Travelers on Trip Advisor love Selvatica

Travelers on Trip Advisor love Selvatica

If you’re in Cancun and you want adventure, you think Selvatica. When you want to zipline, you think Selvatica. When you crave Polaris ATV’s, you think Selvatica.

There’s no debate. Cancun’s outdoor adventure park, Selvatica, is the number one extreme outdoor attraction in Latin America. In fact, we have the awards that prove travelers of Trip Advisor love Selvatica.

Travelers Trust Trip Advisor

Trip Advisor’s consumer review process is widely recognized as the least biased, most trustworthy voting system for picking the best travel activities. The Trip Advisor app has been downloaded 350 million times. Those are all active users too. We know this because tripadvisor.com receives 340 million unique visitors every month.

The point is, if you want the whole truth—both good and bad—you go to Trip Advisor. Companies can’t pay for favorable reviews. They can’t take down scathingly critical reviews either. Believe me, they’ve tried—even in the court room!

Selvatica Loves Trip Advisor

While some companies hate the fact that their dirty laundry may be aired out for everyone to see via Trip Advisor’s anyone-can-post-a-review system, we don’t. We at Selvatica fully embrace Trip Advisor.

We want to help our consumers make an informed decision. You only have so many days on your vacation. We want to help make sure you spend it right. What better way to do that, than to listen, not to a company’s promotional pitch, but to the reviews of people who traveled to that destination.

What Selvatica Travelers are Saying on Trip Advisor

Let’s find out why so many travelers on Trip Advisor love Selvatica. Here are 10 of the latest reviews taken—word for word—from Selvatica on Trip Advisor:

  1. “best adventure EVER”
  1. “they treat you like family. I would highly recommend them!!!”

“The day was easily the best day of our holiday and was made even more special by the enthusiasm and craziness of the staff there.”

  1. “Selvatica….A Must Do!!!!! Absolutely Amazing Experience!”
  1. “This experience was worth every penny!!! My group and I LOVED IT! Very kind staff, very fun, always joking around, it was so much fun! Will definitely do again.”
  1. “I gotta say it was the most exciting adventure we done! We did the Zipline and Cenote. Afterwards we were giving an amazing meal with drinks! I’m definitely planning to come back!”
  1. “best excursion ever with best staff!”
  1. “What can I say? This experience was a blast! My kids both 6&8 were so looked after it was unreal . The staff are a real credit to this place. So funny attentive and really driven could not fault them at all. They made the start of our holiday absolutely amazing!”
  1. We had the best time at Selvatica, the staff was terrific, I can’t say enough about this place. This made our vacation, so worth spending the money. I would highly recommend this to anyone. Superman was my favorite, We did the Gimme All package and the fajita lunch we got was very good also. You need to visit this place”
  1. “A blast. That’s my review. A total blast! All the guys that work here make it SO much fun, they are a hilarious group and will keep you laughing the entire time. We did the 12 Zipline tour and we were with a huge group, yet the guys kept it moving quickly and it was done really professionally.”

Trip Advisor Loves Selvatica

As you just read, Trip Advisor travelers don’t like Selvatica. Travelers on Trip Advisor LOVE Selvatica!

It’s why Trip Advisor named Selvatica the number one outdoor attraction in Cancun for 5 consecutive years. It’s why Trip Advisor deemed us “one of the top ten adventures in the entire world”. It’s why we are proud to announce were just awarded another “certificate of excellence” for our supremely rated service.

The people have spoken. The choice is simple. Selvatica is guaranteed thrills for the whole family. Book online now and save 10% to have an amazing outdoor adventure—then don’t forget to thank Trip Advisor’s community for sending you!

 

Have a Great Family Vacation at Dolphinaris and Ventura Park

Have a Great Family Vacation at Dolphinaris and Ventura Park

Family. It’s the most important thing there is. Great family memories are retold at every family event. The laughs, thrills, and yes even when things went awry—like when we got lost because dad trusted his ‘gut’ over the GPS, or his ‘mental compass’ as he calls it—are all remembered fondly, time and time again.

