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African Safari World: New Village Theme Park


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... You guys are on crack. Seriously. If the park turns out even half as good as the concept art, then it'll be an amazing park. I'm sitting here looking at a good collection of flats, a well themed river ride, plus a few coasters. Add to that the promised 4D theatre, Safari ride, plus the stuff we can't see and the existing animals already at the Zoo and that's one kick bottom park. If the place goes ahead the way its depicted in the concept art (probably a big if that one. See Richard's post) then I really can see it being my favorite Aussie park by a country mile. I loved Animal Kingdom and Busch, and this doesn't appear to far off the mark of either of the two. If nothing else, it certainly looks like a more full day out then Animal Kingdom would have been when it opened.

Edited by joz
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^Bingo Joz. The park already appears to have a very solid lineup right off the bat...easily equal to the much praised MW (I think I spotted a top scan above the loop on the dive machine) Add to that we can expect WVTP standard theming, and the result will be an excellent park. I think the mention of the park rivalling Disney is just your typical Herald Sun sensationalism (They are a bit like the Today Tonight of the newspaper world...though maybe not THAT bad) and a way of getting people hyped up, I mean it was just a couple of weeks ago they were saying about the Australia Zoo being in the Disney league. I mean you can go quoting 3 Bil budgets for Disney parks, but they put far more R&D into their attractions and trialling to get things perfect, and do a lot of stuff in house, not to mention each of the attractions is far more elaborate than anything that would be built here. I mean, Disney will throw down $100 mil on a major attraction, sometimes more. Here, our most expensive one ever was $20 Mil, so well still get a big of bang for our buck.

