Istanbul gets its own Disneyland on the Golden Horn
Prime Minister Erdoğan (C) participates in a ceremony to mark the opening of Vialand, the theme park. DAILY NEWS photo / Emrah GÜRELThe biggest entertainment park in Istanbul, Vialand, has opened its doors with a ceremony attended by the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Vialand Istanbul close to thpe city’s Golden Horn region, claims to be the biggest shopping center with its park, aquapark, themepark and shopping center lying on a million-square meter area in Eyüp district.
The project was launched in September 2011 and has employed nearly 1,000 people in the construction stage and 4,000 people upon completion.
The 600,000-square meters project area, located within the Eyüp and Gaziosmanpasa Municipality borders, has the Transit European Motorway (TEM) to the North and the E5 Highway to the South.
Prime Minister Erdoğan said at the ceremony that the area used to be a stone pit when he was the Mayor of Istanbul between 1994 and 1998. Haliç, known as the Golden Horn, which connects to Istanbul’s Boshporus, had lost its habitat feature for sea animals but efforts were being made for it to re-gain its natural existence, Erdoğan said.
Erdoğan said it was a “love business” for him. “My people know that the AK Party [the ruling Justice and Development Party] holds its promises. We never cheated and we did not let anyone cheat us. Who would believe there was going to be a fun center in this area 10 years ago? Look now we have it. ... These are all about love. This is a business of love,” Erdoğan said.
Erdoğan also said his party could not stand idle by poverty and asked Vialand managers to set some free entrance days as well.
Vialand features main attractions such as the Rapid Ride, offering a fast-water rafting experience; Splash Coaster, combining natural waterfalls with the fun of a rollercoaster; and Family Coaster, an attraction for anyone who enjoys or might enjoy a rollercoaster.
The guests of the Park will find themselves swept away to a world inhabited by the legendary creature King Kong, and where they can wander the lively streets and squares where the old, mystical way of living in Istanbul is revived, its different cuisine and culture is presented with staff happy to be meeting guests’ needs, and full of many other surprises, wonders and smiles.
The Fatih Dark Ride entertainment unit will allow guests to take an exciting and educational trip through the Ottoman Empire period and witness Fatih the Conqueror take over Istanbul.
Including educational and informative activities particularly for kids of elementary or secondary school age along with all the fun, Vialand will also be undertaking many social responsibility projects.
Vialand also has shops in the old Istanbul style and Ottoman-style houses and buildings, a waterpark and kids fun center.