Editor’s Note: Lauren McCarthy, our intrepid writer, went to check out the “Happy Magic Water Cube Waterpark” yesterday. Here is her take on the experience.
Our verdict? I daresay that for some, the park may not be worth the price – although we can see it being a fun experience for families with kids and people for whom money is less of an object (and, perhaps, people with a healthy appreciation of kitsch).
The tiny park is split into three main areas. There is a wave pool, one grouping of three slides that require a height of 1.4m, and a second section of slides that are much smaller, with only two that offer any height or length.
I found the slides to be mediocre. The three largest ones start from around three stories up and the rest are merely large playground slides – even the management seems to be aware that their slides aren’t quite up to snuff seeing how the images on the website depict the same model, but built on a much larger scale and in a sunny outdoor setting.
There also isn’t much space available for actual swimming. The wave pool is fine for floating, but is the busiest and most crowded part of the park. Most visitors seem content with floating, many wearing the life vests provided by the park. Side B, consisting of the playground portion, seems to be only entertaining for young kids and is circled by a rather humdrum lazy river.
Of the three larger slides the Aqua Loop – a forty foot drop that loops back up about 20 feet – is the only one that offers any excitement. At the top is something akin to a glass sarcophagus where you stand and get locked in as you wait for the bottom to literally drop out from under your feet. As an added bonus, this slide is great to watch. Dropping three stories and going back up apparently requires some momentum. Unfortunately not everyone, particularly light-weight girls, can achieve this. The highly amusing result is seeing them go down and up … and back down the way they came, hence the presence of an emergency hole that allows the lifeguard to pull out the otherwise stuck little slider.
Perhaps the greatest charms of the park lie in some of the kitschy, “what-on-earth-is-coming-next” side attractions. Upon entering I came across a most unexpected sight (at least for a water park): As the waves died down in the wave pool, a band (and I use that term loosely) came on to a stage at the side of the pool. The two singers were obviously chosen for their looks, and the guitarists and a drummer looked completely bored and suspiciously like they were not actually playing their instruments.
The set started with some songs from the FIFA World Cup followed by a few cringe-inducing Lady Gaga covers. But I nearly rolled over when the Romanain 2004 pop-craze "Dragostea din tei", otherwise know as the “Numa Numa Song," came next – thus blurring the line between water park and tacky Euro-haus night club.
After the band left it was back to normal water park mode for an hour or so. A woman in a white tutu dress wearing wings and wielding a fuzzy wand came out into the crowd and sang and talked with the kids – it seems that surreal oddness is cyclical at this park.
Her brief appearance was followed (and absolutely eclipsed) by a line of Vegas-style showgirls dancing and sashaying away. I seemed to be the only one who considered this a strange sight – everyone else impassively took this as if they fully expected their waterpark visit to feature showgirls, fuzzy wand-wielding fairies and lip-synching cover bands.
By then it was all getting to be a bit much – like too much cotton candy or watching a Japanese game show at full volume for anything beyond a few minutes – I was more than ready for my day at the water park to end. Was it funny and enjoyable? Sure. But worth the 200-kuai and the time involved? Definitely not.
Happy Magic Water Cube Waterpark listing here.