Japan / Travel

TOP 5 : My Most Favorite Amusement Parks in Asia

Even as adult, I absolutely LOVE amusement parks. You can easily spend a day with friends, laughing, screaming, taking photos, or simply having FUN and be AMUSED. Thus, even though I’ve only visited some parks in Indonesia, Japan and Singapore, I’d like to share to you some of my favorite parks. Though, I have to say sorry for the lack of photos because I lost almost my old photos in my broken HDD *sobs*

The major interest factors that I usually look in a theme park are :

The rides

This is pretty much self-explanatory, isn’t it? Theme parks are built mainly for its ride, and they’re throwing a pissing contest for the biggest, the longest, the scariest, etc amongst themselves. Especially for an adrenaline junkie like myself, the scariest the ride is, the more I want to try and go there. The sky is the limit.

Park size and interior

As amazing the rides would be, it sucks if the park is too small. As much fun as you’d get from one ride, it’s impossible to ride it more than 5 times. Also, bigger parks means you’ll have to do quite a walk to get from one place to another, which means, time killer at the same time. And also, there’s a reason they’re called “theme” parks. Because they got a theme for their interior, and gives the people extra reason to come : Take as much photos as possible!

Foods and snacks!

Guaranteed you’ll spend your day inside the park. If they don’t have great options for foods and snacks, then you’ll have to be prepared to bring some on your own. Even though you’re having the time of your life, it’s not possible to not eat anything and be hungry for the whole day! And sometimes, I take that extra length to find that scrumptious meals provided exclusively in a certain park. It’s just part of the package.

Yes, though theme park can be very costly, I usually didn’t mind throwing the extra money for the experience. As the saying goes, “buy experience, not things” And if you look closely, sometimes you can get great bargain for the entrance ticket! In some park, there’s also option for paying separately for each ride instead of the all-inclusive tickets. But I usually skip this option for the obvious reason, if you enjoy it too much, you’ll ended up pay more.

Based on the above, below are some of my favorite parks across Asia.

Dunia Fantasi Jakarta

Yeah, you probably wouldn’t expect this. But I still hold this old park close to my heart. Locally known as “Dufan”, they have a pretty decent rides – though most of them are VERY old, and the ticket has getting more and more expensive!

Recommended Ride :

Tornado

Suspended twist arm designed for 40people with 17m of height. In a hot day, you might also get a splash of cold water. Nice addition.

Hysteria

A 56m free-fall tower. Not too tall, but still a good fun anyway. But sometimes this type of “free-fall” tower that doesn’t let you fall freely can give you major headache.

Kora-Kora

A giant swing in a form of a traditional ship. Once seated, the operator will start to swing the ship up to 90 degrees. Thus, it’s highly recommended to sit at the very back to the ship to get to the highest point.

Arung Jeram

DUFAN

Drenched!

A raft water ride similar to Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure in Universal Studios Singapore (reviewed below) Some people said that you’ll get less wet if you sit on certain spot. But that’s not exactly true. So either wear a poncho, or get a change of clothes! My favorite is to dry-up my clothes by riding the flying chair attraction nearby.

Niagara-gara

A water-based ride which will take you rafting through traditional Indian camps. Closed by a drop which will guarantee you a water splash.

Open/Close :

Monday-Thursday : 1100-1800

Friday : 1330-2000

Saturday-Sunday/Public Holiday : 1000-2000

Entrance Fee :

Weekday : IDR140,000

Weekend : IDR265,000

 

Tokyo Disneysea

In front of Mount Prometheus

In front of Mount Prometheus

Being the only one in the world, I put this highly on my must-visit-park even though I’m not a big fan of Disney parks. And I was right. Tokyo DisneySea is much more fun than Tokyo DisneyLand with more mature rides and more beautiful decors. It’ll make you feel like you’re in Venice, complete with the canals and gondolas! Also, their “FastPass” system is amazing. If you plan carefully, you can ride in through the popular attractions without having to queue too long, and get to ride as many attractions as humanly possible! For the melancholic in me, I’m already having so much fun in planning the timing and ride sequence itself!

Recommended Ride :

Journey to The Center of the Earth

Though without much spins or drops, this 3-minutes coaster which runs at 75kmph is quite enjoyable. Don’t forget the little “surprise” at the end of the ride.

Tower of Terror

This free-fall tower disguised in a form of an old hotel elevator drops through pitch-darkness from 60m. When it reaches a certain height, the window will open and you can enjoy a stunning view of the park.

BraviSEAmo!

This is actually not a ride, but rather than a show. Coming to a Disney park, your visit won’t be complete without watching at least one of it. If you prefer to be busy hopping from one ride to another at day, you still have time to enjoy this night show – which I have to add – absolutely fantastic. The show taken place on the Mediterannean Harbor with the giant Mount Promotheus as a backdrop. It featured water, pyrotechnic and firework effects. Since 2011, this show was replaced by Fantasmic! – which I believe has the same wow factor as its predecessor.

