In the 1980s and 90s it seemed that theme parks and video games were very much their own thing with their own fandoms. However, recent decades have merged the two, and we’ve even seen fans create their own Disneyland and Haunted Mansion themed Animal Crossing islands. On a larger scale, we’ve also seen the collaboration between Nintendo and Universal culminate in the upcoming Super Nintendo World park in and eventually Orlando, the latter of which appears to be near completion.
However, long before Universal, the iconic developer created a based on one of its most popular series; .
Like Disney, Sports and Tetris. has become cemented in popular culture and remains an insanely popular multi-media franchise to this day. As a , your goal is split between battling and to obtain the eight badges of your region. 1996’s Red and Green versions are still the third best-selling Nintendo games of all time after
So, with such a popular franchise, the were seemingly endless and Nintendo decided to create an entire Pokemon-themed ; PokePark (Not to be confused with the of the same name).
As a myself, the idea of an dedicated to our favorite franchise is a dream come true.
The park opened in March 2005 and ran until just September of the same year in Aichi, , before going on tour in Taiwan between June and September 2006. Despite being open for such a short time, it was actually quite a substantial , with a restaurant, several cool attractions, and even a nightclub! It was free to enter, but each individual cost money to .
Related: Universal Studios Japan Announces Soft Opening, Reopening
Here’s a list outlining each taken from Bulbapedia, the Pokemon wiki;
Bumper Car: Aqua vs. Magma
Choose a Team Aqua car or a Team Magma car, and face off against the opposite team in a bumper car.
Twister: Fury in the Sky
in a shaped like Rayquaza and experience thrills like in Destiny .
Gotta Dance Tour
Relive Gotta Dance!! on this musical.
Alto Mare Gondola Cruise
on a ship shaped like Latios and Latias that flies high up in the air and crashes down into water.
Lugia’s Spinning Ship
Navigate boats through swirling water and around Lugia.
Pokémon Star Swing
on a swing with Mew, Celebi, and Jirachi.
Take a trainwith the Pichu Brothers, Wynaut, and Munchlax.
Pokémon Giant Ferris Wheel
in a giant ferris wheel with cars in the shapes of various Poké Balls.
through the air in -shaped cars.
Mudkip’s Big Splash
on a log flume shaped like Mudkip and splash down into a water pool.
on a merry-go-round with Raikou, Entei, and Suicune instead of horses.
Will we ever see in again?
Probably not. It seems like the park was a promotional tool to promote the new upcoming entries in the ; Diamond and Pearl versions. Besides giving out a few free ‘gift’ Pokemon to some lucky Gameboy Advance holders, the park has become nothing more than an obscure footnote in the franchise’s history.
However, it’s pretty likely that we will see some kind of Pokemon-themed or at Universal Studios’ Super Nintendo World. We already know that the park features a and a dark based on Yoshi’s Story and it stands to reason that other characters from popular Nintendo franchises like , Animal Crossing, The Legend of Zelda, and yes, will also appear.
Still, PokePark remains an interesting bit of lost history in the worlds of both Pokemon and theme parks.
Are you ain the making? Would you have liked to have visited the ? Let us know in the comments below.