'Star Trek' theme park being developed in Jordan: What's your ride wish-list? We'll tell you ours!


Image Credit: Hilton/Getty Images

Set phasers for fun! That’s because Star Trek’s getting the theme park treatment in Aqaba, Jordan. Set to begin construction in March 2012, the Red Sea Astrarium, a $1.5 billion development comprised of four hotels and 17 amusement-park-style attractions, will feature a Star Trek-themed entertainment center, including a “space-flight adventure” simulator ride (a la Disney’s Star Tours) based on the 45-year-old franchise.

Puzzled by Starfleet’s incursion into Jordan? Actually, the current monarch, King Abdullah II is an avid Trek geek and even appeared on a season two episode of Star Trek: Voyager in 1996. He may be royalty, but, without a SAG card, he still wasn’t allowed a speaking part.

Of course, this news will be particularly heartening to fans (okay, me) who’ve never gotten over the loss of Star Trek: The Experience at the Las Vegas Hilton (pictured), with it’s faithful recreation of Quark’s Bar and DS9’s promenade. Though the flight simulator is the only ride to be confirmed thus far, the Jordan park could be as immersive an experience for the Starfleet faithful as Universal Orlando’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter is for the magically inclined. Imagine the possibilities! Restaurants serving targ and Vulcan-endorsed baked-beans washed down by Romulan ale — with raktajino to accompany gree-worms for dessert. If you visit the adjoining bar, remember: two tranya minimum.

As you can see, we’ve given this a lot of thought, so we’ve decided to pitch King Abdullah some other Trek-themed rides that we just know the Federation-friendly people of Jordan would love:

Cadet Kirk’s Orbital HALO Jump — Strap on a harness for a multi-story free-fall to save the planet Vulcan. Just like Chris Pine! Warning: Don’t ride immediately after visit to Klingon delicatessen.

Dr. McCoy’s Bumper Cars — Damn it, Jim, he’s not a doctor. He’s a bumper car!

“Escape from Rura Penthe” Runaway Train — Think Disney’s Matterhorn coaster, but with enslaved dilithium miners instead of boyish goatherds. And look out! Iman’s ahead!

Uhura’s Comm-Officer Challenge — An “educational” exhibit for younger Trekkers, in which we finally learn what it is Uhura does.

Tribble Pit — Take the multi-colored balls from your average amusement park ball-pit, add fur and a whirring motor, and your toddler will have Stardates-worth of fun.

“Why Does God Need a Starship?” Light-Show — A Final Frontier-themed laser and fireworks extravaganza concluding with “God” being destroyed by a photon torpedo. Leave before the sing-a-long rendition of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.”

Mirror-Universe Fun House — When you look in a mirror you see yourself with an Evil Spock goatee and find that you’re sexually harassing your female companions.

Orion Slave-Girl Show — For mature audiences only.

“The City on the Edge of the Parking Lot” Time-Travel Adventure — The final attraction at our hypothetical Star Trek theme park, which you ride right before you have to exit. It’ll send you back in time from the “24th century” to present-day Jordan, where you can marvel at the “ancient” 21st century city of Aqaba. After passing through the gift shop, of course. And no sets need to be built!

Hey, you can dream, right? Friends, Trekkers, Countrymen, would you be willing to make a pilgrimage to Jordan in the name of Trek?

Read more:
Captain Kirk vs. Captain Picard: Who is the greatest ‘Star Trek’ captain of them all?
Kirk vs. Picard, part 2: What about Captain Sisko?
Star Tours jumps to lightspeed: Exclusive video of Disney’s reboot of the classic Star Wars ride

Comments (127 total) Add your comment
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  • Mr Eko

    Khan’s Wild Ride – Khan chases you aroung the galaxy and shows you why revenge is a dish best served cold and it is cold in space. Khaaaaaaaaaaaaaan!!!

    • David

      Isn’t Jordan in the war-torn s h i t hole that is the Middle East? Who’s crazy idea was it to put a theme park there? FAIL

      • JP

        Actually, Jordan is a beautiful highly developed country. Just because it’s in the middle east doesn’t make it a war-torn s**t hole.

      • Veritas

        Nope. There is no war going on in Jordan. It is a peaceful, realitively progressive mid-east nation. You should probably get your facts straight before commenting in the future.

      • Tom

        They suddenly love Westerners, and Star Trek? I sure hope they have metal detectors. Come enjoy Arab Spring year-round. Where every night is the fourth of July. “Gee, those special effects on those rides were actually very realistic honey.”

