Attraction Review: Chimelong Paradise

Chimelong Paradise was a weird one for me. Of course we'd be visiting, there was a B&M dive machine to be had and a Chinese version of Colossus to test out. It's operated by the same people responsible for fabulous Ocean Kingdom and on paper the line-up looked pretty sound, but as far as parks go it didn't really have anything I was out-of-this-world excited for. I'd say I was as excited to visit Chimelong Paradise as I would be for a standard Six Flags park - keen to add to my cred count but by no means as excited as I would be to tick off a bucket list park.

Sometimes I think that's the best way to go into these places. We only had half a day at this park. We'd learned by now that the majority of the park's crowds are made up by masses of school groups, and by 3PM most of them would have vacated the premises leaving us with plenty of time to whore to our heart's content!

After a wild ride in a taxi from Chuanlord-middle-of-nowhere-Manor to Chimelong - one of the world's busiest theme park resorts, the cred anxiety was building up for me. I knew, and kept reminding myself, that we'd have more than enough time to do everything we wanted, but nevertheless I couldn't silence that little devil on my shoulder. But despite the anxiety, I was excited, and the distant rumble of the B&M dive machine which grew louder as we joined the masses approaching the entrance only added to that.

The entrance plaza was colourful but not in a tacky or overly decadent way as with Ocean Kingdom. The loud, secondary colour palette actually reminded me a lot of Bagatelle in France, and the way the enormous, swooping dive machine greets you at the entrance is a most wonderful welcome indeed. We took a moment to gaze at the coaster gliding through its layout before realising we hadn't actually eaten anything other than ice-cream yet today, so put the cred anxiety to one side for slightly longer whilst we inhaled yet more delicious Chinese theme park food (this time it was a tasty BBQ pork and rice combo - yum!)

First cred up for grabs was the Vekoma motorbike launch coaster imaginatively named Motorbike Launch Coaster. The sign reckoned 25 mins which was more than acceptable to us, which would definitely have been the case if we hadn't kept getting spited by Annual Passholders. From what we could garner, passholders immediately qualify for some kind of queue jump, and shit there were a lot of them. The queue moved at an agonisingly slow pace, but eventually we were on. It was...a Vekoma motorbike launch coaster. I feel with these if you've done one, you've done em all (except fabulous Tron)so for me this was very much a one and done and let's move on.

Next up it was time to nab the Intamin ten inversion coaster named, you guessed it, 10 Inversion Roller Coaster (there's a theme here you can tell!) I was excited to ride this - seeing Colossus on a daily basis I was keen to see what a different version of the same would look and ride like. Turns out Colossus is actually miles better - from theming, to colour scheme to how it actually rides. You realise immediately how much of an extra impact Colossus's landscaping has on the overall ride experience and I came ff 10 Inversion Roller Coaster with a new found appreciation for the oft-bashed Thorpe underdog. And besides, no coaster should EVER be painted orange and fucking purple, jesus.

Whilst walking over to our next cred of the day we took a moment to take in how pretty this park was. It's not big by any stretch, but every inch of the place is bright and colourful, covered in flowers or fountains or other decorations. LOADS of Instagram opportunities (something Chinese parks are very good at) and plenty of romantic looking areas to stroll through with your date. Very pleasant indeed, and getting emptier and emptier by the minute.

By the time we made it over to the Mack Young Star family coaster the park was all but dead, meaning yay, walk on rides! I once again confused the ride ops by refusing the VR on this one, instead opting to ride old school. I actually really love these coasters - I've ridden four of the five in the world and always find they pack a hell of a punch for a family ride. Plenty of lovely airtime and fun transitions and just effortlessly smooth. Much better than the usual Vekoma Rollerskater these are clearly inspired by.

But enough faffing around - it's B&M time! Imagine a dive coaster. Now imagine a dive coaster's capacity. Now imagine a dive coaster on one train's capacity. Yh....we were glad the park was clearing out at this point as this could very easily have had a very nasty queue. I think we waited about 20 mins in the end which wasn't bad at all. This was....essentially it rides like SheiKra at Busch Gardens Tampa. It's very, very good. It isn't mind blowing, but it's just that high quality B&M goodness we all know and love. Can't fault it.

The final cred of the day for us (curse you spiteful Premier SkyRocket called SkyRocket!) was the Intamin Half Pipe coaster, who chose not to break tradition with the other Half Pipe coasters and be called Half Pipe. I've ridden another of these in Finland, and I didn't really remember a lot other than it Maybe? Seems like a weird thing for me as I'm not usually a huge fan of spinny, back-and-forthy type things but sure. Turns out, my fuzzy memory was right - totally fun! Doesn't go on too long nor spin too much to be nauseating and just the right amount of speed for some sweet, sweet airtime. Yay!

With all the creds out of the way we had time for just one more attraction, and with no kooky dark rides of note and Conor and I not really being into our flat rides we opted for the pirate themed rapids. Now, it's worth noting that we'd gathered by now that Chinese rapids are REALLY spiteful when it comes to wetness levels. Like they hold nothing back and really go hardcore on the soaking. Couple that with the fact that every single person riding usually wears a poncho, we could tell we were in trouble. And we weren't wrong - we got absolutely, head to toe drenched. But meh, it was the end of the day and we were heading to our hotel straight after so we didn't really care too much!

And that was our day at Chimelong Paradise! Despite being able to ride everything we wanted to, even with only 4 hours in the park, I do wish we'd had slightly longer to just take things at a more relaxed pace. We didn't miss anything at all, but I would have liked more rerides on the B&M and even Chinese Colossus, but our strict schedule meant there really wasn't much time left over to do any of that!

Despite that, we had a really good time at this park. My expectations were exactly on the money - it's more Six Flags than Phantasialand, a pretty straightforward paint-by-numbers amusement park with a selection of high quality coasters in a clean and pleasant environment. There's nothing there that's going to change your life for riding, but it's definitely one to check out if you're in the area!

Talk later xoxo,