What is the worst amusement park you know? There are many strong contenders out there, but to me there’s no real competition. The Beijing Shijingshan Amusement Park in China’s capital puts every rusty Eastern European ancient carousel collection to shame. I’ll show you why.
The current slogan of this park is “Happy, Healthy and High”. It would fit a drug and crossfit addict well, and I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s the target demographic of the park. Their previous slogan was better, though; “Disney is too far to go, please come to Shijingshan!” Following lawsuits from Disney, that slogan sadly was retired. But it still looms in the background, as we shall see.
Note that this visit to the park took place in 2014. I know for certain that it’s still open, though.
The admission fee may have gone up a bit since then, but I paid just 10 Yuan, roughly one percent of what it costs to enter Disney World. So while this is a pretty shitty park, it’s arguably better value for money than any Disney park. Especially when you consider that at a Disney park you will have to spend much of your day standing in line for attractions. At Shijingshan you’re always at the front of any line. You ARE any line!
Here’s the entrance as we arrive.
It’s obvious right way that this park is merely a poor Disney copy, made by someone whose only knowledge about the original came from an old uncle who knew someone who watched a ten minute YouTube amateur video tour from Disneyland.
Here you see not Main Street USA, leading down to not Cinderella Castle. I’d love to see their copy of Disney’s Main Street Electrical Parade, except it would probably involve a lot of electrocuted people.
The tone of voice used in this park is slightly less friendly than what Disney typically would go for. The pouting concrete princess is also somewhat depressing.
Further along, we can’t see anyone enjoying themselves. But at least we find a copy of the Epcot Center. Let’s head over there and see what exciting examples of modern technology they will show us.
On second thought, maybe going on that space shuttle ride isn’t such a good idea after all. This thing is more worn out than an Amazon employee on Christmas Eve. What else is nearby?
Oooh! It’s the America Adventure, disguised as a cyan European style medieval castle!
The American part of this attraction is that you are given a cart to sit your fat butt down in, a gun to shoot with, and off you go.
After first passing an American elephant, we soon proceed past an American kangaroo standing next to a slain American zebra, with rhinos and giraffes in the background.
It’s evident that the design team in charge of creating this ride knew as little about America as the average American knows about China.
Further along things get more American. Here are a couple of ugly white people that beg to be shot by you. Unfortunately, your gun doesn’t work at all, so you exit from this attraction with zero points on your scoreboard.
Here’s another ride we’re definitely not going on. This rollercoaster had ambitions, but they were crushed, just like the people who went on it before it was closed.
Suddenly a random Popeye appears. I’m pretty sure they happily renamed him Poopy in order to avoid a lawsuit from Universal in addition to the ones from Disney.
Behind the not Epcot Center we find Space Trip and Air Vagility. They sound amusing, but look lethal.
Disney may be the happiest place on Earth, but Shijingshan has got a strong claim for the angriest place not only on Earth, but in the whole Universe.
Some signposts dampen the anger of the park a little.
This one tells us the way to “Adventure of Jones”, which isn’t a copy of the Indiana Jones Adventure at all, and the “Adventure of Harry”, which clearly hasn’t anything to do with Universal Studios’ “Wizarding World of Harry Potter”. The other options are a bit harder to decipher, but we’ll go and have a look.
The “Warrior Turnplate” turns out to be a Shrek-style monster with pointy teeth.
Chinese Shrek will throw you around in the air until you surrender, or until a significant part of the machinery here breaks down. Whichever happens first.
Fans of Jaws can also enjoy this park. The teeth are wooden pegs that are easily removed. Actually, most of them have already been removed, so this thing is most frightening from a distance. Go close, and it’s just Geriatric Shark for you.
The people of China are effortlessly morphing into the shape, eating and dressing habits of Americans. It’s rather discomforting to see.
Well, this sounds intriguing!
But it’s just Jurassic Park all over again. Or is it?
Here’s a derpy Tyrannosaurus Rex for you. It’s the only Urass Adventure we can find.
Nothing says happiness more than an angry-looking cartoon character aiming a gun right at you. “Ride this, fothermucker!”
And here’s a party penguin. Or is it a one-party penguin? Hard to tell. Could be both.
Totally not Ariel from the Little Mermaid. This is Muriel, from the Aryan Mermaid.
If you get tired of all the walking in this spread-out park, you can always go on the rotating Pineapple Monorail instead. It feels more like a wacky moving prison than a ride, though, so maybe we’ll just keep on walking.
Here’s a Dr. Seuss-like section of the park that has received some fresh paint in relatively recent times. The fumes of paint thinner seems to have gotten to the poor pink rabbit on the right here.
The entire park used to be an even more obvious copy of the Disney parks than it is now. The owners of the park claimed that the similarities was because both Disney and Shijingshan used the Brothers Grimm fairy tales as inspiration. Still, they agreed to tone it down a bit eventually. But if you look closely, you can still find clear trademark violations here and there.
It’s such a great day in the park under the smoggy gray skies of Beijing. Even the elephant is hallucinating.
Dangerous and derelict parks like this one must also have rules. For example “Please read the introduction first, then enjoy it.”, and “Don’t use the currency of the other recreation room.”, whatever that means. I’m not sure if reckless blogging is an uncivilized action, but I guess I’ll find out now.
There’s a climbing wall, too. And it’s pretty impressive. If you can make it to the top, you win a stuffed toy. If you can’t, you fall down and probably die.
This Peter Pan-themed attraction contains some elements you would definitely not find at Disney. I’ll let you guess which they are.
One of the roller coasters is unfortunately temporarily out of order, but they’re working on fixing it!
As soon as they’ve fixed it, they’ll hopefully remove the nest that some cheeky birds built on the rails while the maintenance work went on.
Anything American is cool in China, as evidenced by this bumper car ride.
Here’s another roller coaster. When summer comes, the Worm Coaster will have plenty of foliage to chew its way through.
Here’s the ticket window for the Worm Coaster. Sadly it’s closed. This ride actually looks possible to survive.
Oh, dear gods, what is that?!
I’m glad I didn’t bring any children to the park today. If I wanted to see severed heads, I would just sit down next to any random road in China and wait for an accident to happen.
Ah, of course. It’s the Ghostly Palace. If it’s haunted by even just half the number of visitors that probably have abandoned life in the rides in this park, it should be pretty good!
Nope. This ride sucks as well.
This ride in particular and this park in general must be what Chinese hell looks like. It’s not very scary as such, but like everything else here, it’s scary how badly made it is.
Please let me know if you have seen a worse amusement park somewhere. I’d be eager to visit.
You actually want to see this place for yourself?!
Well, then just go to Beijing and get on the Subway Line 1, and take it almost as far west as you can.
Leave at Bajiao Amusement Park station. The park entrance is just a few hundred meters further west along the Shijingshan road outside the station. You can’t miss it.
You can find opening hours and news about any exciting developments at the park on their web site, which like all their rides may or may not work.
As of the time I checked, the park seems to open at 9 in the morning all days, and they close at different times in the afternoon depending on the season. Going around noon should be safe, at least as long as your main goal is to be allowed into the park, and not to actually go on any rides.