Cupertino, CA — More magical than Disney. More thrilling than Universal. The 120-acre AppleLand theme park has shattered records, entertaining more than a million guests in its first week of operation.
Though critics slammed Apple for its sudden decision to use recently acquired land for a theme park instead of a new campus, shareholders are dancing in the street today.
The mystique of the world’s most beloved technology company is proving to be an irresistible tourist attraction.
Like Disneyland, AppleLand is divided into several themed sections — from the low-rent Schillerville to the wild and unpredictable SteveLand. Some of the most popular attractions during the park’s inaugural week:
AAPLcoaster: This high-tech roller coaster literally reconfigures itself second by second, mimicking Apple’s stock performance in real time. Feel the adrenaline rush as your nest egg soars to new heights, plummets to the ground, then rockets skyward once again. (Not recommended for pregnant women or investors with heart conditions.)
Hall of the CEOs: See every CEO in Apple history on one stage — in animatronic form. Be inspired by John Sculley. Enjoy the humor of Michael Spindler. Try to make sense of Gil Amelio. It all builds to Great Moments With Mr. Jobs, when the synthetic Steve delivers an unforgettable keynote combining 66 classic quotes, from “insanely great” to “don’t hold it that way.”
IveLand. Perplexing to some, utopia to others. There are no rides or shops here — only a collection of pristine aluminized buildings and soothing shapes. Visitors are expected to figure it all out on their own. (Advisory: AppleLand Security is extremely strict in Iveland. Anyone caught littering is forced to view a one-hour video of Jony Ive explaining unibody construction.)
Android Attack! Strap yourself into a sleek, weaponized, iPhone-style race car and and put the pedal to the metal. It’s a life-or-death dash to the finish line with hundreds of vicious Androids nipping at your butt. Careful! For every Android you kill, two new ones take its place.
1984. Put on some shorts, grab a sledgehammer and try to outrun the Thought Police as they chase you into the Chamber of Drones. Toss the hammer before you’re caught — or you’re likely to receive an animatronic beating.
Dancing with the Woz. Guests selected before the show dance on stage before a live audience with a physically accurate Steve Wozniak robot. But watch your toes! This mechanoid is gyroscopically challenged — just like the real Woz.
iTunes Town Square. Showtimes at 12pm, 2pm and 4pm every day. Come see a public firing of a real Apple employee — a warning to all that mediocrity will not be tolerated.
Top Secret, The Ride. You’ll love it, but you won’t be able to talk about it. To maintain the element of surprise, all visitors must sign a 30-page NDA before they are admitted. This reporter thought it was fantastic. That’s all I can tell you.
Launch Day. See what it’s like to be part of an overhyped Apple product launch. There’s no ride here — just a line that starts to form the night before. Guaranteed wait time: four hours or more.
Distortion Field. Navigate your way along a treacherous path rigged with curved mirrors, slanted walkways, hot coals, disorienting effects and high-decibel speeches by Steve Jobs. It’s torture at every turn — but when you exit this attraction, you’ll truly believe you enjoyed it.
MacLand Air. For the most breathtaking view of AppleLand, go 1,000 feet straight up — in a hot-air balloon. The hot air is piped in directly from Microsoft headquarters, 855 miles north.
Genius Bar. Have an adult beverage inspired by your favorite Apple genius. Enjoy an Albert Winestein, Amelia Beerhart, Alfred Hitchcocktail and other aspirational refreshments.
Multi-Touch Petting Zoo. Aren’t they adorable? Child-sized versions of Apple’s favorite friends and foes wander freely in this supervised, enclosed pen. Kids will light up as they rub Ballmer’s slippery head and poke Woz’s belly.
Even when your day in AppleLand ends, the surprises keep coming. In a nod to the Chief Showman’s legendary marketing skills, all vehicles exiting the park must pass through a revolutionary, drive-through One More Thing Shoppe, affording guests a last opportunity to plunk down some serious cash on Apple iWear and other fine Apple products.
AppleLand is open 365 days a year, from 10am to 8pm. Single-day admission: $99. Family Pack: $199.