Happy Valley Wuhan

17th September 2012

A huge number of roller coasters have been built in China in the last decade, the vast majority of which have been copies of western designs built by local companies. Only a few parks have bucked the trend and bought authentic products. The fifth Happy Valley has gone for a mixture of knock-off and genuine, with four of the five coasters falling into the latter category. Unfortunately for us, two of these, including the spectacular OCT Thrust SSC pictured below, had yet to be commissioned for our visit; both are scheduled to come online in the next year. I'm sure I'll be back at some point.

OCT Thrust SSC

Dauling Dragon (#1813) is by far the most impressive ride in the park, being a twin-tracked racing wood coaster from the Gravity Group with a world first element, the high-five, where both tracks are banked to ninety degrees on the top of a parabolic hill. This allows riders to attempt to high-five the riders in the neighbouring train while simultaneously experiencing horizontal airtime. During normal operations ride staff do not dispatch the trains simultaneously, a bizarre policy that completely negates the signature feature of the ride. Fortunately our trip organisers were able to arrange a session during which both tracks were run together, allowing our group to enjoy the ride as its designers intended.

The two tracks have different layouts, and today there was a very distinctive difference in ride quality; both trains were comfortable, but the red train was noticeably rougher. One can only presume this is because the red side has been run more often, which does beg the question as to why the park bought a racing coaster at all. Both tracks were fun, and I liked the layouts, but I doubt that they'd figure in any top coaster lists were it not for the high-five element.

Continuing in the theme of oddly named coasters, we rode the Hidden Anaconda (#1814), a genuine Maurer Sohne Sky Loop. I'm not particularly fond of this ride design in general, but in this case I felt that the ride really stood out like a sore thumb, blocking a chunk of the wood coaster from view. The last coaster in the park today was the Monte Carlo Racetrack (#1815), a knock-off version of the Vekoma mine train.

There was plenty of time to explore the park, but oddly enough there wasn't all that much that I wanted to ride. The observation tower was closed for the day, and while I did see it test at one point it never actually opened. The only things I did try were the Haunted House walkthrough (pretty good) and a really bizarre target shooter ride named Magic Baby. Rather than shoot at animatronics, this ride featured a series of 3D projection screens to shoot at, and for whatever reason none of my shots regstered properly.

 

Wuhan Peace Park

17th September 2012

We were expecting to find a very small kiddie coaster at Wuhan Peace Park, and sure enough we quickly located it. However, it clearly hadn't operated in a long time, as the train had valleyed half way around the course and there was grass growing through the track. However, another area of the park had a collection of new rides, including a hideously uncomfortable Jungle Flying Squirrel (#1816) and a powered Gliding Dragon.

Kiddie Coaster No More

 

Wuhan Zhongshan Park

17th September 2012

The third stop of the day was home to the High Altitude Roll Slider (#1817), a truly unpleasant excuse for a coaster that hurt all members of our group that were stupid enough to try it. There was also a clone of the mouse from the previous park, but much to our surprise In The Woods Flying Mouse (#1818) turned out to be quite pleasant and a ride I'd have happily repeated. The third and final credit, the Flying Saucer (#1819), could only be described as bizarre, featuring individual spinning cars that could just about seat two. I'm glad that I was one of the few that got to ride it alone!

2012


Happy Valley Wuhan

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Wuhan Peace Park

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Wuhan Zhongshan Park

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