Creating Family Memories

There’s nothing like bonding with the family in a beautiful and exotic foreign country like Cancun, Mexico. Right from the get-go, there’s an excitement you can’t recreate in your homeland. You know there’s a possibility of everything being new; exquisite cuisine, original beverages, lively music, favorable weather, rich cultural history and a bevy of unique entertainment options.  How you and your family react to each one of these changes is what great family vacations are all about; creating family memories.

The Perfect Family Vacation Destination: Cancun, Mexico

Every great family vacation destination has at least one high mark in the above categories. Few have high marks in more than one. And yet the true rarity is even scarcer than that—perfect marks in every category. Straight A’s, if you will. That is no truer than in Cancun, Mexico.

Avoiding Disaster: The Dreaded Family Fight

Getting vacation time isn’t easy. That means every moment of your vacation is precious. The last thing you want to do on a family vacation is bicker over what to do next. You lose time you’ll never get back, and you’ll end up financing a family argument that could have happened at home for free.

Obviously, no one wants that. So how do you prevent the above disaster from taking place?

Book Online at Cancun’s Perfect Family Destination

Very simple. Pick the perfect family destination, and book ahead. Save money by receiving an online discount. But more importantly, save money by not bickering and postponing. At the end of the day, your kids will praise you, and your spouse will confess, you were right; this was the perfect place for a great family vacation.

The Perfect Family Destination

If you’ve come to Cancun with your family, you can’t leave without going to Ventura Park and Dolphinaris. Ventura Park is Cancun’s new oceanfront theme park. Dolphinaris is the world’s best dolphinarium. Together, Ventura Park and Dolphinaris are what you and your family will be talking about for years to come: great family memories.

A Galaxy of Thrills: Ventura Park

Ventura Park is an oceanfront theme park with many different worlds of entertainment. Each world is unique and offers something new. Some will love them all equally. Some will prefer some worlds over others. That’s why Ventura Park is perfect for great family vacations; there’s something for everyone.

Underworld

Arcade fanatics, you’re welcome. Underworld—Ventura Park’s futuristic arcade—has many different original ways to entertain yourself. Take for example, The Mission. Think you’re limber and agile enough to steal the Mona Lisa protected by a series of lasers? You better be good at the limbo.

Or the Laser Tanks. Think bumper cars meets laser tag. Just don’t get laser-shot, or you’ll be going for a flip. Star Wars Battle Pod—you have to step inside, and close the door after you get in—is so immersive and intimate, you’ll feel like you’ve become part of one of history’s greatest sagas: Star Wars.

Wet’n Wild

If there’s one thing Cancun always is, is sunny. That’s one of Cancun’s greatest aspects. But sometimes, you need a special way to enjoy that sun. Enter: Wet’n Wild, Cancun’s best waterpark.

Have a necessity for velocity? Try the Kamikaze. Are you more of the take-it-easy and chill dude? How about the Lazy River? Sit back in an inner-tube and let the current do the rest.

Grand Prix Go-Karts

Who’s the next Dale Earnhardt? You can’t just say it; you have to prove it. Find out who reigns supreme when the rubber meets the road at Ventura Park’s 275-yard oceanfront go-kart circuit, Grand Prix.

Fun World

Relive childhood memories by taking your kids to the same rides you went to as a child. Hop on the merry-go-round. Or spin in the crazy chairs, or revolving seat swings.

Aaah!Ventura

Aaahventura; adrenaline junkie heaven. Jump off an 800-foot zipline, that later turns into a roller coaster! Test your nimbleness on the hanging aerial bridges. Close your eyes and jump off our insane 60-foot bungee swing.

Shrink your Bucket List, You’re Going to Dolphinaris

Inside Ventura Park, is the world’s best dolphinarium, Dolphinaris. It is the best dolphinarium in Cancun because it is Mexico’s only dolphinarium certified by European Association for Aquatic Mammals (EAAM) for its ethical standards. It is the best dolphinarium in Cancun because you choose how to interact with these majestic sea mammals, the dolphins.

Dolphin Decisions

Want to stay dry and pet them from the dock? You can do that. Want to hop in the water and have two dolphins push you up and out of the water as you sail through the air? You can do that at Dolphinaris in Cancun. How about a professional photograph of you officially sealing a business agreement with a fin-shake with your client, Mr. Dolphin? Imagine how many Facebook Likes that will get!

