Regional Update: EMEA
Grape Expectations for New French Wine Attraction
Guests can discover the traditions of vine country as they follow the story of a winegrower named Toine in “Mon Beaujolais,” a new immersive attraction that opened in April in France. Guests can savor the experience at the Hameau Dubœuf “wine park” in Romanèche-Thorins. Founded by Georges Duboeuf—one of the best-known Beaujolais wine merchants—in 1993, the destination highlights the region’s winemaking heritage. The park, which sits on more than 30,000 square meters, attracts 100,000 visitors a year (2 million visitors since launching).
Hameau Dubœuf contracted Jora Vision to create “Mon Beaujolais” in one of its pavilions. During the experience, guests delve into Toine’s life. They walk past pages of his diary, which illustrate innovations in winemaking. They then move on to his house, where the grower guides people through 2,000 years of history in the Beaujolais region. Video mapping and projection techniques help bring the tale to life. Jora Vision worked with Mansveld Projecten & Services on the audiovisual and show control installation.
Jora Vision is excited to see more clients interested in commissioning customized immersive experiences. “We are confident ‘Mon Beaujolais’ will be a spectacular example of this,” says CEO Jan Maarten de Raad.
Hameau Dubœuf is already home to attractions including a museum with more than 3,000 objects and “Cine’Up”–a 4D cinema where visitors “fly” like local bees looking for nectar. Romanèche-Thorins’ former railway station has become a “Wine Station.” Hameau Dubœuf also offers gardens filled with fun activities for guests to enjoy, an Adventure Golf course, a café, a wine store, and, of course, a winery.
Plopsa Expands Holidays, Adds Water Park
Plopsa, Studio 100’s theme park division, has some exciting developments in store.
The group plans to build on the success of Plopsaland De Panne’s Christmas 2018 season that led to the Belgian park reporting a 27 percent increase in guests over the previous year. The rise in visitor numbers reflects an enhanced Christmas offering, where Plopsa invested in a new “Winter Magic” concept and accompanying “Light Festival.” The festival featured handmade, illuminated sculptures of favorite characters, including Samson, Bumba, and Maya the Bee. The Christmas event also included an ice rink, campfires, increased decorations, and atmospheric lighting.
“We want to make the ‘Light Festival’ even bigger next winter,” says Wim Wauters, manager at Plopsaland De Panne. The park’s “Ketnet Christmas” (Dec. 26-30) celebrations—with the Belgian children’s television channel—proved particularly popular. “They were absolutely top days with popular meet-and-greets, extra animation, and sparkling fireworks,” says Wauters.
In addition, Plopsa will open its second water park, Plopsaqua Hannut-Landen, in Belgium in 2020. The company also plans to launch the first Plopsa Hotel at Plopsaland De Panne in the same year.