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Would you want to go to a ‘Hunger Games’ land in a theme park?

By in Press Enterprise on October 24, 2017

By Robert Niles

Last weekend, a new theme park land opened, designed around one of the world’s most popular movie franchises. No, it wasn’t “Star Wars.” We’ve got another couple years to wait on that new land at Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Nor was it another Harry Potter, Marvel, or even DC Comics land.

It was the world’s first “Hunger Games” land.

The World of The Hunger Games opened at Motiongate Dubai, a movie-themed park that is part of the three-park Dubai Parks and Resorts complex that opened late last year in the United Arab Emirates, which is trying to become the Orlando of the Middle East. In addition to “The Hunger Games,” the park features attractions based on “How to Train Your Dragon,” “Shrek” and other Dreamworks Animation franchises, as well as the “Smurfs,” “Ghostbusters” and the “Step Up” dance films.

The world’s first “Hunger Games” land opened at Motiongate Dubai. (Photo courtesy of

That’s all pretty standard theme park fare. But “The Hunger Games”? A dystopian franchise about a post-apocalyptic America, where poor children are forced to fight to the death for the amusement of the wealthy? Who would want to spend any time with that?

Well, in the movie theater, a lot of people did. “The Hunger Games” had been the second most-popular motion picture franchise without a theme park tie-in – trailing only the Middle Earth franchise of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit – according to box office records from “The Hunger Games” films followed a wildly successful, bestselling series of books, too. So the franchise has proved its popularity.

But it’s one thing to experience a franchise as a reader or viewer and another to physically step foot into its world, as a theme park can make possible. If faithfully recreated, would the danger and dread inherent […]    

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