Worldbuilding Wednesday 7/3/24: Narniaworld, Part 1 (Narnia LIV)

What if The Chronicles of Narnia inspired a theme park similar to Disneyworld in Florida?

Of course, it’s not likely to happen anytime soon. Or ever perhaps. But think of the possibilities. That’s the theme I’m going to riff on for this July’s Worldbuilding Wednesday posts. What rides, events, eating places, and attractions would it have?

Let’s start with the food.

Luckily Lewis wrote at length about the foods his characters ate so there’s no shortage of inspiration. The basic menu would be English fare, with side forays into Middle Eastern cuisine (Calormen) Greek (Bacchus and the Maenads) Seafood (Voyage of the Dawn Treader) and high-end gourmet (Ramandu’s Feast.)

The following restaurants were randomly generated by me with some help from ChatGPT. But mostly me.


Places to eat in Narniaworld

Bacchus’s Wild Romp  A rustic, lively tavern serving both English and Mediterranean-inspired pub fare with plenty of wine, beer, and ale. There is a dance floor with music nightly. Specialties include gyros and moussaka, Shepherd’s pie, Irish stew, Greek salad, and roast meats.

NOTE: I picture Narniaworld being more of a European park in that alcoholic beverages are available in some restaurants inside, along the lines of Parc Asterix or the Bavarian Oktoberfest in Munich. Not all restaurants; just this one, and Ramandu’s Island which is detailed below.

Bulgy Bears’ Sausage Station A cart selling hotdogs including kielbasa, chorizo, bratwurst, vienna, braunschweiger, vegan and andouillie sausages that travels throughout the park where needed to feed guests.
Dancing Lawn Picnic Grounds A wooded area with picnic tables for guests who want to bring their own food. It’s next to Beruna Campground and after dusk, the area is closed so Narnian character actors can entertain overnight campers with bonfires, stories, swordfight displays, and music.
The Great Souk of Tashbaan
Due to open next year, this open-air marketplace will feature a variety of food stalls selling Middle Eastern foods such as shish kebab, flatbreads and hummus, baklava, shawarma, and, of course, Turkish Delight.
Miss Prizzle’s Cereal Bar Open in the mornings over by the campgrounds at Beruna. A food truck specializing in cold and hot cereals served with fresh fruit and the milk or plant milk of your choice. Try River God’s Granola or Caspian’s Raisin and Cinnamon Oatmeal.
Pavender Pancake House
All kinds of pancakes served 7 am – 8 pm every day, plus English breakfast food items like kippers on toast, Scottish oatmeal, Irish soda bread, roasted tomatoes and mushrooms, and organic hams, sausages and bacons.
Queen Susan’s Butterhorns A cart that moves throughout the park selling freshly made Narniaworld butterhorns with different fillings and other kinds of pastries. (The butterhorns are also available in all the restaurants.)
Ramandu’s Island The most upscale sit-down restaurant in the park, inspired by the décor and menu of the nightly feast on the island of Ramandu and his daughter. Outdoor dining with long banquet tables on a private terrace can be reserved for weddings and other special events. This restaurant is located on an artificial island overlooking the bay a short distance from Cair Paravel.
Tea with Mr. Tumnus A themed restaurant set in a facsimile of Mr. Tumnus’s cave with rustic wooden tables, shelves full of books and knickknacks, and a cheerful crackling fireplace. Afternoon tea is served from 1 – 5 pm** and features finger sandwiches, quiches and omelets, toasted breads and over 100 different varieties of teas and coffees to choose from. For dessert try pound cake, syllabub, honeyed scones, and freshly made gelato in seasonal flavors. Character meals with Tumnus and Lucy are given on weekends. Regular lunch and pastries are available from 11am – 3pm. By far the most popular of Narniaworld’s restaurants so reservations are suggested.

** Yes I know a proper afternoon tea starts at 4 but this is a commercial endeavor.

The Wild Sea Serpent Shanty  A snack bar with lunch items by the water park, shaped like the dangerous yet goofy creature of the book. Features freshly made tropical fruit smoothies, grilled fish and shrimp wraps, and sweet potato and plantain fries.

Not the best design for a sea serpent-shaped snack bar, but good enough. The beast’s scales look appropriately fiberglassy.

I am sure there would be more than what’s listed here. Note that I left out The White Witch’s Frozen Delights. This would have been far too obvious.

This method of associating book characters and locations with foods and different kinds of eateries could be used to create parks based on other works. For example, J.R.R. Tolkien’s Prancing Pony Inn is ready-made for a Middle Earth theme park, as would be a Rivendell Autumn feast. That is, if anyone wanted to make a theme park out of Middle Earth; in my opinion it’s too serious for that. But a hundred years from now some might think differently.

When doing some (rather cursory) research, I discovered that most theme park restaurants aren’t big on  variety. Menus for most Disneyworld restaurants, for example, stick to a limited number of themed entrees, of which some are vegan or vegetarian or food-allergy free. You won’t find a “Chef’s Special of the Day” here because the buyer found a bargain on orange roughy. Themes also apply to each resort within the park. In the Wilderness Lodge resort meals tend to be “Western,” that is buttermilk biscuits, bison burgers, pulled pork and the like. But not all. The Africa-themed Animal Kingdom Lodge has more specialized and gourmet offerings worthy of a four or five star restaurant.

Because this is my vision, I’m going to say Narniaworld’s major restaurants are run like any commercial one so there would be seasonal changes, specials, and catholic offerings (sorry) with the final say going to the head chef of each place. Recruitment of such an individual would be extremely important for the park.

Going back to theme park menus, a more common and cost-cutting way of getting eateries inside is by offering licensing deals to existing chains like Starbucks and the like. Six Flags Great Adventure, which hits its 50th anniversary this year, has a Fatburger, Johnny Rocket’s, three Dippin’ Dots, and local chains Primo Pizzeria and Rita’s Italian Ices, which are only fitting because the park is located in New Jersey.  The restaurants run by the park itself offer the usual — burgers, fried chicken, nachos, typical summer fare. I was surprised when perusing the site that beer and wine are offered throughout the park as well.

Of course, independent amusement parks can offer what they please. Food trucks are especially handy for this purpose!

I am hoping this series of posts will entertain not only Narnia fans but also provide ideas for writers  to create their own themed amusement parks.

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