I decided to fly to Chengdu for my second full weekend in China, using a car and driver to help me pick up as many credits as possible. My first stop was at Cujin Park, a small municipal park in the centre of the city located a short drive from the airport. It took me around ten minutes to locate a small ride area with a selection of attractions aimed at a younger audience. Moments later I'd ridden Outer Space Flying Car (#1975), a small family coaster with a single descending helix and a turnaround leading back to the station.
19th October 2013
Xinhua Park was much larger than Cujin Park, and consequently the ride selection was somewhat better. The biggest attraction was a large flume, albeit with "water" whose colour suggested that some form of elaborate biological research was in progress. There were also several full size flat rides, including a Pirate Ship and a Troika. I quickly rode Outer Space Flying Car (#1976) and, having confirmed that there was only a single credit, made a rapid exit.
Nanhu Dream Land
19th October 2013
Nanhu Dream Land is located in Shuangliu, about twenty kilometres south of the centre of Chengdu. Admission is free, with the choice of pay-per-ride or a remarkably cheap wristband. The latter, however, does not include several attractions, including one of the roller coasters, the Ice House, and the Dinosaur Walkthrough. Figuring this out was an exercise in frustration, as there was no English to be found anywhere. I'd have liked to have ridden the Parachute Drop, but despite my best efforts I didn't manage to identify where to buy the appropriate ticket.
Credit number one was previously undocumented, and thus constituted an unexpected bonus. Worm Coaster (#1977) was very definitely aimed at children, but had a custom layout that stretched over an area roughly double the size of a standard Wacky Worm. There wasn't enough room for me to sit in the car facing fowrads, but the operators had no problem with me sitting sideways across two seats.
The second coaster was also undocumented. Pine Forest Flying Mouse (#1978) was a surprisingly good ride when compared to the average Chinese mouse, perhaps reflecting why it required a bespoke ticket rather than the regular rechargeable card. Closer inspection revealed a manufacturer plate and a model number, indicating that this ride was the same model as the mouse at Fisherman Warf.
The largest ride in the park, by footprint at least, was Escape from Amazon, a water coaster from Golden Horse. Some friends of mine rode this coaster a few weeks prior to my visit and reported it open, though you'd never have known that from the condition it was in today; the track was covered in rust, the splash down area had been drained, and part of the station floor appeared to have collapsed. Though I'd have preferred not to miss the credit it was hard to get too upset at missing out on a soaking!
I've written before in unflattering terms about the Reverchon Gliding Coaster, the two versions of which are Ala Delta and Christmas Coaster. It was something of a surprise to discover a copy of the design at Nanhu Dream Land (from Golden Horse, who else?) that rides far better than the originals do. Dream Explorer (#1979) had one rough transition towards the end of the course but for the most part was good fun. On my second lap, I noticed the charmingly anachronistic on-ride photo system; a teenager was running around underneath the ride with a SLR. She was taking some excellent pictures, too, a definite step up from the usual automatic mugshots.
I decided to buy a ticket for the Ice House, which honestly wasn't worth the money. The inside held a ship made out of ice, a small number of statues, and a miniature ice slide. The presentation was okay for what it was, though it was tough to justify a price that represented a full fifty percent of what the unlimited wristband had cost. I took a few photographs for posterity and made my exit having been inside for less than two minutes.
The final attraction I tried was Gu Bao Jing Hun, a fairly decent dark walkthrough that was pretty close to black in places; I had to navigate by running my hands along the wall looking for the next path. Much to my surprise there were a number of moments that made me jump, making the attraction worth the time.
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