Star City2nd June 2012
Star City is a large family entertainment centre located in the centre of Manila, the capital of the Philippines. The area it is in is probably best described as not the nicest part of town, and as such I'd not been expecting a whole lot. Much to my surprise, the place turned out to be one of the most elaborate facilities of its type that I've come across in my travels, proving yet again that one should not judge a book by its cover.
The majority of the attractions are spread over two floors of a large building, but there are also a handful of big rides located outside. These include a flume, a rapids ride, a ferris wheel, a giant frisbee, and a Pinfari inverted roller coaster named Star Flyer. Unfortunately the latter was out of commission today due to high winds, but that just qualifies as a reason to return in the future. For well travelled enthusiasts, this ride is the same model as Bat Coaster and Tsunami.
The other three coasters can be found indoors; Blizzard (#1746) and Wacky Worm (#1747) are on the second floor, and the Dragon Express (#1748) is on the ground floor. The latter was by far the most memorable; despite having the same layout as the Wacky Worm upstairs (does any other park have more than one copy of the same coaster?) the Dragon Express has superb theming that sets new standards for a ride of this type; a pair of ornate pagodas stand within the ride superstructure, along with a number of stone statues, and the top of the lift hill climbs through the battlements of a castle. Better yet, the brake on the drop is hardly used, making for a highly enjoyable credit!
Fans of dark ride style attractions are particularly well catered for, with seven examples of the genre. Peter Pan is basically a walkthrough version of the Disney ride, complete with introductory scene flying over London. Land of the Giants can be thought of as a walkthrough version of the movie A Bugs Life. The Time Tunnel is a walkthrough that starts off with dinosaurs but then steps sideways into various other scenes from history. Dungeon, Mummy, and Gabi Ng Labim are haunted walkthroughs; the latter being Tagalog for Night of Terror. Finally, the Magic Forest is a train ride through a beautifully detailed forest that owes much to Droomvlucht at Efteling.