A couple of Saturdays ago I joined one of my classes on a trip to an amusement park a couple of hours from Hefei in the city of Wuhu. They were so excited to spend time with me and said they would practice their English. Some of them did while others didn’t say any more than they would have in class. They were also excited because Aaron came with us so they got to spend time with another foreigner.
It was a rainy day so I half expected the excursion to be canceled but true to Chinese fashion it wasn’t and we toughed out the rain. It was still fun and we got to go on some rides, but the roller coasters were all closed, supposedly because of the rain. One advantage to the rain was no lines. If we waited it wasn’t very long at all.
The amusement park, Wuhu FantaWild, was divided in true theme park fashion by worlds, zones or whatever you want to call them, each area with its own look and feel in the attractions, landscaping, signage and characters. Our first stop was the area themed around the ocean. In this area there was only one big attraction.
This seemed to be the case with each area, so the park really didn’t have that many big rides or attractions. It seemed to focus more on the buildings and scenery fitting into the theme. It was also noticeable that they visited several theme parks around the world like the Disney parks and translated those ideas and attractions to fit their themes and audience.
At the ocean area we watched a 4D movie. That means a 3D movie that has seats with stuff that can come out and touch you or smells or something else. It was an innocent movie with a very cliché plot but it was fun. The 3D was also very impressive. I did learn though how emotionally immature some of my students are. One girl sitting near me, she’s 18 or 19, got so scared a few times because of the 3D and the movie theme that she started crying and couldn’t watch.
We rode a carousel, a ride with dinosaurs taking over and more 3D, a couple of flight simulators, and watched a couple of shows. The first show we watched was a special effects demonstration. They asked for volunteers and my students basically forced Aaron and I up there. I was a slave in irons that magically turned into a skeleton and Aaron was a military man shooting a machine gun on the back of a jeep. I have videos that I’ll try to post to Photobucket.
Another observation was the use of copy-written materials or close copies of them such as the multiple John Williams songs used in the waiting areas or on the rides. Overall, the day was good. It was fun to go to a Chinese amusement park that has at least three times as many restrooms as rides and to spend time with my students.