A few weeks ago, we blogged about what might possibly be the worst theme park ever known to man – the newly opened Green Dream Park on the Olympic Green, which hopes to promote climate change and environmental protection. The park promised some do-it-yourself activities, and even promised visitors a “chance to recline on a folding sofa that accommodates about 10 people... made entirely of recycled paper,” all for the low low price of…RMB 80. Sounds pretty bad right? Well, we had a chance to check out the place for ourselves, and it was worse than we thought. If you’ve ever seen those North Korean documentaries which showcase bizarre attractions completely empty of people, this one comes frighteningly close.
After walking around endlessly trying to find the park, and asking numerous Olympic Green workers who had no idea what the Green Dream Park was (maybe they were trying to save us from the horror that was to come), one lady finally was able to steer us the right way, and we finally arrived at the ticket counter. A chuckling ticket seller collected our RMB 80, probably wondering why two foreigners would ever want to visit their big excuse of a theme park.
Upon passing through security (beware terrorists!), an eerie scene awaited us: 90s era Gameboy music on repeat, and a desolate park, other than a dance troupe, who seemed like they were randomly hired to dress up in animal costumes and do something strange on stage. There was also a mascot dressed up as one of the characters on the park’s advertisements walking around. We tried waving to him, but he didn’t return the favor, but if I were stuck in a barren park in 30+ degree heat with a massive costume, I probably wouldn’t be so eager to wave back either.
According to the China Daily article that was published late last month, the park’s host said that after visitors go to the park, “Terms such as "low carbon emissions", "Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability" will morph from loose concepts to applicability in daily lives, according to the host of event.” Wow, sounds great, except nothing in this park is practical or cutting edge at all. In fact, the subpar robot looking objects and the statue of the Transformer Optimus Prime, all made from recyclables, actually probably make a green environment seem like it only belongs in a third world country.
Moreover, air conditioners blasting away right next to plaques that explain the importance of the conservation of earth made it hard to take this park seriously.
What about those do-it-yourself activities you ask? With the big deal they made of them, you’d think they’d be included in the price of the RMB 80 ticket. But no. It is RMB 35 to decorate a vase and put a seed in there, and RMB 8 to make a tie dyed piece of cloth (what does this have to do with a sustainable lifestyle?!?). The only free activity we found was a claw crane. But it wasn’t filled with stuffed animals, but instead with cans – and yes, beer cans too. If you manage to successfully get a can (we didn’t), you can insert it into yet another machine which will give you some coins in return. This is the biggest f*** you I’ve ever seen in my life.
And the infamous sofa that Tina Zheng, the genius behind this park, so greatly emphasized in the China Daily article? To our knowledge, non-existent. We asked some employees, and they didn’t know anything about a sofa and we couldn’t find it within the confines of the park. Shucks, my RMB 80 wasted!
It honestly surprised us that there was even one other person other than us in that park. This is the biggest rip off in all of Beijing hands down and it is surprising that Zheng, also the genius behind the Chocolate Park, is still allowed to keep coming up with these gimmicks. Stay clear of this one. These Chinglish signs we found on the way to the park were much more entertaining, and free.