World of Warcraft and Starcraft are featured in a gaming theme park now open in the Changzhou, Jiangsu province of China. Costing 200 million yuan, or about $30 million USD, the world’s first video game themed park called World Joyland includes seven sections sprawling over 600,000 square meters.
The two already mentioned are of interested to gamers, while the rest of the Joyland park has areas like Taobao Street which is a copy of Main Street USA at Disney World. Fairy Lake is at the center of the theme park, and features a rainbow castle surrounded by a lake where park guests can attempt to water ski. World of Legend hosted a rollercoaster themed after generic heroes of old, but it also features a Cosplay dressup center and a Game Fort. Mole’s World is for the kids, and the Holy Mountain is another unfinished section that towers over the rest of the park.
This Chinese theme park also gives no mind to United States intellectual property laws because it features Disney icons and even Kung Fu Panda statues without paying any licensing fees. Because World Joyland obviously did not purchase the rights to use characters and names from Blizzard, the World of Warcraft portion of the theme park is renamed to “Terrain of Magic” and Starcraft is humorously mislabeled the “Universe of Starship.”
You can tell that the writer at Shanghaiist is a gamer because of the description given to the World of Warcraft area:
“We couldn’t help but imagine finding groups of aimless people waiting outside rides looking to join a raid. Or giant microphones blasting agitated youths cursing one another, or costumed dwarves screaming LEEEEROY JENKINSSS at 15 minute-intervals throughout the park.”
The world of Warcraft area features a ride called Splash of Monster Blood. There’s no distinction made between the horde and alliance but copyright infringing statues of elves, humans, mermaids, and dragons litter the whole area.
The Starcraft area is home to a rollercoaster, a 4D theater, and a drop tower ride called the Wrath of Ratheon. Shanghaiist describes what sort of amusement this area provides:
“The main attraction of the park is a big blue inverted rollercoaster, aptly named the Sky Scraper but misspelled as the Sky Scrapper on its signboard. Amusement park rides are a dangerous affair in China, and we weren’t entirely sure we’d come back from this one alive. One of the most disturbing parts of the park was the general decay we witnessed, unnerving in a park open only a hair shy of two months. Cracks in paint and rust on handrails made the attendants’ habit of screaming ‘Goodbye!’ as the roller coaster surged out of the gates even more terrifying.”
So not quite the gamer’s mecca, but it still certainly sounds fun. Best part is that guests overwhelmingly were young children, so lines for the exciting rides tended to be relatively short. What do you think about this video gaming theme park?