Wednesday, February 11, 2015

DreamVision Unveils Plains for DreamVision Soundscape Theme Park in Muscle Shoals, AL

Well, as promised, the folks at DreamVision have announced their second multi-billion dollar theme park in just three days. DreamVision SoundScape will be located in Muscle Shoals, Alabama and the idea behind the theme is to celebrate the immense musical heritage of the town.

If this sounds familiar, Hard Rock tried to open up a park based around the musical theme in Myrtle Beach, SC, which later turned into Freestyle Music Park before it's eventual closure and the rides being sold off to various places around the world. 

The 1,400 acre park will employ upwards of 20,000 people and it's said have to have a price tag of $3.5 billion dollars, same as DreamScape Mountain. However, we're not 100% sure on that as $1.5 billion has been thrown around a well. The park would include hotels, retail spaces, shopping areas, golf courses and more, just like in Texas.

No matter how you slice it, they're looking at $5-$7billion for two theme parks and oh yeah, DreamVision SoundScape? That opens in 4 years with a 2019 opening date announced during today's press event as well. How, I have no idea as they don't even have the land purchased nor ground broken yet for the project. Maybe by phases they mean opening one small piece at a time? Dunno how well that would work after you show everything and don't mention any of those details either.

So, just what will this park include? Well, like the last time, here's the breakdown of the whole thing for ya. Once again, a ton of questions swirl around this one,  but we'll get to them later. First up? A look at the park layout from the concept art shown.

From this, doesn't seem to be as thrill oriented as the Fort Worth project, but still a few things in there as it looks like at least three coasters are involved, maybe a fourth but it's kind of hard to tell from the image. As described at the press conference the park will be based around various styles of music and that's fitting for Muscle Shoals as it's claimed the title of "The Music Hit Capital of the World". The park will feature various lands, a shopping area, concert venues and a massive indoor water park like structure. Again, an awful lot going on here.

The centerpiece of the park will be a massive sculpture that not only features all of the instruments involved in the music making process for the park's theme but it's also a possible future home to the Alabama Music Hall of Fame.

Would be rather strange to put something such as that behind a park gate, but hey, ya never know with these things, right?

That's not all though! In and around the mountain will be a pair of coasters. One of them being more family oriented as it takes guests on a slower pace and then another more high speed thrill ride for those looking for more excitement. It's the latter that seems to be really interesting as they've described it as "being able to ride the music". What does this mean? Well, from their description, the music will speed up and slow down in direct correlation with the speed of the ride.

Right near the mountain, it looks like there's some kind of water coaster or something that goes underwater as well. I can't really tell if that's supposed to be the "dolphin coaster" or not, but it's definitely a strange thing to see.

There's been proposals of this kind of thing before but the maintenance on it would be pretty high, and that's usually the reason they don't happen when it comes down to it. Also, the fact that they have marine life so close, I'm not so sure on that, but hey there is SeaWorld Aquatica with slides through habitats, guess anything is possible. Would cool if they can pull it off though.

Immediately around the mountain is something that will be called America Blvd, where supposedly parades and other night time events will take place. The idea behind it being that it will focused on giving a tribute to all types of American music history.

Now, surrounding the musical mountain in the center will be a series of lands, as one would expect. All of them themed to different styles of music; Rockopolis, Jazz Alley and unnamed lands that will feature Country and Gospel music respectively. There's not much info on the Gospel land, but the Country Music area will be themed in an old west style, which makes a bit of sense since the other park they're planning also includes such an area. To get into the park, guests will cross a musical bridge that will play music for the instruments that are embedded into the structure as they pass over.

Now, once in side you'll get to the lands. So, let's get to them. As you can imagine, Rockopolis will feature the history of Rock 'n Roll and all of it's celebrated history. From the images, it appears that maybe this will be the '50s inspired area that they keep showing, but it's hard to say exactly. If it is, this area will have a number of things going on with it including some kind of coaster along with a bumper car ride themed like music notes. At least that's what it looks like anyway.

