It's been years in the making but Moscow's Dream Island finally opened last week as Russia's answer to Disneyland.

Children queue in front of a fairy tale castle at a theme park in Moscow
The first phase of Dream Island opened in Moscow in February ©Mikhail Japaridze\TASS/Getty Images

Ostrov Mechty or Dream Island is a brand new theme park that launched on Saturday, 29 February in Moscow. It's Russia's first large-scale theme park and the largest indoor theme park in Europe at 300,000 square metres. It has a very slight Disneyland aesthetic with a fairytale castle as the centrepiece (the Snow Queen's castle instead of Cinderella's) but bears no connection to the popular amusement park. According to architects Chapman Taylor, the design was inspired by the Gothic buildings of western Europe, as well as historic Kremlin architecture.

Dream Island jungle-style amusements.jpg
It includes themed-areas inspired by famous cartoon characters and Russian fairy-tales ©Mikhail Japaridze\TASS/Getty Images

Like Disney, it hosts different worlds (nine in total) filled with amusements, rides, and cartoon characters including Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the Smurfs, Hello Kitty, Hotel Transylvania and the Russian adaptations of the Jungle Book and Pinocchio.

In the park, there are promenades designed to look like different cities with building and shopfront facades inspired by the architecture of London, Rome, Los Angeles and Barcelona. In 'Rome' there's a mini Colosseum, in 'Barcelona' there are Gaudi-style buildings and in 'London' visitors can pose next to red phone boxes and royal guards.

A traditional London phone box and royal guards at an indoor theme park
There are promenade malls designed to look like cities around the world, including London, Barcelona and Rome ©Mikhail Japaridze\TASS/Getty Images

According to Reuters, the main glass dome that covers the park is "several times larger than the dome at the Galeries Lafayette in Paris and more than double the size of the one atop the German Reichstag in Berlin." Which is a good thing. With everything taking place indoors, people don't need to worry about the long, cold Moscow winters or sweltering summers.

The park is home to more than 15 cafes, restaurants and food trucks, as well as stores and boutiques selling everything from souvenirs to homeware and clothes. There are plans to introduce a cinema, Ferris Wheel and a concert venue soon with the second phase of the park, as well as a four-star hotel and zones for picnics, sports and family activities.

Smurfs attractions at an indoor theme park in Moscow
The Smurfs village at Dream Island  ©Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

The New York Times reports that the park expects 7.5 million visitors a year, with 2.5 million of those visitors being tourists. Weekend tickets for a family-of-four cost 11,000 rubles or about $163. For more information, see here.

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