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I have some unfortunate news regarding this project. Here is an article from the HERALD SUN, printed April 7 2008. -------------- Super safari park in doubt Ashley Gardiner. Herald Sun. Melbourne, Vic.: Apr 7, 2008. pg. 9 ZOO management has said no to a $220 million plan for a large-scale theme park at Werribee. Entertainment giant Village Roadshow yesterday announced plans for the park, to be known as African Safari World, winning the support of the State Government. Village Roadshow theme parks chief executive John Harnden, who ran the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games, heads the proposal. The prospect of taxpayers' money being used to bankroll part of the project was not ruled out yesterday. But Zoos Victoria chairman Andrew Fairley said the proposal did not have his support. "The proposal, as I understand it now, is not on," Mr Fairley said. The zoo was informed of the plans last week, but secret talks between Village Roadshow and the State Government have been under way for some time. Zoos Victoria is the government agency responsible for the management of the Melbourne and Werribee zoos, and the Healesville Sanctuary. Mr Fairley said he was not opposed to a major theme park in principle, but that the zoo wanted to maintain management over the animals. "If that doesn't affect the welfare of the animals, we would certainly be prepared to consider that," he said. "For us, it is a question of who manages the zoo and who runs the zoo. "But in terms of the stewardship of our animals . . . that's what Zoos Victoria does best." Mr Fairley said he was concerned that development at Werribee could draw patronage away from the other zoos at Royal Park and Healesville. "It's already tough enough to be able to run zoos profitably now," he said. Zoos Victoria was also concerned that entry to a theme park would not be as cheap as to Werribee Open Range Zoo. "I do have real concern about issues of access and equity for people to continue to be able to come here and bring their families," Mr Fairley said. "They can come in for a very modest fee, and if you're going to turn a zoo into something bigger than a zoo, you would have to charge a lot more for it." But Tourism Minister Tim Holding said the proposal was good for families. "(It) can bring great benefits not only to Victorian families who have to fly all the way to Queensland to see world-class theme parks," Mr Holding said. "We've been concerned for some time that without a theme park here in Victoria we are losing visitors, potential visitors, from interstate and overseas. "We think it will attract visitors from interstate and from overseas, and we think that's great for our tourism industry as well." Mr Holding did not rule out the possibility of the state making a financial contribution toward the project. "Whether a direct financial contribution is required from the state, obviously we need to work through that with Village Roadshow," he said. Mr Holding praised Village Roadshow's track record in the management of animals. "They have custody of something like 30,000 animals right around the world, and they're a great partner for us to have in any serious world-class theme park proposal," he said. Mr Holding conceded there were still matters unresolved with Zoos Victoria management. "We obviously have to work through all the issues with the zoo," he said. "Maintaining the integrity of the open range zoo that exists at Werribee is a vitally important part of this proposal. There's a little way to go before we can actually say it's a goer." Mr Harnden said there had already been extensive talks with the State Government. He declined to say how much money he wanted the Government to contribute." ------------------------ Lets hope that this all gets straightened out. Hahaha - seems that the Gold Coast is starting to get hot under the collar by the Melbourne theme park proposal. Here is an article from the GOLD COAST BULLETIN, printed yesterday: --------------- Melbourne targets tourists with a bold safari theme park plan A war of worlds on our doorstep Daniel Meers. The Gold Coast Bulletin. Southport, Qld.: Apr 7, 2008. pg. 4 THE Gold Coast monopoly on the Australian theme park market is under threat following the announcement of plans for a $220 million safari theme park in Melbourne. The plan, which stunned local tourism bosses, comes just weeks after Terri Irwin announced her vision for a Disney-style theme park at the Australia Zoo on the Sunshine Coast. Some political and tourism leaders in the southern states believe the theme park could have the potential to strip the Gold Coast of its tourism crown. But the city's tourism heavyweights last night hit back, declaring the Gold Coast's theme parks would `more than match' any in Melbourne. State Tourism Minister Desley Boyle led the charge, declaring the city was the nation's theme park capital. "A couple of animals in a paddock just outside of Melbourne is hardly a threat to a world tourism icon like the Gold Coast," she said. "The Gold Coast theme parks continue to get bigger and better and are firmly cemented as major tourism attractions." Queensland Tourism Industry Council chief executive Daniel Gschwind, who was informed of the plans by The Gold Coast Bulletin, said he was surprised and found the move interesting. But he said he had confidence in the Gold Coast. "I think the Gold Coast will always remain competitive in the theme park market," he said. "Ultimately, competition is not a bad thing. I think the Gold Coast will more than match the competition from Melbourne." Village Roadshow, the owner of Sea World, Movie World and Wet `n' Wild, is behind the plan that could potentially cut a large chunk out of the glitter strip's tourist dollar and its local attractions. Marketing teams at the Coast's theme parks were unaware of their company's plans in Melbourne until they saw media reports yesterday. Ms Boyle's Victorian counterpart, Tim Holding, yesterday threw down the challenge to the Gold Coast. "We think it's a very exciting proposal," he said. "It's one that we think can bring great benefits, not only to Victorian families who have to fly all the way to Queensland, all the way to the Gold Coast to see world-class theme parks." Mr Holding said the Victorian Government would give serious consideration to the park proposal. Under the plan, the theme park, to be built at Werribee Zoo, would be called African Safari World and include roller-coasters. Thrilling rides would merge with the existing zoo's lions, rhinos, giraffes and zebras. A safari-style park is one aspect of the tourism industry that is lacking on the Gold Coast. Former Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary chief executive Michelle Monsour had attempted to rectify the flaw when she all but lured two pandas from China to the sanctuary. The Coast looked set for the pandas, however the then foreign minister Alexander Downer became involved and the pandas eventually went to his home town of Adelaide. -------------------- My apologies for overcrowding the this post with articles. If you would like me to stop let me know - just thought some of you may be interested in keeping up with the news and gossip regarding the park.

