Chapter 6: Epcot Meets Six Flags--Floraland and More Credit Whoring
We bid farewell to Bruce and Beijing and flew to Chendu, a large city best known for pandas, in addition to the usual crazy Chinese traffic and our new guide, Sammi. Floraland was our next stop, and while the park boasted only two coasters of no particular distinction, it was a very nice place
Floraland is sort of a hybrid of a Six Flags or Cedar Fair park and Epcot; that is, there's a fairly standard "amusement park" section coupled with some re-creations of other countries, such as Italy and France. Well, they're not particularly accurate re-creations, but the park itself is sprawling and nicely landscaped--one of those places that's fun to explore.
As I said, the two coasters, the obligatory Chinese knock-off SLC and Golden Horse Spinning Coaster, with the odd name Revolving Pulley, weren't very memorable, possibly because the "SLC" knocks you senseless. However, the park had plenty of flat rides to keep people occupied, including one of those "never in America" Tagadas. For those not in the know, a Tagada is just a rotating platform that bounces people around, over, and on top of one another. There are no seats and no restraints, and no shoes are allowed either. If you're lucky, you'll have a great time and escape without any broken bones or contusions--and you may get to know your trip mates better than you might have liked.
Hunt around the park, and you may just find some shooting dark rides, an ice house, and some cool walk-through attractions--and some very amusing signage. Overall, Floraland is a very nice park, and it's expanding into a full-blown resort.
Let's venture in.
Welcome to Chendu, famous for pandas and . . . WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?
"There is no cause for alarm. A giant tumor was found growing by the river last night, and it is being hauled away for proper disposal. Boy, I wish I had a yuan for each giant tumor I've seen in that river."
It looks like Busch Gardens' "Root of All Evil" maze sprouted on top of that building.
You know, this Chinese traffic has gotten way out of hand.
Welcome to Floraland. Their adorable panda mascots were in no way influenced by a famous team of rodents at another theme park.
No "four-A" Chinese park would ever stoop to obvious plagiarism.
Floraland is a very nice park.
"Ooo! I see non-Asian people!"
No one knew if she was just some random Chinese teenager or a "pretty, sexy lady" looking for some western business.
Looks like "It's a Small World" meets the Universal logo.
Are these pixies or fairies? Maybe I should ask an elf or a hobbit.
Dadburn kids! They're all alike wherever you go!
Welcome to Floraland's House of Pain. ("Are we not men?")
Er, if you say so.
So, no hearts or burgers are allowed on this ride? I guess you can't ride if you've ever stuck your hand out of a train or jumped from a van, either.
So, it's not just a coaster. It's a "riding facility"?
Whatever you call it, the thing looks sort of mean and spindly.
When riding one of these attractions, just remember this quote from "The Seven Faces of Dr. Lao": . . .
"You are alive. . . .
"And to be alive is fantastic!"
"Guys! Spinning Mouse over here! Er, . . . get excited?"
Jolie and Megan never tire of Golden Horse Spinning Mouse rides.
"Yay! We've achieved something resembling a 'spin'!"
Boy, it sure is a long walk to the . . .
"Arise, my giraffe minions! Arise and kill!"
And now, the Tagada.
"Tagada" is Chinese for . . .
"Super Happy Bouncing Orgy."
Larry and I went off to explore the rest of the park.
So many choices.
We left the evil far behind us.
Hmm--looks like the turtles are having their own "Tagada."
"Oh, yeah--I want me a piece 'o' that action!"
OK--where to next?
How about the garden with all the naked women in it? (Hey, it's "culture.")
Or we could just go to "France."
"I am French. I think."
'Well, I am most definitely French!" More to come.
Nice report. I actually saw a Tagada in Korea at a little fair in downtown Seoul. I didn't ride it as it looked like you had to pay and we didn't have too much Korean money with us (I would have if we did )
Coaster Count: 142 total 94 steel48 wood Favorite Steel Coaster: Skyrush at Hershey Park Favorite Wood Coaster: A tie between The Voyage at Holiday World and T Express at Everland I'm posting from a IPad so I can't enable pics/video
This update is making me realize that there were whole sections of Floraland that I copmpletely missed! I don't think I found more than one of those haunted dark rides or walkthroughs, if that. Nor do I remember France or any of that theming.
Floraland was defintiely one of those parks that was more than the sum of its parks. And the tagada was probably one of the biggest highlights of the entire trip.
Anyone who hasn't seen the video that Robb posted of it MUST do so now, before reading any further! That said, that video was form the second ride we got on it (though it was the first for some people.) I woudl have thought that the first ride, before we knew what to expect, would have looked even crazier. I wonder if that video just didn't come out well.
Floraland was a great park for just wandering around. Larry and I missed out on the ice house because we found it too late in the day (but we did check out the one at Happy Valley Chendu the next day).
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