Expected to cost 300m, Park Pla-im – also known as the Park of Wonders – is the project of designer Rabbi Yosef Zvi Ramon, from the West Bank settlement of Alon Shvut, Rabbi Eli Targine, and a number of foreign investors.
Park Pla-im will be the first park of its kind in Israel, and will feature an emphasis on Jewish history and education. ITEC, an Orlando based design company which built Disney and Six Flags and drew up the park’ plans across two years, will now begin planning permission applications.
“This is just about education,” said Tony Thwaites, real estate investor. “Visitors to Israel see a lot of history and Jewish tragedy and this is explaining what being Jewish is about in an exciting and modern way.”
The park is set to have 16 rides in five wards, including The Shabbat Attraction, a water ride inspired by the days of the week, a Jacob’s Ladder, and a roller coaster – The People of the Book – that takes riders through ancient tomes.
Organisers hope to attract diaspora Jews from the UK and the US, and though no government institutions approached by the planning group have committed funds to the project, Thwaites is confident this will change.
“Dimona connects nicely with the whole idea of building in the south and bringing infrastructure and jobs to Dimona,” said Thwaites. “You realize what it could bring in terms of jobs and hotels and it’s a real positive thing.”
Dimona is located in the Negev desert, and Park Pla-im is due to open its doors in 2023.