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... You guys are on crack. Seriously. If the park turns out even half as good as the concept art, then it'll be an amazing park. I'm sitting here looking at a good collection of flats, a well themed river ride, plus a few coasters. Add to that the promised 4D theatre, Safari ride, plus the stuff we can't see and the existing animals already at the Zoo and that's one kick bottom park. If the place goes ahead the way its depicted in the concept art (probably a big if that one. See Richard's post) then I really can see it being my favorite Aussie park by a country mile. I loved Animal Kingdom and Busch, and this doesn't appear to far off the mark of either of the two. If nothing else, it certainly looks like a more full day out then Animal Kingdom would have been when it opened.
I'm NOT on crack. SERIOUSLY. :angry: Yes, I want the park and love the idea, but the other guys whose comments you referred to were merely going by what they read. In EVERY news article available anywhere on the proposed park so far, there are claims that it would rival Disney, etc, and with 220m aussie as the budget,, it is NOT POSSIBLE. What IS possible is that it will be a good park with good rides. ( I also don't know where they get world's scariest roller coaster from, it looks like a stripped down sheikra to me losing an inversion and the second drop) IIRC even movieworld opened at 400 million, with just then the gremlins adventure, batman, police academy, studio tour etc, none of the big thrill rides we have there now. But it's still a great idea and of course if it's successful, well we have future expansion to look forward to also. I think this one will go through they won't make the same mistake AGAIN of losing a theme park. Edited by pazzap
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I also don't know where they get world's scariest roller coaster from, it looks like a stripped down sheikra to me losing an inversion and the second drop
They said "Australias Greatest", not "Worlds Scariest". I mean, if you were going to take the concept art at face value you would say the coaster will also be built without proper supports. I mean, its pretty obvious the artist was trying to draw Sheikra, but didn't draw 100% correctly....looks like it was done by the same artist who does the MW park maps, look at how they drew LW on that :rolleyes: Still, if the coaster is the type depicted, there is no doubt it would be Australias greatest. $400 Mil for MW back in 1992? Are you sure? One thing I am interested in is the effect this will have on Luna Park. It is a different competitive situation to the GC because there you dont have a single park which is drastically inferior to the rest (I'm pre-empting the arguments against DW, but at the end of the day, it is still is on the same playing field) On the other hand, Luna Park does have its tacky reputation, and is hardly a full days attraction, so they are going to have to be creative to stay viable. I guess the effects were less severe in a comparable situation with WL versus LPS, I mean LPS was closed half the time, and wonderland never did anything anway (Big Dipper and Space Probe seem to be the only attractions built in completion) Another point I'd like to make, but already there are people opposed to the idea of an animal theme park, and I'm sure they could have avoided some image problems if they had picked something nicer than "African Safari World"....no matter how much you love theme parks, it's hard not to get a sort of mental image of a tacky place. Though, while I'm here, I dont think public opposition would really be enough to derail this anyway, despite the negativity floating around. I mean, local nimbys dont really have a case, its on the opposite side of the freeway to residential areas, and surrounded by farmland, so it wont put traffic on local streets, noise of course wouldnt be a concern since they would be keeping the volume down to keep the animals happy regardless. Visual concerns are again not valid because its too far away from residential areas for people to see, and motorists driving cant complain because they are driving through industrial areas anyway. People can complain that they dont want the zoo turned into a theme park, but if the project has conditional support of zoo management, then they have little recourse on a number of the issues related to it because they don't own it....after all, if the owners/experts are satisfied, what else needs to be said? I'd be willing to bet that the people complaining about this and saying things like "its tacky" and "We don't want to turn into the gold coast" would be people that wouldn't visit theme parks anyway, so its not going to affect them either way. In any case, from reading one of the artices in the Age, people from Village (management etc) have said they have a connection to Melbourne (Given they started out with just a drive in) and have wanted to bring a theme park to Melbourne for a while. Even if they couldn't do this, the will from both the company, and the government is there, so they can always do some sort of other proposal in the future that is less touchy. Discount Lion Safari "Do not feed the animals, do not allow animals in the car, do not make eye contact with the animals....." Edited by Gazza
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IIRC even movieworld opened at 400 million, with just then the gremlins adventure, batman, police academy, studio tour etc, none of the big thrill rides we have there now.
Warner Bros Movie World didn't cost $400m. It was more like $120m (see pg 4 in the document below): http://movieworld.myfun.com.au/upload/Docu...20Trail%201.pdf If you inflation adjust the construction cost for today's cost of living (bearing in mind the park opened in June 1991), then you get a cost of c$180m. Thus a cost of c$220m for a park opening in 2010 is not completely unreasonable, particularly as you would expect that a certain portion of the necessary infrastructure would already be in place at Werribee Open Range Zoo.
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^ WBMW was reported to have cost $180mil back when it opened but I highly doubt it was even that much. I mean practcially the whole Park has been rebuilt since then. It was very much done on the cheap when it opened because they didn't expect it to be the success it was.. $220mil does not seem to be a sufficient price tag for the blue sky design of this Park. I would say if it was to go ahead the place would open with little more than half a dozen major attractions with others to be built over the years based on it's performance