Be a Hero and Do the Right Thing

Follow this formula, and avoid any disasters during your family vacation to Cancun. Book Ahead. Book online. And Book at Ventura Park and Dolphinaris in Cancun’s Hotel Zone, Kilometer Marker 25. If you’ve come for memories of a great family vacation, you’ve come to the right place.

 

All You Can Eat And Drink, No Diet Day!

All You Can Eat And Drink, No Diet Day!

Everyone is eating healthy these days. How long can you go without hearing someone talking about a kale shake or a shot of wheat grass? Eating healthy is great for your body. But let’s be honest…your appetite craves something more hedonistic. Something tastier and less healthy. What you need is a CHEAT DAY from your everyday diet.

Well, there’s no better place to let loose and follow your stomach’s desires, than Cancun, Mexico’s Ventura Park. Does the phrase “All You Can Eat and Drink” capture your full attention? Good. It’s No Diet Day in Ventura Park. Let’s find out what they have to offer you.

Ventura Park Food Court Lineup

Italian Food at Buon Appetito:

There’s nothing better than pizza, right? Wrong. There’s nothing better than wood-fired pizza. Enjoy a variety of Italian food including Buon Appetito’s signature wood-fired pizza. Best part? Service is included in the admission. And yes, even the beers.

Sunrise Food Court (Buffet):

The appetite can be a fickle thing. One moment, you’re absolutely sure you want a burger…but then all of a sudden you’re thinking pasta would be better. Forget all of that. At Sunrise Food Court, you get a bit of everything from an absolutely delicious buffet that serves international cuisine from all over the world.  Don’t forget…service is included in admission!

The Bunker (Sports Bar):

Men love their sports. Alright, correction, some women love their sports too. Why choose between watching the big game or going to a restaurant? Get the best of both worlds at Ventura Park’s Sports Bar: The Bunker. Enjoy all sorts of tasty finger foods while sipping down your favorite beer and watching your team stick it to its biggest rival. And lucky for you, service is included with admission.

La Cevicheria:

You can’t come to Mexico without trying the ceviche. If you like seafood, you’re going to love ceviche. Eat a trio of squid, fish, and shrimp, covered in chilled and marinated in lime juice, cilantro, onions, tomatoes and other spices. It’s the perfect dish to eat on a hot day. Best part is, it pairs PERFECTLY with an ice cold Corona!

The Wreck:

Who likes taking long, excessive, and redundant walks? No one right? Well, that’s why we have bars located strategically throughout the park. Situated alongside the wave generating pool, The Wreck serves all sorts of cocktails and beers, WITH service included in admission.

El Ice Cream Bar:

Is there anyone on the planet that doesn’t love cold ice cream on a hot day? Enjoy a wide array of flavors from our gourmet ice cream bar. If you’re in the mood for it, they also serve iced coffee from their café. NOT included.

Funny Bar:

Another one of our strategically situated bars serving all sorts of cocktails and beers. This one resides by the pool. And don’t fret. Service is included with admission.

River Bar:

Why waste all that time walking to the Funny Bar or The Wreck? If you’re on Lazy River Island, go straight to the River Bar. Your favorite beers and cocktails await you. And of course, service is included with admission.

 

 

 

Top Ten Cenotes in the Riviera Maya

Top Ten Cenotes in the Riviera Maya

Each cenote has its own distinct personality that lures you into it. I have yet to travel to any two cenote’s that were completely identical. Let’s take a look at the top ten cenotes in the Riviera Maya to find out what makes each of them unique: (For a better understanding of what a cenote is, and why tourists love it, check out our previous explanatory article here)

1. Cenote Selvatica        (Playa del Carmen/Cancun)     

Here your chance to chase adventure and get rough and dirty at Latin America’s number one, tourist rated adventure park, Selvatica.

