Shenzhen is home to what was the first Happy Valley park, and as such it lacks the refinement of its newer sibling in Beijing. Some areas of the park have high quality theming, while other areas feel like the average Six Flags; unthemed rides straight off the production line. Once again the two large coasters were operating with one train, needlessly lengthening the waits. The queue had yet to build for Mine Coaster (#1292), but we were caught for almost an hour on the Snow Mountain Flying Dragon (#1293). Worse yet, the latter was afflicted with a pointless glasses rule, making it the only ride in China where I was not allowed to wear my secured glasses.
The third coaster was a Golden Horse spinning coaster, and unlike its brother Wild Elfin (#1294) was actually open. This didn't stop it having a ninety minute wait, though the design of the queue at least allowed for people watching. Last but by no means least, the final coaster was the Baby Coaster (#1295), our only encounter with a typical stacked figure eight layout coaster on this trip.
I'd used up just about all of my allotted time with the four credits, but there was just enough time for me to try the Haunted Walkthrough, albeit by accident. I'd assumed incorrectly that the large skull shaped door was just another bit of theming. Instead it lead to an almost pitch black passage with a rotating tunnel and a few compressed air effects. Its best attribute was being air conditioned, which made for a welcome two minute respite from the oppressive heat.
Honey Lake Entertainment City
7th September 2008
Honey Lake Entertainment City is a park that feels like it is in terminal decline. A large portion of it is now derelict, including the larger of its two roller coasters. The reason for the deterioration is typically Chinese; the city is building a new motorway, which neatly bisects the park. It seems very likely that the entire park will be history soon enough, and thus it was good to get in two rides on the Double Loop Coaster (#1296). Though its rusty appearance was hardly encouraging, the ride was actually really smooth; and forceful, with the loops causing several of us to grey out.
7th September 2008
We'd been warned that our final park in China was not of a high standard, and during our drive there George assigned it the nickname of dog poo. While the name was arguably appropriate for Honey Lake it was certainly not deserved here; the park that translates as east lake was nothing like as bad as we'd been told. The Spinning Coaster (#1297) and the powered Dragon were hardly worth the effort, but much to my surprise we found a ride that actually was; an alpine slide. The ride in question was a trough style design, similar to that at Oakwood, but considerably longer and much steeper. As a result the sleds picked up a huge amount of speed, necessitating braking in the corners in order to stay in. One member of our group pushed things a little too far, leading to an accident that flipped him completely out of the ride. Fortunately however the only thing badly damaged was his ego; I'm sure he'll be more careful next time!