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The other thing to consider is that this is just a number with no more credibility than any other part of the article. If you consider any major infrastructure investment, the number rarely ends up being what it was estimated at the start. It's an estimate, or could even just be a number thrown out there for nothing more than a bit of public relations to make people go "whoa, that's a lotta money" I think the big thing to consider here is that they're a) hallmarking it against parks that we already know are fantastic, B) have a big ambition for what they want to do c) have a public vision for what they are planning. Rather than debating the credibility of a 220m park, perhaps its worth considering that they're aiming the bar really high and that we should be looking at that more than the estimated dollar figure. Just compare it to the recent Australia Zoo article. They said they want to make it "like Disney", gave us no hard plans or other information, and therefore our expectations of the park's future growth are pretty low. On the other hand, you have another animal park who are saying "this IS going ahead, here's a picture of what it's going to look like" and also come out with plans to say that they want to replicate the success of other parks with world-class coasters, etc. What we've been given is a really good outlook. Let's run wth that instead of debating the cost of construction hey?

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This is great news!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I hope the coaster Is a B&M, but I live in QLD so I wont be able to go hardley. Also with this huge development does it mean that there will be less funding for the GC parks. Melbournites enjoy the new Park and how close you live to it.

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They said "Australias Greatest", not "Worlds Scariest". I mean, if you were going to take the concept art at face value you would say the coaster will also be built without proper supports. I mean, its pretty obvious the artist was trying to draw Sheikra, but didn't draw 100% correctly....looks like it was done by the same artist who does the MW park maps, look at how they drew LW on that :rolleyes: Still, if the coaster is the type depicted, there is no doubt it would be Australias greatest. $400 Mil for MW back in 1992? Are you sure?
Hi I made a typo and didn't see it till you quoted it i meant to put in 140 million for MW but even that was wrong according to postings afterwards. But the thing i am sure about is the "world's scariest roller coaster" line.. i definitely read that one, in two different articles... then the other, australia's greatest roller coaster, made much more sense, but yeah, two of them did say it will feature a "blah blah etc and the world's scariest roller coaster" Anyway, a b+m in melbourne is a dream come true in any case. I would love this park to have a good piece of wood, a b+m looper and an accelerator with massive airtime hills. I think they would be a complete collection of coasters (and of course a family one to add to it). Wishful thinking, i know! I just SOOOOOO wish we could get a decent woodie here, I guess if not a woodie, then an intamin or B+M hyper and a B+M floorless/inverted/sitdown/standup multilooper.
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Here are a couple of stupid letter in the Herald Sun (We can get them up here in Qld a day late, so we get them for AFL news etc) post-88-1208238191_thumb.jpg Letters like that belong in Spain with the Eiffel Tower. Hey, we're all in generation Y, lets all sit at home with our DVDs and our SMS and our iPods and games, clearly thats enough for us, I mean who the hell would want to go head out and do something?

Edited by Gazza
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Funny letters. The fact that this model has already been implemented overseas successfully with no harm to the animals shows it can work. The other part is that it is sad to see they suggest people watch dvds and ipods rather than get outside, see some animals and enjoy themselves in the social setting of a theme park. God help us

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I forgot to post this, but I went on the HS website on the day of those letters and wrote a response, and it got printed. I rescued the paper from the recyling bin, so you can be assured its not poo smeared on there. post-88-1208610034_thumb.jpg Originally I had asked my location not be printed (since I didn't want to appear as if I was an outsider who didn't understand Victoria), but the letters to the editor guy emailed me back and asked if it was ok if they changed that first line to say I was an ex Vic so they could print my location in accordance with their polices, oh yeah, nice compromise, but Thanks for the bloody Queenslander pun :rolleyes: The other thing I have been meaning to post is this. post-88-1208611908_thumb.jpg Not that you can see anything, but it proves they do have a colour concept art done. (I found it by chance in Google images on one the website of some Werribee local rag, cant remember the URL, but that was the best pic they had anyway) Richo, are you able to work your magic and use your media position to get hold of full sized concept artwork?

