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article imagePhotos: Visit to China's unlicensed World of Warcraft theme park

By JohnThomas Didymus     Jan 16, 2013 in Entertainment
Changzhou - The city of Changzhou in China has a World of Warcraft-style theme park called "World Joyland." The park, unlicensed by Blizzard, maker of the Warcraft series, also has a section inspired by Blizzard's Starcraft.
The park, located on 150 acres of space, allows the World of Warcraft fan to walk around the virtual reality world in real life. Shangaiist reports that, "Because they obviously didn't purchase the rights to use characters and names from Blizzard, the Warcraft park is instead 'Terrain of Magic' and Starcraft is humorously mislabeled the 'Universe of Starship.'"
According to Mashable, the park was opened in the summer of last year and reportedly cost $48 million to build (Shangaiist and Kotaku quote $30 million).
Reddit user Francesca Timbers, who visited the park recently posted these photos to Imgur. She writes: "I thought it was great. A lot of the rides used 4-D and special effects, which I hand't experienced much of before. There was a good roller coaster with loops, where you are lying horizontally, face forward, like you are flying. That was my favorite ride. The water log ride ('splash of monster blood') was pretty good too."
World Joyland  Changzhou  China
World Joyland, Changzhou, China
Imgur/Francesca Timbers
World Joyland  China
World Joyland, China
Imgur/Francesca Timbers
World Joyland  China
World Joyland, China
Imgur/Francesca Timbers
World of Warcraft  China
World of Warcraft, China
Imgur/Francesca Timbers
World Joyland  China
World Joyland, China
Imgur/Francesca Timbers
Kotaku reports that according to Francesca, each ride has a five-star "happiness" rating, supposedly the Chinese way of reflecting the idea of the ride's "thrill level." Kotaku explains: "A five-star ride has more drops, loops and other stomach-plunging features, with a one-star ride being more for the kiddies and old folks."
World Joyland  War of Warcraft-theme park  Changzhou  China
World Joyland, War of Warcraft-theme park, Changzhou, China
Imgur/Francesca Timbers
World Joyland World of Warcraft theme park  China
World Joyland World of Warcraft theme park, China
Imgur/Francesca Timbers
World Joyland  World of Warcraft theme park  China
World Joyland, World of Warcraft theme park, China
Imgur/Francesca Timbers
World Joyland
World Joyland
Imgur/Francesca Timbers
World of Warcraft theme park  China
World of Warcraft theme park, China
Imgur/Francesca Timbers
Shanghaiist also visited Joyland and blogged about it soon after it was opened last year. The website noted that while some parts of the park looked impressive, some parts showed evidence of cheap materials and shoddy work.
World of Warcraft theme park  China
World of Warcraft theme park, China
Imgur/Francesca Timber
World of Warcraft
World of Warcraft
Imgur/Francesca Timbers
World of Warcraft / Starcraft
World of Warcraft / Starcraft
Imgur/Francesca Timbers
World of Warcraft
World of Warcraft
Imgur/Francesca Timbers
World of Warcraft
World of Warcraft
Imgur/Francesca Timbers
According to Shangaiist:
"It claims to be the world's first video-game-themed park, it cost 200 million yuan (about $30 million USD) and includes seven sections spread over 600,000 square meters...
"Joyland might not succeed in actually evoking the gamer's experience - there were no activities anywhere evocative of actual game-play (they confiscated our bow and mage staff at gate, so no 20-sided dice) and there was a shocking dearth of nerds...
"The concept of the park in general is actually pretty cool - Joyland is an attempt to merge our digital entertainment lives with the real world:
"... they have devoted a large section of the park to arguably the two most popular games on the planet: Blizzard behemoths World of Warcraft and Starcraft. According to their promotional video (see above) China wants World Joyland to compete with the likes of Universal Studios and Disney!
"The sheer size of the park left some of us wishing we’d done more research before our visit."
World of Warcraft
World of Warcraft
Imgur/Francesca Timbers
World of Warcraft theme park  China
World of Warcraft theme park, China
Imgur/Francesca Timbers
World of Warcraft
World of Warcraft
Imgur/Francesca Timber
World of Warcraft
World of Warcraft
Imgur/Francesca Timbers
World of Warcraft theme park  China
World of Warcraft theme park, China
Imgur/Francesca Timber
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