HB World – 2019 Trip Report

Sean: Wonder what China’s version of a studios–themed park is like? Wonder no more! The famous Huayi Brothers have major studio property right by the park, and recently opened a movie studios theme park with a wild mix of knock-offs, stellar world-class attractions, and bizarre dark rides. Let’s head in to this amazingly well–manicured park and see if polish alone can carry the place!

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The park’s entrance plaza is giant and beautiful with lots of landscaping.

The park’s entrance is not only polished but is actually the most utilitarian we’ve seen so far on the trip. Ticket center with self-service machines that actually accept cash (very unique for Chinese parks, where WeChat Pay is the way to go), as well as a locker center that also accept cash! The customer service center had some of the nicest and most helpful employees we’ve encountered anywhere in the country. Last but not least, there is a group entrance and an individual entrance, depending on the type of party you’re with. The park seems ready to accept the masses.

The park knows what the “dress to impress” saying is all about. Before even heading in, we were impressed with the presentation. Welcome to HB World!

Once inside, a typical Hollywood Boulevard style main street can be found, a very nice looking one. Though in true Chinese fashion, the lack of people quickly made it feel a little sterile.

Winding our ways through the great architecture of the park’s very detailed themed areas, we made our way to Wings of Glory, the B&M Wing Coaster. We didn’t quite know how to get there but wanted to be ahead of school groups, thus we slithered our way through various streets and ended up being the first at the ride.

As we could have expected, Wings of Glory wasn’t open yet. We patiently waited for the park to test it. Chinese parks have a thing for building WAY TOO MUCH overflow queue, so this ride too has switchbacks that could hold thousands of riders.

We’ll touch on the amazing Wings of Glory experience in a little bit. First we’ll head to the park’s most intricate and amazing area.

When we said the park was particularly polished, we weren’t kidding. The next area we’re headed into just took our breath away. The entrance to the area is home to an S&S Shot ‘n Drop and a Swinging ship, thematically accurate ones of course.

Welcome to the Tongtian Empire! The most massive and incredible theme park area I’ve ever seen. I mean this is not just forced perspective – the park actually built a giant city square based on “Die Renjie’s Heavenly Empire” and “Di Renjie’s God Dragon King” (IP content associated with the area).

Home to a few flat rides, meet ‘n greets, shops and restaurants, the area seems to mostly be designed to just take it all in. It was very impressive.

Off to the side of the massive statue is also a fairly sized spinning coaster, dwarfed by the giant buildings.

Before heading to Inflaming Beatles, let’s admire the massiveness once more.

The queue for the park’s spinning coaster, Inflaming Beatles, is gorgeous and is made up of a small garden and several sets of switchbacks.

Another look at the gorgeous statue that really dwarfs the spinning coaster. The coaster looks a bit off and that’s because it’s a unique Beijing Jiuhua Amusement Rides Manufacturing Co., Ltd. model called “Super Skateboard”. As of right now, this installment is the only one of its kind by the local Chinese manufacturer.

The ride’s layout was a fun combination of usually spinner elements and had a bit of a Pandemonium (Six Flags Over Texas, etc.) feel to it.

The coaster is an impressive 64 ft. tall and 1,640 ft. long. All is dwarfed by the massive surrounding infrastructure, however.

As the statue indicates, the ride is actually pretty on-point. The trains were uncomfortable and strange but the ride was a lot of fun. Luckily it didn’t spin too much.

The ride’s plot is surrounded by castle walls and though it’s located right next to a major ride, the sight line game of the park is strong!

I am not so sure what exactly the look of the vehicles is supposed to be, but I take it it may be a beetle.

As you can see the layout was pretty sprawling and managed to have a few good elements, especially the drop in the middle of the ride.

And here’s the finale that winds around the ride’s exit!

On the exact other side of the Tongtian Empire is the park’s flume dark ride. The ride’s all indoor and includes a splash finale, several screened scenes, some horrible and not-so-horrible animatronics and scenes.

The literal translation of the ride is Exploring the Ghost City of Di Renjie. The queue for the ride is landscaped so amazingly nicely.

The rest of the indoor queue is quite detailed as well, but then the actual ride was already having some upkeep issues. I guess it’s a Chinese theme park after all, but expected a bit more from the famous Chinese movie studio.

