My first draft of a trip report for our visit to Hot Go Park Happy Jungle World included a handful of very colourful metaphors that I've chosen to edit out in the interests of not alienating more conservative visitors. Nevertheless the reader is encouraged to read this soliloquy in full tourettes mode, safe in the knowledge that it will take an exceptionally creative mind to interpolate obscenities with the same intensity as those that ran through my brain on what was one the least enjoyable days I've spent in a major theme park in living memory.
Our morning began with the discovery that park opening hours of 09:00-21:00 published on the official web site were inaccurate; individual signs at the various rides showed closing times between 16:30 and 17:00. This was irritating, but not enormously so as we figured that there would still be enough time to work through the six attractions on our shopping list: four coasters, an alpine coaster, and a bobkart. In pursuit of this aim we made our way to the wood coaster, located just over a kilometre way from the park entrance across hilly terrain. The queue was open, and we made our way towards the station, only to discover that that the ride would not operate until 11:00. The nearby ropeway also wasn't open, leaving us little choice but to hike back the way that we'd come. We stopped along the way for a call of nature, and discovered a uniformed member of staff enjoying a cigarette in a toilet cubicle; somehow this wasn't even remotely surprising.
In due course we wound up at Light Speed Coaster (#2627), a locally manufactured variant of the Vekoma SLC. The queue stretched some distance across the midway towards the improbably named Romantic Gourmet Sinks, which we later determined to be a food court. The reason for the extended wait became clear over the next two hours and change as we watched around a dozen trains dispatch, with the interval between each clocked at between ten and fifteen minutes. It was 11:42 when we finally took our seats for a ride best described as unpleasant; the layout was fine, but as ever with the genre the tracking was far from good.
We decided to tick off the nearby Mine Train (#2628) while we were at the correct end of the park. The ride is a family coaster and a standard model that looks fairly decent when properly themed as long as you disregard the bizarre metal frames attached to each car to protect limbs from the limited clearance envelope. Sadly management at Hot Go Park never bothered to install an artificial mountain, leaving unadorned green track that looked like it had seen better years. One of the original four cars was missing from the train today, resulting in just ten passengers per dispatch; this coupled with persistent queue jumping resulted in a wait time of almost an hour for a thoroughly lacklustre experience.
After disembarking we went for a brief look at the queue for the remaining steel coaster, but a quick glance was enough for us to decide that the wood took priority. Rather than walk all the way back we elected to use the ropeway, an extended system with three stations along its route and a combined duration in excess of thirty minutes. We had a clear view of our target ride as we approached, and from the heights it was obvious that there was nothing happening. Sure enough, at 13:48 we learned that our target was closed due to a technical problem.
Bruno and Anita decided that they would wait on a comfortable bench in the vicinity. I chose instead to power walk back to Jungle Walk (#2629), a Wiegand Hexenbesen with enough block sections to support seven cars at the same time. Four were technically in use today, though the operators were only allowing one on track at a time, thereby guaranteeing a throughput of no more than sixty guests per hour. The high point of the entire day (and arguably my year) occurred while I waited: an attractive local female used translation software to ask me whether I would like to "make one with her"; sadly she was only suggesting that we share a two seat car. The experience was arguably the best of the three coasters thus far, being smooth and enjoyable if somewhat tame.
The operations on the adjacent alpine coaster were even worse; the staff would only begin loading a two seat sled after the previous one returned to the station, and they insisted on reading the safety instructions to passengers after their restraints had been checked and double-checked. The result was a dispatch every eight minutes at best, giving a average capacity that scarcely made it into double figures. I'd been in line for a quarter of an hour when my phone buzzed with news that the wood coaster was now open, which I took as my cue to abort.
Fifteen minutes later I arrived (sweating) at Time Travel (#2630), a wooden coaster designed by the Gravity Group and the first in China to run Timberliner trains. It was supplied with two, one red and one blue, and though the latter was not in use today it looked to be in serviceable condition. The only available seats when I arrived at the station were in the back row, but I was happy to claim that location for the first of what I fully expected to be a large number of laps. Sadly I can report that the back row was dire; as with Jungle Trailblazer a promising layout quickly turned into an endurance contest as the train bounced its way around a course that was in need of serious attention.
A second round in the middle was better, though it was only the front row where the experience really came into its own. From that location I was able to fully appreciate numerous airtime hills, two passes underneath the midway, a series of terrain-hugging turns close to the eastern boundary of the park, and the absolute highlight, a ninety degree banked turn handled without the shuffle of the one at my home park. I'd happily have ridden all day in the front car, but decided to stop after three circuits because I figured that sitting anywhere else in the train would augment my collection of bruises without good reason.
Instead I charged back over to the alpine coaster, which was supposed to be open until 16:30. It wasn't; at 15:47 a member of staff stopped me as I tried to walk up the stairs. I showed the lady a photograph I'd taken earlier of the opening hours alongside the current time on my watch, but I might as well have been addressing a decomposing cauliflower. Another high speed walk got me back to the Bobkart shortly before it too closed a quarter of an hour before the sign said that it should. The ride was satisfyingly lengthy at 890 metres, but supremely dull as the track layout was almost completely flat; a few proper elevation changes would have improved the experience immeasurably.