In case the China-made World of Warcraft wasn’t enough for you – there is a chance you could get yourself to a World of Warcraft theme park sometime soon… heck, there’ll be a Starcraft world thrown in to boot! The internet has been buzzing with news about a new amusement park called Joyland (website here) that’s just itching to put you next to a Protoss on your next rollercoaster ride.
Sounds too good to be true, right? And after a search of the internet for Joyland, I’m not completely convinced it is. Then again, I’m not completely convinced it’s not. First, the facts everyone seems to agree on (which, incidentally, is what’s on the Joyland website) – there will be several parts of the theme park – besides the Universe of Starcraft and Terrain of Warcraft areas, there’s also a kiddy-themed Mole World, a Chinese RPG looking area called World of Legend, and a “Mysterious Island.”
Sina Entertainment quotes a “Korean media source” as saying that Joyland will be located in Changzhou, Jiangsu Province (on the road between Shanghai and Nanjing) and may in fact be ready to open in March! It even had a picture of some real life rollercoaster park covered in snow.
An older article from WJ001 has more information, pegging the location to a special holiday resort area called Taihu Bay and puts the total amount of investment in Joyland at 200 million RMB (yeesh). It also mentions two mascots for the park – a 16-year-old fairy girl called “CC Princess” and “囧 囧,” a green alien robot dog. Their source is CCJoy, which just happens to be an internet portal that’s the “creator” of this “park.”
And here’s where I begin wondering if this isn’t some kind of practical joke. Obviously, Blizzard hasn’t heard of their characters being licensed to be part of some huge theme park investment – but that’s always been the norm. But the design on that space dog (I understand some Chinese CG can be bad, but wow)? Chinese news media needing to get their info from other countries? Something seems very, very fishy.
Ah well, Taihu is close enough, I suppose. When March comes around, we’ll see if we can get over there to check. Until I see this park with my own eyes though, I’m going to assume it’s all hogwash.