The Hunger Games Theme Park

A few months ago our very own Girl With The Pearl published this article here, and true to form, and/or the nature and purpose of this site, it was written entirely in humor. Today though the hypothesis has become a little, or a lot less of a silly, flippant idea– nope, now it may prove to be an honest to god real thing. There are a few things that The Hunger Games fandom have had to endure over the last several years, one of those things has most definitely been the unadulterated commercialization of the series. Sure, we know the series is successful, we don’t begrudge that, however sometimes I think we can all agree that the money-making schemes that use The Hunger Games as its draw have gone to places that don’t make a lot of us happy, or even comfortable. The Girl With The Pearl doesn’t like Trish Summerville’s partnership with Net-A-Porter and the Capitol Couture line, and I do, so even staff writers on the same site don’t agree on things, but I think today we can all resoundingly agree that the news of Lionsgate seriously considering building a theme park, or theme park ride around The Hunger Games is an extremely ill conceived of venture and idea. 

Panem is not a happy place, this is why The Hunger Games trilogy is called Dystopian. So I’m just entirely confused as to how, or why anyone would want to walk through a park, or sit on a ride that glorifies the dystopic world that Suzanne Collins created. The Hunger Games trilogy is not Harry Potter, which was kind always a theme park waiting to happen if you think about it, I mean Diagon Alley was straight out of Dickens, and Hogwarts already looked like Shakespeare and Poe got drunk, and decided to go on a turn about The Haunted Mansion, and killed a few people along the way. In other words, the best time ever! 

The Hunger Games has happy moments don’t get me wrong, but come on– those moments aren’t magical, you can’t gloss over the pain, there’s no giant spider named Aragog, and the horrors, you can’t build a movie theme park or ride, around a world that quite literally locks people up, whips them, starves children, forces children to fight to the death, and televises it! That’s just, well– insane, socially irresponsible, and um– sick. Sure, in a twisted sense this is all turning out to potentially be art imitating art, because Suzanne Collins did write that Capitol citizens love visiting arenas from past Hunger Games whilst on expensive package vacations, but that still doesn’t justify the as yet to be defined concept behind this “ride” or “park.” I’ve heard some ideas that it’s going to be something along the lines of Star Tours, the Star Wars ride that’s been running at Disney parks for decades, or like The Back to the Future Ride that has also been running for decades as well. But, those films don’t quite go to the same dark places as The Hunger Games— frankly comparison wise, those film franchises are a lot more tame. Sure, Star Wars has an empire ruling a galaxy, but you sure as hell don’t see Darth Vader killing kids on TV and selling, and packaging it as the entertainment highlight of the year. The galaxy in Star Wars wasn’t even

This totally happened! No-it-didn't.

This totally happened! No-it-didn’t.

informed that an entire planet was destroyed to get information out of a scared girl, and Snow totally did the same thing– and used it for propaganda purposes later on. I don’t even know what could be plucked from The Hunger Games and condensed into a ride? What, the ride to the Capitol? It’s not exactly exciting, unless they want to throw in some intense imagery, evoking PTSD like feelings, which only masochists and sadists would be into.

There are some weird theme parks out there, I have to admit that. Like the Bible theme park in Florida, or a Christian evangelical museum where animatronic dinosaurs carry Jesus around, or something. And then there’s Plymouth Plantation in Massachusetts, which I don’t even like putting into the same category as the Christian themed things, ’cause yeah– dinosaurs did not carry humans around, not even Jesus. So, Powers That Be, please don’t make light of The Hunger Games, you can sell us clothes, and pins, and albums of music– but a theme park or ride based in a series about trauma, starvation, social upheaval, oppression, violence, oh and love– it’s not the best idea you’ve had, and it’s highly recommended that you reconsider.

I do kind of want to see Johanna Mason on a dinosaur.

Them There Eyes

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6 comments

  1. I’ve had a lot of respect for the way Lionsgate dealt with the marketing so far. The video games that were made out of the series all bypassed the violent aspects, like with the Facebook THG Adventures games and whatnot. Before they partnered up with Subway they also made sure to involve a charity hunger organization and their cause. And while many of us find the clothing line and Capitol Couture uncomfortable, it’s apparent that they realized the thin line they walk as well, since even Suzanne Collins broke her public silence to comment on the CF marketing, calling it extremely ‘thought provoking’.

    So yep, seeing all that, I’m very surprised that they’d consider the theme park idea. Okay, that’s not true, obviously they would consider a theme park idea, any studio would if they had such a massive franchise at their hands, but after that I’d expect them to also realize that there’s absolutely no way to make this happen without stomping the books and all its messages into the cold hard ground. I just can’t see anything good coming out of this, although I’m sure they would try to do their best.

  2. 😀 Yeah, we’ll see how that goes… (< me, not taking the idea of a theme park seriously at all) Especially since one of the jokes about THG fandom is that, unlike places like Narnia and Hogwarts, Panem is one place people do NOT want to experience for real. Except maybe the food. I'd take a Capitol-inspired restaurant any day. 😉

  3. Here is the exact quote from the book:

    HG pg 144:
    “The arenas are historic sites, preserved after the Games. Popular destinations for Capitol residents to visit, to vacation. Go for a month, rewatch the Games, tour the catacombs, visit the sites where the deaths took place. You can even take part in reenactments.

    They say the food is excellent”

    I hope Lionsgate is reading these comments and realizing that this would be a HUGE mistake. Maybe they can do an attraction where you can see all the props from the all the HG movies if they really wanted to make money that badly.

  4. The thought of a Hunger Games theme park is a bit unsettling. I am wondering if Lionsgate read the books they are making movies of. Or if they have seen the movies for that matter. Because a theme park totally defeats the meaning of the books. *shakes head* Lionsgate back away from the idea it is a bad one.

  5. I agree with you all. But I do think that if they go ahead and make that theme park, it won’t be of Panem, it will be a theme park of the Capitol. Everyone dressed super high-fashion, food to die for, rides that take you to old arenas and the likes. Not even a studio would do a theme park of Panem, there is nothing there to turn into a theme park. Now the Capitol however…I may dislike the idea but it would work.

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