Open/Close Schedule :

Tuesday-Thursday : 0830-2200

Friday-Monday : 0800-2200

Entrance Fee :

1-Day Passport : JPY6,200

2-Day Passport : JPY10,700

*During summer holiday (June-August) you can also easily find discounted tickets in convenience stores.

Universal Studios Japan

Located in Osaka, the park can be reached through the JR Universal City Line from JR Nishikujo station. You’ll already spend times just by walking through its huge area. Also, you can only “skip the line” by buying some extra pass which starts from JPY4,900-ish. As much as I’d like to try as many rides as possible, my budget wouldn’t allow me to do so. Resulted in missing one of the most exciting ride there is – The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man *sobs* No worries though since I heard the latest info of opening The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in 2014! *squeal*

Recommended Ride :

Hollywood Dream

hollywood dream

I got to ride on this 0G (zero gravity) coaster when it was brand-new baby, so the queue was crazy. But it was definitely worth it. The 1,200m ride reaches a height of 44m tall, and top speed of 90kmph. Add on-board stereo system which will play any songs of your choice throughout the ride. Chic, eh? Definitely an experience you wouldn’t want to miss!

Jurassic Park : The Ride

jurassic park

This is actually just a simple water-based ride using Steven Spielberg’s famous movie, Jurassic Park. But the small “surprise” at the end of the ride was nice. Just prepare to get wet!

Backdraft

In this attraction, you’ll experience a special effects being used during the filming of “Backdraft” which includes an astonishing fire-explosions! Don’t stand too close to the stage or you’ll get burned.

Open/Close Schedule :

Monday-Thursday : 0930-2000

Friday-Sunday : 0900-2100

Entrance Fee :

1-Day Pass : JPY6,600

2-Day Pass : JPY11,100

 

Universal Studios Singapore

Image

Entrance Gate

Located in Sentosa Island, this park is definitely one of the major attraction in small Singapore. The park itself is quite small, almost only one-third of Universal Studios Japan, so you can easily take half-day to complete the whole loop. So even though they also don’t have that “FastPass” system and they close rather quickly (at 1900!) don’t worry to miss out anything. They have similar attractions which I’ve had in Universal Studios Japan such as Jurassic Park : The Ride and Backdraft, so I just list below those I haven’t covered above.

Recommended Ride :

Battlestar Galactica – Cylon

BATTLESTAR

Human VS Cylon

This is definitely the highlight of the park! Battlestar Galactica is a dueling coaster contains of two different attractions : Human (the red one) and Cylon (the blue one). If you only have time to try one of them, I’d say go for Cylon. Compare to the seated Human, Cylon is a suspended 42m tall coaster which travels on an inverted track at approximately 90kmph. The fog pit also adds a nice touch, especially on a hot day! Excitement guaranteed!

Revenge of The Mummy : The Ride

If you’re the kind of person who couldn’t stand height, but doesn’t have problem as long as you can’t see it, then go for this one. A high-speed coaster at 72kmph which runs completely in the dark gives you no ideas whatsoever of what’s coming through your way. And as other Universal rides, this one also comes with a great background story and indoor artefacts.

Waterworld

Actually the USJ has the same show, but I didn’t catch it back then. This is a very enjoyable live-action stunt show which involved fire and water. No water where you sit, just prepare to get splashed!

Goldilocks

A fast food restaurant located in the Far Far Away area (just in front of Shrek 4-D) I assure you, their fried chicken is to die for! Though highly fatty and can be quite oily sometimes, it’s real crisp on the outside and well-spiced on the inside. I refuse to eat in another place but here. Get a bucket to be shared with your group!

MARILYN_USS

Marilyn Monroe Lookalike

Open/Close Schedule :

Monday-Friday : 1000-1900

Saturday-Sunday : 1000-2000

Entrance Fee :

1-Day Pass : SGD74

2-Day Pass : SGD118

 

Fujikyuu Highland

This is by far my most favorite park! Straight and simple, they might not have fancy decors but they probably the only park with so many record-holding rides of Guinness Book of World Records. So if you’re into extremes, this is definitely is your place. Located at the base of Mount Fuji, doesn’t hurt that you also get an excellent view. The downside is, being Japan, they’re very strict to the rules. All the exciting rides won’t be operating if it’s raining. So, check your weather forecast carefully before deciding to go.

Recommended Ride :

Eejanaika

EEJANAIKA

Eejanaika?

This, definitely, is my most favourite ride! A 75m fourth-dimension coaster (spoiler : the seats rotate forward and backward at 360degress!) with 14 inversions which goes at 125kmph.