I very much enjoyed our visit to this massive Tongtian Empire – it very much felt like we were exploring a very culturally important tourist destination. Life-sized.

To exit you cross a massive bridge back into the rest of the park, where the park’s double Inverter-style ride was consistently dispatching.

Time to show off my Movie Park Germany shirt and drink some green tea in front of the HB World in-park tram.

The architecture and structural integrity around the entire park is very strong. So strong even, it almost feels like the E-tickets were an afterthought.

For example, one of the park’s several indoor dark rides is an interactive shooting ride. The ride is perfectly hidden and blended with Wings of Glory, but the quality of the ride could have been a bit better… to say the least.

Let’s kill(?) some terrible people on Zhidou Shenji Camp!

Another very important ride for the park is their massive dark ride themed to the Huayi Brother’s hit-movie The Assembly. The area again is highly impressive and very much carries the theme.

Assembly Number the ride is the park’s signature dark ride and has one of the largest queues I have ever seen, and so detailed!

Turns out the park actually built a giant dark ride in a warehouse, an Indiana Jones (Anaheim) style ride, but with VR headsets. There is no physical scenery of any kind in the entire building. The ride has impressive VR and is quite long, but this would never be a success in a major US park, and I am not so sure if VR could ever really replace physical scenes.

Again, the areas in the park are beautiful and well-manicured.

Also home in The Assembly is Air Raid Alert, a Zamperla Air Race.

Unlike Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, I actually had to wait only 0 minutes to ride HB World’s version:

To my surprise, Hilton Suzhou actually sponsors the park and has its own facade on Avenue of Stars.

We’ve got more credits to grab! So let’s head to “You Are The One” and “Yang Cheng Baby” lands, which are the kids and family areas.

Ready for a pretty good rip-off Vekoma rollerskater? YES YOU ARE! Because it has two trains and it’s fish themed.

Appropriately named Big Fish Roller Coaster, we actually really enjoyed our ride on this strange rendition of the ride.

Last, but definitely not least, is Wings of Glory! The park’s stunning and action-packed B&M Wing Coaster. I am amazed that the ride is hidden behind a ton of buildings and is situated so nicely on the water. Usually Wing Coasters are just giant steel machines that have the potential to ruin a landscape, but not this installment!

The ride starts with a pretty typical Dive Loop, however, thanks to the 8-car trains (which is long for a smaller Wing Coaster), the first drop is actually quite intense. The loop following the drop packs a punch too, and has perfect pacing. The front of the cars actually have little propellers that spin, which is a simply amazing little bit of theming.

The coaster may only be 118 ft. tall, but it still packs 6 inversions! All inversions are different, the 3rd inversion being a Zero-G-Roll.

Which is followed by an Immelman just over the station and queue.

Wings of Glory wastes no time and rushes right into the ride’s unique element that starts of as a Zero-G-Roll but then turns into a helix down and makes a swift S-turn into the ride’s corkscrew. The corkscrew is actually quite fantastic given it rides so differently on a Wing Coaster.

Just when you think “this is THE Batman clone of the Wing Coasters,” the ride throws an intense helix at you with some crazy leg choppers.

And then it was concluded. I wouldn’t mind seeing this model in more places!

Wings of Glory has an awesome setting, great color scheme and solid integration. I was really expecting the Wuxi Sunac Land Falcon to be the big bad B&M Wing, but I prefer Wings of Glory at HB World.

Let me pose with the ride for you all:

Wings of Glory is actually a clone of Hot Go Dreamworld’s Wing Coaster, built in 2016. However, Hot Go Dreamworld never opened and currently is home to several major attractions that are SBNO including a unique Shambhala-esque B&M Hyper Coaster. Luckily Wings of Glory had glorious dispatches.

And with this park’s star coaster we will wrap up our update! A final look at the seamless integration of very nice theming around the park and the thrill ride.

Goodbye HB World <3

HB World, you and your amazing staff were a pleasure! Thank you for helping with our luggage and finding us a taxi driver crazy enough to drive us back to our hotel near Disney! We look forward to seeing your development as a park!

China’s got so much more to offer! Check out these recent China reports and podcasts:

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