Summer is about to get a lot more fun, thanks to three forthcoming theme parks in the works. Why hang out with some old mouse, when you could ride a cat bus at Studio Ghibli's new theme park?
SoraNews24 reports that come 2020, a park filled with rides and attractions based on the work of legendary filmmakers Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata will open in Japan's Aichi Prefecture's EXPO Park. The park is already home to a life-sized version of Satsuki and Mei's house from the beloved animated film My Neighbor Totoro, and perhaps it will be joined by a wild boar ride from Princess Mononoke, a water slide inspired by Ponyo, and a train ride inspired by the Academy Award-winning Spirited Away. The park may be tied to the opening of Miyazaki's triumphant return from retirement with the feature Goro the Caterpillar, also due in 2020.
If you're already in Japan, pop over to China for some football-themed fun at the forthcoming Lionel Messi theme park. Yes, the Barcelona and Argentina superstar is getting his own park in Nanjing, China, according to Fox Sports. The group that handles Messi's image rights have just signed a deal for the Messi Experience Park with around 20 attractions (a penalty shootout perhaps?) all dedicated to the soccer star. No word on an opening date, but hopefully before he retires.
If you can't wait that long for some theme park fun, remember that Eataly's $106 million, 80,000-square-meter culinary theme park is slated to open in Bologna, Italy, in September 2017. Book your rooms at the Eataly hotel now.