Disney and World of Warcraft theme parks are China-bound


By USA Today

Attention Disney fans: New details have emerged about the Shanghai Disneyland theme park, construction on which is reported to commence as early as May.

The park’s $3.7 billion Phase I will cover 2.7 square miles. Plans indicate lots of water features, including an interior lake and a six-mile “river” surrounding the park. The project will consist of three theme parks: Magic Kingdom, Epcot and Animal Kingdom, according to a Chinese government statement released earlier this month.

The park, reportedly opening in 2015, will be southeast of Shanghai, just 13 miles from the city’s People’s Square.

Another new theme park, this one modeled on the on-line game World of Warcraft (which has 12 million or so players worldwide), is said to be opening this spring in China’s Wunjin district.

Touted as the world’s first video-game-themed attraction, the existence of World Joyland was first reported in February by a French gaming blog. The news was initially believed to be a hoax, but the Huffington Post reports there are plenty of construction photos and a Chinese news story on the project.

The park already is providing fodder for late-night comedians. Here’s Jimmy Fallon’s take on it: China is building a theme park based on “World of Warcraft.” Gamers are already complaining about the park’s location: out of doors. “Is it safe to breathe? What’s that big light?” Each roller coaster has a sign that says, “You must be this single to go on this ride.”

And in other theme park news, Thorpe Park, a theme park near London-area Heathrow and Gatwick airports, has drawn criticism from the British Airline and Pilot Association for a proposed new coaster ride with an “urban devastation” theme. Part of the scenery includes a crashed plane. The park calls it “an immersive experience.”

The pilots association calls it “tasteless.”


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