Lionsgate theme park prepares to open in China, but scraps New York

July 2, 2019, 12:56 PM · Ready to step into the dystopian worlds of The Hunger Games and Divergent? You'll be able to by the end of this month at a new Lionsgate-themed park in China, but you can scrap plans to visit previously announced, similarly themed experiences in New York and Spain.

Lionsgate Entertainment World will open on July 31 in Novotown Hengqin on Hengqin Island in Zhuhai, China. The Thinkwell Group-designed indoor, multi-story "vertical theme park" will include attractions, dining, and retail themed to Lionsgate franchises popular in China, including The Hunger Games, The Twilight Saga, The Divergent Series, Now You See Me, Gods of Egypt, and Escape Plan. Village Roadshow will operate the park.

Meanwhile, Parques Reunidos announced that it has cancelled plans for three Lionsgate Entertainment City projects, including ones in New York City and Madrid, Spain. Those developments had been announced to include experiences based on The Hunger Games, Divergent, John Wick, and Mad Men. Parques Reunidos pulled out after several indoor entertainment centers it opened in Spain under different themes failed to meet expectations.

The China project will give fans an opportunity to see a fully developed version of an entertainment concept once proposed by Walt Disney. Back when Disney was considering how to follow the successful opening of Disneyland, one of the concepts he and his team considered was an indoor, multi-story theme park in St. Louis — Riverfront Square. Whether due to August Busch Jr. mocking Walt for designing a "dry" theme park or the city not providing a requested subsidy, ultimately, Disney chose to buy property in Central Florida and proceed with what became the Walt Disney World Resort instead.

Lotte World in Seoul, South Korea also includes attractions on multiple levels indoors, though that park also includes an outdoor area.

Lionsgate Entertainment World

With limited space, the attractions in the new Lionsgate Entertainment World will lean on simulators and virtual reality.

Replies (5)

July 2, 2019 at 1:52 PM

The world's first indoor "vertical" theme park technically was Atlanta's "World of Sid & Marty Krofft" that lasted six months back in 1976. That park featured rides based on the trippy IP of the Krofft brothers tv kids show like Puff n Stuff and Lidsville though its star attraction was a pinball themed dark ride where guests rode in the pinball being slammed around. Designed for 6,000 guests capacity and saw total attendence of around 300,000 in its six months, blaming downtown Atlanta's urban crime of 1976 on its failure. Hengqin Island, adjacent to Macao, is already a successful theme park destination thanks to Chimelong Ocean Kingdom, and part of Guangdong Province which just grew Guangzhou Sunac Land, the successor to what would have been one of Wanda Groups ill fated "wolf pack" of theme parks.

July 2, 2019 at 3:49 PM

Looking at the line up of attractions, I'm curious to know if this facility would be better categorized as at Family Entertainment Center rather than a Theme Park.

July 2, 2019 at 4:35 PM

China's Lionsgate Entertainment World is considered an indoor theme park by Village Roadshow and most observers while the cancelled Parques Reunidos sites were always "location based entertainment" venues more like the other FECs that firm cancelled. Of course, in mainland China, every "cultural tourism" attraction project is usually translated into being a "theme park" regardless of really not being one, much in the same way western media refer to expansion theme areas as "theme parks " when they are actually part of an existing theme park and not a separate gate. Bigger question is whether enough guests in China or elsewhere care enough about Lionsgate IP to support this new place especially when there's established, successful competition throughout Guangdong Province as well across the border in Hong Kong. Not even the biggest new theme park in the region, really just a component in a bigger plan to make Hengqin Island into China's "Orlando 2.0"

July 2, 2019 at 6:43 PM

I was the original Operations Manager for the short lived The World of Sid and Marty Krofft back in 1976. The struggle was the tough downtown location, but we also struggled with the lack of excitement on the attractions. It was a delightful indoor experience but just not enough to do to make our market guest come into downtown Atlanta with the younger children.

July 2, 2019 at 10:12 PM

Guess that means, Dennis, you're also the world's first operations manager for an indoor "vertical" theme park:) I enjoyed riding that Pinball dark ride and remember entering from the top floor on what they called the world's longest escalator- and the lowest level had the H.R. PuffnStuff themed Living Island area. Trippy park based on trippy shows! Amazed that their Banana Splits are about to have a film comeback as horror villains...:) More amazinly, the site of the former "World of Sid & Marty Krofft" theme park became the home to CNN, an odd footnote in the history of themed entertainment for certain!

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