In what may be the first instance of literature being turned into its own theme park, an interactive Harry Potter environment is set to open in Orlando in 2009. I can already see the anti-Satan worshipping crowd lining up to picket the place. Of course, the fact that the franchise generates so much darn money was a huge motivating factor in giving this one the green light. I would guess there are not a lot of development meetings revolving around “Dosteyevsky Land,” “The Gore Vidal Adventure” or “Chick Lit Berry Farm.”
Just the same, such a topic-specific theme park leaves the door open for other, more socially conscious parks, which could address our nation’s need for work/life balance. Imagineers, take note:
I’M IN A MEETING LAND – Gives visitors a chance to see the truth behind this shadowy phrase that has cut so many calls from spouses and children short. State-of-the-art robotic CEO’s reveal that while claiming to be in a meeting, they are actually on speaker phone practicing their short game.
BLUETOOTH MADNESS, THE RIDE – Strap in for the most perilous rollercoaster yet: a recreation of trying to drive, eat a bagel, read the Journal and negotiate an overseas contract without an interpreter, all at the same time. Bonus coupon for free ride given to those who do not get pulled over by state-of-the-art robotic highway patrolmen.
THE HAUNTED MCMANSION – A guided tour through the empty gesture of conspicuous consumption, in which audiences wait for the ghost of a former Executive Vice President to come and frighten the guests of the home he used to live in, only to realize he is working late and will not make it home in time to haunt them after all.
THE DOWNSIZING ADVENTURE – State-of-the-art robotic Directors of Personnel use state-of-the-art corporate doublespeak to can your sorry butt. One of the scariest theme park rides known to man. It may take weeks before you tell your spouse what happened.
It’s time for amusement parks to reflect some of our real-life experiences, and these are decent places to start, I think. What theme park attraction would you like to see about your daily grind?