Sean: Wonder what China’s version of a studios–themed park is like? Wonder no more! The famous Huayi Brothers have major studio property right by the park, and recently opened a movie studios theme park with a wild mix of knock-offs, stellar world-class attractions, and bizarre dark rides. Let’s head in to this amazingly well–manicured park and see if polish alone can carry the place!
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The park’s entrance is not only polished but is actually the most utilitarian we’ve seen so far on the trip. Ticket center with self-service machines that actually accept cash (very unique for Chinese parks, where WeChat Pay is the way to go), as well as a locker center that also accept cash! The customer service center had some of the nicest and most helpful employees we’ve encountered anywhere in the country. Last but not least, there is a group entrance and an individual entrance, depending on the type of party you’re with. The park seems ready to accept the masses.
Winding our ways through the great architecture of the park’s very detailed themed areas, we made our way to Wings of Glory, the B&M Wing Coaster. We didn’t quite know how to get there but wanted to be ahead of school groups, thus we slithered our way through various streets and ended up being the first at the ride.
As we could have expected, Wings of Glory wasn’t open yet. We patiently waited for the park to test it. Chinese parks have a thing for building WAY TOO MUCH overflow queue, so this ride too has switchbacks that could hold thousands of riders.
When we said the park was particularly polished, we weren’t kidding. The next area we’re headed into just took our breath away. The entrance to the area is home to an S&S Shot ‘n Drop and a Swinging ship, thematically accurate ones of course.
Welcome to the Tongtian Empire! The most massive and incredible theme park area I’ve ever seen. I mean this is not just forced perspective – the park actually built a giant city square based on “Die Renjie’s Heavenly Empire” and “Di Renjie’s God Dragon King” (IP content associated with the area).
Another look at the gorgeous statue that really dwarfs the spinning coaster. The coaster looks a bit off and that’s because it’s a unique Beijing Jiuhua Amusement Rides Manufacturing Co., Ltd. model called “Super Skateboard”. As of right now, this installment is the only one of its kind by the local Chinese manufacturer.
On the exact other side of the Tongtian Empire is the park’s flume dark ride. The ride’s all indoor and includes a splash finale, several screened scenes, some horrible and not-so-horrible animatronics and scenes.
The rest of the indoor queue is quite detailed as well, but then the actual ride was already having some upkeep issues. I guess it’s a Chinese theme park after all, but expected a bit more from the famous Chinese movie studio.
For example, one of the park’s several indoor dark rides is an interactive shooting ride. The ride is perfectly hidden and blended with Wings of Glory, but the quality of the ride could have been a bit better… to say the least.
Turns out the park actually built a giant dark ride in a warehouse, an Indiana Jones (Anaheim) style ride, but with VR headsets. There is no physical scenery of any kind in the entire building. The ride has impressive VR and is quite long, but this would never be a success in a major US park, and I am not so sure if VR could ever really replace physical scenes.
Last, but definitely not least, is Wings of Glory! The park’s stunning and action-packed B&M Wing Coaster. I am amazed that the ride is hidden behind a ton of buildings and is situated so nicely on the water. Usually Wing Coasters are just giant steel machines that have the potential to ruin a landscape, but not this installment!
The ride starts with a pretty typical Dive Loop, however, thanks to the 8-car trains (which is long for a smaller Wing Coaster), the first drop is actually quite intense. The loop following the drop packs a punch too, and has perfect pacing. The front of the cars actually have little propellers that spin, which is a simply amazing little bit of theming.
Wings of Glory wastes no time and rushes right into the ride’s unique element that starts of as a Zero-G-Roll but then turns into a helix down and makes a swift S-turn into the ride’s corkscrew. The corkscrew is actually quite fantastic given it rides so differently on a Wing Coaster.
Wings of Glory has an awesome setting, great color scheme and solid integration. I was really expecting the Wuxi Sunac Land Falcon to be the big bad B&M Wing, but I prefer Wings of Glory at HB World.
Wings of Glory is actually a clone of Hot Go Dreamworld’s Wing Coaster, built in 2016. However, Hot Go Dreamworld never opened and currently is home to several major attractions that are SBNO including a unique Shambhala-esque B&M Hyper Coaster. Luckily Wings of Glory had glorious dispatches.
HB World, you and your amazing staff were a pleasure! Thank you for helping with our luggage and finding us a taxi driver crazy enough to drive us back to our hotel near Disney! We look forward to seeing your development as a park!
China’s got so much more to offer! Check out these recent China reports and podcasts: