Magic World Russia is the name of a planned destination resort comprising multiple theme parks as well as hotels, retail, dining and entertainment venues – and the first of its kind in Russia.
The $2.5 billion (€1.5bn) development is described ambitiously as, “One of the most unique and compelling entertainment destination resorts in the world,” and will be realised with the assistance of several leading attractions industry specialists from California including Gary Goddard Entertainment Design, ProFun Management Group and Brand Studios.
Magic World Russia is being designed both as a multi-day destination resort, and as a venue for day trips, and its creators hope to attract between 10 and 12 million visitors a year. The Gup Rublevo-Uspensky Lok of Administrative Directorate of the President of Russian Federation has helped MIG 2000 to identify an area over 250-hectares (600-acres), 50km north of Moscow. Groundbreaking is set for summer 2012, with the first phase expected to open by 2016.
The driving force behind the project is Gennady Moshkovich, the chairman and CEO of Moschanko Investment Group (MIG 2000), which apparently boasts a track record of establishing bilateral business relationships between California and Russia.
“Everyone involved is committed to creating a magical experience for kids and their families as well as a unique, world class resort,” says Moshkovich. “Magic World Russia will also serve to promote the rich Russian heritage and culture through the first ever Park Russia theme park.”
“We are thrilled to be a part of the Magic World Russia California consortium,” adds Gary Goddard. “To be at the centre of Russia’s first world class theme park is both an honour and an exciting challenge.”
Moshkovich believes he knows why previous attempts at creating a theme park in Russia have failed: “For example selecting the wrong location, such as the centre of Moscow which has massive traffic issues. In addition, real estate in the major metropolitan regions in Russia is enormously expensive. Keep in mind also that for many years Russia hasn’t been ready for a world-class theme park project and personal income of the average Russian wasn’t as strong as it is now. Today most Russians are very well educated, experienced, talented and well travelled. They know quality when they see it.
“Great progress has been made in the last 10 years. New Russian leadership has created many investment opportunities for Russian and non-Russian companies alike. Despite the extraordinary investment that Russia has been experiencing by the private and government sector, some people believe that you couldn’t do anything without connections.”
Gary Goddard has been retained to provide design oversight for the entire Magic World Russia project, while ProFun will provide operations and management consultancy in the initial planning phases as well as ongoing oversight. Brooks Branch and Danny Kaplan of Brand Studios will oversee overall brand and creative collaborations.
Around 80% of the parks and attractions planned will be covered in order to offer a year round-experience. Outlined so far are the following key components:
•Major Hollywood Studio Branded Park – MIG 2000 is apparently in discussions with a number of major Hollywood studios and Paramount and Universal are highlighted as frontrunners
•Park Russia – drawing on rich Russian culture and folklore as well as achievements in space and Arctic exploration, film, cinematography, science and aviation
•Thrill Ride Park, Extreme Sports Park and Waterparks
•World Without Boundaries Special Needs Children’s Park
•Magic Family Park – dedicated to families with young children
•Nanopolis Children’s Park – a role-playing “edutainment” experience where children will be able to participate in “grown up” jobs
•Winter Garden Magic Fountain Park – serving as a stage for nightly entertainment and parades
•St. Petersburg City Street – shopping and dining experience.
The image above is from an existing Russian amusement park courtesy of Pax Company and is in no way designed to be representative of Magic World Russia