Monday, 29 July 2013

Mysterious Island

Located in Zhuhai, Mysterious Island was the most south-westerly park on the trip and one that I recall seeing clips of and thinking looked pretty impressive. After a fairly lengthy drive through Guangdong we eventually arrived at the park.

On entering the park it was clear that Islands of Adventure in Florida had provided some inspiration to the design of this park with elaborate entrance and sea-faring theming as you first entered; not to the same level but way better than the fort park of the day before.

Like Islands the park is broken into a number of zonal islands around some water, just not as big a lake as that.

The park is home to two out-of-the-ordinary coasters giving us a welcomed respite from the mice and dragons of the last few days. First up was a launched Intamin coaster. With a decent looking airtime hill and loop expectations were high.

And it delivered. This ride was really really good despite me having to leave my eyes at the station. With nicer weather being provided by the sea winds the whole experience was a positive one and there really ought to be more of these anywhere, not just in China. Intamin coasters can be quite intense when they try to do too much, this was very nicely paced.

The park has a Huss topple tower, which looks great on paper but rides poorly. It must also give engineers a headache as no matter where you go they're hardly ever operating.

The second coaster in the park is the third screaming squirrel in the world. The one in Italy is the most well known, and I've got to look at the Russian one as it was missing a station when we visited it years ago. So, how would this one do?

Well it seemed to be running fine, despite some of the group having issues getting into the rather odd restraint system they had here (belts of different lengths for instance). Things started to get a little more worrying when something fell off one of the trains and an operator went off to check and came back carrying a wheel. I guess it's a good thing that they just roped it off and didn't close the ride, they just sent it round with one wheel less.

But when it was our turn we managed to make things even worse as we skirted round the first bit of track and fails to catch the chain lift. So we were evacuated via a ladder then the crew spent about 15 minutes trying to push the car back up the track and into the station, which they thankfully did and without the assistance of cranes or anything. They just put enough people on it to get it round.

For those not familiar with the layout there are no turns once the lift hill is engaged (properly). It just goes under itself three times, with the sustained inversions putting uncomfortable weight onto your shoulders.

Kat in the car behind does her best to remain composed...

...having eventually ridden it, Marcus's composure breaks. It was a pretty horrible ride, and not just because its Chinese. We just aren't designed to carry our own weight on our shoulders. Still the stupidity of it did make me laugh.

Rather geekier we believe the name of the ride not to be "Screaming Squirrel" as on the car but the more naval "Man O'War".

The parks haunted dark ride whilst missing some effects was surprisingly good being in English and having an attempt at having a car that didn't have a track giving us a nice Mystic Manor-like surprise.

Marcus gets inappropriate with the appropriately named Jolly Roger.

And Andy just gets inappropriate.

A group of poncho-wearing pussycats give the water splash a go. This one is quite rare in that it goes up its hill not down it. (Or perhaps I made that up and it does the drop backwards). Like Ocean Park this was a water ride where you realise too late that there are no sensors to turn the water off.

And the waterfall on this entrance made sure we were completely soaked before hitting any drop, of which the first hidden one drenched me more than I would have liked especially given it wasn't hot enough to dry me and I had a 3 hour ride back to the hotel in an air-conditioned bus. A better recipe for hypothermia than Heston Blumenthal could create.

Some of the group try these weird inverting pendulum rides, which only seem to be common here

More poncho-wearing pussycats being more sensible than us stupid westies who didn't take the necessary precautions. They're still going to get soaked though.

Nice little touches could be found around the park and whilst not a contender for best theme park in the world they had made an effort.

As i was already soaked through I was up for mucking about in this attraction where the whole place is littered with water cannons. Unfortunately it had been switched off.

I quite liked this park, although logistically it isn't easy to get to. It's part of a huge resort complex so I suspect transport would be laid on from the nearest train station to here or guests. Ocean Kingdom is a huge resort and park complex being built not too far away by the Chimelong company, which I hope doesn't provide the wrong sort of competition to this park. The Intamin coaster is easily the best ride in here, and its arguably one of the best in China.

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