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World's First Virtual Reality Theme Park Coming to China by 2018

A virtual theme park may sound like a vision from the Jetsons, but Landmark Entertainment Group has already developed an ambitious plan to open what it says is the world’s first virtual reality amusement experience within three years.

Landmark, the company behind some of the popular Universal Studios attractions like Kongfrontation, Terminator 2 3D, and The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man 5D, is calling the new concept L.I.V.E. Centre -- Landmark Interactive Virtual Experience. The park will combine virtual reality and augmented reality into a hybrid known as “mixed reality.”

CEO Tony Christopher plans to launch the first park in China within the next three years, according to Fortune Magazine.

“With virtual reality we can put you in the African savannah or fly you into outer space,” Christopher said. Combining different technologies like 3D, projection, surround sound, and special effects, the new park complex will include a range of attractions like an interactive museum, a virtual zoo and aquarium, a digital art gallery, a live entertainment stage, an immersive movie theater, and themed experience retail.

“This completely changes the idea of an old-fashioned museum by allowing kids to experience prehistoric dinosaurs or legendary creatures as we develop new experiences that keep them coming back for more,” Christopher said. “We’ll combine education and entertainment into one destination that’s always evolving.”

China was chosen as the premier destination because Christopher believes there is a large consumer base seeking entertainment. The Shanghai Expo in 2010 drew over 70 million people in just six months and Landmark is flush with new capitol from Chinese investors.

But China is ideally just the start for these revolutionary entertainment complex. Christopher told Fortune that he wants to establish 20 to 30 L.I.V.E. Centres around the globe and expects that each could attract up to 5 million visitors a year.

“What we’re creating is the equivalent of taking your family to a theme park for a day, and enjoying that experience so much, that you want to repeat it over and over again—the only difference is that the experience will happen in the virtual world,” Christopher said.

This isn't the first promise of a virtual reality theme park. In May, a startup called The Void announced plans to open the first of what it hopes will be many "virtual entertainment centers," in Pleasant Grove, Utah by June 2016.

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