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The Dragon Ball theme park opening in Saudi Arabia needs to be as silly as possible

If you collect all the Dragon Balls, do you get to wish for a free hotel stay?

Dragon Ball Daima screenshot
Image credit: Toei Animation

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If there is one thing that Dragon Ball is full of, its large, empty wastelands and deserts to keep their world-shattering battles from causing massive civilian casualties (Superman, take notice!) - so it is almost appropriate that the world’s first Dragon Ball theme park will be in Saudi Arabia. Just weeks after Akira Toriyama’s sudden and tragic death, this reminds us that Goku and his friends are icons that are recognized far beyond the shores of Japan.

The official announcement shares plenty of details about the planned Dragon Ball theme park, which is expected to be 500,000 square meters, roughly two-and-a-half times the size of Disneyland in California, and will have seven themed areas – one for each of the seven Dragon Balls – and 30 rides.

Oddly enough, the rides aren’t the thing that excites us the most about this park. Sure, flying around at high speed is a big part of Dragon Ball, but even more important is the potential for the rampant silliness that Dragon Ball has always had in its DNA. Every theme park in the world has rides, but give us a Ginyu Force dance battle. An all-you-can-eat buffet that caters to Saiyan-sized appetites. Mr. Satan should be walking around giving autographs like the world champion he is. If there isn’t a gym in the middle of this theme park called the Hyperbolic Time Chamber where we can get shredded before going on a Flying Nimbus rollercoaster, what even is the point?

The Dragon Ball theme park’s website is mostly just concept art at this point as there is no word on even when it will begin construction, let alone open. That art has references to everything from the original Dragon Ball series all the way through Z, Super, and even the much-maligned GT, so no matter what era of Goku’s journey is your favorite you should find something you’ll recognize.


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