A major new theme park will open this spring as part of a €425,000 development outside Istanbul, the largest of its kind ever in Turkey.
Located at the crossroad of two major highways on the border of the Eyüp and Gaziosmanpaşa municipalities, the 200,000 square metre Vialand park is part of a larger, 600,000 square metre development that will also include a large retail offering, concert arena and green spaces.
Scheduled to open on April 23, it promises around 50 attractions spread over four themed zones. Welcoming guests to the park will be a striking castle structure, leading to a “Main Street” area with buildings and facades that reflect daily life in old Istanbul.
The park’s signature attraction will be an Intamin launch coaster (as pictured). Standing 65-metres-tall and reaching 110km in three seconds, its height will be the same as the Bosphorous Bridge that connects Europe to Asia on Istanbul’s bosphorous strait. Other attractions will include an Intamin family coaster, richly-themed splash coaster (shoot-the-chute), raft ride, two dark rides, a Zierer Star Shape and Huss King Kong.
Istanbul is already noted as an important shopping and entertainment destination for visitors from the neighbouring Middle East and Balkan regions, and the Via Land development is predicted to increase tourists to the city by 15%.
The project’s investor and main contractor is the Gürsoy & Bayraktar Investment and Management Partnership, working to plans delivered by Dome Architecture and ANM Group International. By the time it is complete, the complete development is expected to create employment for 4,000 people, including Vialand general manager Mehmet Emeç, who arrives at the park with several years’ Disney experience under his belt.
Billed as “Turkey’s first international mega theme park,” Via Land will hopefully prove more sustainable than Istanbul’s ill-fated Tatilya and Landora parks, the latter of which closed last summer after less than a year in business.