Dodonpa

Launched in 2001, this coaster once hold the record for world’s fastest coaster at 172kmph. The name of the ride stems from the deep taiko drumming sound that flows from the speakers as passengers wait in line to board the train. This music guarantees you a highly tense feeling, even before you board the coaster. The passengers won’t be directly taken to extreme speed, yet you’ll be given a slow ride through a tunnel. You’ll hear a countdown then a 3-seconds of dead air before the coaster is launched. Don’t forget the exciting 90 degrees vertical climb and sudden fall. The only thing you can feel is the wind blows! Ultimate experience!

Fujiyama

FUJIYAMA

Being launched in 1996, this probably is the oldest ride in Fujikyuu, but definitely not the least fun. Once hold the record for the world’s tallest roller coaster at 79m, the world’s tallest drop at 70m, and the world’s fastest at 130kmph. It’s named after the iconic Mount Fuji, which can be seen right in front of you before the headchopper drop. Such an amazing view, especially on a bright sunny morning.

The Haunted Hospital

Though separate entrance fee is required (additional JPY500), with a very long-lines (from 2-3hours queue), it’s definitely worth it. Taken a form of an abandoned hospital, patrons are required to go through the 700m track. Back in 2007, it took me 30minutes to complete the whole journey. The last time I heard, they have prolonged the track into a 900m line and you’ll be required to spend at least an hour to go through the entire hospital. And instead of mannequins and dolls, they hire real people as actors to scare-off the patrons. The decor, sound effect, costumes and make-up are excellent!

Open/Close :

Monday-Friday : 0900-1700

Saturday-Sunday : 0900-1800

Public Holiday : 0700-2100

*Schedule might change depends on the season. Please check directly to the official website.

Entrance Fee :

Entrance Only : JPY1,300

1-day Pass : JPY5,000

2-Day Pass : JPY8,000

Discount Price :

  • JPY4,600 for a 1-Day Pass : get the voucher from its official website.
  • BUS package of JPY7,100 from Shinjuku Bus terminal : includes return transfer by express bus.
  • JR TRAIN package of JPY6,700 from Shinjuku Station : includes return transfer by local trains.

 

Honorable Mention :

Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

BLUEFALL

Home of Aqua Museum, Japan’s largest collection of marine life with over than 500 different varieties of fish and 100,000 sea creatures. But I came here for the sole purpose of its attraction, the mighty Blue Fall. 107m tall, this free-fall tower will drop you at 125kmph. You don’t even have time to take a breath!

Tokyo Dome City

TOKYODOMECITY

Thunder Dolphin on the background

You might only know Tokyo Dome for its giant indoor stadium that only frequently used for baseball matches and music concerts. But Tokyo Dome City is actually an extensive entertainment city consisted of shopping mall, spa complex and an amusement park. One of the highlight of the park is Thunder Dolphin, a 79m steel hypercoaster with 130kmph of speed. The whole course passes around 1,100m which makes it quite a long ride. Though, the last news I received was due to some incident in 2010, they have to suspend the operation of this ride. So the coaster is still standing there, just no longer operating. Another loss for this park ever since they suspended the operation of an inverted impulse coaster – Linear Gale.

 

Still on my Bucket List :

  1. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Orlando : ‘nuff said.
  2. Ferrari World Abu Dhabi : Formula Rossa, anyone?
  3. Six Flags Great Adventure : Kingda Ka – one of the fastest, the longest drop, and the tallest roller coaster in the world!
  4. Fujikyuu Highland : just for the sake of their newest addition, Takabishathe world’s steepest roller coaster at 121 degrees freefall!

 

What about you? Do you enjoy amusement parks? What’s your favorite?

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4 thoughts on “TOP 5 : My Most Favorite Amusement Parks in Asia

  1. I love amusement parks too! If I make a list on the best amusement parks in Asia, Dufan will definitely be there too. I even think it’s better than USS (it’s too small.. I got bored after only a few hours). I haven’t been to Japan, but if I do, I’ll visit a lot of amusement parks! Fujikyuu Highland has been on my list since the Amazing Race season 9 LOL
    thanks for the post. I’m sharing it on my twitter 🙂

    • Hi Halida,
      Then I wasn’t the only one who thinks that Dufan is still our dear ol’ chaps! Hopefully they’ll add some new rides in the near future. And absolutely yes, you HAVE TO go to Fujikyuu. That’d probably be my numero uno most visited park amongst the list.
      Thank you for visiting and sharing!

    • Hi Michelle!
      Though I enjoyed Tokyo Disney Sea so much, I’m not sure about the other Disney parks – it doesn’t really cater to my liking. But if you’re into Disney characters, then you need to put it on your must-visit list!

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