China 01/17 – World Joyland + China Dinosaurs Park

After increasing levels of mishaps in the last few days, this day ran like a dream. A morning train took us to Changzhou, from which we found the tourist office and another minibus driver to the first planned park. We were told to wait around for other guests to show up, but none did. There was only one other girl on the bus ride and she didn’t even come to the park.

Day 7 – World Joyland

This meant that Joyland seemed like ghost town number 3, with 0 cars in the car park, the shuttle bus running just for us and then abandoning us for the duration. There was no sign of any guests throughout most of the park until the back half, where a tour group of young adults had formed a queue outside a certain ride entrance.

#1 Starry Sky Ripper

The B&M flyer opened a few minutes later and even though I was the latecomer in this scene, I managed to nab the back row of the first train because the locals have no interest in such seats.

The whole starting inversion sequence was surprisingly intense and very enjoyable. The 540° roll is particularly unnerving as you dont expect it to keep going after the first twist, before it disappears from under you, dropping straight into the lung crushing loop.
After that though I felt that the rest of the layout didn’t do enough for me with a series of slow turns and the other repetetive inversions that most of these have.

An overall fun ride at least and definitely worth doing. I grabbed a couple more goes in empty trains both front and back about half an hour later as the locals have no interest in re-rides either.
Highlight: Those extra 180° came out of nowhere.
Lowlight: Intensity fizzles out very quickly.

#2 Dragon Roaring Heaven

This mine train clone was the next of the staggered openings. Wouldn’t say it was particularly worse than the originals, except perhaps for the relative young age of it.
Highlight: That dragon on the front of the train.
Lowlight: A lift hill too many.

#3 Clouds of Fairyland

What an ordeal. Incoming novel:
This was the last of the staggered openings and I was first in line, ready and raring to get this thing out of the way. The queue opened on time, but stood at the station gate for nearing half an hour. Once we were let in, I sat down and habitually pulled down the restraint. This act earned me a death glare from one of the 2 female attendants for the ride, who immediately went to the control box to reset the restraints. Lesson learnt.
The staff were on the warpath now, let battle commence. Everyone else had sat down by this stage but of course hadn’t considered any of the standard loose item rulings on rides. They were now told verbally and 11 people slowly mumbled away and stood up, fumbling in their pockets and removing an item or two, leaving the train to put them in the designated area. Most of them sat down again, only moments later realising they had other stuff in there, several times.
Next it was the physical inspection. The attendants climbed onto the trains and gave everyone’s legs a good squeeze and then all 12 of us were on our feet again. I’d been had for sneaking a tissue on board, others had been had for phones and other items they’d somehow missed. We were violated and shamed, but we were ready. Almost.
The restraints were applied, one by one, but the last bloke in the train became the first person in Asia to do the walk of shame for size reasons. He wasn’t particularly big, he just had a thick padded coat on (it was barely 5°C today, but all the coasters opened, take that Oriental Heritage Ningbo). I considered pointing out that he could probably manage it but had given up on life by this point.
The restraints were unlocked, an empty seat has now become available. We must fill that seat. Guest number 13 is let into the station, sits down, gets up twice more for various items in his pockets. The restraints are sorted for the second time.
We are now forcibly told to raise our arms and hold on to some thin ribbon hoops on the sides of the head rests. I was glad for these, having died on many rides previously due to not holding properly on in awkward positions. I didn’t dare disobey the rule because they probably would have E-stopped me upside down for it.

The ride was rougher than I had experienced on these and only did a single circuit. Worth it.
Highlight: A legendary tale
Lowlight: A large percentage of life gone

The main dark ride in the park has been closed for an upgrade for quite a while now it seems, which was a little disappointing.

There was a lack of water in the water ride, aside from the fact it was a tad chilly for that sort of attraction.

Most indoor things seemed to be closed actually, but at least it wasn’t the B&M. Had it all knocked out in very little time. A visually impressive park that lacks a bit of substance. Would have liked to try a bit more.

Having no desire to hang around all day, spoke to the most friendly and helpful guest services on earth who found us some sort of Chinese Uber straight to their rival park, using their personal phones. Fabulous people.


Day 7 – China Dinosaur Park

Had a minor meltdown at the entrance to the second park after being told, as I stepped through a turnstile and handed my ticket over, that the ‘4D coaster’ wasn’t running.

A brisk walk proved this wrong within a couple of minutes, so just make it up as you go along.

#4 Dinoconda

This monstrosity of an S&S 4D coaster created anticipation like little else on the very casually paced 200ft backwards lift hill. While being intimidating, mental and almost entirely unique as an experience with the rotating seats, it didn’t leave me absolutely gagging for more, though it sure was a lot of fun.

The first drop in the position it puts you in (facing the floor) is ridiculously good, but it then feels like the whole ride was planned around that one moment and the rest is just a case of let’s see what happens – seats bouncing around somewhat awkwardly with little sense of purpose.
I feel they’ve only scratched the surface on what can be done with this type of ride, but I also see why people would love the uncalculated wrath of it chucking you around.
Highlight: First drop.
Lowlight: Cred anxiety.

#5 Whirling Dinosaur

Spinning coaster clone, you know the score.
Highlight: +1
Lowlight: Such a low quality package compared to the rest of the park.

#6 Dinosaur Mountain

This caught me off guard. I expected a themed version of the same rubbish from the previous day, but it turns out Zamperla Motocoasters can have lift hills and interesting layouts. Dinosaur theming is also a plus. The riding position still sucks though.
Highlight: A pleasant surprise.
Lowlight: Locals following baggage instructions in the dark is a recipe for disaster.

Did the King Kong ride just because it looked far superior to Bobbejaanland’s.

There was also a haunted walkthrough with dinosaurs of course. Didn’t disappoint.

A ‘Desperados’ style static screen shooting attraction, this time riding dinosaurs, was a refreshing experience after coming across so many standard cowboy (and upcharge) versions worldwide. Instead of shooting bandits, we were calming down rabid dinosaurs with injections.
It was just a shame that they turned the house lights on almost immediately when the final scores came up, so no one knew the outcome of the game.

Had enough time for admiring the plentiful theming and a couple of re-rides on the beast just before they started closing things down for the evening.

I still can’t believe how well it all came together on this particular day, recent experiences had lead me to expect either one or both of the major creds to be down and to be forced to spend a whole day in each park just through impracticalities. Can the luck hold?

Day 8

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