www.vagazette.com/entertainment/travel/la-trb-angry-birds-land-theme-park-04201227,0,1578526.story

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Angry Birds Land set to debut at European theme park

By Brady MacDonald

Los Angeles Times staff writer

9:15 AM EDT, April 27, 2012

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The first official Angry Birds Land will open Saturday at Sarkanniemi Adventure Park in Finland with rides and games themed to the popular smart phone app.

PHOTOS: Angry Birds Land at European theme park

Located about two hours north of Helsinki, Sarkanniemi has partnered with Finnish-based gamemaker Rovio to bring the virtual world of battling birds and pigs into the fantasy world of a theme park.

With more than 500 million downloads, the iPhone and Android cellphone game challenges players to launch birds at towering pig fortresses in hopes of destroying the defensive structures and recovering pilfered eggs.

The centerpiece of Angry Birds Land is a multi-level climbing tower with slides and ladders that recalls the fortresses protected by the Green Pigs in the game.

Other attractions in Angry Birds Land include:

> A Pig Popper carnival game featuring slingshot launchers.

> A Dumbo-style spinning ride themed to the Red Bird, the hero of the Angry Birds game.

> A lighthouse-themed mini-drop tower.

> A falling star-style spinning school bus ride relocated from another area of the park.

The Window of the World amusement park in central China opened an unofficial Angry Birds attraction last year that allowed visitors to sling-shot plush Red Birds at Green Pigs protecting a toy brick fortress.

Since the initial launch of Angry Birds in 2009, Rovio has expanded the franchise with themed editions of the game, plush toys, T-shirts and other merchandise while pursuing television and movie projects.

Additional Angry Birds theme park attractions are possible for the United States, according to Rovio. Rovio officials recently announced plans for Angry Birds theme park attractions in Beijing and Shanghai as well as other cities across China. The United Kingdom's first Angry Birds land will open by the end of summer 2012 at Sundown Adventureland in Retford, Nottinghamshire.