As the sunset lights up the sky over Phuket and our car whirls down a mountainous, long road to Carnival Magic, it’s like traveling through a magical land straight out of a fairy tale.
Set against the beautiful backdrop of the white sands of Kamala Beach and the turquoise waters of the Andaman Sea, this new theme park welcomed its first visitors on Tuesday with a wide range of innovative attractions, the world’s longest float and eye-catching light art works celebrating the beauty of Thailand’s cultural heritage.
With a budget of 6.6 billion baht, this is the first Thai-style cultural theme park to be illuminated with shimmering 40 million LED lights to color Kamala at night and create fresh holiday experiences for the upcoming high season.
“This new project builds on Phuket FantaSea’s 22-year success as the ultimate Thai cultural theme park and we are ready for the next step. We expect Carnival Magic to become a new landmark on the island, as the Covid-19 situation has eased and tourists are returning, we hope to attract up to 2 million local and foreign tourists next year, which will help to rebuild the economy of Phuket will contribute,” said Kittikorn Kewkacha, President and CEO of Phuket FantaSea and Carnival Magic.
The Carnival Magic theme park uses cutting-edge technology and visual effects to highlight the beauty of Thailand’s cultural heritage. carnival magic
“Seventy percent of our customers are international tourists, the remaining 30 percent are domestic visitors. We will primarily target travelers from India, China, Europe, Australia and the Middle East.
“Phuket’s tourism industry is expected to recover and grow as international tourists gradually return. The Phuket Province Tourism and Sports Bureau reported that thanks to the lifting of the Test & Go requirement on May 1, it can safely expect 5 million international arrivals on the island this year, marking 50% of the pre-pandemic level seen at 10 million international tourists.”
Located next to Phuket FantaSea, Carnival Magic occupies a 100 rai plot and advertises itself as “The Magic Kingdom of Lights”, inspired by traditional Thai temple fairs and festivals such as the Loy Krathong Festival and the Northeast region’s wax candle procession to the water spirits.
It is designed to resemble the fantastic land of happiness and lights ruled by Prince Kamala and populated by Thai cartoon characters. There are four main zones, each incorporating modern technology, visual effects and mythological characters to create a vibrant carnival atmosphere that transports visitors into a realm of imagination.
A beautiful tower of sculptures resembling white elephants serves as a reception point with information about the carnival amusement park. We stroll down a busy shopping street and examine a diverse selection of intricate handicrafts, colorful fashion accessories, colorful fancy costumes and other souvenirs in a festive ambience.
Along the way, a group of clown-like staff members waves and greets visitors, while the Jumboree Game Pavilion is a popular destination for families to spend time with several exciting virtual reality games, Thai-style carnival games, and kid’s rides such as Balloon Darts, hit the Crocodile, carousel and a Ferris wheel.
Home to the world’s largest popcorn machine, the street has been transformed into an open stage for carnival performances and is lined with photogenic backdrops for selfie-seeking travelers, as well as food and dessert stalls.
“With Carnival Magic we were motivated to create something that is uniquely Thai and cannot be seen anywhere else in the world. As a result, Carnival Magic has become a theme park that has broken many records both in Thailand and abroad, including nine Guinness World Records,” said Kittikorn.
“We have the longest single bogie float, most lights used in a permanent light and sound show, largest LED sculpture, largest popcorn machine, largest outdoor chandelier, largest papier-mâché sculpture, tallest proscenium arch and most LED lights on a van.”
We feel like in a dream when we enter the toylet and see a swarm of cuddly monsters. Each of these spacious toilets is equipped with auto mechanics and sensor technology.
It is designed to resemble a magical playground. For example, a brachiosaurus might approach you while you’re washing your hands at a sink behind a wall. Or another turns his face to you when you sit on a toilet.
As we continue walking through the colorful alleyways, we come to the Bird of Paradise Buffet Restaurant, which serves over 100 cuisines from East and West, as well as Halal and vegetarian dishes. A giant pair of peacocks fan out their tails to defend the great room, which is designed to look like a 3,000-seat culinary paradise.
Not far away, the luxurious River of Bliss restaurant will be opening shortly to serve set meals. Guests will arrive at Happiness Falls and board the Barge of Happiness, which will fly 7m above the ground to the dining room in homage to Thailand’s popular Loy Krathong Festival.
After refueling, we’ll head to the River Palace, a massive 2,200-seat indoor theater, where we’ll have a front-row seat and hear the myth of the former kingdom of Kamala. One of the largest theaters in Thailand, it features a 70m long and 22m high stage with large LED screens and the River Carnival, the world’s largest indoor parade.
This 50-minute extravaganza combines Thailand’s folklore, festivals and parades with the latest in animatronic technology and special effects. It tells the story of how Prince Kamala and his people were turned into stone sculptures because they were possessed by evil.
As they successfully bring their kingdom back to life, Prince Kamala leaves his throne to explore the country and find out what it means to be Thai. On his return, the villages greet him with a breathtaking parade of 88 gigantic floats, as long as an Airbus A380 and adorned with millions of lights.
After that we join a procession and march around the 40 rai Kingdom of Lights. Conceived as an outdoor lighting park, it is divided into nine zones and adorned with 40 million lights to stimulate the imagination.
Behind the palace is a rainbow-lit courtyard where the world’s largest peacock-like LED sculpture stands amidst flower-like lights. Visitors are allowed to walk through a sparkling throne room and snap selfies with a white buffalo, an elephant, and a glass-mosaic horse-drawn carriage to represent the splendor.
We drive through the colossal, living tunnel of light shaped like an elephant. At the end of the path is a sculpture that looks like a peacock. They represent the prince and princess of the kingdom of Kamala.
The River of Lights flows through the center of the kingdom where steel plates are used to form striking art structures called Luminaries. Strolling down the bridge, visitors can imagine seeing the Loy Krathong Festival, the Candle Procession and the Illuminated Boat Procession.
“Our priority is safety. Ninety percent of the attractions are covered and connected by walkways, allowing guests to travel even when it rains. We have solar panels that provide electricity. While LED lighting saves money, this theme park is eco-friendly,” Kittikorn explained.
Carnival Magic is at 999, Kamala, Phuket. It is open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 5:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Tickets cost 2,600 baht including entry to Carnival Magic, River Carnival Parade and Kingdom of Lights Illumination Park and 3,000 baht including entry to Carnival Magic, River Carnival Parade, Kingdom of Lights Illumination Park and buffet dinner. Visit carnivalmagic.fun or call 076-385-555 for more information.