With Walt Disney and Universal having an iron grip on high-end American theme parks, there’s little wiggle room for a new venture. If folks want a family-friendly adventure they head to Disneyland or Disney World. Something more exciting? Hollywood Studios and Islands of Adventure? Not enough money for an all-in summer vacation? Then dozens of smaller theme parks from the likes of Six Flags, Cedar Fair parks, and more scratch that itch. That doesn’t stop other movie studios from looking on with envy and thinking “Why not us?” The world is a big place, after all. Hence why Warner Bros. is building their flagship theme park in Abu Dhabi. Now Lionsgate is getting in on the act by officially announcing it’s building its own theme park in South Korea. Seven themed areas, or lands, are planned, including one based on The Hunger Games.
As reported by Entertainment Weekly, the park will cover 1.3 million square feet. Dubbed Lionsgate Movie World, the park will be part of the complex at South Korea’s Jeju Shinhwa World, a massive entertainment property sprawling over 20-million square feet. Jeju Shinhwa World first opened in 2017 and the resort will open in stages as construction finishes over the next few years. The area where Lionsgate Movie World will be located is currently a wooded area surrounded by fantasy-themed elements. According to the park’s website, the seven themed worlds will include The Hunger Games, Now You See Me, Divergent, Saw, The Cabin In The Woods, the upcoming film Robin Hood, and The Twilight Saga.
Having not one, but two, lands themed on the subjugation of humanity in a post-apocalyptic wasteland might sound counter-productive, but Lionsgate has had success with Hunger Games themed rides in the past. Motiongate Dubai has two rides based on the franchise starring Jennifer Lawrence — the Panem Aerial Tour and the Capitol Bullet Train. The former is a Star Tours-esque ride while the latter is a rollercoaster. I’m still not sold on the idea that anyone would want to visit Twilight- or Divergent-themed lands, but Lionsgate partnering with an already established mega-entertainment complex is smart. It will help offset costs and guarantees built-in foot traffic. Many a would-be theme park has died due to lack of attendance or high prices while trying to go it alone.
The park isn’t scheduled to open until 2019, so those curious to see what a Saw-themed land looks like or inexplicably want to take part in The Hunger Games have a couple of years to start saving up.