Guadalajara’s Day of the Dead theme park Calaverandia opens on Friday to provide visitors with a colorful and immersive experience with which to celebrate Mexico’s most famous holiday.
Now in its second year, the park has been expanded with the expectation of hosting more guests, as Calaverandia’s inaugural run was a big hit with the public.
“We’re very proud that Calaverandia was a success last year,” said the park’s creative director, Marcos Jiménez. “We have big plans for growth.”
This year’s park will feature over 30 attractions, including immersive tours through the underworld, exhibitions of altars and decorated skulls, live music, a neon lights area, ball pits and more.
The park’s showpiece is El Inframundo, or The Underworld, which has been expanded 50% over last year. The immersive experience takes visitors through the Aztec netherworld of Mictlán.
The 4-D show Alma will tell the rich history of the Day of the Dead tradition. There will also be a seven-meter-tall alebrije statue, photography areas, themed characters, videomapping and Catrina shows, canoe tours and cultural games for the kids.
A mariachi band will play traditional songs every hour at the park’s main altar to the dead, and will perform tributes to famous Mexican singers who have now passed away, such as Juan Gabriel and José José.
The interactive cemetery has also been expanded to include activities for children, and there will be lots of traditional Mexican delights in the food court.
Last year’s park saw an estimated 3,000 visitors a day — about 40,000 in total, but the organizers are expecting that number to rise to 4,000 a day this year, so they have extended the hours of operation from 7:00pm-12:00am Sunday to Thursday, and 7:00pm-1:00am on Saturday.
Calaverandia will run from Friday, October 25 to Monday, November 18 (the only Monday on which it will open). Tickets cost 255 pesos (US $13) for children and 595 pesos for adults; VIP options are available.
Jiménez wants visitors to rest assured that he and his team have taken all the necessary precautions to allay fears of dengue, which Jalisco Governor Enrique Alfaro recently called an “epidemic” in his state, as they have performed regular inspections and fumigations on the park grounds.
Having seen such popularity in Guadalajara, the park’s creators have big plans for the years ahead.
“We’ve been asked to organize a Calaverandia in Los Angeles in 2021, and we have spoken with people in Chicago and even Madrid,” said Jiménez. “We’re in a really cool process of growth.”