SharkTums wrote:Great report so far! Some random comments...
Pretty sure this Europark is the next park on the Disney Lawyer's radar! Castle, Main Street, Font, Train, etc. Although I wonder about the rabbit as well...was it in front of a restaurant?
I had the same question as Chuck...did Chinese Walmart sell all American products? Poor Cheryl, sometimes lost/delayed luggage is really a mystery. I'll never forget the time we arrived in PHL with a 1.5 year old KT only to be told "Sorry, your gate checked stroller didn't make it on the plane." How the hell do you forget a gate checked item when it's sitting in the jetway!!!!
Love your comment about the love/hate relationship with Delta...it's like a drug you can't quit.
You should have brought those Chinese smoke masks with you outside to protect you from the air!
Yeah, the font on the train? The bear? lol
Cheryl maintained her calm regarding the luggage. I had the meltdown instead, of course.
And yes, the air was funky, as expected. No surprise that warehouse blew sky high!
Sorry for the delay between updates but school has started and I sometimes have to work on my actual job.
Our next day started out iffy and ended really well with the discovery of an incredible theme park, Sun Tribe. There's only a single coaster and there aren't a ton of rides, but the park had a lot to see.
But first we had to get 2 other parks out of the way. I like adding to rcdb when I can so we first went to some out of the way parks. The first had not yet opened its gates, and the second had seen better days.
Enjoy the report.
This was our view from our hotel room. This is facing west, and the hotel is at the western edge of the city of Jinan.
Driving to the first park, I noticed a few of these ghost towns. They're built up, but there are no windows in the buildings.
Here's our route for today. The first park is in the SW and then we'll cut east to hit the other two. The green area in the east is Mount Tai, which I'll mention again below.
Our driver had trouble finding the first park but I was able to navigate with Google Maps!
I learned to say "turn left" and "turn right" in Mandarin pretty fast.
The driver couldn't find it because it's not open yet. Dream Star Park is opening 2015 according to rcdb. You can see that the plaza paving stones aren't finished.
There was no activity whatsoever. It's unfinished and no one was working on it.
The only person on site was a security guard in that booth. Our driver talked to him but neither of them spoke English. It was easy enough to get the message though.
There is a credit.
Cheryl looks longingly at the rides she will not ride today. So you'll see some of these pictures on rcdb now. Woo hoo.
The next park is called Taishan Tianting Paradise / 泰山天挺乐园 and it's near Mount Tai, which is one of China's "Five Great Mountains" and was a place to which emperors made pilgrimages. The area has a city and is popular with tourists. We didn't do any of the mountain hikes that are popular. I think Tai Shan means Tai Mountain.
Here's the front gate.
It was empty. It's seen better days.
There was some natural beauty and this was the first glimpse of that. Complete with China's famous cities that have been built for people who don't want to move to them.
Lots of kiddy flats. I won't bore you with them.
But I will bore you with this powered coaster.
With a great name that can now be found on rcdb.
The woman in the booth seemed pleasantly surprised that she actually had some clients today.
Wondering what this meant, we climbed up a big hill.
And found this weird rocket car looking thing. Those cracks in the concrete inspired confidence.
Apparently you shoot down these cables.
This did not look very safe.
Fortunately, there didn't seem to be anyone to operate it.
But the top of the hill had some decent views of the surroundings, including the empty buildings.
There was this nice lake.
And I think that's the Tai Mountain area. Anyway, we decided to move on to the next park. We had no idea what to expect.
Little did we know that we'd come to one of the nicest Chinese theme parks we had seen up to that point.
The Sun Tribe.
We had no idea what it was about, but it had great theming in the parking lot. We also discovered at the booth that there was an off-season sale going on so the admission was really cheap. We did like visiting at this time of year (early June), because it seemed that students were still in school and the weather wasn't too too hot. Of course I forgot to take a picture of the price board. You cross a kind of moat along a path.
This giant figure guards the entrance and you then go through this mountain tunnel...
and come out on this side.
