rosscoe

African Safari World: New Village Theme Park

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From this mornings Herald Sun $220 million theme park to rival world-renowned Disneyland and Sea World is planned for Melbourne. Owners have pencilled in some of the world's biggest and best adventure rides for the park, to be called African Safari World and set in the grounds of Werribee Open Range Zoo. Australia's first safari-themed adventure park is a bold plan by Village Roadshow. It is being considered by the Brumby Government. Roller-coasters and thrilling rides would merge with the existing zoo's lions, rhinos, giraffes, zebras and other animals in a revamped safari zone if the park was approved. The facility would become Victoria's top tourist drawcard -- luring 1.3 million visitors a year and boosting the state's economy by $864 million over 10 years. Building African Safari World would create 6700 new jobs and the park would employ 500 workers. It would rival the biggest park on Queensland's Gold Coast and the Irwin family's Australia Zoo. African Safari World would be modelled on Disney Animal Kingdom in the US and Busch Gardens Africa and seek to cover 40ha with rides, restaurants, live shows and African-themed shops alongside a redeveloped zoo. It would be marketed as a world where "animal adventure meets thrills and excitement". Village Roadshow International theme parks chief John Harnden said the park would promote Melbourne and Victoria to the world. "It's about giving all of those millions of existing tourists even more to do in Victoria, and to stay longer and spend more money," he said. Village Roadshow has been working on the plan since last year, and hopes to start building the park next year with a view to it opening in late 2010. Preliminary plans include: AN African animal tour to be known as the Serengeti Safari; A RANGE of rides including Australia's "greatest" roller-coaster and water rides; INCREASED animal numbers and habitat improvements to the existing zoo; A WILDLIFE education and conservation centre; AN Australian animal experience; A FOUR-dimensional theatre; and MAN-MADE lakes and mountains. Mr Harnden, the former Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games boss and Australian Grand Prix CEO, estimated the park would attract 430,000 tourists to Victoria from interstate each year and 290,000 from overseas. The zoo now attracts between 250,000 and 300,000 people each year. "Theme parks are one of the most popular things people want to do on their holiday, so this is about branding Melbourne and indeed Victoria to the world. "This is something that is going to be iconic, something that we can be proud of," he said. Tourism Minister Tim Holding said the plan had instant appeal. "There is obvious tourism appeal, but government and the community would need to be assured about the on-going proper supervision of the animals under such a proposal," he said.

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OMFG WTF???!!!! :blink::blink: . BOOOOYAAA! :P Finally a themepark set for Melbourne!!!, AND, the best thing about this is that I live only 1/2 and hour away from the Werribee Open Range Zoo!!!!!. Which is set to be African Safari World. I STILL CAN'T BELIEVE IT :o . Really when you think about it it's a very strange decision for Warner Village Themeparks. I mean, there are more cons than pros about setting up a park in Victoria. For example: the weather, and the population. Although, as the report said, it has potential to give tourists another reason to come down to Melbourne, especially the families. Although i think this is REALLY GREAT!!! I still have my doubts on whether this will go ahead. Look at the other movie themed park that was planned for Melbourne's Dockland's, that fell through. Well, I guess only time will tell. lol CoAsTeR TeeN P.S: Thanks rosscoe for posting this up!

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Awesome stuff! At least the airline tickets from Sydney are cheap so I can go on a regular basis (if it does go ahead)! But seems really cool - hopefully they may unveil something for Sydney too... <_<

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Just to let everybody know, that this news is like headline in Melbourne today. I heard it on a couple radio stations, and it was even showed on Sunrise on Channel 7 this morning. Looks like it's really serious! CoAsTeR TeeN

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This is really cool!!! But now all the theme parks won't be on the Gold Coast!!! DAMN!!! Anyway I think this is really great and I know WVTP CEO has always wanted an African Safari park!!! So guess his dream is coming true. I wonder if it will have different sections in it like Busch Gardens??? I hope it has B&M!!! They really proving to be the ultimate theme park company in Australia!!! Macquarie just can't keep up!!!