This would make the most sense for this stuff to be located there, as I just can't see a Jazz area having a high octane style coaster. Maybe something a little slower paced would fit in there like a dark ride or something.

There's mention of a ride that would take guests through a Drive In Movie experience, maybe celebrating music in movies? I'm not sure exactly how they'd do this or the style of it, outside of the mentioned "vintage cars" for ride vehicles. It does kind of sound like The Great Movie ride in that sense but again, not sure how exactly it would go.

What land this would fit into, really not sure either. It could feasibly fit into the '50s area of Rockopolis since drive in theaters were in their hey day around that point in history. Yeah, we'll go with that for now.

Next up, the Jazz Alley section of the park.

Again, not much is really know outside of the mention that there would be a Frank Sinatra themed kind of lounge/resturaunt kind of deal and who knows what else. I would imagine this would be a more low key section of the park but it's really hard to say. A few shows in here would make some sense as well. 

Outside of these two, there's really not much to talk about as the Country Music/Wild West area, along with the Gospel area, weren't talked about much in detail. Not sure why, but apparently they didn't feel the need to disclose that, maybe things aren't 100% finalized for them yet.

The only clue we really have are an image saying that the area could be called Wild West Adventureland and something that looks like some kind of rapids ride. Well, at least it looks like the rapids ride would fit in with the theme, but it's hard to say really.

Now, the other big feature of the park would be a massive indoor water park/beach area. The images that they showed during the press conference showed all manner of things happening in here from your traditional water park stuff to surfing pools and all manner of other things.

Indoor water parks are very popular, but one may wonder why they'd opt for something indoors in the part of the country. Fact it is it does get cold and if they want year round visitors, it does make sense to do it this way.

Outside of that, not much else was really mentioned about the park other than the opening date which at this point is only four years away. This seems like a massive stretch, even more so when they've been quoted as saying they're possibly "weeks or months from finalizing the deal" for the land to build this on. Again, wouldn't  you want that before you announced this thing?

Again, there is possible land that could be used for this, as local news has reported, but no infrastructure to get there. By that we mean no highways or utilities robust enough to service such a massive park. Of course, that can all be built out in time and coincide with the park's construction as it moves forward. The other interesting thing is that the leadership of DreamVision said that they have "most of the money" secured. Um, this park opens in 4 years and you don't have all of it? If you're going to hit that mark you better have things moving at light speed and yesterday.

So, again, we sit here with a ton of skepticism on this one. Why? Well, we've learned of yet another theme park deal that DreamVision was involved in that apparently has gone nowhere in Isreal. This brings the total parks up to 5; Lake County, South Africa, Isreal, Fort Worth, and now Muscle Shoals. The other previous three have never materialized, it would seem and they promised the South Africa park and movie studio would open in 2017 but I can't find any info on that at all anymore. Sure, any number of things could've derailed these projects but it gives them a track record of talking more than doing. Maybe that's unfair, but it's hard to ignore.

There's also the small matter of moving the Alabama Music Hall of Fame. The park seems to revolve around this being part of it's center piece. However, that would be news to many on the board of directors at the facility. Yep, that's right, they haven't exactly spoke about this key part of the park with the folks that run the place. Another oops moment. Again, not to say it couldn't or won't happen but you don't make these announcements without all your ducks in a row. 

Moving on, and forgetting the past deals that have gone nowhere, they're still looking to spend $7 billion dollars in the next 5 years to open two theme parks. That's astronomical amounts of money and even the likes of Disney and Universal can't pull that kind of thing off these days. How in the world is a company that has no real product, unlike Disney back in the 1950's with Disneyland, going to do this?

Look, I'll be the first to wish them luck, but with how hazy the details are on this one and the past record of the company making promises it hasn't delivered on, it's hard not to go "Yeah, right" to the whole thing. Both concepts are really cool, interesting, and would be huge for the areas they're proposed in, but until something concrete happens I got some land in the Everglades to sell ya.

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