Although not boasting the high-profile of Japan’s bigger theme parks such as Universal Studios and Tokyo Disneyland, Osaka’s hundred year old Hirakata Park wants to make its guests heroes. SoraNews24 reports that from next week, guests will, among other things, be able to “fight fake thugs in order to impress their girlfriend”.
Hirakata Park, which opened in 1910, will give guests the opportunity to be involved in a variety of “flash-mob style” interactions with park staff. These scenarios will be initiated when park employees approach the guest in the park and initiate the interaction.
As an example in the video below, delinquents approach a guest and threaten him and his girlfriend. As SoraNews24 explains, “’Hey, your girl is looking fiiine,’ says Black Sunglasses, as he roughly grabs the young lady by the shoulder. When Boyfriend demands ‘Get your hands off her,’ Black Sunglasses tries to sucker punch him, but that just causes Boyfriend to unleash his fists of fury. He makes short work of the ruffian, who quickly flees, along with his quivering crony.”
Hirakata Park no stranger to innovation
Both male and female guest can participate so woman have an opportunity to protect their partner from yankii-style thugs too.
Hirakata Park offers four scenarios. These are as follows:
- Protect your beloved! “Your sweetheart will be totally impressed”.
- A bomb is about to explode! A battle against the clock.
- A Freaky Friday style body switch? “A member of the opposite sex comes running up, you crash into each other, and…what’s this? You’ve switched bodies! Could this be…the beginning of love?!?” (perhaps inspired by the Anime film, “Your name”)
- A desperate medical situation. You can be the hero with your rare blood type.
The new experience will be offered on weekends in May and June. No additional fees are required, but would-be heroes will have to apply for a time slot via the Hirakata Park website.
Hirakata Park is in fact no stranger to innovation. In 2014 it introduced blindfolds – an early from of virtual reality (VR) – to some of its rides. These were the Giant Drop Meteor, the Mokusei Coaster Elf and Uncle Frodo no Korottorokko.
The “flash-mob” style enterprise is of course intended as entertainment and a joke. Hirakata Park recommends keeping the plan a secret from the guest with whom you visit the park.
This is a good example of the increasing trend of guest interactivity and how it is not limited to the use of hi-tech and expensive rides. “Actortainment” is here to stay. This summer British theme park fans can expect to be approached by a red-faced man informing them that they just spilled his pint.