WTB one ticket to World Joyland.
If you’ve got a hankering to join the world’s biggest nerdfest (no, we’re not talking about Comic-Con), you might have to hop a plane all the way to Changzhou, China to get the ultimate Warcraft and Starcraft fix.
Billed as the world’s first video game-themed amusement park, “World Joyland” is dedicated to gamers that probably spend way too much time in Orgrimmar’s auction house. Located inside the Jiangsu Province just north of Shanghai, the whole thing cost nearly $31 million to build and covers some 600,000 square meters.
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A large part of the park is dedicated to Blizzard’s World of Warcraft and Starcraft games… but you wouldn’t find them by that name anyhow (given that you couldn’t also magically read Chinese overnight): Since the park doesn’t have the legal rights to use those names, the World of Warcraft section has been named the “Terrain of Magic,” and the Starcraft portion is called the “Universe of Starship.”
Not surprisingly, there are several ginormous, larger-than-life “gaming and technology facilities” for attendees. Good plan: Get them out of the bedroom, where they can pay money to enter a park, to only reunite with a computer screen several minutes later. Rollercoasters optional.
Still, is it worth hanging around for a shot at Chinese amusement park fun? English-language Chinese blog Shanghaiist traipsed through the park, which opened earlier this May, noting their observations, sans bow and mage staff (these were confiscated at the gate, according to reports):
One of the most disturbing parts of the park was the general decay we witnessed, unnerving in a park open only a hair shy of two months. Cracks in paint and rust on handrails made the attendants’ habit of screaming “Goodbye!” as the roller coaster surged out of the gates even more terrifying.
They also noted that the best rides were often the least crowded, because of a local preference for the “boring rides.” The park itself also tended to attract more of a family crowd (read: kids). Not that I think the adults are complaining, although it’s probably a wise idea to keep the not-so-family-friendly cosplay at home.
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Erica Ho is a reporter at TIME. Find her on Twitter at @ericamho and Google+. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.