Alexander: We’re now in South China! A 3hr flight from the Shanghai area has landed us in the greater Guangzhou metro – the 9th largest metro in the world! in the heart of the region is one of the country’s largest parks, Chimelong Paradise!
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Walking into Chimelong Paradise, we were told up front that Sean would be too tall to ride any roller coasters. This really brought us down, but luckily it ended up not being the case – Sean got every credit it the park but one (more on that later).
Chimelong Paradise is the flagship park of the Chimelong company, which includes two amusement parks (the other being Chimelong Ocean Kingdom), a water park (the world’s highest-attended waterpark; located adjacent to Chimelong Paradise) and a safari park (also next to Paradise). Despite such a short list of properties, Chimelong’s overall attendance is 6th in the world, beating out both Six Flags and Cedar Fair.
Needless to say, the Chimelong resorts have some impressive numbers, and some impressive attractions to boot!
Premier Rides Sky Rocket II coasters may be getting commonplace in North America, but in Mainland China Sky Rocket is a one-of-a-kind experience at Chimelong Paradise.
Fans of the original Superman: Ultimate Flight at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom will recognize Sky Rocket’s color scheme immediately.
After constant exposure to Sea World Parks Entertainments’ trio of 3-car, comfort collar SRIIs, it was nice to finally ride a 2-car, lapbar-only installation again.
Sky Rocket is just one of 3 launch coasters at Chimelong Paradise; just next door is Booster Bike, a standard Vekoma motorbike coaster.
Unfortunately, due to some odd leg restraint modifications, Sean was too tall to ride. For what it’s worth, the original at Toverland is in much better condition – Booster Bike has a nice setting, but the ride runs like its rolling over gravel.
Also a little rough around the edges is Half Pipe, a first generation Intamin Half Pipe coaster (a near-perfect clone of Elitch Gardens’ Half Pipe, right down to the color scheme).
Unlike the 2nd generation of Half Pipes (which include the installations at Disney and Nickelodeon Universe parks), the original Half Pipes have standard Intamin looping coaster harnesses and a flat trackbed.
Another oddball at Chimelong Paradise is this Mack Young Star coaster – the layout is a standard production model Young Star, but with the first drop shortened significantly and connected to the first turn by an elevated straightaway.
No, we haven’t forgotten about Dive Machine. That was actually the first ride of the day, but we didn’t take many pictures of it until now.
Dive Machine has all the same elements as SheiKra, but configured a bit differently. Until Valravn, Dive Machine was the tallest of its kind.
Fans of Europa Park will recognize Young Star as a near-Pegasus clone, but aside from having the standard first drop, Pegasus lacks a helix found on Young Star.
It’s a strong family coaster, though we aren’t quite sure why the dramatic alteration to the drop was necessary – and why a straightaway? Why not a bunny hop or something?
Lunch time! Not pictured: a wasp the size of Rhode Island harassing dinners throughout the building.
Our last credit at Chimelong Paradise was 10 Inversion Coaster, which opened a couple hours later than the rest of the park.
Like Half Pipe and Booster Bike, 10 Inversion Coaster is not running as smoothly as it should.
But it sure does look good!
Though there are 7 Intamin 10 Inversion coasters in operation, Chimelong’s is the only exact clone of the original installation, Colossus at Thorpe Park. The updated version of this model includes lapbar-only trains and a diving first drop.
Though not as rough as Colossus, the ride seemed to track sluggishly and rattled a bit. Still enjoyable, nevertheless.
Chimelong Paradise isn’t what I’d call a cohesive theme park, but by and large the park is easy on the eyes.
New this year is a cool space-epic dark attraction using technology similar to Skull Island – Reign of Kong and Fast and Furious: Supercharged, but with a stationary vehicle and higher-quality projection system.
Alight! How about some more Dive Machine shots before we continue on with our day?
While we’d budgeted an entire day for Paradise, we ran out of things to do before 2pm and decided to hit up a random nearby park we’d never heard of – Chuanlord Holiday Manor.
What surprises does Chuanlord have in store for us? Find out in our next update. Peace out, Chimelong Paradise!
Don’t miss all of our reports from East China and beyond!