After you come out, you're at this huge, themed plaza.
Apparently Sun Tribe is themed to the early human history of this area.
The province has an early role in ancient Chinese civilization.
We assumed that these scenes represented ancient myths and such.
It was beautiful, and it was huge, and we had just entered the park.
Huge tracts of land were in several directions.
And it was filled with sculpture and such. This is just a taste.
It took us a while to actually bump into a ride.
But it was mostly this kiddie stuff, albeit well-themed.
We walked by a giant Zorb hill, but we didn't see anyone zorbing. There were not a ton of guests around us.
We entered an area that had some small shows and crafts. Those giant puppet things were for a show called: Ghost Wrestling (Emperor War Human God). The players were just sitting around in plain sight.
We didn't linger to see if a show would start.
We entered another sector of the park that had another huge square.
Random Chinese high school band. They weren't bad.
Top Spin (probably a knock off), but not operating. Great theming. We saw similar Top Spin theming on the TPR China Trip in 2012, but the giant beast was a green ogre-type thing.
There is one credit here, a Golden Horse Moto Coaster called Bull Fight in the Sky. I didn't know motorcycle bulls were a thing.
If memory serves, this was crap, but not as crappy as the Booster Bike knockoff at Quancheng Europark.
There's a good pic of the coaster and the Top Spin.
I forgot what that was, but excellent theming again.
How about this great shoot-the-chutes?
This building was closed for construction, but another theming win.
Okay, animal rights activists, you might want to look away. The translation was "Pig Olympics", or "Sports Meet of Piggies".
See the racing pigs. Okay, we've had greased pig contests here in America. But check out that little house and the little moat that runs from it.
The show started innocently enough with a doggie show. Cute.
Then the pig races began. They go through various obstacles around a track, chased by a guy. Each time around, he changes the obstacles a bit.
But on the 3rd and last go-around, the piggies are herded on top of the little house, and they're forced to jump. It was like a train wreck where you couldn't look away. The crowd absolutely loved it. You had to feel sorry for these pigs. Obviously they do this several times a day, but every time you could see that they did not want to jump. For one thing, pigs have shitty eyesight, so they can't even see where they're falling. They are not going voluntarily. They either fall off or they get pushed or they're running from the stick.
He poked them and whapped them with his stick, pushed with his foot, and even kicked one off the house. Crowd loved it. The Shamu protesters should focus on this for a minute. SeaWorld treats its animals like kings in comparison. This is inhumane. I took a video but never posted it on YouTube because I was afraid of starting an international incident. An animal activist sees this, and I lose my Chinese visa when it goes viral. But it's an interesting illustration of differences in values across cultures!
There was this really cute parade with a cartoonish depiction of the early pre-historic culture. I was filming and the performers were giving me shy smiles. They seemed a little embarrassed.
Especially these guys, who were clearly workmen and gardeners and mechanics, all required to put on goofy costumes and do the parade twice a day.
It was funny to see all of the parade floats in an openly visible storage area less than an hour later.
This funny scene had to be investigated.
Eventually we found the ride entrance, and it was great. The ponchos came with little leggings too. This was like a five minute raft ride that went really fast. It was awesome. Had to buy the on-ride photo. I should post the video. Robb, want it?
This is the part right after that scene. It was fun.
Again, good theming, even for just a bumper boat ride.
We didn't ride the drop tower, but there were big attractions here and there.
Well, there's the exit, through the longest and windiest gift shop area I've ever been through. Thanks for visiting Sun Tribe with us!
Last edited by milst1 on Thu Jun 09, 2016 5:03 am.
Yeah, I think we're going to need to see the peeing log flume video! I hope you sang "We are on a peeing log flume" the whole way around.
I believe we saw that Flying Wing Glider Ride at some sketchy park on the 2008 China Trip. I also think some of our people were dumb enough to do it. The amount of half or nearly done construction in the country is scary. I wonder if that park will ever actually be finished or if it will just sit like so many ghost cities/towns/parks.
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