Located roughly 25 miles (40.2 kilometers) from downtown Shanghai, Happy Valley Shanghai is an amusement park of epic proportions. Designed to service the most populace city in China, the grounds sprawl over more than 200 acres. Over 100 attractions are housed in seven themed zones (Sunshine Beach, Happy Times, Typhoon Bay, Gold Mine Town, Ant Kingdom, Shanghai Beach and Shangri-la Woods).
Highlights in the aforementioned zones include the Flying Cinema (which replicates the sensation of flying), the Mayan Carnival, the International Magic Festival, and the Fireball (China’s first wooden rollercoaster). Other coasters in the park include the Diving Coaster (reputedly the world best “backboneless drop-coaster”, which plummets 197 feet [60 meters]), LeLe’e Chariot, Mega-Lite, Mine Train Coaster and the aptly named Spinning Coaster.
When you need a break, visit the Shangri-la Woods zone, where you can take a leisurely float down the Rapid River and admire a beautiful canyon, rock features, culverts, forests and flowers.
Dining options include fast food (Pizza Hut and KFC) and specialty sit-down restaurants in Typhoon Bay, Shanghai Beach and Ants Kingdom.
Opened in 2009, the park initially faced some controversy when a handful of individuals were injured because unsafe design features. Since that time, however, the kinks appear to have been worked out.
Happy Valley can be reached via subway (the 9 line) or by bus. Admission is approximately $30 for an all-inclusive ticket, with discounts for students (small children are free). Hours of operation are 9.a.m.-6 p.m. daily.