A Preview of the Small Worlds Theme Park Designed by Shoji Kawamori
posted on by Kim Morrissy
Small Worlds is currently building the world's largest indoor theme park of scale miniatures with anime creator Shoji Kawamori as its chief creative officer. The theme park is still under construction, but members of the press were given a preview of the scale replicas of world-renowned landmarks and imaginary locales that will be on display when the park officially opens on April 25.
At the press conference, Kawamori showed off the “Space Center,” which is divided into two areas with the tentative names of “Nostalgia Area” and “Future Area.” The Nostalgia Area features a replica of the Saturn V (the rocket that carried every astronaut who walked on the Moon in the 1960s and 1970s).
For the Future Area, Kawamori designed a hypothetical civilian space center that could be built in Asia in the near future, complete with a spaceport for tourists and six different next-generation space shuttles that can be launched from the terminal. The model will light up and have other features.
Kawamori said that he wanted to show off the excitement he felt seeing a rocket launch from the Kennedy Space Center when he was a child. The futuristic space center is designed with leisure in mind, and has shops, a ticket counter, a VIP room, and other details for visitors. Kawamori's sketches for the designs were shown off along with the models themselves.
Other areas which are still in development were also shown off to the press. The park features seven areas. In addition to real-world locales such as London, Hong Kong, and Kansai International Airport, the theme park will feature recreations of anime locales such as Evangelion's Tokyo-3 and the Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Area. It will employ practical special effects such as underground motors with magnets, projection mapping, and smoke machines to put the miniatures in motion.
During the press tour, Kawamori explained that the project has been in development for over five years. As a child, he was inspired by the Expo '70 in Osaka to one day create his own theme park, and that dream is now coming true. Each area captures a “snapshot” of a miniature world. The goal is to connect visitors to other parts of the world and make them look forward to the future.
More information about access to the Small Worlds theme park and tickets can be found on the park's website.