Monday, September 21, 2009

Books - rollercoaster rides

Everyone has heard by now about the Harry Potter theme park (warning: website has looping music and no mute button). It's an intriguing notion (for some; a pointless gimmick for others). At the Guardian, Alison Flood took the optimistic view, offering readers to come up with a few more book-based theme parks (forgetting for a moment that Harry Potter has moved far beyond "mere books" and is massively popular as products of all kinds...). Pondering the goings-on of the "Potterland", Flood suggested that perhaps it would be better to plan theme parks based only on children's books, saying, "[T]he thought of cockroaches parading around in Kafkaland, or the car crash experience at Ballard World, is giving me shivers." Flood's immediate idea is the perfectly plausible "Alice in Wonderland"-land. But must they all be from books geared for children? Absolutely not. Some other theme parks built around fun for the whole family:

* Monte Cristo - escape from prison, fencing lessons, a large playpen full of foam balls and a few buried treasures, and villain laser tag.

* The Odyssey Experience - a frenzied boat ride through Poseidon-infested waters, souvenir shops that sell "I destroyed Troy! ...but lost my way home..." merchandise, and Odysseus vs. suitors teamed laser tag.

* Enderland - do battle with buggers, maybe have a few internal conflicts about it, fly around in a giant space station. And laser tag.

Just about any fantasy, science fiction, or adventure story can be transformed into a fun, exciting theme park. We should expect to see others like this very soon. All you need is time, good planning, publicity, and a whole lot of money... oh.


  1. How about an island adventure park based on "Lord of the Flies?" Parents can just drop their kids off for an extended period of time and let whatever happens, happen. I'm sure there won't be any trouble insuring the park either.


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