  • Fly face-front on a zipline
  • Rip through the jungle on tough Polaris ATV
  • Bungee Swing off a ledge
  • Check your sense of balance on our wobbling, hanging aerial bridges

Your reward at the end of this great series of challenging adventures? Your chance to refresh and reset at Cenote Selvatica. You’ll feel reborn with vigor and ready to head to whatever’s next.

2. Casa Cenote      (Tulum)

This cenote is separated from the ocean by a small strip of land. Instead of the many circled cenotes, Casa Cenote features a long canal that winds away from the ocean.

When the sun is shining, its crystal clear waters allow you to see—with impressive clarity—all the way to the bottom. Many times, the bottom looks so near, it appears to be in near reach of your toes. When you attempt to touch with your hands, you’re amazed to realize its actually twice as deep as your eyes perceive it to be.

3. Cenote Azul      (Playa del Carmen)

This is a small and cozy cenote. It has a cave, but it’s not large. Above the cave, people can dive off an approximately 12-foot ledge into the deep cenote. Even though it’s in a somewhat of a confined area, it’s the perfect place to entertain the whole family.

4. Cenote Azul      (Bacalar)

From an aerial perspective, this cenote looks very similar to Belize’ world famous, blue hole. It’s an impressively massive cenote in diameter. Despite its enormity, however, most people tend to congregate together near the entrance’s shore.

5. Cenote Zacil-ha (Tulum)

This small cenote has a lot of open space surrounding it. This leaves room for permanent chairs, tables, and shade-providing umbrellas. The most unique aspect of this cenote, however, is the short zipline they installed over it. Have the lifeguard clear the way for you, put on a lifejacket, jump off and hold on to the handle. Fly the through the air before letting go at a predetermined spot in the cenote. Rinse and repeat as many times as you wish.

6. Ek Balam Cenote        (Valladolid)

After visiting the Mayan Ruins of Ek Balam, go visit its eponymous and beautiful cenote, Ek Balam Cenote. One feature you won’t elsewhere is the impressively tall wooden staircase along the cenotes side. If you dare, climb up and jump several yards down into the cenote.

7. Cenote Ik Kil     (Chichen Itza/Valladolid)

First, visit one of the Seven Wonders of the World, Chichen Itza. Then, travel about a mile and half toward Cenote Ik Kil. Revitalize yourself in a majestic cenote idolized by the Mayans.

8. Gran Cenote     (Tulum)

As the name suggests (in Spanish), this is a large and popular cenote. Google the diving pictures taken there, and be prepared to be awestruck. You can be sure, the pictures are so spectacularly majestic they’re enough motivation to visit in and of themselves.

9. Cenote Dos Ojos         (Playa del Carmen/Tulum)

Cenote Dos Ojos (meaning two eyes in Spanish) is connected to one of the top 10 longest underwater cave systems in the world. It contains the deepest known cave passage in Quintana Roo with a depth of nearly 400 feet.
It was featured in the IMAX film of 2002, Journey Into Amazing Caves.

10. Cenote Samula         (Valladolid)

In what appears to be a scene from James Cameron’s Avatar, Cenote Samula has an Alamo tree extending its roots from several yards above, into the cenote for hydration. The rare and impressive vista of hanging roots entering into the cenote is a sight to behold.

What is a Cenote?

What is a Mayan Cenote?

Selvatica is Latin America’s number one adventure park. This isn’t a marketing slogan. This is reflective of thousands of peer reviews from Trip Advisor. The results are in. Selvatica is Cancun’s number one outdoor activity—for several consecutive years now.

What makes Selvatica so great? Well first off, no one does adventure like we do. Whether it’s our blazing ziplines over the Mayan jungle canopy, or our badass Polaris ATV ripping its way through the muddy terrain, we know what will get your heart pumping. We know adrenaline.

But part of what makes us unique is how we culminate the experience. It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish right? We make sure that everyone who takes part in our wide variety of adventures available—don’t forget about our wild bungee swing—leaves feeling refreshed, revitalized, and reborn.

What’s our secret? In a word: Mother-Nature. Think of it like this…we have our own fountain of youth, right here on the property. It’s called, a cenote. Now before you look at a dictionary definition of a cenote (believe me, this will only make things more confusing), allow us to explain what a cenote is, and why it’s the perfect finale to an amazing outdoor adventure in Cancun.

