The Ratanga Junction Theme Park was an iconic fixture on the Cape Town skyline from 1999 to when it closed in 2018. File picture: African News Agncy (ANA)

Cape Town – The Ratanga Junction Theme Park was an iconic fixture on the Cape Town skyline from 1999 to when it closed in 2018. Now Canal Walk Shopping Centre has announced a multi-million-rand project that will see a revamp of its food court and outside areas and facilitate the inclusion of a new attraction, The Ratanga Family Entertainment Centre.

“Being very much family oriented, Canal Walk Shopping Centre saw the long-term value in investing in this development with Ratanga World Ltd, as this will enhance the overall shopping experience, and speaks to shopping centres in South Africa remaining key destinations for retail and family entertainment activities.

“We will see a number of the amusement exhibits find a new home with us, while at the same time, our food court will undergo a significant upgrade to provide a world-class food experience for all palates.  Combined, we hope to be entertaining children of all ages (mums, dads and grandparents too) for many years to come,” said Gavin Wood, CEO at Canal Walk. 

While the focus of the activities will be on the under 12s, there will still be plenty of active options for teenagers and for those adults who remain young at heart with an adventurous spirit.  The rides will re-energise the Half Moon Bay area (adjacent to the current food court) and the Grand Canal, it will include world class manufactured international rides such as White Water Slides, the famous Peter Petz carousel, Lady Bugz kids Ferris Wheel, Convoys Trucks, Maasai Swings, My Citi Bus ride, the Zip Line, Bubble Boats (kiddie paddle boats), adult paddle boats (on canal), Canal Boat tours, the Temperance Flyer train (locomotive touring from Canal Walk to Central Park),  and the Stargazer water tube ride.

Other internal amusements that can be expected are Midi Bumper Cars, state-of-the-art climbing walls and international redemption games. To complement the new look and buzz, the centre will also be catering for a variety of taste buds in the restaurant section. 

Embracing the digital age, a cashless system will be used via a Ratanga card on a pay-per-ride model, for individuals, group and party bookings too. The card will hold cash deposits as well as accrued coupons/tickets won by the card holder.

Pricing will be cost effective to capture all income brackets starting at R20 and under for rides, R16 and under for redemption games.

The works have been outsourced to qualified partners, TDC & Co. (designers) and KMH Architects, so as to provide a seamless, unified, balanced and well-designed facility, while the team who will oversee the rides are internationally certified with first class service skills. 

The Ratanga Family Entertainment Centre is expected to open before the end of 2019, while the food court refurbishment will commence in the first quarter of 2020.

The anticipated cost of the project is in the region of R57,6 million (R24,3 for Ratanga and R33,3 for the food court renovation).