Saturday, January 3, 2015

Minecraft Theme Park Coming to New York Soon?

via poste744 on Deviant Art
Okay, so much of the information comes from The National Report, which in the past hasn't exactly been, what we call "true", not even in the slightest. For now, let's take this one with a MASSIVE grain of salt. More like a truckload. However, let's poke around and see what exactly they're on about anyway, shall we?

This one is definitely a bit of interesting news. It would seem that Minecraft creator Markus “Notch” Persson, is possibly attempting to build a theme park based on the wildly popular computer game in the state of New York. Yes, you read that right.

Now, there are a few details of just what this project will entail somewhat too. It's "reported" that the park will cost somewhere in the $290million range and Notch himself will be fronting $150million of that money himself.

The rest of the financial support is reportedly to come from other investors, one of which I assume would be Microsoft who owns the rights to the game now after purchasing it for $2.4billion not that long ago. It's been reported that Notch has hired the Thinkwell Group, a theme park design firm, to handle the design end of things. Apparently there has been a number of construction companies in the area that have been put on notice and it's quite possible the ground breaking could happen sometime this year and hopes to open in 2018.

So, just where is this new theme park to be located? Well, this one has me scratching my head a little bit (and leads to this not being true at all). The location they've chosen is Binghamton, NY. If you're not sure of where that it is, it's in southern New York and close to the border of Pennsylvania. According to realtors in the area, Notch has been buying up large sections of land around the town, including a 9 square mile portion just north of the city.

The reasons that Notch supposedly gives for wanting this location, according to Thinkwell, is because “has the infrastructure to support something of this magnitude, and it’s an easily-accessible location as well, with airports and highways converging in the area.” Okay, if you're curious, this is what the area looks like on the map to the left. Not exactly a lot there, is there? There's a regional airport near town and highways, but not exactly LAX or Orlando International here.

Anyway, what can folks expect to see at this new theme park? Well, thanks to the folks over at National Report, we have some more "details" on that as well. The park itself would be divided into three sections, The Overworld, The Nether and The End. Additionally, the park will also feature a themed hotel, The Dire Wolf Inn, slated to be a 5 star resort and built out of the game's famous one meter sized blocks on property as well. 

The Overworld section, as described by Thinkwell, will make up the bulk of the park, and include the majority of rides, live shows, and other attractions. It will also provide the chance for guests to build things with specially-built life-sized Minecraft blocks. Then, at night, the park will fill up with performers acting out the roles of zombies, skeletons, and even exploding “creeper” monsters, which is supposedly to hint at the closing of the park.

The Nether will be a subterranean world filled with "lava flows", and even more rides. Finally, the third section of the park, The End, will feature a giant holographic Ender Dragon that guests will have to team up to fight. However, if you want to see either of these sections, you'll have to find portals to get to them.

I'll admit, that last part sounds pretty cool, but also pretty horrible when designing a theme park. Unless they make it incredibly obvious as to where they are.

Interestingly enough, it's said that one of the rides in the park will be designed by Freddie Wong of YouTube fame, but no details are to be had about what exactly that ride will be or anything. Much like the rest of the details on the other rides, of which there isn't any info right now. 

Overall, best of luck if it's real (thinking not), but I don't exactly see this panning out as Notch or Thinkwell or anyone else hopes it does. The area isn't exactly a hotbed of tourism and they still have a long way to go to get permits and other such things in order, if there's any truth to this. While the town may say yes, it's over an hour from such bustling places as Syracuse and Scraton. Not really major cities here. The closest one would be New York City and that's 3 hours away.  Only time will tell though and we'll be keeping an eye on this one to see what, if anything, happens. Don't hold your breath though.

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