The international design firm Thinkwell recently announced that it had finalized the conceptual development and design of Jurassic Dream, an indoor theme park under construction in the city of Daqing, located west of the Heilongjiang Province of China.
Scheduled to open in 2014, this world-class theme park will send visitors millions of years back in the time of dinosaurs for an immersive experience featuring a wide variety of show and attractions targeting different age groups, from families with young children to young adults looking for thrills.
China has now become the new Eldorado for theme parks designers thanks to the frenetic development of this business sector in recent years, whether it is smaller regional parks or large-scale projects such as Shanghai Disney Resort. “It’s a really exciting time to be working on projects in China,” said Joe Zenas, Principal and CEO of Thinkwell. “The country is experiencing an unprecedented theme park industry boom, and Thinkwell is fortunate enough to be one of the companies now in high demand. With many opportunities for us throughout the region, Thinkwell is truly encouraged and inspired by what’s beginning to take shape in China.”
One of the biggest challenges that Thinkwell has faced during the design of Jurassic Dream was the extreme weather conditions specific to the region of Daqing. During the winter months, temperatures can indeed drop to as much as -30 °C (-20 °F), which led to the development of a covered structure that can be operated throughout the year. The final result will be an impressive atrium of 128-meters long (419 foot) and 28.5-meters high (93 foot) where the temperature will be regulated continuously. This will be one of the biggest covered theme parks in the world along with Lotte World in South Korea, Nickelodeon Universe in United States and Ferrari World Abu Dhabi in United Arab Emirates.
“Jurassic Dream is the culmination of a year-long, very aggressive development schedule for our client,” said Craig Hanna, Thinkwell Principal and Chief Creative Officer. “The all-indoor theme park is a stunning celebration of dinosaurs, offering a wide variety of attractions, shows and immersive experiences that will thrill guests of all ages. Thinkwell’s world-class team of artists and engineers is working with some of the greatest ride system manufacturers in the world to bring Jurassic Dream from concept to reality.”
Among these manufacturers, the project promoter Dream City Investment Management has chosen to work with Zamperla, MACK Rides, ETF Ride Systems and Dynamic Attractions.
Visitors will enter to the property through Jurassic City, a main street where they will find many retail shops, dining opportunities and entertainment as well as an elevated terrace overlooking the entire park.
Celebration Gardens will be Jurassic Dream’s central hub. This area will be themed as a large lush garden with flower beds and a lagoon that will spring to life with fountains and dramatic lighting effects. This area of the park will also become the “center stage” for its nighttime spectacular named The Dream Begins! There also will be a family suspended roller coaster provided by ETF Ride Systems and several kiddie rides manufactured by Zamperla, including a Rockin’Tug.
The other rides and shows will be placed around this central hub, including :
Mystic Caverns Express: a family roller coaster designed by MACK Rides that will take visitors on an adventure in the heart of mysterious caves filled with bright rocks, fossils of dinosaurs, whimsical vignettes and other surprises.
The Wrath of Zhu Rong – Flames of Fury: a walkthrough attraction with special effects during which flame effects will be mainly used. Visitors will enter a dig site where archaeological researchers believe to find evidence that men and dinosaurs lived at the same time and not millions of years apart. In this site was discovered a long-lost temple built in honor of Zhu Rong, a god of fire in the mythology of ancient China. Known for its lack of tolerance for those profaning his sanctuary, he will try to “drive the interlopers” by unleashing the power of fire!
Dinosaur Encounter: this walkthrough will be the biggest attraction of the park. Visitors will pass through a time machine to go back in the era of the dinosaurs in order to observe them in their natural environments. The attraction will feature animatronics, special effects and even actors dressed like paleontologists who will give explanations to the public.
Dinosaur Discovery: an interactive play area aimed to stimulate learning and education of the youngest about the prehistoric past of our planet. This attraction will be divided in several themed areas, from the bottom of a lagoon to the high above of tree tops.
Finally, Time Trek will be a flight simulator where riders will be suspended in the air above a giant spherical screen. Visitors will enter into a massive “Neural-Optic Telepresence lab” that allows PaleoTech scientists to observe the lives of prehistoric creatures first-hand – through their eyes, in their natural habitats. They will see what the animals see and feel what they feel as they swim, hunt, and evade predators – giving observers a nearly first-hand account of what it feels like to be a magnificent creature from the past. There will be two different films: Into The Abyss (underwater world) and Primal Flight (fly in the sky). This attraction is developed by the Canadian company Dynamic Attractions.
Jurassic Dream will have two restaurants: a buffet themed like a colorful jungle where one will find private rooms for organizing birthday parties (Rex’s) and a table service (Garden Grille Restaurant).
Founded in 2001, Thinkwell is a full-service experiential design and development firm that collaborates with its clients to envision, strategize and create immersive, one-of-a-kind guest experiences. The company develops and produces attractions, master plans, brand experiences, exhibits, live shows, environments, multimedia and digital integration. Recent projects include The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal’s Islands of Adventure (Orlando, USA) and Warner Bros. Studio Tour London: The Making of Harry Potter (London, UK).
For more information about Thinkwell, please visit www.thinkwell.staging.work