What is a Cenote?

Every year, millions of tourists flock to The Riviera Maya to swim and dive in its hundreds of crystal clear, freshwater swimming areas called cenotes. The word ‘cenote’ originates from the Yucatec Maya, meaning ‘ts’onot’, or ‘any location with accessible groundwater’.

Cenotes are sinkholes that develop over millions of years. In a nutshell, a cenote is the result of acidic water collapsing the limestone bedrock and uniting the top body of water with groundwater. In a sense, all cenotes are fundamentally united.

Mayan History

Centuries earlier, the Mayans reigned supreme in the Yucatan by relying on cenotes as their primary source of water. Unlike other great civilizations that depended on a network of above-ground river systems, the Mayans used a subterranean network of access points connected to groundwater. They also viewed cenotes as a portal to communicate with their gods, Chac, and Xibalba; the god of rain and the Mayan mythical underworld, respectively.

American Misperception

Some American’s may be wondering, as I originally did: why on earth would I want to willingly swim in an acknowledged sinkhole?

Growing up in Florida, I viewed sinkholes as your worst enemy. It has destroyed many homes insidiously, over the course of a decade. Some, overnight. Just a few years ago, a 37-year-old man in Florida was swallowed alive in his sleep by a sinkhole.

However, there remains a BIG fundamental difference between a Florida sinkhole and a Riviera Maya cenote.

The difference is, Florida sinkholes have a top layer of sand and clay. Most of the time, this top layer has held up. Other times, it has crumbled. Those are the times you hear about on the news.

Mayan Reality

In the Riviera Maya however, the collapse has already taken place long ago. There is ZERO inherent risk of collapse like there is with Florida sinkholes. With cenotes, the water gets ultra-filtered through the ground, removing any particle that would leave the water looking murky.

All that remains is a fun and safe freshwater swimming area with shockingly crystal clear clarity and brilliantly beautiful turquoise blue water. Also, due to its lack of salinity, you won’t have to worry about irritated eyes or salinized hair or swimwear.

Selvatica’s Farewell Gift

Now that you have a better understanding of what a cenote is, I want you to picture this. You’ve soared through the air like superman on our ziplines. You’ve boldly jumped on our bungee swing. You’ve tested your agility on our wobbly hanging aerial bridges. And finally, you’ve flung mud in every direction with our fearsome Polaris ATV.

You’re sweaty. You’re muddy. You’re tired. Is this how you want to enter the bus?

Of course not. Allow us to present the perfect solution: Selvatica’s cenote. Jump in our very own fountain of youth, and become reborn. Swim in crystal clear water and connect with a reinvigorating force of nature. Words can’t describe how amazingly refreshed you’ll feel when you come out of the water. There’s no better climax to a wild day of adventure.
Go Wild. Get Dirty. Have Fun…then

Jump in. Get Wet. Be Reborn.

This is the Selvatica Experience.

Join the Tribe Today!

 Book Online and Receive a 10% Discount!

How to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Cancun

How to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Cancun

Every Mexican knows that Cinco de Mayo is Independence Day for Mexico. Wait. That’s not right. Now I remember. Every American thinks Cinco de Mayo is Mexico’s Independence Day. True Mexican’s know Mexico’s Independence Day is actually September 16. So what is Cinco de Mayo then? Why is it celebrated so universally in the United States?

Roughly fifty years after its independence, Mexico was in financial ruin. France saw this as an opportunity to extend its imperialism. When France attempted to overtake Puebla, Mexico, the villagers fought back. Despite being outnumbered by the French army, 2:1, the villagers of Puebla were victorious—on you guessed it, Cinco de Mayo.

The United States eventually lent a hand to Mexico to fully vanquish France from their imperialist pursuit. American’s were so impressed with what a little village like Puebla, Mexico was able to accomplish against a military monster like France, that news of the defensive stand spread. Eventually, it became, somewhat of ‘Celebrate Mexico’ day in the United States.

In honor of the, ahem, ‘Mexican’ holiday of Cinco de Mayo, Cancun’s Ventura Park is offering a MONSTER ONLINE DEAL you can’t miss out on(more details later) to all visitors this May 5. Want to know how to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Cancun? This is your guide.

