There are a lot of amusement parks in the Tokyo area, but it’s often hard for them to compete for attention against Tokyo Disneyland and Disney Sea. However, the recently renovated Seibu-en, located right over the prefectural border from Tokyo in the town of Tokorozawa, Saitama, has a plan to step out from the Disney parks’ immense shadows by recruiting a character Uncle Walt has no claim to: Godzilla.
When Seibu-en holds its grand reopening next month on May 19, guests will get to walk through a large-scale replica of a nostalgic shopping street from Japan’s Showa era (1926-1989). At the end of the street is a suitably retro-style theater building, and inside is the world’s first permanent Godzilla theme park ride.
▼ Concept art of the Showa street
Those of you who keep yourselves responsibly informed about current kaiju events will likely remember that there’s also a Godzilla-themed zipline attraction at the Nijigen no Mori outdoor activity center on Awaji Island in Hyogo Prefecture. Seibu-en’s new attraction seems to be a seated indoor dark ride, however. Officially called “Godzilla the Ride: Great Kaiju Decisive Dominance Battle,” the attraction throws riders into the middle of a fierce fight between Godzilla and his mightiest nemesis, the three-headed draconic beast King Ghidorah.
Seibu-en is being coy regarding details, and while the term “ride” implies movement, Godzilla the Ride: Great Kaiju Decisive Dominance Battle could also be some sort of motion theater deal. The ride’s CG visuals are directed by anime director Takashi Yamazaki, who helmed the "Stand by Me Doraemon" and "Lupin III: The First," and considering how well those films have been received, odds are Seibu-en’s Godzilla ride will be a treat for the eyes. The park is also promising that the ride will “sweep you up in a whirlpool of transcendental excitement” that “never stops to give you a chance to catch your breath” and “will change the way you look at humanity, and Godzilla.” Honestly, that all sounds like a lot for one theme park attraction to do, but as he’s shown time and time again in his screen career, underestimating Godzilla is never a good idea.
Source: Godzilla the Ride TM & (c) TOHO CO., LTD.
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