Shanghai’s Disneyland is set to open in December 2015, though instead of simply transporting visitors to the American version of the Magic Kingdom, this one’s themes will have a decidedly Chinese flair. For those of use who simply can’t wait or don’t have the right visas for a short trip to Hong Kong, China’s other theme parks are also worth the trip. Don’t worry, roller-coaster junkies and animal kingdom enthusiasts- with over 2,000 theme parks in China, there’s something out there for everyone.
1. Happy Valley (Beijing)
540,000 square meters and encompassing everything from Atlantis to the Ant Kingdom, Happy Valley is a classic theme park paradise. For our southern friends, Shenzhen also has a smaller version. It’s made up of six themes: Fiord Forest, Atlantis, Lost Maya, Aegean Harbor，Shangri-La and the Ant Kingdom, and has over ten performances for visitors to see. At over 106 feet tall, the Crystal Wing is one of the fastest and most famous coasters in the park.
2. Window of the World (Shenzhen)
Don’t have time to actually go overseas? Shenzhen Window of the World has replicas of the world’s greatest wonders along with folk song and dance performances. Over 130 reproductions of famous sights, such as the Eiffel Tower, the Pyramids, and Mount Rushmore, are squeezed into 118 acres of land. These sights are divided by region and easily walkable.
3. Chimelong Happy World (Guangzhou)
Guangzhou’s largest theme park, Chimelong Happy World is world-class, made of equipment exclusively imported from Europe. The most famous aspect of the park is the Guinness World Record-holding roller coaster that has ten loops and goes up to 45 miles per hour. They also have a large animal park.
4. Fantawild Adventure (Wuhu)
Though Fantawild has a chain of theme parks around the world, the Wuhu Adventure Park is one of the largest at 125,000,000 square meters. It includes 15 different areas within the park, including the largest Mayan themed area in China. Even though Wuhu is the hometown of Li Bai, the ancient Chinese poet, if you’re tired of history and want a bit of adrenaline, Fantawild Adventure is the place to go.
5. Splendid China Folk Town (Shenzhen)
Too afraid to travel in China? Are you allergic to ancient history, but want to impress your friends with your cultured visits to China’s 名胜古迹 míngshèng gǔjì (scenic spots and historical sites)? Go to the Splendid China Folk Town, where the 30 hectare park is covered in miniatures of Chinese destinations like the Great Wall and the Temple of Heaven. The park also holds performances that reinact major Chinese historical events, such as a horse show showing a battle led by Genghis Khan
Since we still have a year to wait for Disneyland, China’s theme parks are worth the visit- especially if you have the chance to visit off-season.
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