China 04/18 – Happy Valley Chengdu
Day 12 – Happy Valley Chengdu
The second journey here was somewhat easier, now knowing what awaits at the other end. No chickens for our entertainment this time unfortunately.
Ticket window sign had changed a little, Desert Rally had become Desert Storm (some guy with his feet on the table behind the ticket girl still maintained that this was “the wooden one”), and the B&M had been replaced with the mine train.
Well, nothing to lose now.
Discount China Dinosaur Park.
Circled round to the new area to begin with, to settle some anxiety and hopefully prove the bloke was an idiot.
Thankfully he was, Desert Storm being the closed flat ride and a posted opening time of 10:30 on the woodie.
To be fair to him, they can never make up their mind on names. The Dive coaster on this sign is called Flying Asparas in Western Region, so here’s a cultural lesson while we wait for something to open: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apsara
Also checked that out, posted opening time of 13:00.
Gonna be a long day.
#1 Magic Carpet, a bog standard spinning coaster nearby was running, so grabbed that first. Judging from old pictures it’s had a decent retheme (from concrete wasteland) to integrate with the new area. They were only running full cars, so had a good little sit down waiting for a couple of locals to rock up and join us. Was alright for a car seatbelt model.
Hung around for a while longer, eventually joining the queue early with a few others to watch some test laps.
Finally the time came to do some stretching. Contrary to every other park in the chain, they hold a very firm belief in their exercise routine here. Where the rest of them treat it as a bit of fun and a laugh, the staff here will aggressively shout at anyone who is not following the instructions with the utmost of seriousness. I usually half-arse it just to show I’m in the zone and have a vague understanding of what’s going on, but this wasn’t good enough today and I was one of many victims to a sharp tongue.
On to the ride then. Seems a while since I was last acquainted with a GCI and due to their consistency so far I was rather excited.
This one lacked something however. A Wodan style beginning with meandering up high sections and then nothing particularly notable came of it afterwards. It didn’t seem to have the signature surprise moments that I’ve come to associate with the brand, everything just rode exactly how it looked, no surprises. Maybe Gravity has just spoiled me recently. Solid fun, but nothing amazing.
Having never seen them before and then seeing them at 3 parks in a row, decided to do the modern version of the Flying Machines attraction. Another good little sit down, slightly ruined by the parks nonsense rule of no glasses on a gentle observation ride and thenn trying to force everyone to remain seated for a minute after it had finished, because if you get up too fast you will become dizzy…
Took a lap of the park from there to see what else was cooking.
Mine train closed, as promised.
Rapids looked cool, but been put off ever doing a Happy Valley one by my first attempt in Shenzhen.
Jumped on the flying island for some views.
Closed creds and high rise buildings, the usual stuff.
Had a Mcdonalds in the park out of boredom and for the novelty of HV not having all the major food establishments outside the park entrance with a no re-entry rule.
SLC started testing. Joy.
Priorities though, this had as well.
Forgot about the unorthodox loose article storage system here, the suspended wooden box that carries itself over the track to the far side. Seemed very flimsy up close and almost didnt trust it to not tip everything out onto the train along the way. Made it easier to get the seat you wanted at least.
The ride was decent enough. It’s pretty. It does what dives do, just slightly weird to have the straight drop with less anticipation at the top. The section after the second drop starts cool, with the tunnel and the interaction with the woodie, but then it’s just two dumb corners and feels a little pointless, ending on a low.
Had a bit of an unpleasant situation on the second lap, when 2 Americans(?) appeared out of nowhere and started abusing the staff. First problem was nothing to do with Asian operations at all, in that they got shouted at for putting their shoes in the storage device and trying to ride barefoot. The reply to this was “you guyyys are STOOPID”, to which the staff just laughed in their face, which I respected.
Second problem was local operations, in that they didn’t like the exercise concept, loudly booing the staff, making gestures at them and saying ‘we just wanna get on the riiide’, while I stand there thinking please don’t associate me with this awfulness.
The staff then seem confused by the length of my legs and kept shouting and gesturing at me to sit back in my seat so they could try and get an uncomfortable extra click of the restraint on me, even though I was as far back as I could go. They were getting quite worked up and frustrated with me while I physically can’t do anything about it and I began to regret even coming back for another lap. I was rooting for you, bastards.
Took a couple more laps on the woodie to forget that ever happened.
This proverb amuses me.
From there, found a dark ride I never knew existed. Panda Warrior 4D. Another system in the style of Spiderman, also like their storm themed one in HV Shanghai, but far superior to the latter. It went on a lot longer and did a lot more.
Contrary to the name and queue, showing Kung Fu Panda the film on TVs, the panda is a magician. Some city is getting wrecked by an earthquake and the magic panda is whisking you through it all for a bit of light entertainment. He seemed rather emotionally disconnected from the destruction and death around him and was a bit mean in some cases, but he got rewarded with a medal for services at the end. Odd.
Also did another flying simulator, Flying over the West. This was alright, going over some different sights from before. The ‘West’ here meant ‘Western part of China and neighbouring Asia’ so lots of mountains, temples, buddhas and stuff. Think the Wuhan version is still my fave, cos dragons.
Confirmed the Megalite was indeed closed for ‘Annual maintenance’, further going against the web of lies the previous day. It’s only a clone, but someday it’ll spite me the full set of these and I wanted it at least for scientific research purposes, with the previous one being so inferior to the original.
Just the SLC then. Oh no, the SLC.
The queueline consists of half a mile of narrow cages, just to get you in the mood for torture.
Had the exact same issue with the staff again, angrily telling me to sit further back in the seat when I can’t. Not like I’m trying to trick them into a loose restraint for a bit more airtime on an SLC is it?
Another observation here on how they worship the pre-ride exercise routine. If the train is half empty and you’re sitting in it ready to go, but 2 more people rock up into the station, everything stops and they’ll make them do the whole routine separately before letting them get on with it.
The ride experience awful as well, I think Vekoma wins worst of the trip. Just a really unpleasant shaking throughout, haven’t felt it that bad since Condor. Ugh.
Can’t really say no to the shooting Santa rides, though I should have learnt to by now. The staff on North Pole Adventure were bored to death and rude, no one rides it and absolutely nothing works on it any more. For somewhere that loves maintenance so much, they really don’t look after these.
What other stupid ideas can we come up with? Let’s ride the ferris wheel.
We had already had some views with reasonable ventilation, but it’s only 35°C outside and about 45 in this greenhouse that’s scratched to pieces.
In case you can’t tell, I wasn’t particularly fond of this park by the end of the day. I thought I would have had the worst of Happy Valley behind me, but Chengdu hit brand new lows. As much as some of the other parks had their faults, I’ve very rarely had issues with the staff as well and they haven’t even got a killer ride here to aid any kind of forgiveness.
Highlight of the park? This sign.
I need a reboot after that.