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Inside China's Unauthorized "World Of Warcraft" Theme Park

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This is a thing that exists. Joyland is being hailed as China's digital Disneyland.

Back in the beginning of 2011, rumbling started on the Internet about China building the world's first video-game theme park in the Jiangsu province. Within six months, Shanghaiist was on the ground and taking photos shortly after the park celebrated its April 29 grand opening.

Image by Francesca Timbers & James Timbers

With the park's price tag of 200 million yuan, or about $30 million, park investors weren't going to let a little thing like "copyright infringement" stand in the way of their 600,000-square-meter cash cow. And despite their "Terrain of Magic" land bearing a striking resemblance to Blizzard MMO behemoth "World of Warcraft," or perhaps because of it, Joyland has become known as China's Disneyland, with over 30,000 people in attendance for its one-year anniversary this past May.

Image by Francesca Timbers & James Timbers


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