      • Eli

        Redneck comments don’t surprise me anymore. You know batsquat about our region a-hole. Some countries are beautiful, safe and more tolerant than the majority of people who live in the states. More people die in the states per day from hate, gang and street crimes in the states than in some countries in the middle east. You probably think all countries here have desserts, palm trees and people who ride camels. Get your head out of that credit card debt and all-things-pop frenzy they control you with and get some education.
        And btw you’ve got OJ and Cassie Anthony…we dont. Boooooya!

      • Eli

        comment needed some editing, yikes…
        *deserts not desserts!

      • ftp

        way to be, eli!

      • argyle

        from what i’ve experienced, it’s a pleasant country, filled with a rich cultural heritage and a beautiful landscape. the food is amazing too.

      • Neal Kelley

        Just because it is the middle east does not mean that every person is a protential human bomb… You really need to travel dude..

      • JCM

        Must people actually post proof of their ignorance?

      • ruby

        you are in desperate need of an education Jordan is not war-torn at all, It’s not as progressed as other countries but it is very close to Dubai in terms of progress but not finance, do you know where Dubai is? MORON

      • MelindaB

        Eli, I hope they have desserts, too. :-P

      • Rudolf

        Get an education and put down the chocolate milkshake. Jordan is a gorgeous country. Go get an education and learn something that is useful.

    • John

      Sign me up for the Khaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan shouting contest.

    • ajmalzx

      Jordan? Well at least the air tickets to there is cheap. Definitely will be there.

      • District 12

        Cheap? from where are you flying? looks expensive to me…….especially compared to the cost to get to other theme parks

    • Rush

      It’s obvious what Uhura does. She’s a call-center operator: hero to phone jockeys everywhere.

  • Skip182

    The Tribble Pit is the greatest sounding thing I’ve ever heard.

  • Lady Pirate

    Kobayashi Maru, anyone?

    Totally need a show of Q’s trial of humanity from TNG. And you definitely need one of the food establishments to be Ten-Forward.

    Oooh, virtual reality games so you get to play in Sherlock Holmes’ world right alongside Data and Geordie.

  • Joe

    Definitely the Kobayashi Maru. How about the Pon Farr duel? Genesis Planet. Rura Pente. Borg Collective. Q Trial.

    • Tom

      It’s like roaring rapids waterpark in a warzone. What will people think of next?

  • Joe in Pittsburgh

    Want to know my Star Trek fantasy (ride or otherwise)? A news story that DOESN’T start with the words: “Set phasers for fun!”

    Seriously! Can any of you so-called journalists come up with anything more creative?

    • Slowbrosif

      Just plain terrible.

  • Sheila Vives

    The antichrist teaching people to attack God and be immoral, under the guise of a famed T.V. show.

    Do not blasphemy God, for he is the one who gives you breath, life, and a future of peace, joy, love and more if you will only learn to accept him and obey his gentle loving teachings. God does not desire the death or harm of anyone. Yet people want to harm him ? Not possible. God will destroy the armies of the nations with his breath.

    • Tom


      Go walk in the desert and don’t come back till you get a sense of humor or God tells you to lighten up!

      • Doty

        You’re one to talk, troll loser.

    • Erik

      Sounds like a really nice imaginary friend, especially the bad breath part that can wipe out nations. Here’s a thought, try joining the world and put the bible-study group on hold.

    • pastafarian

      May you bask in His celestial bolognese and may His noodly appendage touch upon your pasta-laden pirate hat, that you may better understand Ramendan. R’amen.

      • Dave

        I am the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Thou shalt have no other monsters before Me. (Afterwards is OK; just use protection.) The only Monster who deserves capitalization is Me! Other monsters are false monsters, undeserving of capitalization.
        -Suggestion #1

    • Ellen

      Shelia, IF you had seen ST V you would know that the comment about “God” was in jest, considering there was an alien character attempting to pass himself off as God (the one and only) in that particular movie. In spite of Mc Coy’s irritation at Kirk for having the audacity to actually question ‘God’… Kirk asks the alien why “God” needs a star ship?

    • Get a life

      Good grief.

    • me

      better answer the door, the men in the white coats are here

    • Joseph Bartolo

      I totally agree with you all the way God is the only way through his son Yeshua. Eternal life is ours if one is in line with our creators will <3

    • JPX

      Shelia, God is a fairy tale created by man to keep the savages in line. Do something productive with your life instead of embracing Bronze Age thinking.

    • Neal Kelley

      Oh please… You need to take your self rightous tush.. and go sit on a tac… Give me a break.. If you really want to do Gods will go to an empovished country and help the starving folks there… instead of sitting behind your computer and giving online sermons..