Ventura Park

Located on Kilometer Marker 25 in Cancun’s Hotel Zone, Ventura Park is a galaxy of fun. There are SO many different entertainment worlds to choose from. No matter who you’re coming with, you’re sure to find something for everyone. Let’s explore each world Ventura Park offers.

Fun World: Are you bringing your 7-year-old son to Ventura Park? Has Grandma decided to come along? The more the merrier right? Well, we have just the entertainment world for you. Fun World! Grandma can her 7-year-old grandson and show him the rides she used to take when she was his age. Together they can ride the classic merry-go-round.

Aaahventura: Are you an adrenaline junkie looking for your next fix? You’re in for quite the treat then. Aaahventura was tailor made for those enjoy an extreme outdoor expedition. Soar through the air at a height of 80 feet on a 4 zipline circuit. Wanna try something you’ve never seen before? How about Tarzania, an 800-foot zipline that converts into a roller coaster?  Feeling bold? Try out 65-foot bungee jump. Simulate a jungle expedition by testing your agility on our hanging aerial bridges—guaranteed to wobble! If you want adrenaline, you have to come to Ventura Park’s Aaahventura.

Grand Prix: Is velocity a necessity?  Then you’re going to love our 275-yard seaside go karting track. Just buckle up, and press the pedal to the metal. Enjoy the ocean’s breeze while you speed through our track at 25 mph. Who’s got the best driving skills in your group? You’re about to find out.

Dolphinaris:

How often do you get a chance to swim with dolphins? How many chances do you get to come face to face with one of the most intelligent creatures on the planet? Come to Mexico’s best dolphinarium and take advantage of an opportunity of a lifetime. Dolphinaris is the only dolphinarium in Mexico certified by the European Association for Aquatic Mammals.

There are so many different options available to you at Dolphinaris. You can spend the ENTIRE day with the six dolphins as their trainer. Just imagine the Facebook Like frenzy you’ll start by posting a picture of you shaking ‘fins’ with a dolphin. Better yet, post a picture of you soaring through the air as two dolphins propel you forward with ease. It’s not every day you get a chance to swim with Dolphins. Especially not with such an ethically committed organization such as Dolphinaris. Take advantage today, and fulfill a lifelong dream by swimming with a dolphin in Cancun!

Wetn’Wild: Everyone comes to Cancun for the nice warm weather. But sometimes, you just need a chance to cool off and revitalize yourself. When that moment comes, head on over to the world of Wetn’Wild. Whatever your mood, there’s a waterslide waiting for you. Feeling the need for speed? You’re going to love our Kamikaze slide. Prefer to chill and relax?  We’ve got just the waterslide for you. Try our Lazy River option. Let our inner tube bring you inner peace as the current takes you.

Remember that MONSTER online deal you can’t miss out on? Well, here you have it. Purchase tickets ONLINE for Ventura Park this Cinco de Mayo (May 5th) and enjoy 50% online discounts! You read that correctly. The money in your wallet just doubled. That mean’s twice the tacos and margaritas. At Ventura Park we know how to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Cancun. And who do we have to thank for this? That’s right. Mexico’s version of ‘300’, Puebla, Mexico.

 

May the Fourth be with you

May the Fourth be with you!

3 Sources that Inspired Lucas to make Star Wars

Welcome, Star Wars fans traveling to Cancun! May the Fourth be with you! As you all know, in 1997 George Lucas released the first movie edition of Star Wars. In doing so, he created a fictional universe, ‘in a galaxy, far far away’ that has captured the minds of fans all over the world for decades. This space opera has become one of the most profitable film franchise of all time. It has broken box office records across multiple decades, including the current one we’re in now.

If you’re a true Star Wars fan, you’ll love Ventura Park’s Underworld that features Star Wars Battle Pod. This isn’t some ordinary arcade game. This is a truly immersive arcade experience that puts you front and center of all the action. Step INSIDE the pod, close the door, and behold 180 degree viewing angle afforded to you. You’ll need all the help you can get as you race and battle other pods for dominion over ‘the galaxy, far far away’.

