You remember Evermore, right? Back in 2014, we covered their opening announcement with much anticipation. A Victorian park that was to feature innovative attractions, storytelling, and even a revolutionary ride reservation system. They billed themselves as an adventure park and with good reason. As opposed to passively experiencing each attraction, they were to be actor-guided adventures where guests could participate with along the way. A blending of immersive theater and theme park that I was personally over the moon about.
On the other hand, from the moment Evermore was announced, something felt off. They were planning to open in less than a year from their initial announcement with not so much as a spoonful of dirt being moved at that point. Yet, people had already been hired down to make-up artists. Here’s my quote from that article in 2014: “…The cart seems to be miles ahead of the horse.” It turns out I was right. Plans for Evermore were put on hold so the company could focus on a virtual reality project you’ve probably heard about known as The VOID.
Now here we are in the Fall of 2017 and plans for Evermore have resurfaced on their updated website with new(ish) plans. At the core, Evermore Park has remained a park that is story driven. A sort of year round Renaissance Fair set in an English garden that is part historical and part mystical. Gone are any mentions of actual attractions in the traditional theme park sense: no boat rides, no 4D theater or any kind of theme park ride or show to be mentioned.
Which is fine because, at the end of the day, Evermore never seemed like it would be built based on the kind of scale they were shooting for. It’s very hard to fund even a small scale theme park with rides and 4D shows these days with privately held money. You need a mother ship to draw from, not only on operating costs but to help get you through your first few seasons if it takes a while to gain traction (and it always does).
Let’s take a look at the new, slimmer version of Evermore Park in Utah, shall we? Overall, the concept has remained the same. A Victorian-style garden park with a focus on seasonal events. The gardens seem to be divided into sections: English, Victorian, Celtic and Fantasy. The concept art looks promising, and certainly, one hopes that what lies within these cottages, greenhouses, and fairy dwellings are unique interactive experiences. Time will tell.
In addition to the various garden areas, Evermore features a Towne Square that serves as a multi-purpose facility. This area will feature restaurants, shops and several buildings to explore. What I like about this is there are structures designed to give the park character, lend to the theme and go beyond the purpose of an actual place to generate revenue. In addition, it seems that there will be dancing fountains in the Towne Square.
Another key piece of Evermore that remains from its last incarnation are seasonal events. Evermore plans to offer not only Halloween and Christmas events but a sort of Renaissance Fair in the spring. In addition, they are touting a “Ghost Pirate Adventure” and “Victorian Masquerade” that don’t seem to be seasonal, but rather special event nights that happen at various times of the year.
At the end of the day, this still could be the first park that combines immersive theater and a theme park. Am I disappointed that the bigger budget version of Evermore isn’t coming to fruition? Of course, I am. Who wouldn’t be? This park seems to be in both scale and scope than what they were originally aiming for, but who knows? Small parks like this can be gems too. Your thoughts?
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Images Copyright: Evermore Park