We love The Hunger Games. We re-read the books, interact with its extensive online presence, obsess over the trailers, make memes, costumes, and art inspired by the series. Many of you are probably at the all day in-theater movie marathon event today leading up to the premiere of Mockingjay – Part 1 tonight.
Lionsgate has been savvy with their handling of the property from marketing, to merch, to the quality of the films. It makes sense that they would want to expand on the success and give the fanbase what they want: more Hunger Games! Normally, we’d be all for that but one proposed idea has us a little worried. Do we really want a Hunger Games theme park? The answer from nearly all of us here on the GeekyNews staff has been a resounding no.
The company is putting out feelers on the idea. Earlier this year, Lionsgate announced a traveling exhibition set to tour the U.S. next summer. It will feature costumes, props, and other cool things from the film productions. With its focus on geeking out about a story we love and the process of making movies, count us in. Another step was taken with the recently announced stage show coming to London in the summer of 2016. While we’re sure there is potential for it to be great, this one is getting a little closer to uncomfortable for a few of us especially since it promises to be “uniquely immersive”.
Why is a theme park too much? There is a fine but very clear line between being a fan of a fictional property in which horrible things happen and wanting to actually see or be a part of it in real life. The entire point of a theme park is to immerse the visitor into a themed experience, except this one has children dying at the the forced hands of other children, fundamentally corrupt government, and so much trauma and suffering. Sounds like a super fun day, right? Obviously, a potential Hunger Games theme park wouldn’t go to such extremes, but these are still a significant enough part of the universe that they would be impossible to not to address in some aspect.
A Hunger Games theme park could also toe another dangerous line. A major factor as to why we find the Games in the books and films so awful is that they are made into a pageant with elaborate costumes, interviews, TV coverage, and a literal parade. In the books it’s popular for Capitol citizens to take vacations to sites of previous Hunger Games. They are not going to pay homage or honor the fallen but to gleefully tour locations in which star “characters” had (traumatic or deadly) major moments and to pretend to be their favorite Tributes. It’s almost as if… it were a theme park.
If a theme park were to be built, does this mean we would become the Capitol citizens? It’s a horrifying notion.
There’s no denying the Thinkwell group, the company Lionsgate has looked to for the Exhibition and to explore the theme park endeavor, has done great work (they had a hand in the Harry Potter Studio Tour in London, for example), and based on Universal’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter alone we know that immersive theme park worlds based on book properties can be incredible. We think (we hope) that if Lionsgate moves forward with Hunger Games theme park plans they will walk the line tastefully, though it’s admittedly tough to imagine how.
Of course, it’s easy (and fun!) to imagine the worst. We here in the GeekyNews offices had fun dreaming up all the worst case scenarios for a truly frightening and upsetting Hunger Games Adventure Land. Proceed at your own risk. (Which is, coincidentally, a sign that would likely be posted at the entrance to our version of this wondrous place.)
Imagine if you will:
- In-the-know travel agents will set clients up with a pre-park visit to a Training Center to learn skills that will give them an edge a survival.
- Who needs the Tilt-a-Whirl when you can be spun in a replica of the Quarter Quell arena? Hope you can swim!
- There’s probably a log flume ride. Think Splash Mountain, except you get drenched in blood.
- A Tiki Room- esque bird show with mockingjays singing four note songs and the death throes of your loved ones.
- Definitely no height restrictions, but lots of “You must be a Capitol Citizen to go on this ride” signs.
- Home to the greatest bakery ever. So much bread. It smells and looks delicious but you can’t have any. Once a day, a teenage bakery employee comes out and throws a loaf of bread at the person who looks the most pitiful and hungry.
- Facepainting! It takes four hours but then you’ll perfectly blend into the rocks beside the river.
- It smells like roses. Everywhere. He’s always watching.
- Check out the special photo booth where you can take your picture and they’ll digitally transform you into a muttation. $35 for an 8×10 with terrible nightmares thrown in for free.
- The number on your park ticket may be drawn in the raffle at the mandatory afternoon Reaping ceremony. May the odds be ever in your favor!
- No water fountains, snack stands, or first aid to be found here. Dramatically demonstrate your need for water, medicine, sunscreen, or other supplies and a sponsor might take pity.
- If you do not make more than $100,000 a year you cannot enter the food court. You must hunt for your lunch in the desolate wasteland at the back of the park. Hunt at your own risk.
- If you’re really sneaky and know the right people, you can find the secret location of the Hob. Snag a squirrel and you’ll be set for trading. Check the daily times guide because you’ll want to clear out before it burns down for the day.
- Keep your kids close. Lost children are thrown into an arena where they fight to the death to see their parents again.
- Be careful about jumping on that death defying roller coaster! The ride operator – I mean Game Maker – gets to decide what the track looks like and when you’ve ridden enough times in a row.
- Tributes are provided complimentary stays a luxury resort with a very all-inclusive salon and spa. Everyone else is given a sleeping bag and a belt and pointed toward the adjacent forest. Wile away your days strapped to a tree and your nights trying to find your friends and family again.
- Just imagine the parade and nighttime fireworks/Who Died Today? sky show.
Where do we get our annual passes?
Do you have any more ideas for things we might find in a Hunger Games theme park? Will you go if it becomes a reality? Let us know in comments.