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Developers planning $400m theme park for Israel

Plaim park, a Jewish theme park in Israel modelled on Disney.

A $400m, Disney-style theme park that will be themed on the history of the Jewish people is in development in Israel.

Plaim Park (or Park of Wonders) is planned for Dimona, a southern town in the Negev desert. Initially, the park will cover 25 hectares featuring 16 major rides across five “worlds” – Oasis, World of Spirits, World of the Jewish nation, World of Society and World of Time.

“We are very good at many things in Israel – hi-tech, medicine – I think it is also time for us to be good at something that is fun and enjoyable,” Lea Malul, CEO of the theme park project told the Jerusalem Post.

The park and rides will be modelled after Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, however they will be themed to educate visitors on the Jewish people.

“The park will have the same rides and the same layout but with content. It will be 90% fun and 10% content,” Malul said. She added that none of the theming will be based on the Bible or mitzvot, instead it will reflect Jewish and universal values.

One of the proposed rides is based on Splash Mountain with the theme modified to show six work days and a “calm zone” after a drop that signifies the day of rest.

Other planned attractions include a Jacob’s Ladder ride and a roller coaster that passes through gigantic tomes — representing Jews as the people of the book.

Plaim Park will also create and develop its own characters to populate the attractions and interact with visitors. It hopes these characters will become “cultural heroes of tomorrow”.

Malul said that there are private investors lined up to fund the estimated $400m project. It is currently in the process of acquiring the necessary approvals and permits, which could take several years.

Once the park is off the ground the developer plans to surround it with malls, hotels and other attractions.

“We are developing the whole area to actually build a new destination that deals with entertainment and fun,” Malul said. “This is going to be a very big game-changer for the whole country – it will become an international destination.”

Dimona Municipality is keen to attract visitors and appropriated the land the developer is eyeing for the park for such a purpose. It is in advanced stages of pushing forth the initiative, which has also been backed by Yariv Levin, Israel’s tourism minister, according to the Post.

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