Hot Go Park Happy Jungle World

30th April 2019

Our final day in Shenyang ended up as a spare due to a combination of circumstances, and we decided that we'd use it to mop up some of the rides that we'd missed earlier in the week. Though it was tempting to forget about Hot Go Park Happy Jungle World after a miserable day there we decided that we'd go back for a few hours in the hope of ticking off our missing rides and getting another lap or two on the wood coaster. We used a DiDi for the hour long journey from our hotel that cost us 90 RMB (~€11.51), and managed to arrive five minutes before the posted opening time.

We knew that none of the coasters would open with the park, and as such we decided to begin our visit with Bloody Manor, a walkthrough featuring a mirror maze and a few vaguely haunted scenes. The experience was quite short, though what was there was worthwhile and varied; a room full of skeletons was followed by another with a few alien bodies in stasis behind a glass window with lighting vaguely reminiscent of something from the X-Files.

Bloody Manor

It was 9:30am when we arrived at the Forest Slide alpine coaster. Staff told us that they were not ready to operate yet, and that we should come back at 10:00am. We made our way over to the adjacent Jungle Walk, which clearly was ready as four cars were in the station and the lift wheels were spinning. The lone operator told us that his ride would open at 9:40am, and we decided that we might as well wait. He spent the next ten minutes doing something with his mobile phone before eventually wandering back to the gate and letting us in. The layout could have done with being a little faster, but it was a respectable experience nonetheless and it was nice to have the chance to do it a second time.

We returned to the alpine coaster, only to learn that the start time had now changed to 10:30am. We decided to hang around on the grounds that any further disappearance would probably push the time out further. Our presence seemed to galvanize the staff into action, and against all expectation we began the boarding process at 10:16am. Anita and I were required to share a car, as apparently Bruno was too tall to share. Having taken our seat we discovered that the seatbelt was jammed; moments later we disembarked and waited for another ten minutes while they swapped one of the four sleds on track for another. I counted at least ten additional sleds in the storage cabinet on the station wall that are presumably kept there primarily for decorative purposes.

Seemingly hours later we were secured in our seat, but before we could set off the we were required to fully understand the safety instructions. The staff decided that the best way for us to do this was to enter each rule individually into translation software. This took quite a while to do, but in due course the process was complete and we were allowed on our merry way. Forest Slide proved to be reasonably worthwhile, though very short; it took less than thirty seconds from dispatch to the brake at the end of the ride, which was a poor return on investment after so much time faffing about. We were at the top of the first of two lifts before Bruno was dispatched behind us, and we arrived back at the station five minutes before he did. The maximum capacity was a thoroughly embarrassing twenty-four guests per hour, assuming two per sled, though on the positive side this was a full sixty percent faster than what it had been a few days earlier.

We tried to take the ropeway to the wood coaster, and though we made it through the first segment the second was still being tested at 10:50am, almost two hours after park opening, leaving us no choice but to walk the rest of the way. As things turned out we were the first guests of the morning at Time Travel. The blue train was parked on the transfer track, but I was able to claim the front seat of the red train. The ride experience was excellent, and allowed me to leave the park with at least one happy memory.

 

Nanhu Park Shenyang

30th April 2019

The generally reliable DiDi app abruptly decided to stop accepting my credit card on departure from Hot Go Park Happy Jungle World, a problem that apparently happens to quite a few intrepid travellers using it across multiple cities with international cards. Fortunately it was still possible to use it to summon a taxi. The driver who responded offered to take us to Nanhu Park Shenyang for a fixed fare of 100 RMB (~€12.79), and though this was marginally above what the metered fare would have been it was close enough that it wasn't worth haggling over the difference.

Roller Coaster

He dropped us off in front of the Roller Coaster, which was once again in an advanced state of non-functionality. This was almost certainly for the best, and indeed it was hard to feel grief at the loss of a Hebei Zhongye monstrosity that can be accurately described as a "death machine". I took advantage of the sun and the blue sky to capture a few photographs of a ride that I'm unlikely to make it back to. Though readers may disapprove of such defeatism, the reality is that I've made it to less than twenty percent of the parks and coasters in China in my lifetime despite spending a cumulative total of over three months in the country, and there are dozens of other places on my shopping list.

Our first tick thus ended up being the Golden Dragon Roller Coaster (#2647), a double oval family design from Zhongshan Playground Equipment Engineering that I've since realised to be a clone of the Family Roller Coaster at nearby Shenyang Botanical Garden. The ride was installed behind a child sized flat ride with flying horses in place of the usual elephants. The two attractions were evidently owned by the same entity, as they shared a common pay box and entrance gate. Coaster tickets cost 30 RMB (~€3.83) and entitled us to two pleasant laps.

We'd expected to have to negotiate our way onto the kiddie coaster, but the operator on the Fruit Worm Pulley (#2648) didn't even raise an eyebrow when we approached. Soon after we'd handed over 20 RMB (~€2.56) in exchange for at least twenty laps on an oval track with a slight ascent in the middle. The ride looked very much like a Golden Horse machine but it definitely wasn't, as the seats had ample room in them. The motor was also more powerful, though it definitely wasn't geared at adults; after disembarking we watched another train dispatch with a local child in the front seat, and it was a great deal faster than our train had been.

We caught a quick lap on the Jungle Squirrel en route to the exit.