MOIPARK (Mall of Istanbul)
Out-of-this world entertainment at the Mall of Istanbul
Located inside Turkey’s largest mixed-use shopping centre, MOIpark at the Mall of Istanbul features US$36 million of attractions spread over 12,000 square meters. Introducing several rides to Turkey for the first time, the project’s size and space-age theming set it apart from other family entertainment centers (FECs).
Spread out over 12,000 square meters this is an amusement park for all age groups with an entire floor dedicated to children aged 4-10 years, several rides, an interative dance floor, and a giant swing to entertain the entire family
The indoor theme park being a more accurate description than FEC opened on 23 May last year, and operators hope to host around 750,000 guests by the end of the first 12 months. Given the millions of shoppers that visit the shopping mall itself, and millions more living within the Turkish metropolis, that sounds like an achievable target.
MOIPARK is the biggest themed indoor amusement park of Turkey and aims to raise the bar in terms of quality by bringing international standarts and innovative rides and attractions, notes park manager İlham İnan Dündar. I’ve visited many amusement parks all over the world, after a visit to Mall of America at 2003, I decided to pursue my dream. Our amusement park must be different than the others. I wrote a story of the park, and then invited FORREC to Istanbul to help us realize this wonderful place.
MOIPARK was developed and financed by Tarunlar GYO, Turkey’s largest domestic shopping center developer. Suppliers include a who’s who of leading Italian ride manufacturers including Technical Park, SBF/VISA, Bertazzan, Zamperla, Moser’s Rides, Park Rides and Gosetto, in addition to ETF Ride Systems, Play Company of Lithuania and the German animatronics specialist Heimotion, which produced the figures inside Istanbul Horror Hotel (Korku Otel), the park’s signature walkthrough-dark ride hybrid. “I have to thanks all these companies and their teams,” says Dündar. “John Plumpton, Uri Grinbaum and their kind team at FORREC choose the rides and attractions. I only pressured them to build Istanbul Horror Hotel. I have to say that they designed all rides well to suit our theme.” MOIpark’s mountain-themed ecosystem is divided into two levels. Level one forms the base of the mountain and its peripheral areas are dedicated to exhilarating experiences for teens. The environment is dark and yet sparkles and glows with geode-like rock formations and colourful minerals. Inside the caverns are located such thrill rides as a custom-designed Zamperla Spinning Coaster and Air Race, Technical Park Loop Fighter, SBF Drop ‘n’ Twist Tower and Zero Gravity (Rotor), Caterpillar, Jungle List, Mini Disco Fly, Dark Ride, Haunted House, Bumper Cars, plus various interactive games and arcade games. Children’s rides and attractions are centred around level two, where suspended walkways provide an exciting view of the mountain top and attractions down below. Attractions on the upper level include a Top Spin, Fun House, Aero Loop, Junior Bumper Cars, Family Coaster, Ballocity Play Structure, Flying Aladdin, Ferris Wheel, Convoy cars and Jumping Star. Dance performances on the park’s live entertainment stage are complemented by customised music selections on the rides.
“During construction, the main difficulty was to integrate the different sized rides with the decor of the park composed by giant rocks,” explains Dündar. “The highest feature is 25 metres and the park is located at the centre of the mall with balconies at every floor of mall for visitors to look out over the attractions.”
MOIpark forms a leisure offering at the mall that also includes a snow park, Turkey’s biggest cinema complex with 16 theatres and a 3,050 seating capacity, restaurants, cafes, a 300-room hotel and four adjacent residential towers and a hotel tower atop landscaped podiums, which connect to the roof of the mall proper via a series of pedestrian sky bridges. A trolley bus services the tree-lined Istiklar Street outside (a contemporary interpretation of one of Istanbul’s historic streets). Located to the north west of the city, in the Ikitelli district, the award-winning Mall of Istanbul features show-stopping exterior graphics and signage. The interior, which is home to over 300 stores, is inspired by the “layers of culture, design, history, symbols and materials that have evolved over the centuries in this unique Eurasian metropolis.”