Today’s park trip started by getting a taxi down to the Century Amusement Park on the South Side of the Zhengzhou. I discovered on the way home though that it is really easy to get the Bus in Zhengzhou. The bus system is actually awesome. Every bus stop has a massive map showing exactly where each bus goes and where it’s come from so you can easily plan your route. Best of all its 1 yuan wherever you want to go (about 10c)
They even have an express bus system which uses its own lanes and you pay on the platforms which are found in the middle of the road, (accessed via crossings) These are even better as once you are on the system for 1 yuan you can get off and on as many buses within the system as you like. You only have to repay once you leave the platforms.
Anyway I arrived at Century Amusement Park to a mad crowd outside the gates. I quickly bought my ticket ($20) from a ticket window and went to the join the queue. Only to be ushered through an express gate to one side.
Century Amusement Park is an odd park and the ticketing is very strange. I didn’t realise it until later though. I found the queue for the knock off SLC was over 3 hours. (YEAH 3 HOURS). I was about to say sod this and go ride something else when a nice (and cute) Chinese student came over and explained the ticketing system. You can either enter the park for a small fee and buy ride tickets separately like you do in Sun Park OR you can buy a park ticket like I did.
Now if you buy individual ride tickets you have to join the main queue. Just like the poor guys waiting 3 hours for an SLC. BUT if you have a park ticket you can walk up to the ride exit and get on straight away. Best of all it appears you can buy one park ticket and use it with multiple people. So once you get off the ride you hand it to another person in your group and they get on next.
Now to me this makes no sense. But I’m super glad I didn’t have to wait 3 hours for a fairly awful ride.
On the subject of the rides there are two main coasters here and one of the ubiquitous spinning mice found everywhere in China. The first coaster is a Chinese built SLC and one of the worst examples of the breed. Built by the snappily named Hebei Zhongye Metallurgical Equipment Manufacturing the ride is just about rideable with some pretty horrendous transitions. The name Suspended Looping Coaster Over Water is also a bit odd as while it looks like there should be water underneath, the park is yet to actually add any.
The second coaster is a Sameco built looper which was knocked off the Japanese built Double Loops in the 1980s and 90s. Showing China was knocking rides off even way back then. It compares well enough to it’s Japanese brethren but that just means its still pretty rough but not obnoxiously so.
The park itself is actually pretty nice with vast green areas to explore and a nice overall train theme. There are tons of old Chinese train locomotives both steam and diesel to see and climb on. The new high speed bullet train line also passes right past the park providing excited gasps from some onlookers as the 300km/h trains rocket past.
If you happen to be in Zhengzhou then this park is worth a visit. But as Zhengzhou itself is’t exactly the nicest city in China I wouldn’t go out of my way to get here.