African Safari World

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African Safari World
African Safari World Logo.jpg
Slogan Animal adventure meets thrills and excitement[1]
Location Werribee, Victoria, Australia
Coordinates 37°55′22″S 144°40′02″E / 37.9229°S 144.6673°E / -37.9229; 144.6673Coordinates: 37°55′22″S 144°40′02″E / 37.9229°S 144.6673°E / -37.9229; 144.6673
Owner Village Roadshow
Operated by Warner Village Theme Parks
Opened 2010 (Expected)[2]
Delayed Indefinitely
Previous names Werribee Open Range Zoo
Visitors per annum 1.3 million (Expected)[2]
Area 40 hectares (99 acres)[2]
Website www.village.com.au/

African Safari World was a proposed amusement park and zoo, to replace the Werribee Open Range Zoo, 32 kilometres (20 mi) southwest of Melbourne, Australia.[2][3] Warner Village Theme Parks, who already own and operate several properties on the Gold Coast in Queensland, was behind the proposal. The park was scheduled to open in 2010.[2] On 1 June 2008 the Victorian government said it had rejected the proposal, because the cost to the taxpayer would have been too great.[4]

Proposal[edit]

The park would have occupied 40 hectares (99 acres) of land and would include major thrill rides, roller coasters, restaurants and African-themed shops. The attractions would tie in with the existing open range zoo, sharing an African safari theme and the zoo would be redeveloped.

The project was estimated to cost A$220 million, was expected to draw 1.3 million visitors each year and add A$864 million to the state's economy over 10 years. 6,700 new construction jobs would be created and the park itself would employ 500 people during operation.[3] It would have been marketed as a location where "animal adventure meets thrills and excitement".[1]

Attractions[edit]

The concept art for the park.[5]

Several attractions were proposed including:[6]

  • Serengeti Safari - An African animal tour. This tour was expected to be a redeveloped Werribee Open Range Zoo which was to feature:
    • Habitat and enclosure improvements
    • Increased animal numbers
    • Wildlife education and conservation centre
    • Australian animal experience
  • A variety of rides, including water rides and Australia's greatest roller coaster
  • Man-made lakes and mountains
  • A Four Dimensional Theatre

Support[edit]

Victorian Tourism Minister Tim Holding supported the proposal, stating; "From our perspective, this is a very exciting proposal...It's one that we think can bring great benefits, not only to Victorian families who have to fly all the way to Queensland, all the way to the Gold Coast to see world-class theme parks...We think it's a fantastic proposal, it's one that we want to give very serious consideration to." [7]

Unfortunately the cost to the Victoria taxpayer was expected to exceed A$100 million. This factor, combined with Werribee Open Range Zoo's refusal[8] caused the plan to be indefinitely delayed.[9]

In July 2013, it was proposed by Geelong City Council that a theme park be built at nearby Avalon Airport, and they have restarted discussions with Village Roadshow. [10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Rolfe, Peter (6 April 2008). "Melbourne's $220m plan for super park". Herald Sun. Retrieved 4 July 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Wilson, Richard (6 April 2008). "Village Roadshow goes to Africa". News Article. Parkz. Retrieved 4 July 2010. 
  3. ^ a b The Sunday Mail (5 April 2008). "Victoria's African Safari World to pinch Qld theme park crowd". News Article. The Sunday Mail. Retrieved 4 July 2010. 
  4. ^ Turnbull, Jeff (1 July 2008). "Vic govt rejects $220m Werribee Zoo plan - Breaking News - National - Breaking News". Melbourne: The Age. Retrieved 4 July 2008. 
  5. ^ CoAsTeR TeeN. "African Safari World: New Village Theme Park". Scanned Image from Newspaper. Parkz. Retrieved 4 July 2010. 
  6. ^ Sunday Herald Sun (6 April 2008). "Theme park adds up to Disney down under". Sunday Herald Sun. Retrieved 4 July 2010. 
  7. ^ AAP (6 April 2008). "Safari park for city's west". The Age (Melbourne). Retrieved 4 July 2010. 
  8. ^ Moncrief, Marc (7 April 2008). "Zoo fears for animals in plans to expand". Herald Sun (Melbourne). Retrieved 4 July 2010. 
  9. ^ Parkz. "African Safari World". Database Entry. Parkz. Retrieved 4 July 2010. 
  10. ^ Fowles, Shane (25 July 2013). "Theme park being readied for takeoff at Avalon". Geelong Advertiser (Geelong). Retrieved 29 July 2013.