Part 2: What's the obsession with theme parks?

This is the second part of my article about the great contradiction in the world of theme parks. On the one hand, various theme parks are abandoned and suffer from the economic crisis, but on the other hand the most crazy themed amusement parks shoot up like mushrooms after a rain. In the first part of my article, I wrote about theme parks which weren't doing very well, due to copycatting, fatal disasters or just because they were getting old. In this post I will name some theme parks which have some of the craziest themes you could ever think of.  You can read the first part of the article here.

Let me start by saying that when I did some research on the web and tried to find some crazy themed parks, the most of them were located in countries like China, Japan and Korea. Yes, we all know this area has provided us with other crazy objects and concepts before, so I wasn't surprised. Yet I'm still curious why this area likes weird things so much. Is it because this is the place where a big part of the inhabitants of the world live, all with strange fantasies and extraordinary ideas? Or is it because their governments won't allow them that much and people decide to create crazy shit as an outcry? Beside the fact that the Asian part of the world might be a little odd sometime, it doesn't alter the fact that I really like this creativity.

(Love Land, South Korea, picture by Che Trung Hieu)

When I first found a theme park called Love Land and read about what it was, I blushed with modesty. Actually, there are two theme parks called Love Land. The first one is in South Korea and it's actually a big garden with statues, but not just some ordinary statues. These statues are all, uhm, 'sex related'. For examples, there's this pink lady sitting on a giant mint colored penis and there are statues of couples having sex in the most uncomfortable ways you can imagine. And actually, it's quite a popular place in South Korea. I found out that, after the Korean War, South Korea became known for being a center of sex education, because the island became a very popular honeymoon destinations for Korean couples.
It's still a bit strange though: people paying entrance to look at giant dicks and statues of a giant woman having sex with such a tiny man...

But, people are not only familiar with a place called Love Land in South Korea. In 2009, a sex theme park called Love Land wanted to open its doors in China. Sadly, the people in China are more prudish than the Koreans and the Chinese government decided to demolish the park, because the park 'was deemed to be a negative influence on Chinese society'. The government couldn't appreciate a theme park with giant genitalia and naked bodies and even sex technique workshops. This is understandable, but it's still a shame that Chinese people have to go to South Korea to visit Love Land if they want to...

(Announcement of the Titanic theme park in China, picture by Tyrone Siu/Reuters)

And again in China, they are planning something weird. In 2016, a Titanic inspired theme parks is going to open its doors. It will not only be a museum about the disaster which occurred in 1912, it will also have a replica of the Titanic itself and a shipwreck simulation to give the visitors a harrowing sense of the disaster. Several hundreds of people are allowed to be in the simulator, so they can all feelwhat the shipwreck was like together. Sounds very entertaining!

(The Holy Land Experience, Florida)

One of the weirdest theme parks I found has to be The Holy Land Experience in Florida, USA. It's an amusement park, all inspired by Jesus Christ and his life. There are live shows about the crucifixion, a Calvary's Garden Tomb and there's even a nice fountain show (why this fits the image, I sincerely don't know). I can only imagine that people who are extremely religious or people who want to have a laugh are going to this park. I genuinely believe some people are actually 'enjoying' a park like this, but you have to admit that it's an uncommon theme for an amusement park. And yes, children are allowed as well.

Having a strange theme or not, I have to admit that the experience is high in these parks. Experiencing the whole disaster of the Titanic? Yeah, that's the right feel. These amusement parks really understand the trend Experience Economy. It's not just a boring ferris wheel, but you can play with tits in Love Land and you can enjoy Jesus's life in Florida. And again, I have to admit that the decoration of all parks look stunning. So having a weird and crazy theme is not all bad, it might actually attract more visitors which are sick and tired of the ordinary theme parks.

And that, I think, is the reason why there is such a big gap between the many abandoned theme parks all around the world and the weird themed parks: people always wanting something different and unique. Okay, it's nice to go to a theme park where there's always a roller coaster, a water attraction and funny cartoon look-a-likes, but after a while that just becomes boring. People want an experience, they want to go to a place where they have never been and experience something which they have never before. Seeing Jesus die as entertainment might be a bit unorthodox, but it works. It's something people haven't seen before and they are immersed in the whole atmosphere. Weirdness attracts people, that's why people like to go to the spooky abandoned theme parks as well. It's something different and that's what makes it attractive.
I'm not saying that 'ordinary' theme parks won't get visitors anymore, but it is a fact that people like to experience something strange, unusual or just something nasty. So maybe theme parks like Disneyland could try doing live shows with Mickey getting crucified...?

(I hope not!)

0 reacties:

Een reactie posten