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Haha, Should have stayed in Melbourne, feel all left out now..... But this is fantastic news, and something Melbourne has been needing for years now. WVTP know what they are doing with respect to delivering high quality rides (Clearly they have done some visiting of BGA , so lets hope they were impressed by the B&Ms there) , so if the result is anything like Busch Gardens then there will be an instant winner on their hands (Though I hope they don't repeat the mistakes of Animal Kingdom in its early years...make sure there is enough to do) I think it is also promising that they are being conservative...1.3 million visitors sounds pretty realistic, so they aren't repeating the mistakes of fox studios

mean, there are more cons than pros about setting up a park in Victoria. For example: the weather, and the population.
I have always thought the weather argument was a load of crap, or else how do parks in the UK etc survive with their constant rain, and add to this the fact you can do stuff like build a roof over main st or put in indoor rides if you want to keep the rain at bay. Now I haven't lived in Qld long enough for this to be a fair statement, so shoot me down if you wish, but it seems to rain more often up here...now it is light rain, but still rain it is. The population of South East Queensland is roughly 2.6 Million, and can support 5 parks (Remember, the attendance of the GC parks is typically just over 50% locals. The population of Melbourne and Geelong is about 3.96 Million, and would be supporting just 2 parks. Melbourne wouldn't get the holiday makers that Queensland does, but this would be offset by the park having a larger pool of local visitors with little other options. Lets just hope this doesn't go the way of Studio City or WnW on the Sunshine Coast. So Coasterteen, you gonna be our source of photos while this thing is being built...we'll buy you a metcard to get there ;) Can I also ask what sort of stuff was on sunrise? any images or rendering yet? And haha, they are saying it will rival Disneyland...think the writer was just getting a bit over the top, though then again they are from the herald sun. Edited by Gazza

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Village Roadshow are notorious for getting ahead of themselves by announcing these sorts of things (Sunshine Coast Wet'n'Wild, Australian Outback Spectacular) only to watch them disappear or be delayed by years. I'm not saying this is the case here, but it is something to keep in mind before getting too excited. Victoria is a suitable place to build parks. My concern is that the climate there is more suited to seasonal operation, but a plan like this which is seeking to become a major destination can't easily be achieved without year-round operation. As far as a comparison to Queensland's climate goes, we do have a wetter summer but then we have 6-9 months of perfect, mild weather. We've also had our first wet summer in about a decade which I think took our parks off-guard as increasingly in recent years they've put a lot of emphasis on the peak season and I think we may see that change as they try and get more balanced attendance throughout the year in light of a return to normal weather patterns. I'd hate to see a carbon copy of Animal Kingdom or Busch Gardens Africa. I'm always wary when I see name-dropping of similar parks because it seems like a recipe for plagiarism. The last thing I want to do is go to a park that's a two-bit clone of one of my favourite parks.

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Wow, Everyone involved from a Government level down seems thrilled, I think this ones a definite goer. Now if only Village could take an interest in good old NSW, perhaps a new revitalised Sydney Town/Colonial based type of theme park. There wont be any issues regarding the animal welfare at all, see Village Roadshows's Sea World for their own welfare precedent.

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Guest jake-train

YES,YES,YES MY DREAM CAME TRUE YES THIS IS GONER BE THE BIGGEST THING EVER... :lol:

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Guest jake-train
:lol: i'm replying again because i'm so happy,happy,happy now i don't have to go 2 the goldcoast to ride big rollercoasters, i can just catch a train and be there in like 2 hours yes,yes,yes i'll go start taking some pic's from now on because i got kick out of school LOL. ^_^ this is big!!!!! :D

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Im hoping between now and whenever this place opens they drop the name...its probably inevitable (Dreamworld Water Park anyone?) but African Safari World just sounds so plodding.

I'd hate to see a carbon copy of Animal Kingdom or Busch Gardens Africa. I'm always wary when I see name-dropping of similar parks because it seems like a recipe for plagiarism. The last thing I want to do is go to a park that's a two-bit clone of one of my favourite parks.
I'd think though that it is just an indicator of the format (A park based on land animals with rides, rather than say a park with sea animals and rides, or a park based on a film studio with rides) I'm personally leaning more toward the Busch format given the reference to high thrill rides, I don't think the Busch format is too hard to do, the rides are nicely themed, but it isn't over the top.

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Well before i answer some questions, I'll just say some interesting stuff about today's news. B) This news was really big today in Melbourne. Made Herald Sun front page, first sentence heard on all radio stations during the day and I also heard an interview with John Menzies (CEO of Village Roadshow - i think that's right??). The interview was quite short, and I'm sorry i couldn't record it for u guys lol ;) . It was on a station called 3 aw. I'm not sure if everyone has heard of this station, but it's basically a talk back station, anyway they chatted with Menzies, and one of the radio hosts didn't like the fact that there would have to be government funding. As the government funding would be coming directly from the tax payer, the radio host didn't like it. However, he was for the idea of the themepark, but just didn't like where the funding was coming from. A couple of people rang up and said basically the same thing. I SAY STUFF THEM, I WANT A THEMEPARK!! lol Anyway, on the news tonight it was first story, they had a couple of shots from animal kingdom, b&m coasters, the open range zoo, the gold coast themeparks, many other rides and themeparks and also talks with the the tourism minister for Victoria. He liked the idea alot which is VERY good. Ok, onto the questions:

Can I also ask what sort of stuff was on sunrise? any images or rendering yet?
Well no not on sunrise, but in the Herald Sun there was a drawing of the whole park. Which is attached down the bottom. It looks really good, but it doesn't show all the finer details. But OMFG, there seems to be something looking like a B&M Vertical Drop coaster. I won't go into detail about the picture, i'll let the rest of you get stuck into it!
So Coasterteen, you gonna be our source of photos while this thing is being built...we'll buy you a metcard to get there
hahahaha thanks. Well when construction starts and we know a little bit more about this project, I'll see what I can do. I live only around 1/2 and hour away, so it shouldn't be that hard to get down there. To give you a straight answer, yes i would love to be your construction photo updater lol. CoAsTeR TeeN EDIT: People finally got off home cpu. Here you go, fresh off the press lol:

post-1433-1207472201_thumb.jpg

post-1433-1207472383_thumb.jpg

post-1433-1207472822_thumb.jpg

Edited by CoAsTeR TeeN

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Ta for the pics, here is what I could figure out, lets just hope, in the case of the dive machine at least, that this is accurate. Yeah, it is a blatant rip off of Busch Gardens, but it has a dive machine so I'll forgive them just this once. post-88-1207474435_thumb.jpg

Edited by Gazza

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I'm worried that this will split WVTP potential customers, holiday makers will now have to decide to go either to this park down at Melbourne or the gold coast and its theme parks. ... Maybe i feel this way just because i would much prefer this new park to be on the gold coast. It's where i live :)

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But the thing to consider is that there is a whole market of people who don't go to theme parks that all, or not very often because its so far away and there are too many side expenses that need to be paid for to make it possible. It is probably a bit of an alien concept to us being a community of park fans, but there would be people in Melbourne who have never been to a proper theme park. Even for those who do go, it can only be done infrequently...I mean I remember visiting the GC parks in 1998, and then WL at the end of 2003, and it wasn't until the end of 2005 that I was able to visit the GC again, and this is coming from a coaster enthusiast! (Thankfully I'm able to make trips more often now) If the park gets the majority of visitors from the local market, the way I see it, WVTP are effectively getting money out of a market (Victorians) more often than they currently can. Furthermore, its inching a park a bit closer to South Australians and Tasmanians, so I think it will pick up those markets a bit too. Give it some time, but Melbourne could become a theme park trip alternative. If people are after fun in the sun, then of course the GC will always be the one, but If Melbourne ends up getting this safari park, and people see the southern star, and adventure park gets its bum into gear and presses on with its water park ambitions, and Lindsay Fox does likewise with Luna Park then the option is there for people soley interested in rides.

Edited by Gazza

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I mean I remember visiting the GC parks in 1998, and then WL at the end of 2003, and it wasn't until the end of 2005 that I was able to visit the GC again, and this is coming from a coaster enthusiast! (Thankfully I'm able to make trips more often now
I agree Gazza. This is definitely good news - airfares from Sydney to Melbourne are cheaper and more reliable than those from Sydney to the Gold Coast. It is also great news that this park WILL NOT be in Queensland! No offense to Queenslanders, but it is an utter pain to have to plan a whole trip every time I wanted to go and visit a theme park. So this is fantastic news - can't wait!

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What a fantastic development for melbourne. Heres hoping it will be built. Will still travel to gold coast for holidays every so often but it will be great to get season pass and just go for a day or even a few hours.

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I'm glad that it is in melbourne i enjoyed going there when we didn't go to any parks at all so. now it will be great and it is only a 40-60 minute plane ride from where I live to Melboure. So if this goes ahead I think I will be making a few more trips to Melbourne. Maybe even considering moving there in a four or five years. EDIT: Also it would be cool for them to put in a mine ride since the one at Dream World has gone adn i never got to ride it. They could theme it on diamond mines in africa. thats just what i want. :lol:

Edited by 0mah

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I'm just not sure how good a park your going to get for $220 million. I'm just thinking about a few recently constructed theme parks and the costs and what they got for their money. Hong Kong Disney costs $3.1M and it has about 13 rides and a few shows, I've just read on the weekend that the attendance has dropped off in the second year. Whitewater World costs $60M and waterparks are usually a faction of the price of dry theme parks. They will definitely be able to buy some decent rollercoasters for that money but how much real themeing do we expect to see and will it even be slightly on par with the American equivalent safari parks.

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^Guessing you ment $3.1Billion for Hong Kong Disneyland, Love the over Hyping of it in the Paper, Rivial Disneyland HA!!!! and $220 Million and a picture of Expedition Everest as an example of what could come... Expedition Everest cost $100Million + US Dollars, Still for Melbourne would be fantastic, but doubt it comes to realisation :(

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