China 09/17 – Fantawild Resort Zhengzhou

Quite quickly.
A day of infinite impracticalities. Luggage was in tow here due to high speed train spite.
The morning train out of this city had been fully booked months in advance so it had to be an in and out in a day job, with no hotel.
Further spite at the station with 3 different people telling us 3 different places for luggage storage there. None of them came to fruition and the one that was actually signposted and on the maps had partition walls around it. Better lug it to the park then.

The bus in the arrival direction for the park dumped us directly opposite the entrance plaza, but there is a catch in that there is a dual carriageway to cross and a high fence stopping you from doing so. It looked to be a good mile walk in either direction through the so far unrelentingly scorching weather to get around this problem. 1 local couple got off here with us and were equally flummouxed by the situation, so no help there.

This particular impracticality has generated some thriving business in the form of a hoard of tuk tuks and drivers that all swarm you once you steo iff the bus and offer to take you around. After distancing ourselves from that lot and assessing the situtation, we eventually teamed up with the couple and selected a reasonably friendly looking old lady to drive us in a tuk tuk. All crammed in on folding seats, luggage loosely sliding across the roof, we set off. All the way down the road, around the fence and all the way back again. Arriving in style.

Got dropped off at the car park barriers straight into the usual flock of “theme parks = water, so buy a poncho, 5 bucks here, 10 inside” people. Swatting them away with a couple of heavy suitcases, we powered into the premises. Almost there right?

After another huge walk, yes. The entrance area and plaza is stupidly massive of course. There’s 2 parks here. Adventure on the right, Dreamland on the left. Tourist centre in the middle.
Tourist centre won’t take the bags, have to store them inside the parks. Fine. Ticket office.
“2 parks, 1 day please.”
“We shut at 5 today, you sure?”
“Easy mate. Can we get into one park more than once with this ticket, you know, for the bags?”
“Single entry only.”
Fine… Turnstyles.

Day 5 – Fantawild Adventure Zhengzhou

Particularly glad this was the only place in China they weren’t actually bothering with bag scanning.
Thumbprints and signatures on the multi ticket faff.
“Can we get into the park more than once, you know, for the bags?”
“Single entry only.”
Fine… Internal tourist centre.
“Need to store these bags please.”
Signatures, phone numbers and wristband faff. Taken round to a locker.
“Won’t all fit in there mate.”
“I see.”
Signatures, phone numbers and wristband faff. 2 lockers.
“Can we get back into the park later, you know, for the bags?”
“Single entry only.”
Fine… bastards.

After all that massive waste of time, the plan was to hit the Adventure park hard and fast as it’s full of crap creds and low end dark rides, then spend a decent amount of time at the decent park next door.

Dino Rampage was first. Another spiderman system, but Fantawild’s first attempt at replicating it. Not sure if it was just the mood I was in, maybe I like dinosaurs too much and don’t like when they have to start shooting in Jurassic Park, but this ride really annoyed me. I guess I was expecting a happy go lucky encounter with some dinosaurs gone a bit wild in a museum, but it was actually very graphic and rather disturbing.

I didn’t expect to watch the army go nuts on a T-rex with machine guns while it picks up a car in it’s mouth and throws it at them. I didn’t expect to see that long neck dinosaur (the plant eater) to be eating people whole before getting a grenade in the mouth and its head blown off. I didn’t expect to see a pterosaur crashing a helicopter into a skyscraper and men plunging to their deaths.
Looking back, it’s totally hilarious. At the time it was just all kinds of no.

#1 Mount Tanggula

Oh good, the next mine train clone, with terrible operations.
At least the scenery was different.

#2 Stress Express

Oh good, a Skyloop AND a Boomerang. Interesting rides AND throughput machines.
The Skyloop had about 60 people in the queue. My immediate response was NOPE, gonna be at least 2 hours of the day gone.
Got straight into the next batch of Boomerang candidates instead. Stress Express is right.

Hope the cat was enjoying life more. Doesn’t look like it.

Maus au Chocolat eat your heart out. Or not.
Today Space Warrior showed how to suck all the fun out of shooting balloons? at gophers? I forget the details, but it’s all a little too open plan with no atmostphere in that you can see the size of the warehouse it’s housed in and each of the many, many upcoming walls of screens that you’ll have to suffer as you go around.

Well that was enough of that place. I left without even finishing the creds and it bothered me to no end that the park was so stupidly popular in comparison to next door and by far the busiest weekday of the trip. Why…

As none of the Adventure parks have interesting creds, I’d be quite happy to never touch one again.

