The journey to this park was one of the most straight forward I’ve encounted in China, it’s usually an adventure in itself.
An easy metro ride and a quick stroll can get you to:
Day 2 – Happy Valley Beijing
Yeah. That good stuff.
As is often the case in this country, I had a minor mental breakdown upon entering the park and immediately being told Extreme Rusher was broken. A quick walk-by showed there was a train on the launch track and engineers were doing something to it. There was still hope.
Headed over to the B&M flyer in the meantime.
Well this was alright at best, though visually very impressive.
Starts off well with the pretzel. Pretzel is good. And now we’re turning… and we’re… turning some more.
Corner after corner and I find myself willing it to do something else. Oh good an inline? Brakes. Gave it a second go in the back just to be sure.
I guess you just can’t compete now Flying Dinosaur is on the scene.
Highlight: The start.
Lowlight: The rest.
Became reacquainted with the Vekoma Mine Train. Jungle Racing without the racing. They would never run two together.
Highlight: Nicely themed.
Lowlight: Only about 10 more of these to come on the trip.
Have to give a special mention to the visuals in this place.
Spent a good while milling around, waiting for the SLC that had a later opening time.
Did a haunted walkthrough as they’re usually a laugh. This one was simply awful with 90% of the effects and lighting broken and a constant announcement being played over the speakers instead of ambient spooky stuff.
The thunderous boom of an S&S air launch venting echoes across the park. Oh, that noise is so good. You fixed it boys.
I already have much love for Bullet Coaster so was particularly looking forward to trying the other layout. It didn’t disappoint.
For Happy Valley they were hauling arse on operations. A significant amount of people (for this trip) had also rushed into the queue, but despatches were every 4 or 5 minutes over Shenzhen’s 20 minutes. They still wanted everyone to do exercises before you board though.
To be fair the locals probably need it as the ride is such an intense experience from start to finish. Sitting on the launch still puts the fear back in me, which is rare these days.
It has a great mix of extremes throughout – the best acceleration money can buy, crushing twists and turns, crazy and weird air time and a brutal snap into the brakes that you really have to defend yourself against.
That wonky hill at the end is fantastic, a very unusual sensation of lateral ejection.
This made me seriously question whether it’s the better of the 2 layouts. We’ll soon see.
Highlight: All of it
Lowlight: Cred anxiety
Well this thing is finally open. Completely zoned it out and didn’t even notice the rare bonus helix in the layout. It did that same weird forward and back pumping motion that I’ve felt on a few recently, but SLCs haven’t given me any grief for a couple of years now.
Highlight: Good views on the lift
Lowlight: Queue was a good 5 mile walk. Far too much effort.
Jumped on the flying island for some more good views.
Queues dwindled quickly on Extreme Rusher so rode it until satisfied (the queues were a bit much) before heading out earlier than anticipated, looking for something else to do.
This lurks just across the road. Don’t want to be reminded of home just yet.
Figured we still had time for a quick stop off here.
Started off a bit confused, but eventually figured out it was a Chinese Prater. There were several women hanging around brandishing leaflets of the rides they could sell you as well as deals for multiple tickets. None of the leaflets contained any creds so they were politely declined.
The trick is to find the nearest ticket huts to each ride you want and hope:
a) There is someone in it (usually watching Naruto on their phone)
b) They have creds on their sign
c) They aren’t doing ‘maintenance’
That baby may have been stolen, but is also thinking ‘one day’.
At last something properly sketchy to try out. The way the train rocked back and forth at a 45 degree angle to the track while going up the lift created a fair amount of trepidation. Once it got going it was surprisingly fine. Just doesn’t handle well at slower speeds it seems.
Highlight: A proper cultural experience
Lowlight: I think I wanted it to be worse
Things got a bit hectic after that. Although the ‘amusements’ were meant to be open until 17:30, ticket sales stopped at 16:00… It was now 15:50. Time to sprint around and try and catch as much as possible. It was very tempting to hijack someone’s golf buggy to help with this.
The motorbike, the rainbow children coaster, the mine train and the jungle mouse were all down for ‘maintenance’.
Managed to catch the Golden Horse spinner, #6 Spinning Coaster
Lowlight: Almost came to a standstill on all the final blocks. No time for that.
The Beijing Jiuhua Amusement Rides Manufacturing Co., Ltd. spinner, #7 Crazy Skateboard
Lowlight: They kept trying to get me on things that weren’t creds. No time for that.
The powered coaster, #8 Space Scooter
Lowlight: Too many laps. No time for that.
And finally the Zhongshan Jinbo Recreation Equipment Co. spinner, #9 Jungle Block. With a height difference of no more than 10ft, best ride in the park.
Highlight: The operator excitedly shouts “WE’VE GOT CUSTOMERS” and two of the nearby staff girls decided to join us for a ride.
Lowlight: They’re onto us. Apparently “westerners love this ride.”
What have we become.