Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Amusement park boom?

India's first amusement park was Appu Ghar in New Delhi. The largest remains the Essel World-Water Kingdom combo in Mumbai. When last heard erstwhile CM of Andhra Pradesh, Chandrababu Naidu was trying to woo Disney to set up an amusement park in Hyderabad. Bangalore's first amusement park was the laughable Fun World at the Palace Grounds (an encroachment at that). It was soon followed by two others of the small town variety, Neeladri in Electronics City and Crazy Waters on Bannerghatta Road. Recently Sammy's Dreamland came up in Yelahanka and if some visitors are to be believed its the closest India has got to the western biggies. And there is more coming. Read this report from the TOI.

Get a high with this roller coaster ride


Bangalore: Get set for some thrillers like you’ve never seen before in Bangalore.
A roller-coaster that takes you as high as an eight-storeyed building and then does two death-defying loops. A ferris wheel that takes you higher than any other in this country, and guaranteed to bring your heart to your throat. A ride that rotates you 360-degrees vertically and has you suspended high above the ground with your feet up. Amazing new-generation rides, water rides, theme parks and more are coming to the city, providing for great family and corporate outing environments.
The Kerala-based V-Guard group, which runs the popular Veegaland amusement park near Kochi, is setting up a massive new amusement park on 80 acres of land on Mysore Road. To be called Wonder La and expected to be commissioned in April next year, the park will feature the roller-coaster as its USP, but will also have a variety of other rides, some of them imported from countries like Italy. Around half the rides will be water-based, with heated pools when the weather’s cold.
The recently launched Sammy’s Dreamland, promoted by US-based NRI Sammy Nanwani and situated near Yelahanka, is an amusementcum-theme park designed by the Canadian amusement park design firm Forrec. It has some 30 rides, a variety of themes — European, Islamic, Italian and technology — and replicas of the Statue of Liberty, the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Eiffel Tower in authentic detail. The park occupies some 85 acres, and there are plans now to add to it a multiplex, a bowling alley, a go-karting track and adventure sports.
V-Guard group promoter Kochouseph Chittilappilly says his company is spending Rs 65 crore on the Wonder La project, almost double the amount spent on Veegaland. He says he gets big crowds from Karnataka at his Kochi park, which is what partly inspired him to start a state-of-the-art facility near Bangalore.
The city already has amusement/water parks like Neeladri, Fun World and Crazy Waters. But the newer facilities are likely to offer far more in terms of quality of rides and ambience, a near worldclass experience. Globally, amusement and theme parks are big entertainment destinations, and there are such well-known names as Disney, Universal Studios, Warner Bros and Six Flags operating parks around the world.
According to P.I. Pal, business head of Sammy’s Dreamland, the park’s daily events like magic shows, cartoon parades, musical fountain shows, fire-eaters and firecrackers have also been big draws.
The major target segment is clearly children and youngsters. But a big effort is also to get corporates and institutions to organise in-house get-togethers at these venues. Pal says his park has organised large events, with as many as 2,000 and more people, for companies like HLL, IBM and HSBC.


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