Roller coasters have a special place in our hearts usually shared with cotton candy, summer vacation, and Mickey Mouse. And since Mickey Mouse in Shanghai might be nothing more than a dream anymore, we are more than a little excited for next week’s opening of Shanghai Happy Valley (上海欢乐谷), soon to be China’s largest amusement park.
After several years of waiting since construction began in late 2006, the enormous 900,000 square-meter park will open its doors in Sheshan, 40 km southwest from the center of Shanghai next Saturday, on August 8th, according to the park’s website.
To add to the excitement, the park will be offering discounted admission prices until September 12th. Full price tickets will run 160 RMB per person per day, a 40 RMB discount from the normal price. However, we found their criteria for reduced price tickets a little strange: persons less than 140 cm tall can enter for only 80 RMB/person, which is pretty standard. But while women age 65 or older also get entry under the discounted price, men have to be 70 years or older in order to qualify. Sexism, anyone?
Still, unfair policies aren’t going to stop us from being super psyched about a lot of their rides. Sure, they have plenty of kids’ stuff, which we’ll probably just pass on by, but we’re looking forward to their several roller coasters (mostly imported from Europe/North America). According to People’s Daily Online, these include a mine coaster, a diving coaster, and of course, China’s first wooden roller coaster, Fireball (More pictures here).
The park will also feature a crazy part-underground eco-hotel made out of a former quarry; however, construction on the hotel has unfortunately not yet started. Look forward to construction beginning sometime next month.
The park is easily accessible by metro: simply take line 9 south to the first Sheshan stop (佘山旅游渡假区站) and take the park’s shuttle bus from across the street. More transportation info can be found here (in Chinese).