Family Fun at Happy Valley
To celebrate its 10th anniversary, Mainland China’s most popular amusement park opened a brand new RMB 200 million (E19m/$29m) family area at the start of the year. Best described as a park within a park, the Magic Castle at Happy Valley in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, covers 40,00 square metres and features over 20 new attractions.
The new area is hosted by Happy Valley mascots Huan Huan and Lee Lee, a pair of cartoon ants, and located immediately to the right of the main park entrance. Attractions are split across three themed sub sections – Fancy Island, Magic Wood and the Magic Castle.
More than 60% of the attractions at the Magic Castle are undercover, including a Christmas-themed dark ride by the Sally Corporation (the first of three North Pole Adventure rides for Happy Valley parent company OCT), a 4D Cinema by Kraftwerk/3DBA and the daily Four Season Carnival Parade in the Dome Theatre.
Other key rides and attractions include the Wild Elfin rooftop spinning coaster, Castle Watch monorail and a double-deck carousel, all by Golden Horse, a Baby Coaster by SBL (pictured), a collection of smaller attractions from Zamperla Suzhou, an interactive theatre by Alterface, a fantasy-themed playground, plus interactive features like Little Builder and Fire Station, both of which were built-in house by OCT. Cooling guests down in the heat is Jungle Water Fight, 3DBA/Preston & Barbieri’s most-elaborate Splash Battle installation to date, with theming by Falcon’s Treehouse.
Since it opened, the Magic Castle has contributed to overall increase in park attendance, with 65,000 extra guests coming in the first three months alone, half of them are children under 15 or adults over 35. This generated an extra RMB 8.3 million in revenue, representing a growth rate of 12.9% compared to the same time last year. If this trend continues, Happy Valley seems well poised to exceed 3.5 million guests by the end of 2008, beating last year’s total of 3.2 million.
See the September 2008 printed edition of Park World for many more pictures from the Magic Castle.