I have been to Disneyland France a 4,800 acres theme park in France a long, long time ago. I have passed by the one in Tokyo twice and I also chose not to enter the Disneyland in Hong Kong a few years ago because I read of the need to queue under the sun for an hour just for rides. Hopefully it’s better nowadays. Well, Disneyland is going to open in Shanghai in June 2016 and it will have competition from Wanda, a conglomerate which intends to ensure Disney does not earn profits for the next 10 to 20 years. This is according to its founder, Wang Jianlin. He despised this ‘invasion’ of foreign cultures and wanted instead to be a model to highlight Chinese influence in the cultural domain.
We know a lot about Disneyland. Well according to some media reports, a giant Chinese conglomerate, Wanda has ‘Wanda City’ in the southeastern Nanchang.This is a 80ha theme park with the highest and longest roller coaster and the highest tower dropping China. (According to the company). Within this entertainment city, there’s also a giant mall set over 2 sq km. This project required an investment of 22 billion yuan (RM13.7bil). Its founder is China’s richest man (as per Forbes) said that beyond the nanchang site, Wanda will be opening six more theme parks in China within three years and by 2020 would have around 15!
With growing middle class, Wanda may be looking at a huge potential market of US$610 billion currently and a double of this number by 2020. According to the report, it is also planning three theme parks overseas. One of these would be in France to challenge the Disneyland I once visited. One advantage it has over Disneyland in Shanghai is ticket prices. It’s priced at 198 yuan on most days and 248 yuan on holidays and weekends. This is favourable when compared to Disneyland’s 370 yuan each for regular tickets and 499 yuan during peak days.
To be honest, I can see many cynical faces. Well, that includes me too until the day I really visited the park in order to have an idea how awesome is the theme park when compared to a Disneyland. My wife and I are planning another visit to a branded theme park. Most probably Legoland in Iskandar. As for dropping by Nanchang just to visit the theme park, it’s near to impossible. I would prefer to visit Shanghai for the first time instead. Image of its roller coaster in the image. Image source: http://www.wanda-group.com/2016/latest_0528/1198.html Happy reading and visiting.
written on 31 May 2016
Next suggested article: Dubai: 8 million sq ft mall to proceed