On November 15, Eataly World, a massive, 20 acre theme park dedicated to the art and love of Italian food, will open in Bologna, Italy. It’s like Six Flags, but for bucatini. A minor quibble: where are the rides?
According to Eater, visitors to the soon-to-open theme park will be able to wander freely over the space, paying visits to 40 farming factories, restaurants and “refreshement stations.” If you want to see how the mortadella is made, Eataly World’s got you covered. If you’d like to meet the sweet Italian cow that makes the milk that becomes your delicious parmigiano reggiano cheese, you’re good. Eataly World will also create 3,000 jobs—not too shabby. So far, everything about Eataly World checks out. However, I’m concerned about the rides. Where are the rides?
While Eater does mention six “educational rides,” something tells me that these are merely interactive displays featuring, say, boiling water or tomato vines glistening in the sunlight. Sure. But that’s not enough.
Why not make a ride that puts the rider through a pasta machine, without getting smushed? What if there were a tomato sauce simulator—a scenario not unlike the Tilt-a-Whirl, where you, the rider, are the tomato being made into sauce? If you want to keep it simple, stupid, let some tourists hop into a wine barrel and crush the grapes with their feet. I would also accept a Gravitron-esque boiling water ride or a trampoline-and-Velcro-wall situation where the participant suits up, jumps on the trampoline and sticks to the wall as if they were a piece of freshly cooked pasta, cooked to al dente perfection. Any of these concepts would suffice.
I’d love to plan a 10 day Euro-trip with the specific intent of visiting this magical land of olive oil and good, soft, cheese, but I cannot do so in good faith until the creators of this land consider these suggestions.