Our morning began with a half hour journey from our city centre hotel to Putianlu, the northern terminus of line two of the Shenyang Metro. Fantawild Adventure was not shown on the area map in the station, but the top section of a roller coaster was clearly visible from what is (as of this writing at least) the only exit. The walk is a little over a kilometre and there is paved footpath for the whole route. (As a fun aside, the Shenyang Metro currently has three lines, which for reasons unclear have been numbered one, two, and nine; the reader is invited to speculate as to what happened to lines three through eight.)
The park is one of three opened by the Fantawild Group in 2011, and though all were laid out differently each was equipped with the same basic ride package. While some readers may lament the homogeneity it's fair to say that the vast majority of customers at each park will be local and thus not bothered; I'd be willing to bet that the only people who have been to more than a handful of the chain's parks in their lives are construction workers, corporate managers, and foreign coaster enthusiasts. Furthermore, it makes sound business sense for any organisation to acquire the same hardware in bulk, both for quantity discounts and for commonality of spare parts.
Tick number one became Vesuvio Volcano (#2643), a Golden Horse KSC-26A mine train. The ride is one of fourteen known examples of the type in China, eight of which can be found in Fantawild parks. The on board experience was exactly as expected, and as ever completely indistinguishable from the hardware it was copied from. We waited less than fifteen minutes, aided considerably by the way that the operators were filling the air gates while a train was on course, a radical improvement in efficiency over what we saw at a sister park earlier in the trip.
With that out of the way we subjected ourselves to Flare Meteor (#2644), a Golden Horse XGC-20A suspended looping coaster identical to one I had the dubious pleasure of riding at Victory Kingdom back in 2013. The ride was fine aside from the portion between the top of the lift hill and the brake run, which was the very antithesis of fine; two particular highlights were a sideways slam in the middle of the loop and dramatic shaking in the cobra roll. Golden Horse has switched to a different track design for its newest SLCs, apparently with good results; I look forward to experiencing one of these models for myself at some stage.
Our third stop was at Space Journey, a locally built simulator. The hardware consisted of a series of thirty-seat motion bases in front of a large shared screen, in theory allowing for excellent capacity. In practice throughput was kept to locally accepted levels by the operators showing us to our seats and then leaving us unattended for almost ten minutes before the ride actually began. There was a brief preshow on a small screen, after which the roof of our vehicle rolled back to reveal an enormous screen. Sadly the main video was rather disjointed, with the camera constantly jumping between different worlds; any storyline that might have been there proved impossible to interpolate.
The adjacent building looked like it might contain a dark ride, but stepping inside it revealed a bare concrete interior and an indoor go kart track. Something like half the space was vacant, and the ceiling was perhaps one hundred feet high, far more than one would ever need to house an indoor circuit without elevation changes. My guess is that the park's construction budget was slashed after the outer walls were finished, forcing a last minute rethink by management. Posters of high end sports cars have been added to the walls in the attempt to make the interior look a little less spartan, and though these are better than nothing the result stands out like a sore thumb in what is otherwise a very well themed park.
Our walk took us past what was almost certainly a target shooting dark ride, but it was closed due to maintenance work on its main entrance: a number of workmen were fitting a new door, a task that really should have been performed outside of regular opening hours. The gift shop at the ride exit was open, though it didn't look to be doing much if any business. We next made our way into Dinosaur Rampage, a duplicate of the attraction we'd enjoyed four days earlier, but decided to abort after a few minutes when it became evident just how slowly the queue was moving.
Soon after light rain began to fall, diverting the multitudes to the indoor attractions. We had hoped to experience Sky Sailor, a flying theatre, but a member of staff at the entrance told us that the wait time was around two hours. Rather than hang around we made our way to the Haunted House, an up-charge walkthrough costing 30 RMB (~€3.83). We were given coloured torches similar to those at Century Amusement Park along with high visibility vests, the latter indicating that obdurate health and safety personnel have found their way to China. The interior was very good indeed and well worth the additional payment; there were several really elaborate rooms, with a particular highlight being one that featured a burning corpse using artificial but effective light and heat effects not unlike those found on the Wicker Man. There were also a few places where something at ankle height grabbed at us as we walked past.