Happy Valley is the biggest and slickest of Beijing’s amusement parks, with over 40 rides spread over seven themed zones, such as ‘Shangri-La’ and ‘Ant Kingdom’. There’s a hint of the Disneyland approach here, although minus Mickey and friends. But Happy Valley’s rides are the real reason people flock here, with intense thrills offered by the likes of the ‘Extreme Rusher’ – a modern roller coaster that hits 135km/hr and twists through almost-impossible angles. Be prepared to queue – even on a weekday morning, we had to wait over 80 minutes to enjoy that 35-second adrenaline rush.
For those with kids (or a lack of nerves), there are gentler offerings at Happy Valley that have much shorter lines, as well as activities such as face painting (10-30RMB) or cruising the park in a two-person buggy (120RMB/hr). There’s also a carnival, with free special entertainment, running until Sunday 26. Fun for all, then, as long as you don’t mind big crowds.
Best ride The ‘Apollo Wheel’ – a terrifying contraption that spins you around on the outside of a wheel, while you swing, pendulum-like.
Top tip Start by planning your route, instead of wandering aimlessly around. The park is big and some of the rides shut at 1pm.
Cost 200RMB for adults (entry, unlimited rides); 130RMB for children 1.2-1.5m tall, and adults 65-69 years old; free for over-70s and kids under 1.2m. Night ticket (many facilities closed) 80RMB for 6-10pm.
How to get there
You’re best off getting a taxi, which will cost around 30RMB from the south of the city centre.
See our guide to Beijing's best theme parks