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LOTTE WORLD GOES WITH GODDARD The Goddard Group has announced a multi-project partnership with the Korean theme park Lotte World, which will see the Hollywood firm design a series of new themed lands, attractions, dining and shopping

t’s a match made in theme park heaven,” insists Taylor Jeffs, the Goddard Group (GG) executive responsible for the Lotte collaboration. “You have the world’s largest indoor theme park, now paired with one of the top independent entertainment design firms.”

“ Caption? Jumping Fish – a sneak preview With

Jumping Fish we've transformed what could have been an ordinary off- the-shelf attraction into a fully themed experience

Liz Lee, Lotte World

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Since opening in 1989, the Seoul-based facility owned by the Lotte Group (a conglomerate with interests ranging from leisure and retail to finance and chemicals) has become one of the park industry’s top performers, bringing in between 5 and 7 million visitors every year. Home to mega attractions including a large Sinbad boat ride, Atlantis Adventure indoor coaster and the Pharaoh’s Fury multi-motion dark ride, it also boasts an outdoor section called Magic Island. So how will these new projects fit into the fold? “Much of the Lotte World guest experience remains unchanged since the park’s opening nearly 25 years ago,” points out GG president and CEO, Gary Goddard. “So now we're working with the Lotte team to search the park for underutilised areas that can be either upgraded, or used for something new entirely. Our aim is not only to enhance the current offering, but also to find ways to expand the park's capacity.” In the last few years, the park has been posting record numbers, but faced limited expansion potential due to its landlocked location in the Songpa-gu district of the South Korean capital. “Over the past year in particular, Lotte World has experienced unprecedented levels of popularity, so we’ve been actively looking for ways to expand in order to accommodate this influx of guests,” highlights the park’s head of development, WG Choi. “It's challenging, but also exciting in that it has also opened up lots of opportunities for new themed areas and attractions.”

The first attraction to debut as a result of the collaboration will be a small flat ride called Jumping Fish, opening any day now. Built around Zamperla Flying Tigers hardware, the indoor attraction is to be set inside a heavily themed undersea environment. “We are very excited for the opening of Jumping

Fish, as we think it really raises the bar for small attractions in Korea,” remarks Liz Lee, Lotte World

Pictured on site are, left to right, Goddard Group executive Taylor Jeffs, Lotte World show producer Liz Lee and Goddard Group Korean representative Yaeli Chung

show producer. “We’ve transfored what could have been an ordinary off-the-shelf attraction into a fully themed experience. We expect it to be among the biggest hits with our youngest fans.” So what comes next? Jeffs teases that, “Jumping Fish is just a warm-up. It has taught us how to most effectively work with the local design and construction teams. There will now be a few projects coming down the line that will be really exciting for the whole industry, including one that revolutionises the way guests approach theme parks.” Goddard adds: “What I think we bring to the table is not only the experience of having created many of the world’s top attractions, but also the ability to create top-shelf work for literally one-tenth the cost of what it would take to do it at a Disney or Universal park”. “We are very happy to be working with the Goddard team,” concludes Choi. “I personally am very excited at the potential that could result from the collaboration between our two companies.” Jumping Fish is scheduled to open early-October, and Jeffs says there could be additional announcements by the end of the year. Stay tuned!

Jumping Fish – an artist’s impression of the finished experience

A general view of Lotte World anmd its existing attractions OCTOBER 2012

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