Young themepark enthusiasts

exploring the world

Happy Valley Chengdu

There are places you would never expect to visit, one of them is definitely Chengdu. This metropolis in the middle of China has almost 15.000.000 inhabitants and is the epicenter of the Chinese panda.
But luckily for me, work has brought me to this giant city, and no, not to visit the pandas. We are going to ‘the happiest place of all’: Happy Valley Chengdu!

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Happy Valley Chengdu opened 10 years ago, in 2009. It is a Chinese chain, comparable to Six Flags and Cedar Fair are in the United States, and has over 8 theme parks all across China. It’s infamous because of the slow dispatches and long lines. Let’s see what it will bring us today!
We when enter the park we encounter a large lake. The park is built around this lake, just like Islands of Adventure in Orlando, but only a bit smaller.

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We make a left turn and immediately walk into one of the highlights of the park: the Intamin Mega-Lite. Praised for its fun layout and airtime hills, we couldn’t wait to ride it. However, immediately, we were reminded of the operations of this park. First of all, everybody needs to leave the station. Then, the staff groups 16 people to ride and you need to listen for 3 minutes to a safety spiel. Don’t think that’s it! After this, you need to fitness for 90 seconds. Otherwise you could injure yourself! :’)
Finally, you may get seated. For extra ‘safety,’ this coaster also has shoulder belts, but luckily, this doesn’t hurt or is annoying. 9 (!) Minutes after the train arrived in the stationit is finally our turn to ride this coaster, and yes: what an awesome beast it is! Don’t let statistics fool you, because this is one of the better coasters there is. The layout is fun, fast, and sparks lots of laughs. The airtime is really good and the first drop is an awesome start. For us, it’s the best coaster in the park! 

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Immediately next to it, you find the coaster type I hate most of all: the Vekoma SLC. Normally, it is rough, rough and even more rough. I can dream the standard layout, but luckily this coaster has a custom layout and is built in 2009. Would this SLC be enjoyable?
The answer is positive! I really enjoyed this SLC. The coaster is fast, the elements are intense and the most important: this coaster is really smooth! Vekoma can finally make some enjoyable SLCs, and this one even has the old restrains. I can imagine that, with the new restrains, this coaster is even better.

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Happy Valley has lots of weird and special flat rides. I didn’t test them all because I get very nauseous of most flat rides. The most annoying part, however, is that the attraction employee has a microphone and the WHOLE ride is screaming the rules very loudly. It really breaks the atmosphere of the ride. On a positive note: Happy Valley has the reputation that a lot of attractions are closed on a regular day, but we have to counteract that. ALL attractions were open! And it was a Sunday in January, so it was not busy at all. One big plus for this park!

Also in Happy Valley: darkrides! They have visited Universal Studios and Disney for sure, because 2 of the most populair rides of these parks can be found here: Spiderman and Soarin’. Spiderman is a Kung Fu Panda ride in Happy Valley, and what a disappointment it was. The dark ride itself was even larger than Spiderman, and they even copied the Spiderman rooftop scene! 
The sets and screens are huge and are very impressive, but the screen quality was the worst I have ever seen. Sometimes, only half of the screen works, sometimes Ionly saw green pixels and sometimes, the screen was way too dark. The overall movie animation quality was not good at all. This ride really has some potential, but – I guess – the budget and mediocre refurbishments makes this ride quite a joke.

Immediately next to this ride we find Soarin’. The seating is divided in 2 benches of 8 with 5 rows behind each other. The lift system is the same as Soarin’ and the screen and size are the largest I have seen on a flying theater. But again: the screen quality was rubbish. First, it was an animation movie and not a real–life film. The animation was again not good but overall better than the Kung Fu Panda ride we rode before. Also, the movements of the bench were quite OK and synced with the film.

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Even transformers and Ariel are present, I wonder if the park pays for the copyright. xD. They even sell Disney merchandise in the stores. 

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We enter the new area of the park. It partially opened in 2017 followed by the rest in 2018. You can find a brand new GCI and B&M Dive Coaster here. Both are 2 solid coasters. The GCI is nice, has a good flow and contains some nice airtime moments, but on the other side, it could be a bit wilder. It misses some tight turns and typical out–of–control GCI movements.
The B&M Dive Coaster, which is one of the two not having a turn after the lift hill, with Baron 1898 being the other one, has the same problem. The drop will always be amazing, but it lacks g-forces and intensity. From the mid brake onward, it only has some blend, forceless turns. Also the first row was unavailable, so we couldn’t experience it on the front row. Not the best B&M Divecoaster for me.

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The worst coaster of Chengdu is the only one not built by a Western coaster manufacturer: the Golden Horse spinning coaster. It has approximately the same layout as every Wild Mouse coaster on earth. The coaster was slow, not special and felt a bit unsafe. But the weirdest part: it is the only coaster where you don’t have to do fitness before entering…
The last coaster of the park is again a familiar face: the Vekoma Mine Train. It has the same layout as Calamity Mine in Walibi Belgium. A solid family coaster with some nice theming.

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A rapid river, super splash, ferris wheel and more! Happy valley has a complete selection of rides and even a small waterpark operational during the summer. 
Overall, Happy Valley Chengdu is a really nice park to visit. It has tons of attractions, some solid rollercoasters and you can have a laugh when you experience the Chinese culture in a theme park. If you ever have the chance to visit Chengdu then definitely visit this park! At his moment the park entrance is, when converted, about 29 euros, or 33 dollars, which is 100 percent worth it!
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