Edited by Gazza
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Gazza also with those complaint letters, obiviously none of them have ever been to seaworld and seen how you can easily have animals and rides co-exist in the same park!!! The rides away from the animals, which is what seaworld does, not just the one on the GC one but the Orlando one as well, Busch gardens and the Melbourne one? Rides away from the animals. As far as i know the old rollercoaster at seaworld that's no longer there, near Ploar Bear Shores was taken away due to the bears not liking the noise and screams from it!!! So obivoulsy WVTP care about animals, Polar Bears Shores is one of the best enclosures for bears in the world, that's way we got Hudson and Nelson, Shark Bay biggest in the world, the dolphin enclosure, penguin and Pig (duegon) sorry about spelling!!! What about the conservation it does saving marine animals for nothing, they don't make a profit out of it!!! Nearly every show promotes animal conservation, and the Planet SOS!!! These people comments have backing WVTP care about their animals and want them to have the best in the world, and provide conservation messages to everyone in the park and at the same time people can get out and have some fun!!! But as long as the rides are put in the right location and for the Melbourne park, they are!!!

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I think one minor thing worth noting is this is NOT a Warner Village Theme Parks enterprise. It will have the same parent company Village Roadshow but they park will not fall under the WVTP (John Menzies) umbrella. It is a venture of Village International Theme Parks. That will certainly affect the relationship between funding for gold coast parks and this one as they won't be eating out of the same direct pot.

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  • 4 weeks later...
I have no idea, it's just something I noticed from reading all the press material on the park. At this stage there has been no mention of it being a WVTP property.
I just wonder why it's even still called Warner Village Theme Parks as warner sold their stake to village... As far as this zoo goes, looks like a well planned and enjoyable themepark with probably a very similar appeal to seaworld. Slow pace, family orientated, well worth a visit but not too often.
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  • 2 weeks later...

See, just on that, I was at SW, and I discovered that I couldn't hear corkscrew from Dolphin Cove, which is a distance of about 200m, and that is a largish coaster with seemingly no noise mitigation measures. I mean if that B&M dive machine comes to be I can assume they would sand fill the track.

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After watching this 7:30 report video, it's become obvious to me that these zoo representatives have NO idea about the care and attention these animals will receive under village roadshow. I have affiation with sea world. I know all the animal carers care deeply for their animals, like they are their own children. When the polar bear died they were devestated, people were crying. No surprise really. I am sure this venture will be in a similar concept to seaworld, except being african based. Animals and rides will be kept somewhat removed. The park will be immaculately presented. The animals will be well kept in state of the art facilities. Oh and even though excessive noise can spook animals rollercoasters aren't noisey enough to bother them and they'd soon adapt to the sound.

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As far as i know the old rollercoaster at seaworld that's no longer there, near Ploar Bear Shores was taken away due to the bears not liking the noise and screams from it!!! So obivoulsy WVTP care about animals, Polar Bears Shores is one of the best enclosures for bears in the world, that's way we got Hudson and Nelson, Shark Bay biggest in the world, the dolphin enclosure, penguin and Pig (duegon) sorry about spelling!!! What about the conservation it does saving marine animals for nothing, they don't make a profit out of it!!! Nearly every show promotes animal conservation, and the Planet SOS!!! These people comments have backing WVTP care about their animals and want them to have the best in the world, and provide conservation messages to everyone in the park and at the same time people can get out and have some fun!!! But as long as the rides are put in the right location and for the Melbourne park, they are!!!
anyone whos been to tiger island at dreamworld (and im imagining a vast majority of people on this site have been there) would notice how close to the tigers the tower of terror is... id say from where the tigers actually are to the station is less than 50 metres. i noticed when i was there last month that when the car launches and returns it makes a fair amount of noise. and you can definately hear that if your a tiger. and looking at those tigers they just dont care.... so obviously the noise of that isnt affecting them. you can also hear a few of the other rides on tiger island. but really the tigers dont seem to be affected by it. im sure if animals were to be put within proximity to rides they would make sure the animals arent affected at all... seaworld have done a fantastic job of this and so has dreamworld with the tigers. so i dont see why so many people are so worried about the animals...
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