After much speculation over the past two years, this weekend confirmed that DreamWorks animation studios will operate not just one but two theme parks in Punta Maroma, which lies just north of Playa del Carmen and just south of Cancun in the heart of Mexico’s Riviera Maya. The two new parks will be known as Dream Park and Thrill Park.
Turquoise, a tour operator firm, entered an environmental assessment known as the Amikoo Plan for this project, which includes three hotels totaling 1,140 rooms, as well as a shopping center, a museum and a school of anthropology in addition to the parks.
The petitioner company also requested permission for the project’s environmental impact and change of forest land use to encompass two farms totaling nearly 120 hectares or 1.2 million square meters (m2) that are located at kilometer 307 of the Federal Highway 307 Agrarian-Puerto Reforma Juarez, in the area’s Solidaridad municipality.
"The Master Plan Amikoo will have a duration of 70 years, including six years for the site preparation and construction and the rest for the operation and maintenance of the parks,” reads the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) by El Economista. “On the land where construction is projected, the Amikoo Master Plan consists of two lots, amounting to a total area of 1,150,524.101 m2. It is located just south of the site called 'San Juan Maroma,' a batch of land totaling 174,130.53 m2 and the second north area known as 'the law of Monte,' which is the largest lot with an area of 976,393.57 m2."
Wilbert Gutierrez Alvarez, head of the Foundation for Investment in the Riviera Maya, told The Economist in October 2015 that this project is heavily investing in Mexico real estate and comes from the hand of an important group of Mexican investors, including Carlos Peralta, Fernando Chico Pardo and Angel Rodriguez.
According to the respondent, sources in the United States are also interested in the real estate investment and revealed that the park will have much similarity with the American Dream park located close to New York. References were also made to several blockbusters created by the DreamWorks animation studio, such as Shrek, Antz, Shark Tale, Puss in Boots, How to Train Your Dragon and Madagascar, among others.
The director of the Trust for the Promotion of the Riviera Maya, Dario Flota Ocampo, said that the eventual arrival of such major real estate investment in Mexico’s Riviera Maya will help to diversify the tourism offerings and further entrench the continued growth that keeps Cancun and the Riviera Maya leading Mexico in the total number of annual international travelers.
On the other hand, Carlos Constandse, who serves as partner and CEO of Experience Xcaret Group, said that such real estate investments will help the Mexican Caribbean maintain its leadership in tourism nationwide.
The main attraction is the Dream Park complex, which will consist of closed construction that contains a variety of different attractions, including rides featuring the main characters DreamWorks animation.
"It's a completely enclosed building with lighting and artificial ventilation,” the statement said. "Inside this building are different spaces to recreate the worlds and environments of each of the characters this company is known for worldwide."
The park will feature more than 30 rides and themed attractions.
"The scenarios will transport the visitor, through the use of avant-garde technological resources, into different worlds, interacting with each of the characters and their characteristic environments,” described the MIA. “Visitors will enter into activities and scenarios in each of the different environments to coexist with the characters. A high-speed roller coaster leads visitors to all the different theme parks in the building and, along with a variety of special effects, will help visitors get an unforgettable experience."
The park's facilities shall be composed of two cinemas, a 4D theater, a roller coaster, three playgrounds with climbing mountains, two areas where entertainment and shows will be presented, as well as an area of local food.
In addition, the project will involve 3,900 square meters (m2) of commercial areas, where visitors can purchase items like souvenirs, toys and countless accessories from the various DreamWorks franchises and brands.
The park will operate 365 days a year under strict temperature control in a state-of-the-art indoor environment so changes in the outside temperature will not affect its operation. Moreover, the Thrill Park is built on an area of 37,000 square meters. Its main attraction will be the Energizer, which is similar to a roller coaster, along with games of skill, Redemption, Aquaskoot and Pipeline, as well as a house of terror.
The complex will also include Grand Gala hotel with 714 rooms, recreational facilities, a theater, bar, spa and conference room, followed by the Hotel De Adults, which will have 252 rooms, as well as an open area for concerts and musical events. Finally, the Maroma hotel, which will boast 174 rooms in two horizontal buildings is also planned, as well as six specialty restaurants and a bar.
The new DreamWorks parks will also house the Amikoo Shopping Center, a major real estate investment boasting a profitable 30,490.98 m2 of commercial space and three anchor stores.
Finally, plans show that the Museum of Anthropology of the Mundo Maya (MAAM) will showcase the different periods of the Mayan culture, and the School of Anthropology of Quintana Roo will also build exhibits here.
"The School of Anthropology of Quintana Roo will contribute to the study of new archaeological sites that have recently been discovered in the region,“ says the text. “The upstairs space also has a place for classifying documents and for consultation. The development is complemented by a cafeteria that will serve students and the general public."
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