      • Sarah

        True that.

    • Peridot

      Sheilah, God told His people not to be so arrogant and self-righteous that they drove others from His path. That’s in the Bible, too, along with ‘Love thy enemy.’

      Somehow I can’t see Star Trek as the Anti-Christ. Or were you joking?

    • Dicazi

      There WAS a group called Trekkers for Jesus. Don’t know if it’s still active, but there ARE Christain Trekkies.

    • Matt

      Sheila, are you saying that God has bad breath??



  • Cal

    @Sheila Vives

    1. A sense of humor, get one.

    2. Have you even seen Star Trek V or do you just like to uninformedly shoot your mouth off?

  • James

    Wow. $1.5 billion….that’s pocket change to King Abdullah II. Think of how far that would go to alleviate the current starvation issues in Africa…oh, wait, I forgot, OPEC, Africa, and the Middle East can;t be expected to spend their own hard-earned dollars fixing their own problems – that’s what the deep pockets of the Democratic West are for. Suckers.

    • John

      This work will create jobs and make money out of thin air. Tourists will come from around the world. Then, some of that made money can go to charity. In order to give money to charity, someone has to MAKE IT first. Do not make a claim on other peoples money. Either how they make it, or how they spend it, or how they put it to work. It is not your job to direct King Abdullah’s money.

      • Get a life

        Oh yeah. We’re all gonna flock to Jordan so we can go to a stupid theme park. Right. And any money goes to charity. What have you been smokin’ anyway?

    • Dawn

      Something tells me John if you had billions you’d make Monty Burns & Scrooge McDuck very proud.

    • Karim

      Wow don’t know where to begin with your comment… hmmm Jordan is not in OPEC, Jordan is in the middle-east which is NOT in Africa so how do you claim it’s their “own problems” ?! Your comment is painfully ignorant.

      • ali

        Karim, I beg to differ on you with regards to the “middle East”. Jordan is in Africa, before it was a suez canal that entire region was Africa. May Allah grant you wisdom. Ramadam Mubarak!

  • Vivian

    Will the gree-worms and targ be halal? And how will they be able to serve Romulan Ale in a Muslim country? Oh, and I guess the Orion slave girls might have to be clothed in more modest garb to avoid offending the locals.

    • Jeff

      They can wear green burqas.
      Won’t really matter, I’ll never go or even be able to.

      • Jennifer

        Guess I am a comedian.

    • John

      Just me. Drinking is allowed in Jordan. Just don’t walk a few miles south of Aqaba into Saudi with that Ale.

      • John

        Apparently I can’t type tonight. “Trust me.

    • Jennifer

      It is funny how people are ignorant to other countries, especially Americans. Jordan has stores that sell alcohol. There are many Christians and Jews who either live here or visit. Woman are not mandated to wear head covers.

      • Jeff

        Funny how you use the word funny to get all serious, high and mighty over a one-liner.

  • Ben

    Isn’t the concept of The United Federation of Planets antithetical to everything the arab world stands for? I don’t blame Paramount for trying to make some money, but these people are unworthy of assimilation.

    • Doty

      Isn’t running down whole cultures antithetical to everything the Arab world stands for? As Spock would say, “Infinite diversity in infinite combinations.” Assimilation is for the Borg.

  • rich486

    As the project engineer for the shuttlecraft ride at Star Trek – The Experience, I wish them well, but think we did a really good job the first time.

    • SB

      OMG!!! I’m blog commenting among famous people! Well.. semi-famous anyhow. I am extremely grateful to have had the chance to visit ST:TE at the LV Hilton before it shut down. I separated my saucer section in Quark’s Bar on two wonderful occasions. I was sad to see it go. I’m actually going to be staying in the Hilton again in a few months. Alas, there will be no saucer sections separating on this trip.

      • CAPT Derek

        Do we want to know what “seperating your saucer section” really means? Sounds fun as h***.

  • Trekfan

    7 of 9

  • Erik

    New Game: Pin the ridges on the Klingon!

  • Burt Ward

    Maybe he can buy the Startrek Experience from Neonopolis. I was so sad to see it never open after it had left the Vegas Hilton. The last time it worked it was operating the Borge Invasion. This ride was fantastic when it operated. I hope someone can bring it back some day.

    • Matt

      Um, the “Borge Invasion” was back in the 50s when Victor Borge came to the US. He was damn funny too! xD

  • pastafarian

    Food Replicator or bust.

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