Adventures and Sports
DisneylandPH? 5 Philippine Theme Parks that Came First
Choose Philippines | Feb 18, 2016
On Wednesday morning (February 17, 2016), it was reported that President Aquino met with the executives of Walt Disney International during his California visit as a participant in the US-ASEAN Summit. Present in the sit-down meeting are Walt Disney Chairman Andy Bird and Vice President for Global Public Policy Jim Flippatos.
This immediately created a buzz on social media of what could be a possible initial discussion of bringing the amuseument park "where dreams come true" right here on Philippine shores. It can be remembered that in 2012, Pampanga Represenative Carmelo Lazatin wrote to Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Thomas Staggs, asking if the theme park operator was interested in opening a version of the enchanted theme park in the Clark Freeport Zone. There was no clear follow-up on this until this week.
Whether the reports are true or not, it is without a doubt that Filipino kids and kids-at-heart have enjoyed theme parks in the country long before the possibility of Disneyland Philippines. Here are just some of them:
1) Fiesta Carnival
- Location: Cubao, Quezon City
- Operational: 1970s - 1990s
Fiesta Carnival was a warehouse-like indoor amusement park in what is now the location of Shopwise. It featured a mini-ferris wheel, caterpillar, carousel, and roller coaster. It also hosted live magic shows and clown performances. The Carnival relocated across SM Cubao in 2000 but it didn't take long before it closed down for good.
2) Boom na Boom
- Location: Pasay, Metro Manila
- Operational: 1987 - 1994
Because of its location just beside Star City, Boom na Boom is sometimes regarded as the cheaper alternative to the aforementioned theme park. On the site of the now-defunct carnival are various establishments such as a go-kart track, several restaurants (Pier One, Bagaberde, Pergola, and Legend), and exhibits/galleries (The Myth of the Human Body Exhibit, Engimono World of Positivity, Crocodile Park, Kulturang Pinoy).
3) Star City
- Location: Pasay, Metro Manila
- Opened: 1991
- Ticket Rate: PhP 70 (rides not included); PhP 450 (unlimited rides)
Star City is originally a part of Toys and Gifts Fair annually held at the Philippine Center for International Trade and Exhibitions (PHILCITE). Its management eventually decided to operate independently and has since boasted an array of indoor and outdoor attractions. Aside from the roller coaster rides, bumper cars, and horror houses, Star City also features food and retail bazaars.
4) Enchanted Kingdom
- Location: Santa Rosa, Laguna
- Opened: 1995
- Ticket Rate: PhP 600 (unlimited rides)
Founders of the theme park, Mario and Cynthia Mamon were frequent visitors of other theme parks in the Philippines and this led them to open their own. Since its inception in 1995, the amusement park has grown into having seven themed zones with total of 30 rides, including two roller coasters and two water rides.
5) Your Local Perya
- Location: In various places in the Philippines
From feast day of the saint to founding anniversary of a municipality, your friendly local perya is always there to give your town an enjoyment for a week or so. It usually features a small ferris wheel and some booths with games.
Which theme park of the 90s is your favorite?
(Cover photo from Mars P., Flickr, Creative Commons License)