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Gary Goddard Entertainment (GGE) has revealed that it has moved into masterplanning of Magic World Russia, a US$3 billion theme park-led resort planned outside Moscow

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Russian resort moves ahead with Gary Goddard

nitial plans for the resort were announced last summer, but details at the time were a little sketchy. Now, thankfully, we can reveal a little bit

more. Located 50km north of the capital city, Magic World Russia is described as a world-class development comprising multiple theme park, resort, retail and other destination elements.


 It’s typical for new theme park projects to attract critics, especially those on the scale of that proposed at Magic World Russia. "From my previous experience as a senior vice-president with Paramount Pictures, where I helped develop world-class branded theme parks around the world, I am all too familiar with how few successful theme parks have actually come to fruition,” acknowledges Jonathan Zilli, partner at MIG2000. “We have spent the past three years working diligently with our partners in Russia and the US alike on defining the best attractions, rides, technologies and guest experiences that Magic World Russia can offer.”

Gary Goddard has stated that he hopes the new resort will achieve the same kind of national fame and affection as enjoyed by Disneyland in North America. Looking at some of the concept work for Park Russia it would be tempting to suggest that it will bear some other similarities. “I can understand the

comparison,” answers Goddard, “but only in terms of the initial layout which serves to organise the park in a way everyone can understand. Beyond that I will say right up front that I am a complete believer in the hub foundation for a modern theme park; it is still is the very best way to move people through the experience. The actual content and design of the park, however, will be completely different as have woven the fabric of the lands from Russian history, culture and achievements.”


During the past three years, GGE has been working in close collaboration with Moschanko Investment Group 2000 (MIG 2000), a partner of the Russian Corporation, Central Family Park Magic World. MIG200’s role in the project is to organise and co-ordinate the work of several California-based professional theme park companies and Russian associates. The team assembled also includes ProFun Management Group, AECOM and various Hollywood Studios.

The anchor attraction of Magic World Russia will be

Park Russia, celebrating the country’s past, present and future – including its various scientific and aviation achievements – set within a world of fantasy, adventure, discovery and timeless wonder. To ensure authenticity, several leading Russian designers, directors, scientists, historians and architects are to be engaged in the park’s development. An additional two theme parks, including an adventure park focused on rides and a major Hollywood studio-branded park, are planned in addition to two themed waterparks and the “World Without Boundaries Park” – designed specifically for children with limited abilities.

Complementing the theme park facilities will be a major retail and dining area called St Petersburg Street, a spectacular fountain show, extreme sports park, children’s role-playing centre, three themed hotels (one of which will be integrated with the waterpark) and a 2,500 seat amphitheatre. The first phase of the project, comprising Park

Russia, St Petersburg Street, two hotels and the first waterpark is due to be completed within six years. Around 80% of Magic World Russia’s attractions will be enclosed, and thus shielded from harsh weather. Once completed, Magic World Russia is projected to employ 6,000 people. “In Russia there is currently no theme park – no modern day destination resort as we in the industry know them,” notes Gary Goddard. “ And Russia is a major nation with a rich and vibrant past, and with a very strong focus on tomorrow as well. To say the time is right would be an understatement. The families in Russia will, I believe, will adopt this park as their own, much as we in America did with Disneyland. We are extremely proud to be leading the design effort on behalf of MIG2000.” “Government leaders in Russia are paying a lot of attention today to ensure a better education and happiness of families and children, and I believe that happiness of children should be universal,” states Gene Moshkovich, president and CEO of MIG2000.

“For this reason, in particular I feel very proud to be a part of great effort to develop the World Without Boundries Park for children with limited abilities. This has long been my dream.” “To date Russia has been an untapped frontier for major theme park

destinations,” notes John Robinett, senior vice- president of economics for AECOM, a leading economic feasibility firm servicing the leisure and attractions industry worldwide. “We recognise the richness of Russia’s culture, history, legends and innovations in science, aviation and space exploration and are very excited to be a part of this ambitious and important project for Russian families and children.” “We have great respect for the vision and team assembled by the Moschanko Investment Group 2000,” adds Dave Schmitt, president and CEO of ProFun Management Group. “Creating a world class destination with a Russian theme is an appropriate and unique opportunity for the people of Russia at this time. ProFun is excited to be a part of this exceptional team – one that will bring this enormous project to reality.” The conceptual plan for this resort has already been endorsed by key Russian Government agencies, as well as various social and public organisations including the Russian State DUMA/Parliament, Directorate Office of the Business Administration of the President of the Russian Federation, Civic Chamber of Russian Federation, Business Council of Russia and various departments of the Governor of Moscow County. “The role of Russian government representatives to provide proper advice and direction has been very important and continues to be very important for the development of this project,” concludes Moshkovich. As Gary Goddard and his team move ahead with more detailed masterplan, the concept artwork presented here should present a taste of what lies in store on this ambitious development.


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