the locals spite you on these super wide trains. You may be first in your row of 10 to pass through the air gates, but by the time you’ve sprinted to put something in the boxes on the far side, they’ve nabbed all the outside seats, swapped rows and caused a massive confusion amongst everyone by not leaving enough space for the relevant groups and it takes a good 5 minutes to sort out.
Park complete. What a performance.