Theme parks set to be in for the long ride

By WANG ZHUOQIONG | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2021-04-03 08:59
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Shanghai Disney Resort unveils new character costumes on March 29 as countdown continues for the resort's 5th birthday celebration, which starts from April 8, 2020. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Operators have sights on Chinese market as value rises tenfold over the last six years

As Universal Beijing Resort is scheduled to open for a trial run next month, anticipation is building up, fueling fierce competition among international and domestic theme park operators in the country. However, this is a win for fans of Transformers, Harry Potter and Kung Fu Panda as the wait to ride on one of the world's best themed roller coasters is finally over.

UBR is the first international theme park in the capital, five years after the opening of the Shanghai Disney Resort. It is estimated that UBR will attract more than 6 million visitors in the first year, and 15 to 20 million in the following years.

Nationwide, leading international theme park operators have been eager to enter the market and expand quickly. Despite the severe impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global tourism sector, many theme parks in China saw their businesses return and recover since the latter half of last year due to better pandemic control. Shanghai Disney Resort reopened in May last year.

It is reported that Legoland Resort is scheduled to be built in the Fangshan district of Beijing and also in Sichuan province.

Merlin Entertainments, a global leader in location based entertainment with brands including Madame Tussauds and the Dungeons, plan to open a Legoland in Shanghai in 2024.

Since its entrance into the market in 2018, Merlin has opened five attractions, including the world's first Peppa Pig World of Play in Shanghai and Little BIG City in Beijing.

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