Research: Flamingo Land, UK

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Flamingo Land is located within the UK near Malton, North Yorkshire and is around 276 acres and consists of 52 rides, 9 being rollercoasters and 2 being water rides. The featured rides include Mumbo Jumbo, Velocity, Cliff Hanger, Flip Flop and Kumali. The park was established in 1959 as a zoo, then in the 1960’s the park had rides on site in the form of a fun fair to go alongside the zoo temporarily. Within 1970’s the amusement rides were in the park to stay and has become the very popular UK theme park we know today. The zoo within Flamingoland hosts up to 120 different types of animals such as lions, rare fish, penguins and camels.

The park is still in operation and is still very popular as it offers a holiday village and has been in the public eye many times featuring on ITV, Zoo Vet, ChuckleVision, ITV Weather and Talk Flamingo and currently is the new sponsor for the 2015-2016 Championship season for our very own local football club Hull City.

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I believe what makes this park very atmospheric is the sounds coming from the park, the lights and the water featured within the park. Although this isn’t the kind of atmosphere that I am wanting to create, I can use some of the ride designs and experiences that I have gained from visiting the park a few years ago. When researching into this theme park, I began to notice how important music is as well as natural sounds from the environment. The reason why this is as important as it adds to the mystery of the environment and keeps the player on their toes. It also create a mood and can make a player feel uncomfortable such as if a record was to stop playing a player could feel like something big is about the happen within the environment.

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Okpo Land, South Korea

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Okpo Land was located on the Geoje Island within South Korea and closed in May 1999 and demolished in 2011. The park itself was pretty young but I have been unsuccessful in finding a date but it would be correct to assume the park opened around 1995. The park itself was small in comparison to other theme parks consisting of around 11 main rides and attractions such as a swimming pool, bumper cars, roundabout, small arcade machines, duck rollercoaster, The Viking. The park was abandoned due to several accidents and two known deaths. The last death was in 1999 in which a cart derailed and caused the death of a young girl. The owner fled soon after and due to this the park was closed until its demolition in 2011. All the rides were left in place including the cart which caused the death of the young girl.

Looking at the environment from photos taken by an individual in 2009, the park has building waste around the entrance consisting of rubble and pipes. A lot of the buildings have large marks on them showing water damage and general wear due to people visiting the park unauthorised, wildlife and that the park has not been maintained for 10 years since the photos. Discarded items which would have been used within particular attractions have been left behind such as tickets and swimming noodles create the image that the park shut down rather quickly. The smashed windows, opened doors, broken tiles, rust and large pools of water on the ground really make the environment feel worn which I feel is something that is important when creating the atmosphere I am looking for within my piece. There is a lot of forestation around the rides and signs which I feel is also very important to consider, especially with them entangling the rides themselves to really give the park some age.

More images can be found at:

http://abandonedplaces.livejournal.com/1814560.html

http://www.uer.ca/locations/viewgal.asp?locid=26860&galid=24327