It looks like the Lionsgate theme park might finally be happening! Here are some things we’d love to see, do, and eat at the park.
There’s been speculation about theme parks surrounding Lionsgate movies for years. There’s even been concrete plans to build theme parks devoted to The Hunger Games, Twilight, and Divergent, everywhere from Atlanta to Dubai. It seems like everyone’s looking to profit off of these worlds that Lionsgate’s movies created, but nobody’s done it yet!
Well, as we previously reported, Jeju Shinhwa World theme park in South Korea might be the first to actually make this theme park a reality.
The park has officially been licensed the movie properties, and the plan is to open a specific “Lionsgate Movie World” in 2019! The park will span 1.3 million square feet and will contain seven different movie zones. You’ll be able to find everything that you would in any other huge theme park: rides, streetscapes, restaurants, shows, and of course, tons and tons of merchandise.
The park has already announced its intentions for four of the seven lands. As far as we know now,
The Hunger Games, Twilight, Now You See Me and Robin Hood: Origins will all be included in the park.
We’ve already written about why a theme park centered around The Hunger Games is a terrible idea, and the current political climate definitely isn’t making us feel any better about it. We could potentially get behind a store full of mockingjay merchandise, or even a restaurant of Capitol food (it always sounded so delicious), but honestly, creating a theme park based on that world just seems wrong.
However, many of Lionsgate’s other properties would lend themselves wonderfully to everything a theme park can offer. We’ve taken a look at Twilight, Now You See Me, Robin Hood: Origins, Divergent, and more Lionsgate movies to figure out some ideas for what this theme park could look like. Check out what we want to see in the park, and let us know your own ideas, in the comments.
It’s interesting to think about a Twilight theme park, because it’s set entirely in the real world. Forks, Washington is a completely real place that you can go to at any time. The thing that makes the world of Twilight so fun to escape into is the extraordinary beings who live in Forks.
While we’d definitely have fun in a Forks streetscape that had a slight blue hue cast over it and featured rain 90% of the time, the best Twilight attractions would focus on the story and the characters. Here are a few things that would make for an epic day at the Twilight section of the theme park.
The Vampire Chaser
The name definitely needs work, but we’re picturing a huge roller coaster that has you chasing Victoria through Forks, trying to catch her before she can get to Bella. Some carts are dressed like wolves, and some like vampires. Bella has all supernatural beings on her side!
Using both screens and practical effects, the coaster could take you through the forest, the iconic meadow, Bella’s bedroom, and even the high school. For fun, you could take out some members of Victoria’s newborn army on the way. The coaster would end with a huge splash as Victoria escapes into the water, just beyond your reach. Don’t worry, you’ll get her next time.
On a hill just beyond Forks, Volterra, Italy would sit. It’s best not to get too caught up on geography when planning a theme park. From here, the Volturi watch over all of vampire kind, bending them to their will, when necessary.
From the town square, find the entrance to the Volturi’s kingdom and follow immaculately adorned hallways (aka the line-up section) to the park’s next ride. One where you, Bella, must save Edward and Alice from the clutches of the Volturi.
Once a year, the Twilight section of the park will celebrate St. Marcus day, the day when St. Marcus allegedly drove all the vampires out of Italy. Luckily, we know better.
Edward’s (and Rosalie’s) garage
Simple as some of them may be, every car in Twilight is like its own character. Enter the Cullen’s garage, which will be right next to a recreation of the beautiful Cullen home, and take as many selfies as you please with the Volvo, Bella’s truck, and even the Mercedes Guardian.
Edward and Bella’s first date restaurant
With the somewhat limited diet of the vampires, restaurant opportunities in Forks might be lacking. However, there is one restaurant that any couple who’s interested in Twilight would love to go to. Relive Edward and Bella’s first date with a recreation of La Bella Italia in Port Angeles, Washington. Come for the delicious Italian food, stay (or leave) for the romance.
‘Now You See Me’
Unlike The Hunger Games, Twilight, Divergent and even Robin Hood, Now You See Me didn’t have a pre-established fan base when it was released. The movie, and then the sequel, just came out of nowhere and entertained the hell out of us.
Now You See Me had great characters, a well-known cast, and an interesting plot, but the thing that really drew in audiences was the magic. It was just fun and entertaining. That’s why magic is exactly what the Now You See Me section of the park should focus on. They can do that with…
The most epic magic show the world has ever seen
Call in David Blaine. Call in Criss Angel. Call in Penn and Teller. Call in Neil Patrick Harris. Call in great, unknown YouTube magicians who are doing things differently. We need all hands on deck for this one. This magic show is going to be like nothing you’ve ever seen before. Except, of course, in the Now You See Me movies.
No trip to the Lionsgate theme park would be complete without an evening spent at the Now You See Me show. This theme park won’t be worth anything unless it can actually pull off the magic that brings people to the films.
Our wishlist includes huge stunts, a great cast, and maximum audience participation. There could be different shows for different nights of the week, or the tricks could change every few months. This alone would make a return visit to the park worthwhile.
