World Joyland – Trip Report – October 2012

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World Joyland is a large park north of Shanghai. The park is a pain to get to as it is literally in the middle of nowhere. We caught the train from Shanghai to Wuxi which takes a little over an hour. Then upon arriving took an hour long taxi to the park.

Upon arriving the park is certainly impressive with an entrance area that reminds me of a Universal park. The entrance area is almost a carbon copy of the Islands of Adventure entrance area as well.

The park is well known for its rip off World of Warcraft and Starcraft areas and both these areas are excellently themed. In fact I would go as far as to say this is the best themed park in China by a country mile. The rides are almost all excellent too. Or at least above average for China.

The highlight of the park is clearly Sky Scrapper a huge B&M flyer which towers over the left hand side of the park. This ride jumped straight to the top of my list of top coasters with Nemesis and Olympia Looping. I love this ride. it offers a lot of intensity B&M have been missing in the past few years and combines it with a unique layout and some weird and wonderful inversions.

The first inversion especially is something special. A Zero-G-Roll with an extra half twist which leads into the super intense vertical loop. Easily the highlight of a great ride.

The other coasters at the park include a Maurer Sky Loop which offers the usual intense if short ride cycle and a Golden Horse mine train which is pretty standard fare for China. The themeing on both is excellent though and a cut above the usual Happy Valley standard.

The park excels itself with cinema style attractions including a very impressive 360 degree dome theatre show about dragons and a spiderman style ride about vikings. There’s also a number of interesting attractions here I’ve never seen anywhere else which involve interactive media more than usual. The Mario Cart style Autotopia type ride is interesting allowing you to shoot other riders and stall their cars or place banana skins in their way.

There is also a cool haunted house where you are given a gun with an augmented reality display. Ghosts pop out from behind different book cases and other obstacles. The aim is to shoot them with a Ghost Busters style ray gun. It’s not amazing but its quirky and different and I have to give them credit for that.

Lastly the kids area is a direct knock off of Dr Suess Land at IOA. It’s a shameless rip off but ignoring that it’s a pretty good kids area for a park of this size.

Overall this may be my favourite park in China. It’s huge and has an interesting/quirky ride selection. It may be a pain to get to but if you can I highly recommend it.

A British coaster geek who also happens to be a travel geek with a particular fascination in East Asian culture and cuisine.

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