Thursday, 14 May 2015

Singapore's 2nd Theme Park will be in Jurong?

I know, when it comes to Jurong, most of you are thinking High Speed Rail (HSR). However, the HSR is just one part of a huge development that will transform the district into a retail, commercial and entertainment hub. As our dear PM said, Jurong will be Singapore’s new CBD. And what better place to include Singapore’s next major attraction - Our Second Theme Park! As with all predictions posts, the contents here are all my prediction and there is no guarantee whether it will come true or not.

The Vertigo Theme Park concept by Architect Ju-Hyun Kim could be the solution for land scarce Singapore

To Save Land, this Theme Park will be unlike anything we seen in the world before!

I know what you are thinking: Singapore is so small, where got land for another theme park? Well, this new theme park will hardly need any land at all. In fact, the Jurong Theme Park could be a world’s full scale prototype Theme Park in a Skyscraper. 20 rides and a dozen shows squeezed into an area equivalent to 1 city block, and the whole thing will be air-conditioned!

Jurong New Theme Park Land Use New Development
This is Singapore's land use plan taken from Pretty much the entire yellow zone (bottom middle) is reserved for new commercial and residential developments that will turn the area into Singapore's new CBD

Currently, one “Skyscraper” style park is under construction in Orlando, USA. However, this attraction is more like a standard indoor theme park with a tall tower attached. Singapore Theme Park 2 will be located entirely within the skyscraper and combined with planned shopping or hotel developments.

Skyscraper, currently under construction in the USA has a tall tower with a roller coaster, but cannot be considered a true vertical theme park.

This park will have some of the Scariest Rides in the World! 

With a height restriction of over 30 stories (I think), the new Theme Park could be home to some of the tallest rides in Asia. Think about it: A freefall tower 30 stories tall! I certainly will think twice, maybe even 3 times before riding. What about a roller coaster that hangs you over 30 stories above the ground for 3 full seconds before the first drop? Remember, almost everyone has at least a slight fear of heights.

There are so many other possibilities. Imagine yourself walking on a rope ladder 25 stories above the ground. This will give new meaning to the term “Height Elements”. And since most things are indoors, why not have some interactive attraction like Disney’s Toy Story Midway Mania or an intense Harry Potter style robotic arm ride? Alright, I know you are probably more creative than me so I shall stop listing :D

OBS Leap of Faith
Doing the leap of faith from 25 storeys up! Will you dare? 

Science Center will be Underground. Why not build over it?

For all we know, the new science center may be a theme park in itself. After all, would you rather learn about the Human Body through static displays or by a 3D Motion Simulator Adventure? In fact, I think this is more than just a wish: It’s a necessity. If not, Singapore Science Center will only be attended by students forced to spend their precious afternoons on learning journeys. Remember our primary school days?

Based on Singapore’s City Plans, or URA Masterplan 2014 for those policy geeks, the Singapore Science Center, Omni Theatre and maybe Snow City will be moved to an underground site near to Chinese Garden MRT.  What’s happening on top? Well, a mixture of park spaces and *cough cough* recreational spaces. ie. Sports Complex, Swimming Pool, and why not a Theme Park as well?

Exciting attractions, such as this Earthquake Simulator at Natural History Museum London is able to attract more people to visit otherwise very academic attractions

This Theme Park could inject $100 million a year into Jurong and Singapore’s economy!

I don’t think I can complete this topic without talking some money matters. For starters, a good indoor theme park can attract about 1 to 1.5 million visitors a year, as proven by Ferrari World in UAE and Edmonton Mall in Canada. That is *sobs* 10 times more than my blog… Whatever! And don’t forget, when you visit a theme park, you usually still have to buy food, souvenirs, transport, hotel…

A well executed, novel theme park like Ferrari World can typically attract about 1 to 1.5 million guests a year and generate about $100 million of direct and indirect income

There is another plus: Singapore’s retail is too saturated. Dozens, possibly hundreds of stores in Orchard Road and other places barely get enough patronage to justify the huge rentals. So, instead of wasting space on additional stores that no one will visit, isn’t it much better to dedicate the space for other uses, ie. Theme Park. After all, economists always tell investors to “diversify”.

Singapore's retail market is already at saturation, and diversification is a great way to attract other types of guests to Singapore

Revolutionise the Industry, Boost the Economy! What more do you want?

My friends, family, colleagues, fellow volunteers, and maybe even you will tell me that Singapore has no more land for a second theme park. In fact, I see the lack of land as a great opportunity, not just to reinvent the theme park, but to show to the world that Singapore is a true innovator in tourism. Although we already have USS, what Singapore really needs is a theme park that is uniquely Singapore. Our very own Ocean Park or Fuji Q!

Just like how Ocean Park defines Hong Kong and Everland is the tourist icon of Korea, a well managed, well designed local theme park will add greater flavour to Singapore's tourist scene than overseas parks like USS ever could.

After all, how else can we justify spending over 3 billion dollars on the new airport terminal 5?