Btw, where did Lucas find the inspiration for this elaborate fictional universe? Let’s take a look at 3 sources that motivated Lucas to begin one of the most celebrated film franchises ever.

From Flash Gordon to Luke Skywalker

Even the most creative minds receive inspiration elsewhere. Lucas is no different. Lucas was a fan of Flash Gordon movies. You can see how Flash Gordon inspired Star Wars, right from the beginning of the movie. Remember the yellow text in the opening crawl of Star Wars, starting off with “In a galaxy, far far away”? That style of introduction was borrowed directly from Flash Gordon. The main way in which Flash Gordon influenced Star Wars however, is the idea that technology is the new magic. To quote sci-fi writer, Arthur C. Clarke: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

At the time, many authors feared technology had killed magic, and as a consequence powerful storytelling. However, other authors, like Arthur C. Clarke, flipped the script and used technology to create a new magic. Since Flash Gordon was influenced by sci-fi books, so too was Star Wars.

Japan and USA Trade Storytelling Ideas

In an island, far far away, Japanese Filmmaker, Akira Kurosawa began looking at American culture for cinematic inspiration. What Akira eventually ended up doing was, creating Samurai movies that had storylines like American Westerns and American detective stories. These movies fascinated George Lucas. So, as Akira looked to American Cinema to inspire his Japanese films, so too did Lucas look to Japanese Cinema to inspire his American films.

It was one movie, in particular, The Hidden Fortress that most inspired Star Wars. The Hidden Fortress is told from the perspective of “two lowest characters” as Lucas puts it. That inspired Lucas to do the same with Star Wars, with R2D2 and C-3PO. Even Darth Vader’s helmet came from a Samurai in The Hidden Fortress. The word Jedi actually comes from “jidaigeki”, which is a genre of historical dramas, of which Hidden Fortress belongs to.

Joseph Campbell and The Heroes Journey

While Lucas drew cinematic cues from Flash Gordon and The Hidden Fortress, he collected his narrative format from another source. Joseph Campbell, mythologist, released a book titled The Hero with a Thousand Faces. In the book, he dissects practically every major religion and myth available to him and discerns the narrative common denominator present in every story. He then assembles this narrative common denominator as a simple procedure called “The Heroes Journey”.

It is not an exaggeration to say, the “The Heroes Journey” has transformed storytelling forever. To this day, over 60 years later, many if not all, major storytellers have looked to Campbell for inspiration. Lucas called him “my Yoda”. Lucas read a passage written by Campbell that said:

“To contemplate a starry sky itself is to contemplate on a mythical level. And as scientific discovery continuously redefines our understanding of the cosmos, certainly our mythical perspective must change as well…What does all this do to mythology?”

We have to remember, in just 61 years, we went from Henry Ford’s Model T, to landing on the Moon in 1969. These were tumultuous technological times. It was a lot to process for anyone of that time. Equipped with Campbell’s step by step guide, Lucas looked to story to make sense of it all. Campbell asked “What does this do to mythology?”, and Lucas answered with Star Wars. When Campbell finally saw Lucas’ first three Star Wars movies, back to back to back, he paid Lucas the ultimate compliment saying ‘You know, I thought real art had stopped with Picasso, Joyce, and Mann. Now I know it hasn’t.’

So this May Fourth pay homage to Lucas’ sources of inspiration. Try to find a copy of The Hidden Fortress or Flash Gordon. If not, go to the library or Amazon (let’s be real right?) and borrow/buy a copy of Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces. Who knows? You may end up becoming the next George Lucas!

Did all this Star Wars talk get you antsy and itching to jump into a fictional universe where anything is possible? Take a break from Cancun’s beaches, and head over to the galaxy of fun that is Ventura Park’s Underworld. Underworld is a futuristic arcade that features a Star Wars Battle Pod. Sit in the driver’s seat and relive the most iconic battles from the original trilogy. The fun doesn’t stop there though. Underworld also has Laser Tanks. Think laser tag meets bumper cars! Remember, this isn’t just any arcade. This is Ventura Park’s Underworld. May the Fourth be with you!