The Eye Coaster
Pull off a magical heist along with the Four Horsemen as they finally gain acceptance to the elusive Eye. The ride will start as you hop onto a carousel on the way to your destiny. Follow the Horsemen as they take you through every type of magic trick, making you a participant and an accomplice in their scheme using a combination of 3D technology and practical effects.
‘Robin Hood: Origins’
We don’t actually know much about Lionsgate’s Robin Hood: Origins yet, as filming has just begun and the film won’t be released until 2018. Based on what we already know about the story of Robin Hood, though, we can expect some medieval streetscapes, and a ride that focuses on taking from the rich and giving to the poor.
For whatever reason, Divergent hasn’t yet been mentioned in the plans for the new Lionsgate theme park. We think this is a huge mistake, and hope they decide to include the franchise in their plans. While the movies may not be the strongest, the world of Divergent lends itself perfectly to a theme park.
We can see separate streetscape areas for each faction. The identical grey houses of Abnegation, the peaceful parks of Amity, the pristine labs of Erudite, the Merciless Mart, where the Candor call home, and of course, a ride through the Dauntless complex, which would obviously begin on the train tracks. Here are a few other things we’d love to see if Divergent makes the cut.
That zipline, though
Even the most acrophobic of Divergent fans has surely imagined themselves sailing between Chicago buildings on the Dauntless-made-zipline at least once. Tris makes it seem like the ultimate form of fun and freedom, with just the right dose of adrenaline.
Wait times would be atrocious, but it’d be worth it to soar over the entire park, just like Tris. They could even set up two or three ziplines so you could go with your equally dauntless friends.
The Fear Landscape
This idea could take one of two forms. Preferably both, actually. The first would be a coaster that allows you to go through Tris and Four’s fear landscapes with them, experiencing an extremely light version of what they experience.
The second, would be an experience that would actually allow you to go through your own fear landscape. Choose your fears from a set list and travel through the experience, conquering your fears as you go. Divergents beware. Jeannine is always watching.
Stores full of faction clothing
While you can barely even walk into a GAP nowadays without finding something from your Hogwarts house, faction merchandise is few and far between. Unlike a sorting, you choose your faction based on what you value most. For that reason, Divergent fans can be very attached to their chosen faction, and need to be able to show it off!
More Dauntless cake than you could ever eat
We’ll pass on the plain Abnegation food, but give us heaps of Dauntless cake at every restaurant in the park, please.
The massive and incredibly different world of Ender’s Game would lend itself to countless rides and an extremely fun theme park world to play in, but there’s one thing from the story that we absolutely need in our lives.
The Battle Room
Zero gravity battles, testing your agility and intellect, in equal measure. Make it happen, Jeju Shinhwa World.
Nerve simply takes place in New York City, with characters of no extraordinary aptitude or interest, so why should it be included in the theme park? The answer is that the mere thought of the game is so delicious.
The basis of Nerve could make for any number of extraordinarily fun rides or experiences. Here are a couple that we’d love to dive into.
Watcher or Player
If you’ve never ridden the “Dragon Challenge” roller coaster at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, here’s how it works. The ride actually features two roller coasters, whose tracks are very close together. When the coasters are in motion at the same time, it creates the appearance and feeling of a “duel.” You choose which coaster you’d like to ride based on which dragon you prefer.
The “Watcher or Player” roller coaster would be similar, only you would choose your coaster based on whether you’d like to be a watcher, or a player. Up for the thrill ride of your life? You sound like a player. Fancy an easier coast? You’ve got “watcher” written all over your face.
While the players are being sent through more loops and spins than they thought possible, the watchers will be feeling the heat from the flames, the splashes from the water, and the eardrum pain from the screams (nobody makes it out of the game without any consequences).
Watchers grant points based on volume level, splash power, and the general level of fun of their group of players. Carts will be small, with a maximum of four people, and the highest score at the end of the day gets a prize!
A safe, real life ‘Nerve’ experience
When you enter the land of Nerve you’ll be able to sign up as a watcher or a player through an app! The app only works using the park’s wifi, so don’t try this at home. Watchers will give suggestions, which will be screened for safety, to the players who will get to test themselves in a theme park created for maximum fun and adrenaline.
‘La La Land’
La La Land might not have as big of a fan base as some of the other films in this wishlist, but it was a massive success, and they’d be crazy to not include it in the Lionsgate theme park. Even if it’s just a tiny section.
We’re picturing an L.A. streetscape with the Hollywood sign close behind, we’re hearing stage band music so loud that you can’t help but dance, and we’re feeling happier and more alive than we’ve ever felt before!
The La La Land street would feature a great jazz bar with fantastic food and awe-inspiring nightly performances. During the day, the street would be alive with aspiring actors and musicians, putting on the performances of their lives.
Step Up has been attached to some of the previously proposed Lionsgate theme parks, so it’s probably at least a contender for one of the worlds in the park being built in South Korea.
Similarly to the La La Land streetscapes, we’d want the Step Up streets to be alive with ridiculously talented dancers more often than they’re not. The streets would be lined with props to be included in the performances, as well.
On top of the street performances. the Step Up world would also feature rides. Some might even test your own moves. We’re picturing a musical coaster that takes you through the evolution of dance, and an extreme version of Dance Dance Revolution.