'Hunger Games' theme park? We have some ideas

Hunger-Games.jpg

Image Credit: Murray Close

Panem may become the hottest new vacation spot.

Lionsgate, the studio behind the Hunger Games movies, announced in a conference call with analysts this morning that the company had been approached about Hunger Games theme parks in two territories and was considering the possibility, according to Variety. No further details were given.

It obviously makes financial sense for the Katniss empire to expand; the first film made over $690 million, and people seem a little bit excited for Catching Fire, opening Nov. 22. Ignoring the pesky fact that starving districts full of poor people looking toward revolution as a way to end their suffering isn’t the most upbeat concept (and blatantly misses the point of the books), let’s brainstorm some ideas about what  Adventureland: Dystopia Edition would look like, should it happen.

1.) Layout. It seems that the “Harry Potter way” — with a couple different “settings” from the world all part of the park — might be a good model to follow. There could be a fictional forest to represent the outer districts, a fancier Capitol area, and then some kind of arena to signify the Games.

2.) Archery. The most obvious activity is also the most necessary. In whatever forest-type layout the park designs, there should be archery lessons and targets for every wannabee Katniss. This is an actual skill that many never have the opportunity to try, and as opposed to some of the more fantastical ideas in the novels (such as Jabberjays), archery is totally feasible; badass side-braids for all participants totally mandatory.

3.) Capitol Glam. The disturbing world of excess at the Capitol is clearly more theme-park ready than District 12. In the Capitol section of the park, there should be makeovers aplenty, so everyone can get in touch with their inner Effie Trinket. If the designers can figure out a way to replicated the “Girl on Fire” dress for photos, all the better. For a more chilling take on the Capitol, have some kind of dark maze people must maneuver through while the voice of Philip Seymour Hoffman yells at you to come out. Haunted houses would have nothing on those kind of fears!

4.) Quarter Quell. While the first book’s arena is fairly basic, the one for the Quarter Quell in Catching Fire provides more opportunities for some missing-the-point fun. Set up like a giant clock, perhaps this could be the “game” aspect of the park. In groups, you enter the arena and must be the last person standing. Every, say, 10 minutes some kind of bad thing happens — like rain or smoke machines — and you would lose a member of your team (to an exit sign. We’re not monsters here!). Instruct people to dive to a bottom of a pool or strap on a harness and climb a tree for various points, and you’ve got a thrilling adventure that doesn’t end with everyone’s deaths.

5.) Food. Refreshments are another area where staying true to the source material might make tourists unhappy. Perhaps instead of starving residents, people could have a Tribute-worthy feast aboard a Victory Tour train that gives fans a scenic tour of the park.

Capitol screens broadcasting mandatory viewing of kids killing kids clearly not included.

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