|Sega World Sydney|
|Location||Darling Harbour, Sydney, Australia|
|Est||March 1997 - November 2000|
Sega World Sydney was one of several Sega World Amusement Parks designed and themed by gaming company SEGA. The indoor amusement park operated for almost four years before being forced to close due to lack of visitors.
The park boasted a large amount of interactivity in its rides; of which there were 12, with 180 arcade games to play. Many of the themes were based on various SEGA franchises, primarily Sonic the Hedgehog. The park was also host to underage dance parties called Crush, usually held during school holidays.
The park was Sydney's first indoor family theme park, with attractions, entertainment and rides never seen before in Australia. Sega World's elaborate location themes were based on three time planes: the Past, the Present and the Future, all accessed via the "Time Tunnel". Major rides include a rollercoaster, a haunted house, a 360 degree cinema, and adventure playground, live performances and family games.
Opening in March 1997, the center was located 5 minutes walk from Sydney's Town Hall Station in the Sydney Darling Harbour; next to the Chinese Garden of Friendship and Tumbalong Park. The park was the result of an A$80 million investment by SEGA, the Jacfun consortium, and the Darling Harbour Authority, and was described as "Australia's Interactive Disneyland" by the media.
Due to a below-required attendance and constant financial losses, the park was closed in November 2000. Hopes that the influx of tourists travelling to Sydney for the 2000 Summer Olympics would help the park meet its 800,000-visitor breakeven point went unrealised.
Following the closure of the park in 2000, in March 2001, the contents of the park were auctioned off. Only 300 people attended the auction, with most of the rides sold off for minimal prices. The two major rides of the park, Rail Chase and Ghost Hunters, were sold to foreign buyers, with one of the rides going for A$60,000 less than its intended sale price of A$200,000.
Following the closure of the park, the building was initially leased to the Jacfun consortium, which planned to install an entertainment complex in place of the amusement park. This lease was terminated in early 2003, due to the lack of action by the consortium. The building was then used by Shanghai Group Australia as a furniture exhibition warehouse before it was sold to Commonwealth Bank. They decided to build over the old Sega World complex and, during late October and early November 2008, the Sega World building was demolished to become a 10-story/70,000sqm office building for Commonwealth Bank estimating at around $600 million.
The park's internal layout was divided into three areas, each with its own time theme (Past, Present, Future). The premise was that the visitor would enter through the exhibition doors and walk down the Time Tunnel, which would be the result of meddling from an alien mothership. From the end of the tunnel, visitors could chose whichever area to visit, with each area containing various rides and arcades.
- Past Area
- Rail Chase - An indoor mine train roller coaster built by Masago Industrial with elaborate scenery. It was lauded as Sydney's only indoor roller coaster of the time.
- Ghost Hunters - An interactive ghost train, with riders provided with laser cannons to shoot targets.
- Present Area
- Mad Bazooka - A 'tank simulator' built by R & T Fabrications, with modified bumper cars equipped with a ball cannon. Balls were collected from the floor of the arena by running over them, and then could be fired at targets mounted to the roofs of other cars. The ride was removed in early 2000, to make way for an ice rink.
- Aqua Nova - A 3-D motion simulator themed around a submarine on an underwater mission.
- Future Area
- Magic Motion 4D - A 4-D cinema.
- Nickelodeon TV Machine - A children's play area themed to the TV channel Nickelodeon, which included activities based on the famous green slime and featured a climbing jungle, ball pits, and a spiral slide.
- AS-1 - A motion simulator ride depicting the futuristic chase of a criminal.
The area outside the center possessed various playground equipment, food outlets and was intended to feature firework presentations and live outdoor performances.
- As well as the rides, the park included a fast-food outlet and an extensive coin-op video arcade, featuring over 100 arcade games. This area was converted to free operation at a point in early 2000, prior to the closure.
- The park was open 10am to 10pm daily. Cost: Adults $30, Children $24.
- During the park's last days, the construction of an Ice World ice skating rink was underway. Seeing the removal of the Mad Bazooka dodgems and VR-1 virtual reality rides the area previously occupied by these two rides were intended to be renovated for the ice rink.
- The center possessed over 20 screens with video input from a range of sources including FOXTEL, who originally helped support & launch SWS. The centre was also designed to house large-scale coporate events, hence some of the facilities were more focused in this area. This design focus may have been it's downfall, due to its wide open spaces making it seem empty, but the truth is more likely simple disinterest into Arcades/Amusements in Australia in the late 90's.
- Sega World Sydney was slightly larger than any of the Joypolis centres in Japan, just beating Tokyo Joypolis in size. It also had many more amusment rides that any Joypolis.
- The Aqua Nova ride had 16 different endings.
- The Sega World complex was designed by Cameron Chisholm & Nicol, it was commended for "adding a riot of colour to a once-white Darling Harbour". The layout and internal design was credited to Mark Buczynski and Renato Franchescelli, with Fogg Productions responsible for the lighting.