There’s a new must-visit amusement park for thrill-seekers. Wonderland Eurasia has opened in Ankara, Turkey, and it promises 26 large-scale rides, including 14 roller coasters, and an amazing 2,117 smaller attractions.
According to Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, the new 14-million-square-foot park “isn’t just a symbol of pride for Ankara, but all of Turkey.” The park also features several stages for concerts, a "Digital Dark Ride," a 246-foot tower ride, and a 21,000-square-foot “dinosaur jungle” area that has a 229-foot animatronic T-Rex. The park is hoping to submit the animatronic dinosaur to the Guinness Book of Records as the largest of its kind.
Aside from the attractions and rides, the park also hosts the world’s second largest fountain, which reaches 394 feet in height. Also, a canal inside the park allows visitors the chance to see reproductions of landmarks from around Turkey by boat.
Not everyone is happy with the new park though. According to Reuters, the park cost $256 million and took more than five years to finish. The project began almost six years ago and was only finalized last year. In addition to the outrageous amount of money and time it took to build the park, there are also safety concerns from local officials.
The Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects (TMMOB) in Ankara told Reuters that they had spotted rust on roller-coasters and foundation irregularities in photos of some of the attractions. Despite these concerns, President Erdogan is confident the new park will bring in nine million lira a year in revenue, and the park's general manager, Cem Uzan, has estimated that the park will draw more than five million visitors in its first year.
Theme parks attract several million visitors each year. The world’s largest indoor theme park is located in Dubai, while the world’s largest underwater theme park is found in Bahrain.
Despite the controversy over safety, the new park is generating a lot of interest from those looking for new adventures. In fact, according to mayoral candidate for the province Mehmet Özhaseki, Wonderland Eurasia received about 980,000 visitors since its inauguration last Wednesday. Not bad for its first week.