“You sure we can’t c..?”
“Single entry.”
Fine… Dreamland, luggage in tow again.

Fantawild Dreamland Zhengzhou

Second internal tourist centre.
“Need to store this luggage please.”
“1 locker?”
“No, 2. We just came from the other park and we needed 2.”
“1 should do.”
“Seriously, it won’t.”
Signatures, phone numbers and wristband faff. Taken round to a locker to prove the point.
“Won’t all fit in there mate.”
“I see.”
Signatures, phone numbers and wristband faff. 2 lockers.
“Told you.”

And breathe…

After what might have been the most stressful morning I’ve ever had in this hobby, it turns out I really liked this park. A lot. Totally the right decision to ditch the Skyloop.

#3 Jungle Trailblazer (Zhengzhou)

If only for the amount of time I got to spend with this beast. So many things I love about this thing.
Firstly, the way that shot of the first drop is framed perfectly from the station. Sitting down in the train looking at that drop. “Oh no.”

Woodies and locals anecdote 3: Several locals of a middling age got into the train on my first go. After a lengthy discussion with the attendants about the nature of the ride and an assessment of their surroundings (that framing) they all began shouting hysterically words to the effect of “I ain’t doing that” and promptly got back out of the train and left the station. I didn’t even question how they got this far in the first place without realising, but I found myself willing them to just give it a go. There wouldn’t be sick this time, there would be blood.

Sitting contently in the back, I’m specifically told to hold on to the restraint by a timid ride host. I oblige, politely. If you say so.
Oh no, you do have to hold on.
Again, I didn’t know the features of these woodies coming into the trip, so this one just blew me away.

The entry to that drop ain’t straight. Because of this, the ride tries to get rid of you immediately at a 45° angle. Back seat instantly became one of my all time favourite first drops.
You then fly past the station over the smallest hill to ever follow a first drop. The ride staff were really lovely on this and are just standing there waving at me. I want to wave back but I’m too busy trying to process the insanity.

<3 Anti-social highfive element. Really aggressive whip in and out of those.

Proper corner.

Rounded off by many crazy hills of all shapes and sizes. It may be slightly shorter, but it’s full of pure unfiltered relentlessness.
Best ride of the trip, one of the best in the world.

Still broken from that experience, staggered over to Dragon King’s Tale next.

It runs an actual preshow, unlike so many other Fantawild rides that feel like they should.
Following that you walk through a cool tunnel with water shooting around it. Then I almost fall over because it’s wet and slippery. I was warned by a sign.
The actual ride is a big boat taking you around various scenes and screens.

Oh no, the city is flooded and the (supposedly meant to be a boy, but I’ll maintain it’s a girl) has to ask the Dragon King to fix things. Dragon King is a bit of an ass and refuses for a while, but after some persuasion through few action sequences, including real FIRE, he sorts it in the end. Liked this a lot.

#4 Galaxy Express

Ticked off the SFC. Orkanen is a great ride and this is the best supporting coaster in any of their parks, but just a +1 today.

Qin Dynasty Adventure.

In my best film trailer voice: “Things take an unexpected turn when an archaelogical dig at the Terracotta Army uncovers something more sinister.”
I started off liking the vehicles for this as they have quite a punchy acceleration between scenes and they bank the wrong way on corners to exaggerate things. Then it goes up hills and does fake juddery drops and I wish they just called Premier and made it a cred.
Thoroughly enjoyed the theme and everything that was happening around me.

We use the term academy loosely here at Wizards Academy. Yet another spiderman ride.
The wizard is an ass and says you shouldn’t have come. He then proceeds to send many large mythical creatures to attack you, chucking in a few of his own spells as well.
Those are the lessons. You survive. You get a certificate from the academy. Well done.
Again I liked it a lot.

So that’s 3 really good dark rides that were new to me. They’ve also got Jinshan Temple Showdown (world class) and Devil’s Peak (very good). They’ve got the best coaster lineup in the chain. They’re really outdoing themselves here.
I’ve seen less than 10 guests here and everyone is in the bloody Adventure park.

There were a lot of references around to the fact that a Chinese version of famous Korean TV show ‘Running Man’ had visited this park.

Yes we do.

The shot tower here was laughably weak, but you take a lift to the top and there’s some great views of the 2 parks up there. No cameras allowed sadly.

Re-rode the woodie until I couldn’t handle it, or how lovely the ride staff were, any longer. Then called it a day.

Bit of a love/hate thing going on here with Fantawild.

Day 6

China 09/17 – Oriental Heritage Jinan
China 09/17 – Happy Valley Wuhan

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