Sunday, 28 July 2013

Happy Valley Shenzhen

Time for another Happy Valley park. On my last trip to China I did the ones in Beijing and Shanghai, and we'd obviously done Knight's the day before. This one was a 5 minute walk from our hotel as its located in the centre of Shenzhen. Shenzhen being a young city (the average age is only 26) has quite a lot of theme parks in the city; a Chinese Orlando I guess. 

A rather phallic looking height check.

Having gotten to the park for opening we were met by Will.I.Am's drumming troupe.

First coaster of the day and the nearest to the entrance was Wild Elfin, another spinning mouse. Being the closest coaster this built quite a queue pretty quickly. It may be wiser to do a one-ahead and skip this one to return later. 

Initial impressions were that the park was pretty decent with a good level of theming albeit it nothing that hasn't been seen before...except for a bull bursting through a wall. 

Second coaster was the kiddy ride Baby Coaster situated next door to the mouse. If you weren't attentive this one could be missed as it's on a rooftop and the entrance isn't obvious (it's below the bull)

You do get a nice view of the mouse from the rooftop.

As with Ocean Park, some effort had been made with the topiary.

Random characters.

Theming was good but why is there a Wild West area in a Chinese theme park. This is the worst point of Happy Valley Parks; they're just western parks in China.

They do have good rides though. That's the first hill on their launch coaster which has been in place for a long time but never opened to the public...except for today. Park staff had told us it was actually now open after undergoing testing for a very long time. A nice unexpected bonus to the trip.

One of the bulls gets the better of me.

2nd coaster was the parks mine train. A cookie cut 2-lift hill model that I'd ridden before.

Some of the ride was under constriction which might have explained why the seats were a bit tight.

I have no idea...

So the queue for the launch coaster was pretty long, estimates were in the region of 90 minutes. Fortunately most of it was in the shade and the people were well behaved. It's acceptable in hot weather for one of the group to leave to get water and return so don't be too annoyed if you see people leave then jump back in.

Also the locals will ask to have their photo taken with them. Oblige them, it makes their day.

A slightly extended family sized people mover. In China these aren't used by fatties. 

So, how was the coaster. Superb and up to this point easily the best ride on the trip. S&S started making launch coasters a few years ago and I've ridden Dodonpa in Japan. That has a better launch but you're so clamped into the restraint that the ride hurts. Here they've still got a fairly punchy launch but there is a lot more movement in the car which makes it enjoyable. 

A great ride and with plans to do the other ones in Wuhan and Beijing, the trip had properly come to life (I prefer great big steel coasters to the wooden that most enjoy)

Hidden away in the back-left corner of the park is the final coaster. When you find the odd looking white native guy you know you're close. The entrance is behind him.

The coaster is a chinese take on the SLC coasters that have a bad reputation in the coaster community, but I actually like them. This one was surprisingly good for a copy and I didn't bash my ears at all.

The park has a beach area which offers some sunbathing opportunity.  They do also have a waterpark. 

The water splash had a nice surprise at the end of the splash. More water cannons. This is the first time I've seen these on a ride that already gets you soaked, deliberately having more water made it amusing to watch (I didn't ride it)

One thing to be aware of is that the park doesn't re-admit so if you leave for any reason you have to pay to get back in.

Happy Valley Shenzhen is not a bad park but not a good Chinese park. It's just a Chinese take on any big park back home.


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