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PW Sept 09 P28-30:PW Sept 09 P28-30.qxd 26/08/2009 13:26 Page 29
Park Profile
Signature Coaster
Hurricane Bay in Shanghai
“This coaster is the park’s signature ride,” confirms
Wang. “The local people wanted something large,
something international, but also they wanted to see
something they thought was ‘old’ or classic. That’s why
we chose the wooden coaster.”
Designed and engineered by the Gravity Group,
Fireball features more than 1km of track. Another ride
that makes a statement is Bolliger & Mabillard’s tallest
Diving Machine to date, 60-metres-high, and only the
second such ride in China. Other key attractions include
an Intamin Mega-Lite Coaster and Mine Train, Golden
Horse Shoot-the-Chute, S&S double tower ride and
Soaring China, a new simulation platform from Huss
market. However, it was a strategic decision for us to Park Attractions (see panel on next page for full
open our park now and be the first.” attraction list).
OCT may take some heart from Ocean Park’s The gigantic OCT Grand Theater is home to the
experience in Hong Kong. With a firm grasp and musical Magical Destiny. Other live entertainment
understanding of the local market, the incumbent has offerings throughout the park include a “Red River”
been able to hold on to the top spot and go from horse show based on the poetry of Song Dynasty soldier
strength to strength after the arrival of Disneyland. Yue Fei, song, dance and fashions shows inside Arthur’s
Happy Valley’s owner is likely to have considerably less Palace and a performance area at the Shanghai Bund,
time to acquaint itself with the market in Shanghai but, where audience participation is encouraged. There is
as with other OCT parks, hopes a strong cultural and also a daily parade at the lake shore.
live entertainment programme will resonate with Open year round, projected annual attendance for
guests. the new park is 4 to 5 million. That’s an ambitious
“We are not completely sure about the local target given that no Happy Valley yet exceeds 3.5
people’s preferences yet, but they do seem very million guests, but then this is the largest park yet, with
passionate about the park,” remarks Wang. “At each a catchment area to match. Time will tell if those
Happy Valley we have gone through a learning numbers can be achieved.
process. In Shenzhen, the market is more mature and Over in Chengdu, attendance has been steady
Happy Valley is well recognised. When Happy Valley since the park opened in January, leading OCT to
Beijing opened though, the local people didn’t predict Happy Valley number three is on course to rack
accept it very well because they were focused on the up between 2 and 2.5 million visits during its first year.
rides and comparing it to parks that used a [pas-as- “So far attendance is very stable,” confirms Wang,
you-go] ticket system. We went through a lot of “around 20,000 at weekends and holidays and 3-
difficulties in the beginning. I think in Chengdu there 5,000 on weekdays.”
is a better understanding, and in Shanghai people The park made headlines after “attracting” 400,000
Coaster in
are catching up. Although we started our marketing guests in its first month. However, Wang admits that this
late, we sold 20,000 annual passes in May before was a freak occurrence due to over enthusiastic families
the park had even opened, so I guess that speaks for misinterpreting news reports.
itself.” “After the [Sichuan Province] earthquakes, information
Used in much of the advance promotional material was released saying entry to municipal parks was free,”
for Happy Valley Shanghai has been the park’s iconic he explains. “However this did not include Happy Valley
Fireball ride, the nation’s first wooden rollercoaster. because it doesn’t belong to the local government.
“That ride has become famous not just in Shanghai, People got the wrong message and came to our park!
but all of China,” smiles Chuck Bingham of Martin & When they heard there was a huge crowd in front of
Vleminckx, the US firm that sold it and oversaw the the gates, the executives said let them in for free in case
coaster’s construction. “You walk in and it’s right something happens. Fortunately our staff were well
there in front of you. It’s a real centrepiece for the trained and nothing bad happened, but some of the
park and forms a great backdrop to the lake.” flowers and grass got trampled!”
Happy Valley Shanghai: a panorama
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